Acer is aiming to help families and college students stay connected with the launch of its all-new Chromebook Spin 311. Sold under model designation CP311-3H and building on the previously released models of the same name, this Chromebook is what its branding implies. It's an 11.6-inch Chromebook built on a flexible 2-in-1 platform. That means it can be used in standard clamshell, tent, stand, and tablet modes.
The budget-friendly device is driven by an octa-core MediaTek MT8183 processor. Coupled with 4GB of RAM, thanks in part to Chrome OS's hardware efficient nature, that provides plenty of power for day-to-day projects or homework. It should, in fact, easily run multiple apps, websites, and documents simultaneously. And projects can be stored both online via file management-baked-in Google Drive or up to 64GB of storage. At the budget end, Acer is offering this gadget with 32GB storage.
That's all packed into a frame measuring under an inch thick and under 12-inches wide. In fact, Acer points out that it's smaller — setting aside the obvious exclusion of its thickness — than a sheet of A4 paper. That makes this gadget perfect for daily tasks on the go, easily fitting into a bag or backpack for carrying. And that's something that's easily made all the better by its weight at just 2.2lbs.
Of course, since this is a Chromebook, it delivers the latest in Chrome OS advancements. That includes access to Android and Linux apps such as IDEs and other intensive software — the later is better suited to the tech-savvy. But it also means a rapid startup time, long battery life, and less resource-intensiveness. That's atop built-in security checks on every startup and security updates every time Chrome itself is updated over the course of its lifetime.
What sets the Chromebook Spin 311 apart from the competition?
Now, what really sets this Chromebook apart from the rest may just be the audience Acer is aiming for. Namely, the company wants a device that's not just great for college students who need portability. It's also great for day-to-day living, students in other categories, or for an entire family to use together.
Of course, its weight and its size assist with that goal. So does the fact that it is not too expensive, relatively speaking. And Chrome OS not only enables multi-account sign-ins but also Google Family Link for those parents who want to keep a closer eye on their young children's activity.
Beyond even that, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 launches with a newly-improved keyboard for more comfortable use. That features concave keys and a key travel distance of 1.6mm. The wide-field of view webcam is going to prove useful for everything from video chats and Google Classroom interaction to on-the-go work-related tasks. 802.11ac 2×2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 will help with that too.
Acer coated the display here in Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass for a safer, multi-user experience. That's regardless of how many people are picking up and touching the screen — whether for Android games, media consumption, or work. This screen is going to do a better job than most at killing off microbial life that causes not only sickness but also odors and the like.
Setting all of that aside, what keeps this device the most family- and student-friendly isn't any of those characteristics though. Instead, it's the fact that Acer says its Chromebook Spin 311 ships with a battery capable of up to 15-hours on a single charge. That's going to mean that everybody who needs to use the device won't need to wait for the gadget to charge when they pick it up. Acer put in the work, instead, to ensure it should just be ready to go as long as it was charged at the start of the day.
The company accomplished all of that without shirking on the ports here too. Acer embued its Chromebook Spin 311 with both a USB-C and USB-A port. It split those between the two edges, as shown in Acer's renders below. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack for those who don't want to use Bluetooth for connecting audio accessories. A Kensington lock slot is built-in as well.
Here are the full Acer Chromebook Spin 311 specs
For those who want a deeper look at just what Acer is offering with the Chromebook Spin 311, here are some technical specs, as provided by the company.
|Screen size||11.6" TFT IPS, 16:9 Aspect Ratio 11.6"|
|Screen resolution||HD 1366 x 768 Multi‐touch|
|SoC||MediaTek processor M8183C CorePilot
Octa‐core ARM Cortex‐A73/A53 heterogeneous multiprocessor
Graphics: Mali‐G72 MP3 GPU
|RAM||4GB Dual‐channel LPDDR4X SDRAM|
|Cameras||Wide field‐of‐view webcam|
|Audio||2 built‐in stereo speakers
Built‐in digital microphone
|Battery||2‐cell battery pack|
|Charging||Up to 15 hours|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi: Acer InviLink Nplify 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Dimensions||Length: 11.41 in (290.0 mm)
Width: 8.11 in (206 mm)
Height: 0.74 in (18.8 mm)
Pricing and availability
In terms of pricing and availability, Acer is aiming at the value-forward budget category for this Chromebook. It will be sold in both North America and EMEA. It is, however, going to arrive just a slight delay in the former region. Marketed under the model designation "CP311-3H," the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 will cost $259.99 in North America. Acer indicates the start date for availability will start "from July."
In EMEA, in June, the company will start sales off for the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-3H). There, it will start out at just €299. The slightly higher cost predominantly comes back to the inclusion of VAT and similar extra costs, where applicable
That price makes it among the least expensive Chromebooks on the market despite shipping with so many great features onboard. It is also arguably going to be among the most-family friendly devices to hit the market before the end of the year. That is largely thanks to its antimicrobial build qualities, long battery life, and well-designed keyboard — as well as Chrome OS itself.
So anybody looking for a Chromebook for the whole family or to serve as a secondary device is going to want to check this one out when it arrives.