Acer has started sales of its new rugged convertible Chromebook laptop for corporate and educational markets. The Chromebook Spin 311 brings together a low price tag, sturdy design, and a 10-hour battery life.

Acer’s Chromebook Spin 311 R721T comes equipped with a Corning Gorilla Glass-protected 11.6-inch multitouch IPS LCD with a 1366x768 resolution. The 2-in-1 has rather thick bezels, which makes the laptop noticeably bulkier. Being an inexpensive AMD-powered Chromebook, the PC is based on AMD’s entry-level A4-9120C APU, which uses a dual-core Excavator module running at 1.8 GHz and the GCN 1.2-based Radeon R4 integrated GPU with 2 CUs operating at 720 MHz. The system has 4 GB of DDR4 RAM and 32 GB of NAND flash storage.

Moving on, wired and wireless connectivity available for the Chromebook Spin 311 R721T is typcial for today’s machines. The list includes Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.1, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C ports (with DP support), and a microSD card reader. Meanwhile, the absence of GbE will be a strong disadvantage for those who rely on wired networks. On the multimedia side of matters, the convertible notebook has a webcam, stereo speakers, a microphone array, and a 3.5-mm audio jack for headsets.

The Chromebook Spin 311 is made of thick plastic and features a design that can withstand drops from 122 cm and a drainage mechanism that can protect internal hardware if up to 342.5 ml of liquid is spilled on the computer. According to Acer, the Spin 311 has been tested to survive 59% - 88% humidity, temperatures between -32ºC and +49ºC, and vibrations of up to 7.7 G per axis. Rugged design has it price though: the laptop is 23.5 mm thick and weighs 1.5 kilograms, which is quite heavy for an 11.6-inch machine.

Acer Chromebook Spin 311
Component R721T
APU AMD A4-9120C
1.6-2.4 GHz, 1MB L2 cache
Radeon R4 Graphics
Storage 32 GB eMMC
Display 11.6-inch 1366x768 IPS LCD
Dimensions 296 x 206 x 23.5 mm
Weight 1.5 Kg
Connectivity Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac)
Bluetooth 4.1
Battery 4,200 mAh Li-Poly, up to 10 hours
45 W USB-C Charger
Ports 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
microSD Reader
Headset jack
Other Webcam, speakers, microphone array
Starting Price ~$200 (not confirmed)

At present, Acer’s Chromebook Spin 311 R72T is available from select Japanese retailers as well as from Amazon UK. The latter sells it for £198.99, so it is reasonable to expect the unit's US MSRP to be around $200.

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Sources: Acer, PC Watch, Business DN’A

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  • MASSAMKULABOX - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    Surely they could have put a better cpu in there .. even the new 3000g Athlon (or the older G200) must be plenty of those floating about . but BOM , cpu = 4$ ?
  • nandnandnand - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    There is one better CPU they could easily put in there: the A6-9220C.

    Both chips are fanless (A4-9120C and A6-9220C are 6W, Athlon 3000G is a 35W desktop APU).

    The A4-9120C and A6-9220C were announced at CES 2019. It would be great if AMD announced a fanless Zen chip at CES 2020. The IPC increase alone would destroy the Intel CPUs in that category. Do it on the 14nm node for all I care.
  • deil - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    R1505G 12W - 25W 2 / 4 3.3 / 2.4 just the CPU they would need there.
    its like ryzen 2200G just soldered & TDP borked.
    still it would make one hell of a chromebook with that much power in this price range.
  • ballsystemlord - Thursday, December 5, 2019 - link

    They could have used the V1202B or V1605B ryzen CPU. It's a 12W TDP chip. They could have asked for a more efficient/lower clocked version if they needed it.
  • jabber - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    Whilst 1366x768 works okay for a 11" screen they could have done something about improving the bezel situation. 3mm less either side could make all the difference.

    Or even gone retro with a 1440x900 screen and bit into the lower bezel part.
  • nandnandnand - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    768p should go the way of the dodo. Even moreso for touchscreens that could be used for drawing applications.

    We need the huge bezel so we can read "Corning®Gorilla®Glass" for years.
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    Wouldn't that defeat the "ruggedized" motif? Thicker bezels offer more protection.
  • Marlin1975 - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    Price is to high. There are A6-9220C based systems in the $130-150 range already right now. Some are even 1080 screens.
  • nandnandnand - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    Particularly the Lenovo 14w 81MQ000JUS:

    I've seen A6-9220C Windows deals but only A4-9120C for the Chromebooks. I'll hold out for fanless Zen, and hopefully 8GB RAM.
  • webdoctors - Tuesday, December 3, 2019 - link

    I just bought that! With cashback its under $120, crazy deal. Perfect for chromebook like usage like web browsing.

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