Laden with a neat hybrid design, simplistic architecture and and a bright ambiance, the Acer convertible Chromebook R11 is a decent laptop.While it’s not uniquely spectacular, it does command respect in more ways than one.
- Inexpensive tablet-laptop hybrid with 360 degree hinges and touchscreen
- Lightweight and portable at 2.7 pounds
- Expandable storage with SD card capabilities
- An expected small learning curve for new users of Chrome OS.
- Missing caps lock key, and delete key.
- Not as many apps on Google’s Chrome OS as you would expect on Windows or Apple’s OS.
The flexible 360 degree hinges add to the Acer Chromebook R11’s flexibility and give it an edge over its rivals – more particularly the Acer Chromebook 11 (2016). The Acer Chromebook 11 is similar in appearance and specifications with the Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C1LK Check on Amazon but lacks some of the features present in the former. All in all, the Acer convertible Chromebook R11 is an excellent machine considering excellent touch enabled display, hybrid design and fair retail price.
Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C1LK SPECS
|Processor||Intel Celeron N3150 |1.60 GHz | Quad-core (4 Core™)|
|RAM||4 GB DDR3L SDRAM for the CB5-132T-C1LK model|
|2 GB DDR3L SDRAM for the CB5-132T-C32M model|
|Internal Storage||32 GB|
|Display||11.6″ LCD IPS display |1366 x 768 resolution LED backlight | Multi-touch screen|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics|
|Connectivity||IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac | 11ac WiFi featuring MIMO technology
(Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz) | Bluetooth 4.0
|Ports||HDMI with HDCP protection | One USB 2.0 | One USB 3.0 | SD card slot|
|OS||Chrome OS | 64-bit|
|Battery||3-cell Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) | 3490 mAh for the CB5-132T-C1LK model|
|3-cell Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) | 3220 mAh for the CB5-132T-C32M model|
|Audio||Two built-in Stereo Speakers|
|Dimensions||LWH : 8″x 11.6″ x 0.8″ or 20.32 x 29.46 x 2.032 cm|
|Weight||2.76 lb or 1.25 kgs|
DESIGN AND FEATURES
The Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C1LK is one laptop that catches your eye. Made of Denum white aluminum, the top panel beams with exuberance, telling a story of premium heritage. Its aluminum top panel is beautifully patterned using nano-imprint technology resulting in a smooth texture that appeals to touch and eye. The whole body is made of plastic, with exception of the top panel which as mentioned earlier, is made of aluminum. The milk white color sprawls all the way across the back, front and side interfaces, with exception of the keyboard keys which are all black.
There are two models of the Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C1LK, with only a few minor differences in between them. The first is the CB5-132T-C1LK model which has 4Gb Ram and a 3490 mAh battery, followed by the CB5-132T-C32M model with 2 Gb Ram and 3220 mAh battery. Those are the only two differences that set them apart.
The 11.6 inch screen in addition to being an IPS display, is a touch enabled. The display resolution is 1366 x 768 furnishes a good viewing experience, with contrast levels and color vibrance being quite impressive. When it comes to brightness however, it falls short of expectation – which is disappointing especially in bright outdoor areas.
The glossy screen is LED-lit with multi-touch capabilities supporting up to 10-points of touch on screen. That means you can use all your fingers to move and select items on the screen simultaneously and still expect reaction. Also, while the screen is low on brightness, on the bright side you don’t have to worry about light hurting your eyes after long hours of working. So I guess the brightness aspect works on both ends. Reflections can be a problem as well, so you especially have to work indoors or against bright natural light. Viewing angles are also comparably poor which largely is contributed by the low resolution panel.
Best of all screen features is that the 360 degree hinges allows the laptop to convert to a tablet. It is able to convert to different modes namely laptop mode, tent mode, display mode and finally tablet mode. When switching to tablet or display mode, the Chrome browser allows the windows to smartly convert to full screen mode to use up all the display space as a full screen.
A careful study of the ports on the left side are: a charging port, HDMI port with High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), a USB 3.0 port and a full sized SD slot. One advantage that you find with the Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C1LK, the SD card sinks completely into the slot. That means that you can have it permanently slotted into the machine, acting as a secondary storage. In addition to that, you can also store ad access your documents, photos and video catalogue with Google Drive. Google offers 100 Gb free storage on Google Drive for two years and 60 days of Google Play Music All Access, which is a plus on our scoreboard.
The right hand side features the power button, Kensington lock, headphone/microphone jack and a USB 2.0 jack.
The Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C1LK is powered by Quad core 1.6 GHz Intel N3150 Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM and 32 GB of on board storage. With these specifications, it is best for basic web browsing, word processing, and playing videos online. I noticed up to 12 tabs running before lag started showing o the 12th tab especially. For all the gamers, video editors and graphics designers out there, this machine was sadly not built for you. Even so, performance on this laptop is decent for basic we browsing just as other Acer laptops. The Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C1LK is designed for simplicity and efficiency. Efficient because the starting time is just within seconds offering more time for work.
Chromebooks are meant to be great at portability and so battery life is a must have. The Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C1LK delivers here superbly with up to 10 hours as claimed Acer. Our battery test however proved it lasts for 9 hours 28 minutes. The test included simulating web browsing at 100 nits of brightness.
Something worth mentioning too is that Chrome Web Store offers thousands of free apps, themes, and extensions to help you make the most of your Chromebook. Watch movies, play games or get work done. A similar test with the Dell Chromebook 11 with Intel Core i3 ran for 10:17, while the Lenovo 100S Chromebook lasted a whooping 11:19 on a single charge. Similar tests on the Toshiba Chromebook 2 lasted for 8:30. The hybrid Asus Chromebook Flip (C100PA-DB02) Laptop was impressive at 9:19 on the same test, but probably prevailed due to a smaller 10-inch touchscreen.
Things I disliked
The display isn’t as good as it should have been in my opinion, and the viewing angles aren’t so good either.
Other than that, the only drawback may lie with the inherent weaknesses of the Chrome OS. The biggest of these is the limitation to install software. If you’re used to using Windows products such as Word or Excel you might have a little bit of a challenge with Chrome. Although there are similar Chrome based apps, they aren’t as developed as those in Windows and as such take some getting used to. Also, while you can use the Chrome Web store to find most apps, it would be lovely to just have them available offline just like as any Windows laptop.
If you cannot do without installing you own software, this laptop isn’t for you. It can best serve as your secondary machine. However, Chromebooks have their advantages that can be found in no other place, and as such will can be a good selection for some.
Things I love
At only 2.7 pounds, the R11 Chromebook is also a lightweight companion ideal for a quick pack and take on the go. It best fits as a student laptop or travel laptop. It is slightly heavier in comparison to other Chromebooks, but the overall weight isn’t at all bad.
Since the R11 Chromebook is used as a web based laptop, the R11 comes with no bloatware at all. Speaking of being web based, there are a couple of games like the 2048 that don’t require internet connection to work, as well as some text editors. Additionally, Gmail offline has been added for offline duty. It syncs with your offline Gmail and updates any mail you may have received as soon as you get back to the internet.
Our final take of the Chromebook CB5-132T-C1LK Review
For an extra average of 100 dollars, you can easily upgrade from an Acer Chromebook 11(2016) to this Acer Chromebook R11 CB5-132T-C1LK with notable advancement on touchscreen capabilities and 360 degree hinge turning capabilities to tablet mode. Besides that, the price for this laptop falls to under the budget category which makes it ideal for a student laptop.
If you’re looking for the same features on a Chromebook, but with no touchscreen capabilities, we recommend the 11-inch Lenovo 100S Chromebook which has great battery life as well and low starting price, and the Toshiba Chromebook 2 for its full HD display ad stellar built. Notice that while the R11 isn’t the best in one particular area; size, price or built, it does have a great combination of all those things ad holds its own, which certainly makes it ideal for our Editor’s choice as best all around Chromebook.
- Buy the Acer Chromebook R11 from Amazon