review: Acer R13 Touchscreen 2-in-1 1080p Premium Chromebook

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Acer R13 Touchscreen 2-in-1 1080p Premium Chromebook

I have been anxious to try out a Chromebook to determine how it compares to Windwos (and Mac) computers.  Quite a few generations of the Chromebook have passed and the operating system itself, a variant of the Chrome web browser, is under continuous improvement.

The unit is sleek and feels substantial with its all metal, silver metal body.  The computer is comfortable to hold closed, open in “laptop” mode, or folded over as a tablet.

Operating system: The operating system seems to work well as Chrome plus it’s large selection of extensions is pretty close to a Swiss army knife anyway.  There’s a toolbar at the bottom which opens up to show a list of all the available apps.  In addition to Chrome, this chromebook and many other chromebooks also operate Android apps; the Google Play store is available for that.  So in addition to being a Chromebook, this computer is like a phone with a large touchscreen.  Yes, touchscreen, and I think that’s an important feature to operate Android.  The Chrome OS is much less susceptible to viruses than is Windows.  I don’t think antivirus software is necessary.

Software:  There is a lot of software compatible with chromebooks.  For basic tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, Google has proprietary software that reads Microsoft files pretty well.  As mentioned above, documents are saved to the cloud for the most part, which allows access to your files from almost any computer, including other chromebooks.  The software is full featured, has gotten better over time, and will meet most needs.

Build:  Very nice.  Feels good in the hand and appears well built.  It looks a like a sleek, modern notebook.  The keyboard is pretty typical for a notebook computer.  The track-pad doesn’t present any unusual lagginess.  I don’t think the keyboard is back-lit.  The touchscreen is very responsive and folds back nicely to give a tablet experience.  However, when fully folded in tablet mode, it seems a little heavy, and I’m never quite sure how to hold it, because at times the user will be depressing keys on the keyboard (thankfully, they are turned off in tablet mode).

Battery:  Because it’s a light OS and this computer uses essentially a cell phone processor, the battery life seems to be very good.  I have not performed any run-down tests but I last charged it several days ago and it’s still at a good battery level.  It charges via USB-C which is convenient.

Performance:  I haven’t notice any problems.  Chrome OS is supposed to have some inherent slowdowns but so far, knock wood, none for me.  The processor is not an Intel chip but it seems pretty adequate for Chrome OS.  The touchscreen in particular is very responsive for pinching and expanding and scrolling, but I wish Chrome OS was built more for tablets and touchscreens at times.

Use:  I would recommend this for students and for productivity issues that don’t require dedicated Windows or Mac apps.

Buy this unit.


Acer’s sleek touchscreen chromebook

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