Taiwanese electronics company Acer wants your next convertible to be a laptop. A Chromebook, to be exact. Although the company has been selling laptops in the Chromebook space for four years, one of its latest models, the Chromebook R 11 (pictured), is its first convertible notebook. Acer unveiled the new laptop at the IFA 2015 consumer electronics show taking place in Berlin this week.
The new model is capable of transitioning between four different modes: laptop, pad, display, and tent mode. Acer is pitching the device as a flexible machine that works equally well in the office and at home.
Convertible and Flexible
One of the keys to the flexibility of the R 11 is its 360-degree dual-torque hinge design, which allows it to quickly switch between laptop and pad modes. The model supports both landscape and portrait displays while in tablet mode. Even better, its audio channel output will automatically reverse itself as the display changes orientation.
The dual-torque hinge also helps keep the device secure as a user interacts with the touchscreen while it’s in display mode. The 360-degree range, meanwhile, lets users adjust the screen as needed. While in display mode, the R 11 hides its keyboard and brings the screen closer to the user.
In keeping with its Chromebook design, the R 11 sports a thin profile of just 19.2 mm and tips the scales at a scant 1.25 kg (about 2.8 pounds), which Asus hopes will make it convenient for users to slip into their book bags and backpacks. The laptop will be powered by an Intel Celeron processor and feature a USB 3.0 port.
Work and Play
To appeal to road warriors and enterprise clients, Acer is highlighting the device’s security features, which include easy sharing between multiple user accounts and cloud storage to allow them to keep their data siloed from other users. Another selling point for the company is Chrome OS’s reputation for security, with automatic updates and the "Supervised Users" feature.
For consumers, Acer is touting the R 11’s 11.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) screen, which comes with wide viewing angle and is complemented by an HD webcam with HDR (high dynamic range) imaging, with a crisp and vibrant touch screen display. The LED-backlit LCD screen has integrated 10-point touch, supporting tap, swipe and pinch-to-zoom gestures. Acer also beefed up the wireless connection, with an 802.11ac Wi-Fi connection.
Aside from the R 11, Acer announced several other laptops at the IFA, including a variety of high-performance machines geared more exclusively to consumers and gamers. But the Chromebook segment of the market remains one of Acer’s strong suits. The company held more than 36 percent of Chromebook sales last year, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
The Chromebook R 11 will be available in North America in October with prices starting at $299. It will also be available in Europe, the Middle East and beginning in November at prices starting at €299 ($336).
Wayne H. (Seattle):
Posted: 2015-09-03 @ 11:25pm PT
I LOVE my Acer C720 and will never go back to PCs or Apple. The R11 is definitely my next computer! (And then I can get rid of my old iPad.)