Was anxious to try out this complimentary Acer Chromebook R11, 2 in 1 unit, because I was not familiar with any Chromebook kinds of computers, nor, the Google Chrome OS. I asked myself is this unit supposed to be a tablet, I-Pad, or laptop? What is it?
As I took it out of the box I noticed that the top (housing the screen) is made of aluminum while the bottom (with the keyboard) is made of composite plastic. Both sides of the unit have an etched-pattern for easy gripping and handling. Since I have arthritis this is a big plus for me, and, probably great for the smaller hands of children also. Another plus is the ease at which this unit can be opened, folded, or configured in any one of four ways: tablet, tent, display, or laptop mode with the 360 degree hinges. It is lightweight and only weighs approximately 2 ¾ pounds.
Set-up was so simple I kept thinking to myself (after all of my experiences setting up MS computers out-of-the-box) that there has got to be more to this, and, I must have missed some instructions? However, just five minutes out-of-the-box, it was ready to use. I already had a Google and G-mail account, which further simplified my set-up. You are required to have a Google account to sign-in, however you can create one during the set-up. I am impressed how simple this R11 actually is to use, and, navigate the web using the Chrome OS browser. After using many Windows OS over the past 26 years, this one is a breeze to use, simplistic, and similar to Win 10 in lots of ways. It is designed to use Chrome apps, which are available at the Google Web Store. This model, the Acer R11, is slated to have the capability to utilize Android apps later on this year or in 2017. Chrome is basically app-orientated, OS. You cannot download or install programs, and, or, software that is 'executable' with the Chrome OS like you do in Windows 10. It does not provide storage for files other then pics and Google documents. You do receive 100 GB of Cloud Storage up to two years free with the Acer R11.
The Intel® Celeron®, dual-core, N3060, is the entry-level processor that drives this Acer R11. Internal memory is 4 GB, which allows me plenty of memory to have multiple tabs and apps, open and running for multitasking and surfing the net. This unit is MU-MIMO (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac), and since I have a MU-MIMO router the transfer speeds are astonishingly fast on a 5 GHz radio setting. WooHoo! Be advised that you cannot expand internal memory or storage capacity. But you can utilize SD cards for photo transfers, or, use USB Flash Drives since it has an internal one. It has one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 ports. The internal storage capacity is 16 GB Flash, which is more then adequate using the myriad of apps that are available. The Acer R11 also has a full size HDML port for connecting to another monitor, TV, or, for displaying photos, movies, or other kinds of media. It has a webcam for video chats, but you have to use Google 'Hangouts' between both computers with the Chrome OS. Skype is not available at this time. It does have a 3.5mm headphone / auxiliary speaker jack port.
For word processing Google documents have an array of tools, which allow for varied document formats, spread sheets, and presentations utilizing Google Slides. You can convert your documents into many different formats to include, 'Word', 'OpenOffice', Rich Text, and 'PDF' to name a few. You can print your documents through the web-based, Google Cloud Print. You will have to set-up your printer so that it will enable 'Cloud Printing'. When you complete a document you wish to print out, clicking on the print icon will give the instructions on how to set-up your printer in Google Cloud Printing so you basically can print documents from anywhere. Super-neat feature. However, be aware that older printers may not be able to access Google Cloud Print.
The audio is very good from its dual stereo speakers on the bottom of the unit, which can be turned 360 degrees for richer sound delivery. Since it has Bluetooth I paired my wireless Bluetooth speaker in order to play music from the Chrome Pandora app. I also paired a Bluetooth mouse to the R11.
The Acer R11 is much more versatile and usable then a 'tablet' and costs approximately the same. It has many features that tablets do not offer: SD memory card slot; physical keyboard instead of qwerty; larger HD, touch-screen; quality stereo sound speakers that can be re-positioned in several configurations for even richer sound; 360 degree rotation, for laptop, tent, display, and pad positions; MIMO technology, which provides amazing speeds over the latest MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi, routers; fast start-up and web surfing; free virus protection, which updates itself; up to 10 hours of battery usage before charging; through Google Cloud Print you can print a document from anywhere there is an Internet connection; for word processing, spread sheets, and presentations it allows for a higher level of productivity because of a physical keyboard and a variety of tools provided by Google Documents.
There is no need to purchase expensive anti-virus protection. It is included and updates itself when needed. The Acer R11 provides a one year warranty on both parts and labor.
The only negatives I found were with the keyboard. There is not a caps or delete key, which are very helpful using word processing and spread sheets. It would have been nicer if, the keypad was lighted also. If you use a Bluetooth mouse like I did, be aware you cannot 'disable' the keyboard trackpad.
The Acer R11 answered my question of, what is it? The R 11 is a mulch-functional, entry-level, notebook / tablet / laptop, with exceptional speed for web-surfing, productive word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation capabilities. The two most important attributes are the exceptional speed and simplicity of operation. It provides great value and affordability for the features and functions you receive. Plus, it is Wi-Fi, MIMO enabled, which 'future-proofs' it for years to come. All of the latest devices will now feature MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi, enabled cards.
I enjoy using my Acer R11 and am so impressed with it, I plan on buying one for each of my two, school-aged Grand kids before school starts. The R11 Chromebook is an outstanding, entry-level unit for children. For adults it is far superior in practicality then 'tablets', especially in physical features and size. I prefer to use this unit over my tablet and much pricier I-Pad. The Acer R11 will never replace my laptop, but it does provide me with all of the 'basic' features for productivity and the convenience of lightweight and portability. Again, I love the simplicity of the Chrome OS. The Acer R11 is amazingly fast. I highly recommend the purchase of this Acer R11 over any tablet and as a less expensive alternative to an I-Pad.