Acer has started sales of its new rugged convertible Chromebook laptop for corporate and educational markets. The Chromebook Spin 311 brings together a low price tag, sturdy design, and a 10-hour battery life.

Acer’s Chromebook Spin 311 R721T comes equipped with a Corning Gorilla Glass-protected 11.6-inch multitouch IPS LCD with a 1366x768 resolution. The 2-in-1 has rather thick bezels, which makes the laptop noticeably bulkier. Being an inexpensive AMD-powered Chromebook, the PC is based on AMD’s entry-level A4-9120C APU, which uses a dual-core Excavator module running at 1.8 GHz and the GCN 1.2-based Radeon R4 integrated GPU with 2 CUs operating at 720 MHz. The system has 4 GB of DDR4 RAM and 32 GB of NAND flash storage.

Moving on, wired and wireless connectivity available for the Chromebook Spin 311 R721T is typcial for today’s machines. The list includes Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.1, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C ports (with DP support), and a microSD card reader. Meanwhile, the absence of GbE will be a strong disadvantage for those who rely on wired networks. On the multimedia side of matters, the convertible notebook has a webcam, stereo speakers, a microphone array, and a 3.5-mm audio jack for headsets.

The Chromebook Spin 311 is made of thick plastic and features a design that can withstand drops from 122 cm and a drainage mechanism that can protect internal hardware if up to 342.5 ml of liquid is spilled on the computer. According to Acer, the Spin 311 has been tested to survive 59% - 88% humidity, temperatures between -32ºC and +49ºC, and vibrations of up to 7.7 G per axis. Rugged design has it price though: the laptop is 23.5 mm thick and weighs 1.5 kilograms, which is quite heavy for an 11.6-inch machine.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311
Component R721T
APU AMD A4-9120C
1.6-2.4 GHz, 1MB L2 cache
6-W TDP
Radeon R4 Graphics
RAM 4 GBl DDR4
Storage 32 GB eMMC
Display 11.6-inch 1366x768 IPS LCD
Dimensions 296 x 206 x 23.5 mm
Weight 1.5 Kg
Connectivity Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
Bluetooth 4.1
Battery 4,200 mAh Li-Poly, up to 10 hours
45 W USB-C Charger
Ports 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
microSD Reader
Headset jack
Other Webcam, speakers, microphone array
Starting Price ~$200 (not confirmed)

At present, Acer’s Chromebook Spin 311 R72T is available from select Japanese retailers as well as from Amazon UK. The latter sells it for £198.99, so it is reasonable to expect the unit's US MSRP to be around $200.

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Sources: Acer, PC Watch, Business DN’A

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  • voicequal - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    I'm typing on the Intel version of the Spin 311 right now. It's been great to have a cheap, secure, light duty laptop that you can take almost anywhere and not worry about getting it getting beat up or stolen. No case or bag required. I now prefer it for short trips over my expensive Windows machine.

    This thing convinced me that all my laptops should be 2-in-1s w/touch going forward. Previously I had a cheaper non-touch chromebook and was miserable.
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    A secure Chromebook. Heh. Reply
  • nandnandnand - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    Based on the very limited Passmark data, A6-9220C could be 27-51% faster. Or at least 12.5% faster base and turbo clocks. Not sure about the GPU cores but they are listed as Radeon R5 and Radeon R4.

    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+A6-92...
    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+A4-91...
    Reply
  • PeachNCream - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    The CPU will probably not feel all that fast. It's got a lot of spying for Google to do in the background after all. Reply
  • yannigr2 - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    Every time I see AMD based laptops with questionable choices in hardware and higher than expected price, I always think that they are models verified and approved by Intel. Reply
  • Rookierookie - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    The Intel version with Celeron N3350 retails at $250 on Amazon. How much cheaper were you expecting the AMD version to be? Reply
  • PS Doff - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    Its specs are more than adequate for its intended market.

    From the complaint comments I can only conclude that either the people who criticize the specs do not understand that this is a BUDGET Chromebook, or they don't know how it is intended to be used. Any "upgrade" of processor has an effect on power used by memory and storage ,and would reduce runtime per charge, which would be unappreciated in an educational environment

    Despite its apparent low price, it incorporates a 2:1 form factor and touchscreen that few other makers offer in this price class. The 2 year old Acer R11 model, which has a remaining support life of 2-1/2 years is now being cleared from stock a nearly the same price. When new, the R11 with similar RAM and storage cost close to $300.

    Those who want more performance should look at other 2:1s and be prepared to pay more.
    Reply
  • Roland00Address - Wednesday, December 4, 2019 - link

    If you are using this type of x86 chip with such low performance, why not use the mediatek cpu that is an cortex A72x2 plus an A53x2? For example there is a lenovo that uses this chip.

    You will get similar performance, but the advantage is some android apps do not work on x86 and at least you get full app compatibility on your chromebook.
    Reply
  • ballsystemlord - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    Another thought, currently AMD's latest CPUs are immune to the various CPU flaws, wouldn't manufacturers want to only release new products that are secure and, therefore, use the latest arch? Reply

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