Acer Chromebook R11: a Google Play Experience

Acer Chromebook R11: a Google Play Experience

Jan 31, 2017

Chrome is my preferred browser, and had been for quite some time. As one who cut his teeth exploring the interwebs via Netscape Navigator, I enjoy the success of the little guy. Chrome isn’t the little guy anymore, and its adoption is part of the reason that Chromebooks are decent options today.

And yes, Chromebooks aren’t exactly new. I remember the minor cottage industry that formed around tracking services during Google’s CR-48 giveaway way back when. Since then, the platform has matured, and is even seeing significant deployments in education and enterprise.

So, having been in and out of Chromebooks, we were somewhat intrigued when it came to taking a formal look at the latest iteration of Acer’s R11 Chromebook. This isn’t just any Chromebook, see; we are talking about a Chrome OS device with serious tablet sensibilities.

Specs-wise, it is decent hardware: 11.6″ screen with 1366 x 768 IPS touch-enabled display, a quad-core 1.65GHz processor. it also packs 4GB RAm and has 32 GB of onboard storage. It’s white frame fits in a full HDMI port, two (2) USB ports, an audio port, an SD card slot and a webcam.

The biggest asset for folks looking for raw productivity is its recent access to the Play Store. With the vaunted app environment, users have access to a slew of applications that otherwise might need workarounds to get to on Chrome OS… apps like Microsoft Word and Skype, plus all the games one can shake a stick at.

The hinge assembly is built in such away that it can be “opened” all the way till the screen is resting flush against the back of the keyboard, making it quite akin to a tablet. This hybrid design allows the device to be used in a few more ways than, say a regular netbook can.

Now that touchscreen becomes even more valuable, no?

Battery life is impressive. I was able to squeeze out 6 hours of browsing writing on it.

Chromebooks have elbowed their way onto the scene and mostly established a collective reputation of slimmed down reusability. The R11 embodies that, and the increased software ecosystem that Google Play brings is just another feather in the cap.

It isn’t all roses.

Since I started using the R11, one big name, Microsoft, all but killed Chromebook compatibility with the MS Word apps on Google Play (word is they’ll be back at some point for Chrome OS devices 10 inches and smaller). Beyond that, not every app feels natural, though most I tried worked fine; I was able to play several games via touchscreen or game pad.

For device accessory hogs like me, the landscape can be sparse depending on the device chosen. Folks used to servicing/upgrading their own equipment might not be able to do the same on specific Chromebook models. Of course, if one isn’t vested in the cloud (or, at least willing to try to), then Chrome OS might not be a viable option

Thankfully, there are quite a few budding enthusiast communities, like on Reddit, so help shouldn’t be too far away.

Frankly, this evaluation periods has turned into a difficult one; we don’t always fall in love with the products we review. This one though, because of its portability, battery life and fast startup, as morphed into my main work machine.

New, Affordable Acer Chromebook 15 Model Launches

New, Affordable Acer Chromebook 15 Model Launches

Oct 17, 2016

Acer has some of the best Chromebooks around, and its latest news should definitely be of interest: it has refreshed its Chromebook 15 line.

Better yet, the new model can be procured from leading retailers — including Walmart, today — starting at $199.

Just in time for the holiday season.

Impressive, when one considers the 15.6 inch screen (with 1366 x 768 resolution), advertised 12-hour battery life and promised Google Play support. It packs an Intel Celeron N3060 processor, built-in 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, SD card support… and 100 GB of Google Drive storage bundled in.

Amongst other features.

Acer America’s Mobility AVP Chris Chiang is enthusiastic about the device’s affordability. “The new Acer Chromebook 15 is going to be a big hit with holiday shoppers this year – it combines the most sought-after features – a large display and incredibly long battery life – at a price that makes it a desirable and affordable gift,” he says. “The Acer Chromebook 15 was a game-changer when it debuted in 2015 – and now we’re able to provide the winning combination of large display, long battery life and affordable price to even more customers.”

We’ve been playing with one of Acer’s 11-inch Chromebooks, and have been kept interested thus far.

As noted above, the CB3-532-C47C can be purchased at Walmart now.

Android Tablet Sale! Acer Iconia Tab 8 $99 for Limited Time at Best Buy

Android Tablet Sale! Acer Iconia Tab 8 $99 for Limited Time at Best Buy

Dec 7, 2015

The well received Acer Iconia Tab 8 Android tablet is on sale for a limited time on

Currently, it can be had for $99, which is $30 off its list price.

Th specs from the press release:

The Acer Iconia Tab 8 (A1-860-19LU) is an Android tablet with an 8-inch display with IPS technology, 1280×800 resolution and wide 178 degree viewing angles, so it’s great for watching movies and playing games. It offers outstanding performance with an Intel quad-core processor and offers great storage options with 16GB of internal storage plus a microSD slot to expand storage up to 128GB. It also includes dual-HD cameras for photos and face-to-face chatting.

Best Buy is also offering free shipping, which definitely sweetens the pot.

The tablet continues to enjoy decent feedback relatively long after its debut; we enjoyed this tablet when we formally checked it out a while back.


Acer Releases Liquid Leap+ Fitness Tracker in the US

Acer Releases Liquid Leap+ Fitness Tracker in the US

Jul 20, 2015

Acer has just unleashed the Liquid Leap+ in the US; this is the first tracker Acer has brought to the American market.

The device is compatible with Android OS (plus Windows and iOS), is water-proof, and expectantly packs in a bunch of health-conscious fitness tracking functionality. It pairs with compatible devices via Bluetooth 4.0 LE. It also has a built-in battery that can last up to 7 days.

Acer America’s Smart Products Business Group Vice President Hugo Hernandez talks about its design and functionality. “The Acer Liquid Leap+ was designed to inspire and improve the daily lives of active technology enthusiasts,” he says. “It’s incredibly easy to use for tracking important aspects of health, while it provides additional useful features. In addition, the sleek and stylish design and interchangeable bands look great with a range of styles.”

The Acer Liquid Leap+ can be incorporated with bands that come in multiple colors (black, green and pink) as well. It is available now via Acer’s website for $79.99.


Intel Inside: A look at Intel On Android

Intel Inside: A look at Intel On Android

Nov 5, 2014

Admit it: what comes to mind when you think of Intel?

Laptops? Desktops? Computer parts?

Well, whatever it is, it seems as though Intel itself doesn’t mind if its name invokes thoughts of Android. More and more Android devices are running with its vaunted chips on the inside.

We had an opportunity to check out two Intel-powered Android wi-fi tablets, one from ASUS, and one from Acer. The Acer Iconia Tab 8 is a serious looking mid-range tab that smaller at packs 2GB RAM (plus expandable memory), 7.9 inches of screen in an 8.5 x 5.1 x 0.3 inch frame. It also has 2 MP front-facing snapper. Software wise, it comes with Android 4.4, and also has a suite of Acer-specific applications.

The ASUS MEMO Pad 7 is physically smaller, at 7.5 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches (which encases a 7 inch screen). 1GB Memory, 2MP front-facing camera, 5MP in the back, expandable memory, Android 4.4.

Both are fantastic tablets, with plenty to love. Both were a joy to test, smooth and snappy. There are other things that are common to both, outside the affordability: Intel’s Atom Z3745 processor.


The Z3745 brings the best of Intel to newer Android devices in an ultra-affordable package. It consists of a quad-core CPU that maxes out at 1.86 MHz, and an Intel graphic GPU that hits 778 MHz.

In real life, the chip works well. In testing with these tabs, I couldn’t find noticeable lag. I did notice some warmth when taxed by hard-hitting games, but all in all, both tabs worked well.

And this is where it looks like Intel is hitting its groove with regards to Android. The affordability of the chip helps keep device prices down, and this allow device manufacturers to price their devices competitive… in theory at least. In the case of the Iconia Tab 8 (at $199) and the MEMO Pad 7 (at $129), the theory arguably holds true.

GameStop Begins Selling Tablets Pre-Loaded With Games

GameStop Begins Selling Tablets Pre-Loaded With Games

Nov 1, 2011

The details of Gamestop’s tablet program have finally been unveiled, and they’re quite different from what was expected. GameStop is simply getting into the business of selling Android tablets, though they will come with several Android games preinstalled. The three tablets that they will be selling are the Acer A100 for $329, the Asus Transformer for $399, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab for $499. The last two tablets will be available with a Bluetooth controller for playing games on the tablets.

The games that will be available? They are Dead Space (making its Android debut after an excellent iOS version), Cordy, Riptide, Monster Madness, Re-Load, the Kongregate Arcade App, and a timed exclusive launch of Sonic CD for Android. The controller will work with Cordy, Sonic CD, Riptide, and Monster Madness. Some of these games are already available on the Android Market as well.

GameStop may be missing a real opportunity here to launch their own tablet. The Kindle Fire hype has shown that interest in a low-cost tablet does exist, and a gaming-focused product could be of potential interest. Instead, these tablets are competing with the iPad on cost and features, and a few pre-installed games might not be enough to push interest in favor of these devices. Still, the lack of physical controls is what often off-puts those unfamiliar with touchscreen gaming, and this could be a great introduction with a controller available. As well, unlike the Kindle Fire, there is actual access to the Android Market, so these aren’t limited devices at all. They’re just tablets that GameStop is trying to push gaming on.

Still, the Android Market does lag behind the App Store as a gaming platform, and Android tablets have had their sales issues. Can GameStop manage to help push Android gaming forward, along with tablet sales, through their sale of Android tablets? Time will tell. The pilot program has launched on GameStop’s website and in 200 GameStop stores.