The Acer Chromebook 11 offers a solid Chrome OS experience along with an eye-catching design.
Chromebooks, and Chrome OS in general, have been on the up and up over the last few years with many turning to the platform as a means to replace tablets and more traditional laptops. Although this would not have been totally clear for those attending CES 2018 as the event was rather low on Chrome OS announcements. There were some, however, including the new Chromebook 3 from ASUS which looks to offer an improved Chrome OS desktop experience. Although our favorite Chrome OS announcement from the event came from Acer with the unveiling of its new Chromebook 11. In general, the Chromebook 11 line is far from new as Acer has released multiple variants over the last few years. Therefore with the naming of the new one being the same as the older ones, things are a little confusing. To clarify this, the new Chromebook 11 comes in the form of the CB311-8H and the CB311-8HT with the main difference being the inclusion of a touch screen with the "T" variant. Which brings us neatly onto the first major selling point with the new Chromebook 11. Android apps.
Android app compatibility through the Google Play Store has been one of the big stories in Chrome OS land over the last year and so potential buyers will be happy to know this new option from Acer is one arriving to market with support for the Play Store from launch. So opting for the touch screen version of the new Chromebook 11 will offer a more interactive way to engage with that newfound app support. Another newer-related technology worth noting is the inclusion of USB Type-C. As the new Chromebook 11 includes not one, but two Type-C ports, and will therefore be compatible with a number of the new smartphones and related accessories which also support the new USB standard. Of course, Type-A ports have also been included for when needed.
While most of these aspects (Android app and USB Type-C support) are largely expected to be included on any new Chromebook going forward, what is not so often included is such an eye-catching color. The Acer Chromebook 11 comes in a shade of blue which certainly does add to its appeal. While this is largely a plastic shell, it is one which adds flavor and will help it stand out in the sea of Chromebooks the market now finds itself swimming in. While some may consider this to more of a superficial thing than anything else, it is still a point worth noting as Chromebooks are quickly becoming far too generic in almost all respects, resulting in a buyer's decision nightmare and especially for new buyers looking for a solid entry-level option. Therefore, anything that does help Chromebooks to further differentiate themselves from each other and especially attract new users to the platform in general, should be considered a good thing.
Looks aside, the Chromebook 11 does not miss a trick on the price either. As while this is not the most powerful Chromebook, it is one which includes a number of tried and tested RAM and storage configurations, with the base model starting at just $250 in the US. So this really is going to be an ideal option for anyone looking for an affordable, entry-level product, from a company that has a long-established history with the platform. The splash of color is just the icing on the cake of what is an overall package worthy of the title of best Chromebook of CES 2018.