Most low-cost Chromebooks do little to distinguish themselves, sporting bland and forgettable designs to go with their modest specs. However, Acer's new Chromebook 11 (CB311-8HT/ CB311-8H) has a stunning electric-blue-and-black color scheme, and a textured lid, which combine to forge a bold aesthetic.
The 11.6-inch, 2.4-pound laptop has a lively blue shade on its lid, sides and bottom. A subtle cross-hatch texture adorns the lid and felt pleasant to the touch during our brief demo. The raven-black deck and bezel aren't particularly exciting, but the palm rest has an interesting grain, which made a pleasant, record-scratch sound when we ran our nails over it.
The Chromebook 11 comes with the Google Play store pre-loaded so you can run Android apps right out of the box. It's available in both a $249, non-touch model (CB311-8H) and a slightly more expensive touchscreen version (CB311-8HT). Acer has not yet disclosed pricing for the touchscreen model. Unfortunately, both panels have just a 1366 x 768 resolution, but that kind of pixel density is common in this price range.
On the inside, the Chromebook 11 sports the latest Intel Celeron "Apollo Lake" processor, 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. It has a strong port selection, with two USB Type-C ports, two USB Type-A connections and a microSD card slot. Acer estimates that the Chromebook 11 will last up to 10 hours on a charge.
The Chromebook 11 (CB311-8HT/ CB311-8H) is due out in April. We look forward to thoroughly testing it around that time.
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