Review: Acer Chromebook R11 including Crouton

The Acer R11 Chromebook is a product with something of an identity crisis. It doesn’t have premium build quality, like the Asus C100P Chromebook Flip. It also isn’t packing impressive performance and hardware at the expense of its build quality, like the Toshiba Chromebook 2 2015.

Made up mostly of white plastic, with a thick, flat design, and packing Intel’s new, but relatively low-end N3150 Celeron processor, the Acer R11 isn’t going to win any awards for design or performance.

I’m really selling you on this Chromebook so far, I know.

While it is true that the Acer R11 is not be the fastest or best-looking Chromebook, there’s also no other Chromebook on the market with the R11’s combination of characteristics. With its 360 degree display featuring an IPS touchscreen, 32 GB of local storage standard, and a quad-core Intel Bramwell processor, the R11 gets many things right despite a first impression that is mediocre at best.

In fact, after using it for a few weeks as my primary laptop, I think this is one of the best Chromebooks available for a wide percentage of the consumer market… or, it will be, once the price drops a bit.

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The HP Stream 11 2015 Edition – Full Review including MS Office, Minecraft and Hearthstone

Last year’s HP Stream 11 was one of the more successful budget Windows 8.1 laptops of the year. It featured a unique design, with decent performance paired with a great keyboard, and a year subscription to MS Office 365.

There was certainly some room for improvement, however, as it also had a mediocre screen and fairly unresponsive trackpad, and somewhat cramped local storage.

With HP’s 2015 refresh of the Stream 11 now available, is this budget laptop still worth your money?

As with Acer’s Cloudbook, the answer is… it depends.

In this review, I’ll explain why, and also compare some of the Stream’s pros and cons as compared to the Cloudbook 11.

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Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 14 Review – MS Office, Steam, Minecraft, and Hearthstone

The Acer Cloudbook 11 is, in its way, fairly representative of budget Windows laptops as a category.

It asks potential buyers to make a number of compromises in performance and design, the two most difficult of which are a fairly slow web browsing experience and a smaller-than-normal size keyboard. It also has a low-resolution webcam, only 2 GB of RAM, and for some reason it isn’t able to run traditional Java-based Minecraft.

Balancing out these drawbacks are some really nice features, including high-speed 802.11ac wi-fi, a full year of MS Office 365, a surprisingly good trackpad, 8-hour battery life, and a decent screen.

With the release of the larger Acer Cloudbook 14, I want to revisit this budget Windows laptop and see if the bigger size addresses any of these concerns. I won’t be going into full detail on all aspects of the device here, as it is by and large the same as the Cloudbook 11 that I reviewed here. However, I will go through the changes and differences that, in my opinion, make the Cloudbook 14 much easier to recommend.

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