The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN is a great 11.6-inch convertible laptop with plenty to offer. It brags of decent keyboard, touchscreen, and stylus input. Also, it runs Chrome OS and Android apps and stands out for being resistant to knocks, drops, and water spills. Its solid battery life and great keyboard are its biggest highlights. We recommend it as a good choice for kids.
- Rugged enough for school use.
- Wacom stylus included.
- Two USB-C and two USB 3.0 ports.
- Two cameras.
- Great snappy keyboard.
- Great starting price
- Solid performance
- Solid battery life
- Small, low-res screen.
- Easy-to-lose stylus.
- Imperfect Android compatibility.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN is a great 11.6-inch convertible laptop with plenty to offer. It brags of decent keyboard, touchscreen, and Wacom stylus pen. Also, it runs Chrome OS and Android apps and stands out for being resistant to knocks, drops, and water spills. Its solid battery life and great keyboard are its biggest highlights. We recommend it as a good choice for kids.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN checks all the right boxes of what most people expect of a Chromebook: Small, inexpensive, and capable enough to handle work and light play every day. Additionally, it comes with additional features that make it stand out. Like the Lenovo ThinkPads and HP EliteBooks, the Acer Chromebook Spin CP311 boasts of MIL-SPEC 810G compliance—meeting military standards for resisting shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, and other portable PC perils, to reassure buyers concerned about the bumps and bruises of business travel.
For this reason alone, it is a great choice for the business and hostile environment of the grade-school classroom. For this reason and more, it easily clinches our Editor’s choice award for student Chromebooks.
Design – Flexible, Portable and Hardcore
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN design is simple. It’s case is silver made from polycarbonate plastic while the bottom a rubberized beige bumper. To be honest, this is not the cream of the crop type of designs you find on most Chromebooks out there. Acer certainly went for something else here. The whole design looks a bit rugged, a rarity if not none existent in budget laptops and chromebooks.
The design is more military-grade, fit for kids’ clumsy hands. The keys are black which is a good fit to the black bezel holding the screen. The same black color design extends to the keypad. The touchpad is antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass, designed to resist not only knocks and scratches but passing germs from small fingers to classmates and teachers.
At 0.82 by 11.7 by 8.1 inches, it shares the same waist size as the Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook but a tad smaller than the Dell Chromebook 3189 Education 2-in-1 (0.82 by 12 by 8.2 inches). It terms of weight, the Chromebook Spin 11 falls between them in weight, with a couple of ounces on each side, at 3.09 pounds.
Acer included a Wacom stylus pen for scribbling notes and drawing(sketching) on the touchscreen on tablet mode, such a nice touch that’s rare on touchscreen laptops. Our only gripe is they did not include a hole or niche in the Chromebook for storing the stylus, which means it’s easy for kids to misplace the pen. On the flip side, the pen is great as it is batteryless and has good precision and palm rejection. This means its easy to use some input tools for apps like Google Keep and Autodesk SketchBook.
Acer built this Chromebook on an 11.6-inch IPS touch screen with 1,366-by-768 resolution, one of the main reasons this Chromebook is a good deal. The display resembles what we’ve seen in the Dell and Lenovo Chromebooks. The screen is attractive, with vivid colors and brightness.
Additionally, you will love the 360-hinge which enables the laptop to tilt back to whichever mode you please. Sketching or watching movies is best done on tablet mode. Like the keyboard, we loved that the display is free from flimsy flex.
Acer included a respectable lineup of ports on this Chromebook. The left side houses the power button, USB 3.0 port, USB-C port, audio jack, and a micro SD card slot. Meanwhile, the right side is home to a second USB 3.0 port, another USB-C port, a cable lock slot, and a volume rocker for use in Tablet mode. The supplied AC adapter plugs into either USB-C port which doubles up as support for the DisplayPort.
Overall, the port selection is great and what I’d expect in a Chromebook at this price point given competing Chromebooks like Lenovo’s C330 come with a similar assortment of ports.
As is common in Chromebooks, there Acer offers 100GB of free Google Drive cloud storage for two years (it’s $1.99 per month thereafter). Additional features are the one-year warranty which we really appreciate.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN Review: Keyboard and TouchPad
Other than price and battery life, the keyboard is one of the Acer Chromebook‘s defining features; certainly its strongest one. The full-sized, island-style keyboard has shallow travel but a firm, responsive typing feel. The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN’s keys have a travel distance of 1.6mm, adding a nice amount of snap and responsiveness to each keystroke. It’s easy to get comfortable with the keyboard and even pick up typing speed without making major errors. The keyboard is not backlit.
As for the touchpad, it’s similarly responsive, although a bit small in size at 24 x 4.1 inches. It has a silky-smooth feel for swipes, taps, and scrolling. Two fingers scrolls and three fingers bring up an overview of your open windows.
Under the hood, the Acer Chromebook Spin features an Intel Celeron N3350 Dual-Core Processor (Up to 2.4GHz), 4GB memory, and 32GB of eMMC flash memory. Nothing to write home about when it comes to feature lists, but the Chromebook Spin is competent enough to power through daily demanding tasks. Speaking of the processor, the Intel Celeron N3350 is built for basic productivity work. That means it can handle light web browsing, work in text processing programs, or multimedia playback. In terms of gaming, the Celeron N3350 can run light casual PC games.
Acer pairs this Celeron processor with 4GB memory. Coupled together, the processor and memory give this machine great processing power. Browsing is fine and you can have a few chrome tabs open at once, just as long as its not video. Jumping from one application to another feels snappy too.
On the flip side, if you’re used to slightly powerful processors you might find the boot time a bit longer for your taste. The operating system runs on the 32GB eMMC flash storage. I would recommend upgrading a few things here to improve the boot time. You just have to upgrade your PC from HDD to SSD as it can significantly improve performance in terms of opening programs and boot time. Don’t forget to upgrade your RAM as well because windows 10 cannot run normally under 2GB.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN Review: Battery Life
As I mentioned earlier, the keyboard is our favorite thing about this laptop, and the second is the battery life. The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN has a large enough battery for full-day work, coming slightly shy of the advertised 15 hours of life. In our rundown tests, the Chromebook Spin 11 lasted for 11hours, 43 minutes which is an hour shorter than the Lenovo Duet.
Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN Review: Conclusion
The Acer Chromebook Spin 11 CP311-1H-C5PN does come with a couple of drawbacks, but if you’re open-minded, you will see it does have a decent set of positives going on it. If you’re intent on getting a 2-in-1 that doubles up as a tablet, the Spin 11 isn’t a bad choice. We especially like that it offers a sleek build, remarkable keyboard, and all-day battery life. It’s no powerhouse but it can handle a few browser tabs in the classroom with ease.
Bottom line, we do know there are other Chromebooks with better battery life, design, and performance. But this is a game of tradeoffs. While the Chromebook Spin isn’t the perfect Chromebook, it ticks just enough boxes to earn our approval. Consumers looking for a budget Chromebook capable of handling daily computing tasks should consider the Spin 11.