The bounty of budget Chromebooks continues to abound year by year, but near of them aren’t worth your fourth dimension or coin. Lenovo recently launched its C340 Chromebook, which shook upwards the budget segment by offering great specs at a low price. Now, Acer has a similar offering, the Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-3H-K5GD), offering decent hardware and incredible bombardment life for just $320. The mediocre touchpad and disappointing display keep me from whole-heartedly recommending this device for everyone, only in broad strokes, the Spin 311 is a fantastic value for students and basic personal utilise if you lot’re not too picky.
|Model||Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-3H-K5GD)|
|End Of Life (EOL)||June 2028|
|CPU||MediaTek MT8183 processor 2 GHz (32-chip)|
|GPU||ARM Mali-G72 MP3|
|Storage||64 GB eMMC flash retention|
|Form||360-degree two-in-one convertible|
|Dimension||11.4 (w) x 8.1 (d) ten 0.74 (h) inches (289.56 10 205.74 ten eighteen.viii mm)|
|Weight (approximate)||1.2 kg (2.65 lbs)|
|Display||11.6-inch IPS LCD, HD (1366x 768), 16:9 touchscreen with Gorilla Glass, 296 nits max brightness|
|Bombardment||4670 mAh, “Up to xv-hours bombardment life,” 45W USB PD charging|
|Camera||Front-facing 720p/HD with microphone|
|Speakers||2x lesser-firing stereo speakers|
Left: 1x USB-C port (supporting USB 3.ane Gen 1 (upward to 5 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB-C, USB charging five/9/xv/twenty 5; iii A, DC-in port 15 or 20 V; 45 Due west), headphone jack.
Correct: 1x USB-A two.0, 1x Kensington Security Slot
|Network||Qualcomm Atheros QCNFA324, Wireless 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Battery life||The bombardment is phenomenal. It comfortably reached the advertised fifteen-hour marker with my mid-heavy utilize and more.|
|Build quality||It uses a plastic body that feels durable and solid. I’1000 confident it will terminal for a long time, even with abuse.|
|Portability||The Chromebook is very light at one.2 kg (2.65 lbs), and the sloped chassis makes it even easier to selection up.|
|Keyboard||The keyboard feels keen to type on, with good travel and authentic response fourth dimension.|
|Toll||At $330, you’re getting a solid bang-for-buck Chromebook that is great for casual users.|
THE NOT SO Practiced
|Display||1080p should be the standard regardless of the price.|
|Trackpad||The trackpad experience is frustrating, especially when using multiple fingers.|
|Ports||There are just two ports (i USB-C and 1 USB-A).|
|RAM||4GB of RAM may non be enough for heavy users.|
|Tablet way||Because of how weight is distributed, it feels heavy and awkward to concur.|
|Backlit keyboard||There isn’t i, making it difficult to blazon in the dark.|
|Speakers||The downward-firing speakers aren’t very loud and sound hollow.|
There are several models of the Acer Chromebook Spin 311, but I will be looking at the
version of the Chromebook for this review.
Blueprint, hardware, what’due south in the box
The Acer Spin 311 won’t win any design awards, but the hardware is totally competent. Like to the Spin 713, the chassis has a dewdrop-blasted finish, giving the device a flat matte appearance that doesn’t look about every bit luxurious as the Samsung Milky way Chromebook. The plastic body feels durable, giving me confidence that the Chromebook will stand up to some punishment. The back one-half of the laptop is slightly thicker than the front, creating a nice slope towards the edge. The stereo speakers are placed underneath the organisation, and while it’s okay for phonation, don’t expect high-quality and loud audio from the unit of measurement.
The Spin 311 I’thousand reviewing is equipped with the MediaTek MT8183 CPU, an eight-core ARM-based processor. Since the CPU doesn’t need as much power as x86 processors, the Chromebook tin passively cool without fans, making it dead silent while in utilise. With heavy use, information technology doesn’t noticeably crusade heat buildup in the system.
The port option on this Chromebook is a bit lacking. There are two ports on the left side of the unit of measurement: 1 USB-C port used for data transfers and 45W charging, and 1 headphone jack. The other side has a single USB-A port and a Kensington lock. I wish in that location was another USB-C port on the correct so you lot could charge on either side.
The Spin is true to its moniker, allowing yous to flip the screen back to apply it as a tablet or prop it upward like a stand (see in a higher place). While information technology’south nice to accept that versatility, it doesn’t mean yous should regularly use information technology every bit a tablet. The weight is distributed toward the top of the laptop’due south back one-half, making it awkward to hold. The tablet manner UI on Chrome Os is still sluggish and buggy despite the improvements over the years, likewise. Still, the flexibility is there if you demand it, simply I tin can’t imagine anyone enjoying this device primarily as a tablet.
The 11.6-inch touchscreen on the Spin 311 is a 16:nine 1336×768 IPS display with Gorilla Glass, and while it gets bright and looks adept at off-angles, the screen resolution is a massive let-down. In this day in age, manufacturers like Acer or Lenovo should not be building laptops with less than a 1920×1080 resolution display, regardless of the price. The pixelation on images and grainy text are very noticeable and distracting. Even worse, there aren’t enough pixels to comfortably work in ii windows side-past-side. The middling 54% sRGB color accuracy too makes the content look washed out and unpleasant. I also spotted a pocket-sized amount of backlight bleed on the device, though it’due south not very noticeable with day-to-day use.
The Acer Spin 311 comes with a 45W PD Type-C charger and the expected manuals and warranty cards.
Keyboard and trackpad
I’g very particular about the typing experience on a keyboard. The Pixelbook’s incredible keyboard blew me abroad, and I all the same miss typing on it. While the Spin 311’s keyboard with its plastic deck isn’t “Pixelbook proficient,” it offers a surprisingly solid typing experience. The keys have about a 1.5mm travel and feel responsive and clicky. The decent feel and durability will be good enough for most people, though I wish the keyboard were backlit.
Although I enjoy typing on the Spin 311’southward keyboard, the mediocre touchpad is the Achilles’ heel of this Chromebook. While information technology’southward accurate enough for simple tasks similar moving the mouse, multiple fingers crusade the trackpad to choke. It’s incredibly frustrating to select a block of text, and trackpad gestures are hit-or-miss. In that location’s also a lot of unnecessary friction when dragging my finger across the plastic build. If Acer decides to build a successor to the Spin 311, they need to meliorate the trackpad. At best, information technology is barely functional, which can be a big bargain-breaker for many.
Performance and Software
The Spin 311 comes with several unlike CPU configurations, only the unit I’m reviewing is powered past an octa-cadre MediaTek MT8183 ARM CPU processor clocked at 2 GHz and a Mali G72 MP3 GPU. The device is equipped with 4GB of LPDDR4X retention and 64GB of eMMC flash storage.
Acer did an excellent job balancing general performance and longevity. Chrome OS 86 ran smoothly on this Chromebook — for the most office. The CPU doesn’t achieve the highest criterion scores, but information technology doesn’t need to. The Spin 311 is fast with everyday tasks like Chrome web browsing, Android chat apps, and Google Docs. Coming from the m3 edition of the Pixel Slate, I was pleasantly surprised how well the Spin 311 performed despite the significantly lower cost point. All the same, the CPU is no functioning male monarch either. Android and Linux apps are a bit tiresome to launch, heavy websites can take some time to end rendering, and 4GB of RAM isn’t plenty for my occasional heavy Linux utilize. Still, casual consumers should exist okay with the Chromebook’s operation.
Here are a few benchmarks to get an idea of the performance:
If at that place is 1 thing that Acer nailed with the Spin 311, it’s the battery. Holy smokes, the battery life is insane. Packing a 4670 mAh battery, the Chromebook is working way longer than I’m awake. I can easily hit Acer’s projected 15 hours of screen-on time, and sometimes around 17 hours of battery life with 3 Chrome windows, xix tabs, and Android apps. Xv minutes of speedy 45W charging allows me to keep going for an additional 3 hours. The battery life is just incredible and 1 of the top reasons to buy the Acer over the contest.
Should yous buy it? Rating vii.5/10
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-3H-K5GD)
Perhaps, if y’all don’t need too much from your Chromebook. The Acer Spin 311 is an splendid laptop with durable structure, good-enough performance, and monster bombardment life. The typing experience is good, as well. All-time of all, the cost is around the $320 mark, which undercuts a large portion of the Chromebook market.
The trackpad on the Spin 311 is lackluster, the small 4GB of RAM may not be enough for heavy users, and mediocre audio sounds hollow and quiet, but the Chromebook’s most significant issue is the screen. Despite using an IPS panel, the lack of clarity from the low resolution is substantial enough to be distracting. The depression cost doesn’t give manufacturers similar Acer a gratuitous laissez passer to offering less than 1080p.
If y’all’re a heavy user who needs to run several CPU-intensive Linux apps like Kdenlive, the MediaTek processor will not exist able to keep up to your demands. I recommend purchasing a more powerful Chromebook that is ameliorate equipped for that task, such every bit the Acer Spin 713.
The Acer Spin 311 directly competes with the Lenovo C340, which is a very similar laptop on paper that earned the Most Wanted honor from us. Although the Spin 311 has the upper hand in weight and battery, I wouldn’t recommend it over the C340 due to the frustrating trackpad experience and lack of ports. Despite its shortcomings, the Acer Spin 311 is nonetheless a very competitive laptop for the correct buyer.
Buy it if:
- You lot want a good, inexpensive Chromebook.
- Bombardment life is the utmost priority.
Don’t buy it if:
- You demand the horsepower for specific CPU-intensive tasks.
- Yous are hands frustrated by bad trackpads
- The 11.half-dozen-inch display is too small for your needs.
Where to buy:
The Acer Spin 311 can be purchased at the following retailers:
UPDATE: 2020/12/16 9:38am PST BY KENT Duke
Ane calendar month afterwards
I’ve been using the Acer Spin 311 as my daily driver since we posted the original review, and if annihilation, I grew to like this niggling machine even more.
My Spin 311 is on the Chrome Os Beta aqueduct, and thank you to Google’s recent operation optimizations in Bone 87, the Chromebook feels snappier than in November. I’m happy to study that the device handled my heavy everyday tasks without significant slowdowns. CPU intensive tasks like Android and Linux apps are still sluggish on the Spin 311, but in broad strokes, I’m confident that the Spin 311’s performance won’t degrade significantly long term.
Battery life continues to be a selling signal of this device. The Spin 311 can comfortably last two days on a unmarried charge, and the quick charging speed is a life-saver. In just five minutes of charging, I was able to get forty-five minutes of extra bombardment fourth dimension. Acer’due south Chromebook is genuinely an endurance king that makes long-lasting Chromebooks like the Pixel Slate await inefficient.
The hardware may not turn heads similar the peppery red Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, only overall, it’s a very reliable laptop that will go the job done. The plastic chassis proved to be durable when I accidentally dropped information technology from the table onto the rug flooring while cleaning upwards my workspace. The under-firing speakers and mediocre display are unpleasant, but it was adept plenty for form lectures over Zoom. The lack of a Type-C port to charge on the right side was annoying at times, but considering how incredible the bombardment life is, it didn’t bother me too much.
The typing experience on the Spin 311 isn’t “Pixelbook skillful,” just it’s still peachy for hours of daily typing. I heavily criticized the atrocious trackpad when I reviewed the Chromebook in Nov, and my opinion hasn’t improved with time—the touchpad experience is
bottomless. Not simply are multi-touch gestures are nearly impossible to perform, but the trackpad’s responsiveness is also striking or miss. I often pair my Logitech MX Principal to the device to work around the trackpad, and the experience has been much better.
Despite its scattering of flaws, the Acer Spin 311 offers 1 of the best budget Chrome Bone experiences on the marketplace, next to the highly praised Lenovo C340 that earned the Most Wanted award from u.s.. Priced at merely $290 at Microcenter, yous’re getting an fantabulous laptop that will final a long time. If y’all’ve been eyeballing the Chromebook, don’t need too much from information technology, and tin can look past the mediocre trackpad, I wholeheartedly recommend you pull the trigger.