Are you in need of a laptop that you’ll just use primarily for web browsing? Something that doesn’t need to have the fastest and most advanced processor since you’re not going to install any software in it? If so, you should get your hands on a Chromebook, which is a cheaper alternative to Windows and MacBook laptops and is packed with only the most important features, like the Acer Chromebook Spin 11.
As part of Walmart’s summer clearance sale, this Chromebook is available for only $229, which is $70 less than its normal retail price of $299. This stylishly designed Chromebook/tablet hybrid is powered by an Intel Celeron processor and boasts 32GB of storage.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 sports a minimalist metal-like plastic chassis. The Chromebook feels solid to the touch and its touchscreen rotates 360 degrees that convert it into a tablet. It weighs 2.7 pounds, which makes it a little heavy to use as a tablet, but as a Chromebook, it feels light on the lap. Its dimensions are 11.7 x 8.1 x 0.8 inches, which again can be too big and unwieldy if carried using only one hand, like a regular tablet.
Its 11.6-inch touchscreen has a 1,366 x 768, or 135 PPI (pixels per inch) resolution that honestly doesn’t give the sharpest or brightest picture. Watching videos that are drenched in shadows makes it hard to make out the details. The bezels are also obnoxiously large which makes the display appear smaller. The screen is very responsive to the touch though. It can accurately track finger movement and commands and opening apps is relatively easy.
The keyboard is also easy to use and pleasantly compact. Whereas other Chromebook keys are awkwardly placed and often too small, the Spin 11’s keyboard offers precise typing and keys are big enough and comfortable to press. The touchpad is also fast and responsive.
Performance-wise, the Spin 11 is a bit sluggish compared to other Chromebooks. Its Intel Celeron N3350 CPU is a low-end processor that runs at a base clock of 1.1GHz and tops out at 2.4GHz. The Spin 11 is fast when browsing the internet, but once you open 10 or more tabs, that’s when it starts to slow down. Android apps that are open can also make it run at a slower pace.
The battery life is decent at 10 hours tops. It has a 720p web camera that takes pictures that are a bit grainy. You don’t need to worry about the Spin 11 overheating though, unlike other Chromebooks. Streaming HD videos on YouTube for 15 minutes straight didn’t cause it to heat up significantly.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 is very affordable, performs well and has a comfortable keyboard. The display could use a little more brightness, and the battery life isn’t that great. Still, for just $229, it’s quite a bargain.
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