Friday, December 30, 2016

Acer R13 Chromebook

Review of the Acer R13 Chromebook

The Good:
Awesome display
Great battery life
Very lightweight
Keyboard action
Best when used for what it was designed for

The Bad:

I've heard good things about a chromebook so I decided to see how good they really are. I decided I wanted one that will last (software and hardware wise) so I chose the Acer R13. It's one of the a very few currently that support the Google Play Store. There isn't a stable build so you have to configure it with the beta option. You can google how to enable it. I'm going to wait until there is a stable build before I enable it. I want it work well when I enable it which will come sometime this year.


It definitely has a premium feel to it but is light enough to carry around. The base is a machined aluminum and it reminds me of the MacBook Pro. Acer placed the R 13's USB Type-C port, HDMI port, USB 3.0 port and microSD card reader on the Chromebook's left side and the headphone jack and lock slot on its right side. That Type-C port is used mainly for charging, but it also supports USB 3.1 data transfer and DisplayPort monitors. 

The micro SD slot acts as additional storage which you will eventually need since it only has a 32gig hard drive. I suspect as memory gets even cheaper, it'll go up approaching a normal laptop storage capacity. What would be good is if Google decides that you can integrate that sd slot memory for onboard memory like you can on Andriod 6.0 phones.

The R13 can be used in a standard laptop configuration or a touch pad configuration. It has a touch screen display that is responsive enough but it works best as a chromebook. You can even lay the touchpad configuration on a flat surface as the keys are sunken into the body so you don't scratch your keys.

Key are responsive and offer a very nice tactile touch. The keyboard and touch pad is not as nice as a Macbook Pro but then again, I didn't have to shell out over a grand, just $350 at

Battery life it top rate since the Chrome OS doesn't really tax the processors. It's been going 3 days without a charge  for about 4 hours a day and still has over 50% battery life.

The display is a full 1080p and it is fantastic. Chrome OS does not play all mkv files well but it can play some. It will be able to play any file when you enable google apps. Having the full Google Play library really makes for the short comings of Chrome OS. All you will need to do is download the VLC app.

Camera and Speakers
The R13 comes with a 0.9 megapixel camera. Come on 0.9M? What is this 2004? I'm not sure why they skimped so much on the camera. It is functional but just barely. Skype calls for the people on the other end will be not great.

The speakers are located under the chromebook and one on the side. It doesn't sound well at all when used in the laptop configuration but sounds decent when put in the tablet configuration.

This is a great chromebook. I guess when you start going up in price, you expect more functionality, like a laptop. When you try to use it as a laptop, it has its shortcomings. The key is going to be how well Google integrates the play store and how stable it will perform. Then it can be a great tablet as well as a chromebook and when that happens, this is a fantastic deal at $350. If it's just a chromebook, then it's a good deal.

CPUMediaTek MT8173C Core Pilot Quad-Core ARM
Operating SystemGoogle Chrome

Hard Drive Size32GB

Display Size13.3
Native Resolution1920x1080

Graphics CardIntegrated Imagination PowerVR GX6250 Graphics

Wi-Fi Model802.11AC WiFi featuring 2x2 MIMO Technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0

Touchpad Size4.1 x 2.4 inches
Ports (excluding USB)USB 3.1 with Type-C
Ports (excluding USB)USB 3.0
Ports (excluding USB)Headphone
Ports (excluding USB)HDMI
USB Ports2
Card SlotsmicroSD
Warranty/SupportOne Year International Limited Warranty
Size12.8 x 8.9 x 0.6 inches
Weight3.2 pounds

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