Acer’s Chromebook Spin 311 may look like your typical 11.6-inch Chromebook, but it punches above its weight under the hood. Despite being released in 2020, the Spin 311 has remained one of the best Chromebooks ever reviewed. That’s all thanks to its stellar versatility, gorgeous design and ease of use – not to mention, its upgraded specs for 2021.
On design, it cuts above budget Chromebooks with a matte black exterior accented by a diamond-shaped pattern on the lid. Because of its minimalist look, it easily fits anywhere -whether you’re in class taking notes or using it in a business meeting.
It’s also great for work since it comes with a comfortable touchpad and keyboard. That said, like all other 11-inch laptops and Chromebooks, the keyboard is a bit cramped, partly because it’s the same size as other Acer offerings but with a smaller footprint. It will take some time to get used to the entire profile, but the actuation will win you over in the end.
Still, the Acer Chromebook CP311-2H-C679 is one great budget machine: it offers tremendous value; is very fun and versatile; and you can do anything on it that you’d want to do with other, more powerful Chromebooks. If you don’t mind the size and want a reliable Chromebook with a touchscreen, this is it.
Acer Chromebook CP311-2H-C679 Specs
- CPU: Intel Celeron N4020
- RAM: 4 GB, DDR4 SDRAM
- Screen: 11.6-inch (29.5cm); HD (1366 x 768); 16:9; IPS
- Storage: 32GB Flash Memory
- Optical drive: No
- Ports: 2 x USB-A; 2 x USB-C; 1 x microSD
- Connectivity: Wireless IEEE 802.11ac; Bluetooth 4.1
- Camera: HD webcam
- Weight: 2.65 lbs
- Size: 11.7 x 8.1 x 0.79 inches
The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is a sleek, compact little machine, with a design and aesthetic that complements the size pretty well. Firstly, it’s a portable notebook in black; blacks on the back, on the keyboard and areas surrounding the screen. But this makes the aesthetic cohesive and attractive for a tiny Chromebook.
The main body of the Spin CP311-2H-C679 sports the same matte black material, but the back of the screen has a subtle diamond-print panel. This feels like it could be for added durability to protect the screen but on aesthetics it works well too, adding texture and fun to the design.
Overall, this 0.8-inch thick laptop is pretty portable weighing only 2.65lbs, and feels reassuring for those looking for a durable Chromebook. The only exception on this laptop is the keyboard panel, especially for powerful typers.
The screen on the Acer CP311-2H-C679 Convertible Chromebook is pretty good, though a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand it is a clear, and easy-to-use touchscreen, and though -being well protected by the Gorilla glass; but on the other hand it way too small and also a bit too dim.
It’s surrounded by rather thick bezels, which I consider to be lots of wasted space. Sure, the design might have required the large bezels in order to accommodate the toughened glass touchscreen and overall robust design, but it feels like a bit too much potential screen real estate was actually lost. Once again, even with IPS screen technology, the 1366 x 768 resolution on the 11.6-inch touchscreen is quite dim.
Keyboard, Touchpad & Ports
The keyboard and touchpad are still satisfying to use and click your way around. The only concern here is that the keyboard has a bit if flex, but only if you’re a heavy typer. And, despite the keyboard being the same size as on other Acer Chromebooks it feels a bit small – due to its place in a smaller design. But you do get used to this more cramped design in time, but it will take a little while.
Port selection is good considering its size. Here you get two USB-Cs (either can be used for charging), two USB A-s, microSD slot and an audio jack. These ports are roughly split into two spread along either side, and one side shares space with the power button, and the other side with volume slider and the Kensington hole. You’ll have to do without an Ethernet port however, making it a purely wireless Chromebook. Given its size, that’s a fair compromise.
Despite having a modest set of components under the hood, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 easily handles whatever is thrown at it. Having far too many Chrome tabs open, running and listening to YouTube – or Spotify – and messaging on apps all at the same time never results any lagging or trouble that the Intel Celeron N4020 based hardware, supported by 4GB of RAM and 32GB, can’t cope with. You can’t really underrate its performance, and it remains a consistent little workhorse of a Chromebook.
The boot time of 12 seconds from off to log in screen is great, and means you can close the screen to go into sleep and then instantly starting up again by lifting the screen back up – it’s a really smooth and satisfying process.
The battery life on the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is pretty good, but without being truly outstanding for a Chromebook. We are not saying that more than 8 hours in our movie test isn’t good enough, and it surely shows that it can safely last a working day away from the office. Charging via USB-C is very quick, and you only need two hours to charge from zero to full.
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Review: Verdict
All in all, the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 is a great machine: it packs good value; it’s portable and versatile; ad you can do anything on it that you’d ever want to do on other powerful Chromebooks. If you like the petite profile and want a reliable Chromebook with a touchscreen, this is it.
If you’re looking for a small, compact Chromebook, the Spin 311 is ideal for a compact device that you can basically use one-handed. Again, the toughened glass and robust shell are great confidence builders, so you’re sure the Spin 311 will survive bumps and knocks.
However, if you’re looking for something bigger and an easy mainstream laptop replacement, the larger Asus Chromebook Flip C433 might be a better choice, however.
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop, Intel Celeron N4020, 11.6" HD Touch, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB eMMC, Gigabit WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, Google Chrome, CP311-2H-C679
$185.00 in stock
8 used from $150.00
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-2H-C679)
he Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-2H-C679)’s versatility makes it a perfect all-rounder supported by a great price, good battery life and great interactivity. It sacrifices screen size and screen brightness but compensates with good battery life and unmatched portability.
- Great design and build
- Perfect size
- Excellent touch screen
- Massive screen bezels