Judging by the 11 N7 Chromebook, Acer is making durability a standard feature on its Chromebooks. The 11.6-inch laptop is water resistant, meets military specifications. survives short drops and even can be sat on by a small adult or large child, making it ideal for the educational market.
Hands-on impressions: The Chromebook 11 N7 felt sturdy and its keys seem to be great for typing. At maximum brightness, its screen is legible in daylight, though it was a cloudy day.
Starting Price: $229.99
Release Date: January 2017
Key Specs: 11.6-inch notebook; U.S. MIL-SPEC 810G tested; Celeron N3060 CPU; 1366 x 768-pixel display; touch-screen (C731T) and touch-screen (C731T)
What's New: This 11.6 Chrome OS-running notebook's keyboard can survive 11 ounces of liquid getting poured onto it, so kiss those memories of killed-by-spills notebooks goodbye. Also, the 11 N7's reinforced case and hinges provide greater resistance than previous Acer notebooks.
Why You Should Care: Chromebooks need to survive whatever children (or adults) can toss at them, so we're happy to see even affordable ones come with MIL-SPEC 810G durability (used to test some U.S. military equipment). The notebook's top cover can even survive being sat on by children, as it is rated to withstand up to 132 pounds (60 kilograms) of downward force. It's also rated to survive a fall from 4 feet. The 11 N7's specs — Intel Celeron N3060 CPU, 1366 x 768-pixel display, 2 USB 3.0 ports, no Type C — don't wow, but younger users may not require the latest and greatest.
Outlook: Optimistic. Chromebooks have a big market in education, so this kind of durability is welcome.