Acer Chromebook R13 Foldable Touchscreen Review

The new Acer Chromebook R13 is the latest attempt at a hybrid Chromebook/tablet along with a larger 13 inch IPS screen.  With google’s announcement of allowing Android apps to operate on the Chrome system, having a Chromebook that folds into a tablet might make a lot of sense for some but does it perform?  Along with the new features comes a higher starting price and a Chromebook that comes in at around $300 has to compare to the best Chromebooks such as the Toshiba Chromebook 2

Design and display

The design is quite similar when compared to the other Acer Chromebook models so there’s no major innovation here. However, you will see that they added a 13.3” display that works seamlessly and which offers IPS support. Unlike other Chromebooks, this one has a touch display and it’s a convertible model that has a viewing span which can go up to 170 degrees. The model comes with a backlit LCD and it’s very easy to convert into a tablet, laptop not to mention you can even use it in tent mode.

Processor and memory

Acer Chromebook 13 has the new Mediatek M8173C processor that features a dual core ARM Cortex-A72 and Another A53 chip, the first one clocked at 2.1 GHZ while the second one has 1.7 GHZ. They did integrate a neon multimedia processing engine which is a great addition. Another thing to note here is the integration of VPF ISA support.

When it comes to RAM you get 4 GB which can’t be upgraded and this can be a bummer for some. Considering that Chrome does eat up a lot of RAM to begin with, you might find yourself dealing with some problems when it comes to maintaining a stable usage experience if you work with more than 10-12 tabs.

Storage-wise, they allow you to opt for 16, 32 or 64 GB EMMC storage. This is a little on the low side of things considering that many convertibles have at least 64 GB and even many tablets are ditching the 16 GB models. Still, if you just want a laptop to browse online and maybe write something or create a presentation, it does fit the bill. It’s important to note that the graphics side is handled by the Imagination PowerVR GX6250 GPU which does a decent job. It won’t break any records but it does work great and it has nice performance as a whole.

Connectivity

Acer Chromebook 13 comes with decent connectivity. It has 802.11ac Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth 4 support. They also added a HD webcam and side mounted speakers, a built in microphone and a MicroSD card slot. Other connectivity includes a USB 3 port, USB type C support and HDMI out. They also integrated a headphone jack.

Size and battery life

When it comes to the battery life the Acer Chromebook 13 does fare pretty well. It offers around 12 hours of use which is more than ok for a laptop like this. Plus, it has 12.83 x 8.98 x 0.61 inches which makes it very easy to carry around. The weight is close to 1.49 kg which is actually great for people that plan to take it with them often.

Performance

The Acer Chromebook 13 manages to acquire an Octane score of 9944 which puts it well above the R11 and R14 Chromebooks from Acer. Aside from benchmarks, it’s safe to say that the device feels fast, it opens up all menus without a problem and the entire usage experience is very good. No matter how much stress you throw at it, the Acer Chromebook 13 does perform admirably.

Overall, it’s safe to say that the Acer Chromebook 13 is one of the best ARM Chromebooks on the market. The processor is good and the entire package is pretty impressive even though they could work on adding in more RAM and storage. Other than that, it’s an amazing investment and a very good product for Chromebook lovers!

 

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