What you need to know
- Acer has unveiled a whole new line of Windows and Chromebooks computers in a digital launch event this morning.
- The $260 Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is a lightweight 11.6-inch Chromebook with 15-hour battery life — and that's not in a lab, I got 15 hours of actual work and Netflix out of this little laptop.
- The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is another Project Athena Chromebook, this time with a 2K 3:2 aspect ratio touchscreen, antimicrobial Gorilla Glass on the screen and trackpad, and an Enterprise version that comes with the Chrome Enterprise Upgrade.
- Both Chromebooks will arrive in North America and Eurore (EMEA) in August.
It's been a while since Acer's last crop of Chromebooks — that bunch debuted at IFA — and today during the Next @ Acer launch event we got two new 2-in-1 Chromebooks that will be appetizing for three very different groups of buyers.
|Category||Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-3H)|
Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass
Audio combo jack
|Battery||Up to 15 hours|
|Dimensions||290mm x 206mm x 18.8mm|
Let's start with the Chromebook sitting in my lap right now as I write this: the Acer Chromebook Spin 311. This 11.6-inch Chromebook will start at $260 in North America (€299 in Europe) when it goes on sale in August, a 11.6-inch Chromebook that is slightly smaller than a sheet of notebook paper. The body is all plastic with a quick taper along the sides after the small section of ports and buttons close to the hinge.
There's only one USB-C and USB-A port on the Spin 311, and more importantly there is no microSD slot, so you'll definitely want to spring for the 64GB model over the base 32GB model. The MediaTek processor inside hasn't given me any issues in a week of average use, and battery life has held up pretty well to the 15-hour claim, though I am using a pre-production sample and not an actual retail unit.
Both the Spin 311 and the Chromebook Spin 713 we're about to talk about have Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreens — the 713 also has it on the trackpad — and while I'm happy to see this being more widely used on Chromebooks, it's worth reminding folks that this coating is designed to fight "odor and stain-causing bacteria". It is not designed or guaranteed to kill viruses on your Chromebook screen.
Moving up in specs, size, and price, meet the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, a successor for the Spin 13 in many ways — it has a 13.5-inch, 3:2 aspect ratio 2K touchscreen, a powerful Intel Core processor, durable aluminum body and backlit keyboard — and the Spin 713 is Acer's first Project Athena Chromebook.
Project Athena means it's powerful and should be long-lasting, but given that both the Acer 436 and Samsung Galaxy Chromebook have battery issues they've been hammering out, I'd wage the battery life is closer to 8 hours on a charge than the 10 hours Acer listed among the Spin 713's features. Like HP's Project Athena Chromebook announced back in May, the Spin 713 is rated for MIL-STD 810G durability and should withstand a drop from 4 feet without breaking.
Like the rest of the Project Athena Chromebooks we've seen this year, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 comes with a backlit keyboard, a 10th-Gen Intel Core processor and up to 16GB of RAM. It supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, has two USB-C (3.2 Gen 1) ports, a single USB-A (3.0) port, and microSD, but it also sports a dedicated HDMI port, which will appeal to professionals who are frequently plugging up in the conference room to present for meetings.
Speaking of business, there's a dedicated Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 713, which comes with the Chrome Enterprise Upgrade out of the box, which won't mean much to most of us but will make it an enticing alternative to the HP ELITE c1030 Chromebook Enterprise.
For those of us who don't need Enterprise, the regular Acer Chromebook Spin 713 will start at $630 in North America (€699 in Europe) while the Enterprise version will start at $1099 (€899 in Europe). The Spin 713 and the Spin 311 will be available very soon, while the Enterprise Spin 713 will go on sale in August.