I have several Chromebooks to support my websites and my kid's educational needs. I will be looking at the Acer CB311 series of machines, but today I am reviewing the Acer CB311-10H.
|The black CB311 on the left, as compared to another 311 model on the right.
Display size: 11.6 Inches
Screen Resolution: 1366 x 768 Pixels
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Drive: 64 GB SSD
Graphics Coprocessor: Intel UHD Graphics 600
Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth
This is a sub-$300 machine, very often coming in at a little over $225 on sale. It's a lightweight machine for basic computing. At 2.42 lbs (1.79 Roman Catholic) the 7.83 x 11.65 x 0.71 inch machine feels solid. It even passes my one-hand carry test, where the machine still responds to the keyboard and trackpad while walking around. It doesn't flex at all. It's a rubberized, bombproof basic.
The wi-fi is good and it has built-in Bluetooth capabilities. It features two USB ports, a pair of USB C ports, one of which is for charging, a micro-sd card reader, and a headphone jack. There is no large card reader or Ethernet port, which really shouldn't surprise you at this price point.
The 11.6-inch diagonal screen feels well proportioned to this laptop but is on the small side. The resolution is capped at 1366x786 which isn't horrible on 11.6 inches. It plays video well enough but you can forget about 4k even though the dual processors and graphics card could maybe do it. It is also not a touchscreen, so there is that.
The standard laptop camera and mic pair are fully functional and work rather well. However, you won't be mixing A/V on this machine without Linux.
The one kick in the pants right out of the box is the speakers. It has two but they seem very poor on the first boot. Oddly, if you run the update they actually improve. I am not sure why this is, but it was a nice save by Acer. Granted, these are laptop speakers. Don't expect too much. Running Youtube or YouTube Music natively is nice and the machine does an adequate job of audio rendition. It's not like you work in a dance club.
The other downsides are the lack of a mic jack, HDMI, and the previously mentioned Ethernet port. Well, it was cheap. USB do-dads are an option but I only use an external mic even though the internal mic and camera are nice.
|The CB-311-10H is not a touchscreen unlike other 311 models.
Additionally, the lappy runs Android Apps and of course has all of the Google Drive features that are standard on modern Chromebooks. I also have Ubuntu 16.04 running in Crouton, so while the 4 GB of memory seems light, it is functional for basic work.
All and all, this basic sub $300 laptop earns a solid 3 stars.