Best Acer Chromebook

Laptop Computers

Chromebooks are an affordable alternative to laptops or desktops for those who need a machine that can perform the most common work or school-related tasks on the go.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which Acer Chromebook is best?

With similar features to laptops, Chromebooks can perform a wide range of tasks at a relatively cheaper price point. But with so many brands on the market, it can be difficult to find the best option. One of the major brands right now, Acer produces many good entry-level Chromebooks for people who want to surf the web, watch videos and work on the go.

While Acer offers a full lineup of Chromebooks, buyers seeking to balance affordability with decent processing power and easy portability will find a solid choice in the Acer Chromebook Spin 311.

What to know before you buy an Acer Chromebook

Different models

Acer is known for its high-quality laptops and Chromebooks, meaning it offers a lot of options for anyone in the market for a new machine. As such, buyers should prioritize models with the features that are most important. For example, the Acer Chromebook r11 and Acer Chromebook r13 are convertible. This means you can use them as a laptop or as a tablet, depending on preference. Along the same lines, some models feature touchscreens (including the Acer Chromebook r11, Acer Chromebook Spin 13 and Acer Chromebook r13), which may be a requirement for some buyers.

Durability

Any electronic device is susceptible to water or drop damage, but convertible Chromebooks are easier to damage than non-convertible options. In an Acer Chromebook, the hinges and the screen are the most likely to end up breaking or cracking.

Still, Acer prides itself on creating durable machines with spill-resistant keyboards and sturdier components. Many of these Chromebooks can withstand more than the average tablet or laptop, which makes them ideal for children or those who plan to take the machine with them while they travel.

Chromebooks vs. laptops

Chromebooks are similar to traditional laptops in many ways, but also have differences.

  • Similarities. Both have a similar appearance with a screen and built-in keyboard. Laptops and Chromebooks both can use Google applications like Google Docs. Some Acer Chromebooks have similar specs to traditional laptops when it comes to RAM and power. Both types of machines may be Bluetooth-compatible.
  • Differences. Unlike traditional laptops, Chromebooks run on the Chrome operating system. Chrome OS is built on the Google Chrome browser, which gives the Chromebook a direct line to the internet and the cloud.

Chromebooks are much more limited than a typical laptop or desktop computer, and as such, they cannot run modern games or certain programs like Photoshop. If you need to run a specific high-powered program or want to play games, a Chromebook may not work for you.

Chromebooks usually have a lot less physical storage space. However, they use Google Cloud to get around that limitation. When you purchase a new Chromebook, Google supplies you with 100GB of storage through Google Drive. This is available for two years. After this point, you’ll only have 15GB of storage unless you buy more.

If you’re set on Acer but aren’t sure if a Chromebook is right for you, consider getting a laptop instead. Acer laptops are usually more expensive, but they offer higher performance than most Chromebooks.

What to look for in a quality Acer Chromebook

Screen specs

When it comes to screens, there are several aspects to consider such as how large it is. Most Chromebooks have a screen size between 10 and 15.6 inches, and some may want a larger screen.

Next, consider the resolution. Most Chromebooks have a 1366×768 pixel display. However, many people prefer a higher-quality 1920×1080 pixel display. The Acer Chromebook 14 and the Acer Chromebook r13 both feature the higher resolution.

Lastly, some models have a touchscreen. This feature may increase the cost a little, but some may prefer touching the screen over using a mouse, or the option to not take a mouse along on a trip.

CPU

The central processing unit is basically the brain of a computer. Without a decent CPU, the machine won’t be able to run any major tasks. Typically, smaller machines come with smaller processors, and while a smaller processor doesn’t necessarily mean the machine is weaker, it may be limited from running more intense tasks or many games.

RAM

Short for random access memory, it complements the CPU by providing memory to all currently running programs. Anything from listening to music to using the internet requires RAM. Usually, the more RAM, the better the machine’s overall performance. Most Chromebooks come with 4GB or 8GB of RAM. Higher-end models like the Acer Chromebook 15.6 will feature 16GB.

Storage

In addition to storage on the Google Cloud, Acer Chromebooks will have between 16 and 64GB of internal storage. Some models have ports that allow for a microSD card or external hard drive. This option may be important if you plan to save photos, documents or other large files on the computer.

How much you can expect to spend on an Acer Chromebook

Most entry-level Acer Chromebooks are around $200. Midrange machines cost between $250-$500, while higher-end machines can cost up to $1,500.

Acer Chromebook FAQ

Can I play games on a Chromebook?

A. If you mostly play app games, then you can game on a Chromebook as long as any particular game is compatible with the machine itself. For the most part, however, most modern or graphics-intensive games will not run on a Chromebook.

Can I use the Chromebook offline?

A. Yes, but the function may be limited. You’ll be able to access any locally stored files like previously saved movies, pictures and games. You will also have access to Google Drive to create spreadsheets and documents.

What’s the main advantage of a Chromebook over a laptop?

A. Most Chromebooks are significantly cheaper than laptops, especially if you buy one during a holiday sale. Additionally, they are less susceptible to viruses. Plus, they are great machines for general work or school tasks like typing and editing documents.

What’s the best Acer Chromebook to buy?

Top Acer Chromebook

Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Acer Chromebook Spin 311

What you need to know: This convertible Chromebook is highly portable, has a touch-screen and is powerful enough for typical work or school tasks.

What you’ll love: With an 11.6” HD touchscreen display, 15 hours of battery life and an ergonomic keyboard, it’s convenient and easy to use. The machine has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage and is Bluetooth-compatible.

What you should consider: The bezels that surround the screen are wide and may not be suitable for those who prefer a larger screen.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Acer Chromebook for the money

Acer Chromebook 311

Acer Chromebook 311

What you need to know: If you are looking for a good entry-level Chromebook or one durable enough for kids, this 11.6” HD Chromebook with 32GB of storage is a great choice.

What you’ll love: With a strong processor and Intel UHD Graphics, this machine runs most apps at high speed and is efficient enough for work or school purposes.

What you should consider: It has just 4GB of RAM and less internal storage than other models.

Where to buy: Sold by Acer

Worth checking out

2021 Acer Chromebook 315 Laptop Computer

2021 Acer Chromebook 315 Laptop Computer

What you need to know: This midrange Chromebook has a large HD display and enough storage space for most tasks.

What you’ll love: Along with 4GB RAM and 32GB storage space, this model has a built-in webcam with a microphone for video calls. Plus, it has several USB ports, including two USB 3.1 Type-C and two USB 3 Type-A ports, for those who need to connect several accessories at once.

What you should consider: The machine is larger than most Chromebooks and has limited RAM, so it may be a little bulky or slow on certain workloads.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.