Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Review – The Flexible Option | MobbJustice On Tech (Ep 82)
Looking for Music, hey what up its your boy, mob justice back again with another video and for today we are getting into a year review around the asa chromebook spin 311.. As always, this video is brought to you by the team over at lion media uh, head on over to check out some of the crispiest uh photo video and audio content, thats www.lionmedia.com head on over and check it out and just see what the team can do For you now this is the second chromebook that we featured on the channel last year, uh we actually had yet another acer, chromebook uh that we featured ill leave. That link in the description. You can go check that out, but, unlike that one, which was a full 15 inch, um laptop size machine. I was quite interested in this one because it was really small um in terms of the form factor, and it also offers a tablet mode because, as the name suggests, it spins um into a tablet mode thats. Why its called uh, the spin 311. shout out to the team over at asa, south africa who sent me the machine i had it for about a month or so um. You know just using it. Seeing some of the ins and outs acer did not pay for this review right off the bat. I would say that this is a machine thats good for people that are looking for something that is first affordable to that is flexible between being a tablet and being a laptop and then third also another form of flexibility in the ability to carry our mobile apps.
On the android side, now between my first chromebook review, which was last year and now, google has now extended full support for chrome, os and chromebooks in south africa, where im currently at and its a very interesting move, because i was able to engage with some of Their team, i will link an article in the description and it seems that they are quite serious, particularly around the entry level market, the student market and also whats going on in the home, driven by uh digitalization, and you know, work from home trends and whats going On because of uh the kovit 19 pandemic in using the machine, i mainly focused on some light work productivity as well as media consumption. If youve watched any of my laptop reviews in the past, you know that i mainly focus um on video editing and you know heavy uh type of production work but because were dealing with chrome os. I wanted to use it in the scenarios that people will most likely be using a chromebook for in terms of specs im going to display some of these on the screen. But when it comes to things like chromebook, one of the big advantages of the platform has always been the fact that its a cloud based operating system, which means um that as long as youre connected to the internet, a lot of the processing is being done. In the cloud, as opposed to being on a machine and thats always been one of the big advantages and why chromebooks tend to come in at lower prices, because they dont necessarily need some of those heavy specs.
A standard machine will see you having things like four gigs of ram as well as 64 gigabytes of internal flash storage uh. The display um not too crazy, just off at 720p, and you can definitely see the pixels if you peep a little uh. But from my testing it wasnt too bad, i actually enjoyed um how that display looked in terms of build quality and design. This is a spin 311, and that 311 means that it has an 11 inch screen, which shows you just how small that thing is. So if you think about devices such as the 11 inch macbook air from back in the day, you can sort of see where were going or something like a standard ipad. That sort of gives you the footprint that were talking about in terms of length and width. But in terms of that theres also the 360 fold that it does im going into tablet mode, and then one of my favorite features is the fact that it comes with the usb type c um and thats on both sides of the device. So it means you can charge your device, you know from either the left, um or the right side first and then. Secondly, if youre like me and you have an android device such as this samsung phone, it means you can charge. You can carry one cable. That is able to charge both your phone and your computer definitely an advantage. Something to keep in mind is that this is an entry level device that has an all plastic build, so nothing to write home about.
It is a sturdy frame and it does do the job. The screen for me is probably the most interesting bit about this machine. This is not going to be one of those crazy 4k displays, as i said earlier, on its just above 720, but because its such a small screen at 11 inches. You can see the pixels if you do peep, but for the most part, youre going to be quite happy with the viewing experience. I was consuming a lot of content in terms of youtube, video and that type of thing, and as far as i could tell it, was really great its you know its quite vibrant, but unfortunately its not the brightest of screens. And i found that in situations where theres a lot of ambient light, you do struggle quite a bit. So if youre someone whos going to be trying to use a machine, you know out in out in public uh, maybe outside you know, and that type of this is definitely not going to be uh the greatest viewing experience. From that point of view, the other thing that one would notice about this screen is the fact that, as small as this devices and as small as the screen is, the bezel is huge, especially in this environment, where a lot of manufacturers are trying to eliminate bezels Or trying to minimize them in one way or another, its quite uh a bit of a shock to the system, at least at the moment, to see such big bezels um on a device.
But those bezels do serve a function uh because when you do switch the device over into tablet mode, you find yourself. You know where your, where your hands um your fingers and your thumbs, you know naturally rest themselves, theres a lot of space for you to not have accidental touches and that type of thing which tends to be a problem with some of the tablets out there that Have um very thin bezels? I know that with the new samsung galaxy tabs, for example, thats been um one of the reported issues so interesting, one big bezels, but they do serve a purpose. The one thing i do wish the machine had in terms of the typing experience when you look at the keyboard specifically, is a backlit keys, because these are not backlit um. So if you find yourself in a dark room or a dark area, you just kind of have to rely um on the glow that comes from the screen to actually see whats going on now, because this is a chromebook one of the big things that one has To talk about is the software experience, because this is running googles, chrome, os and i actually got the machine after a recent update which allows for scanning of documents, speech recognition to notes arranging. You know some of the chrome tabs and this was actually updated. Um in early april, ive already mentioned the fact that, because this runs googles, chrome os, it also supports um, android applications as well, and i find that should be one of the biggest advantages.
For example, i use the youtube app quite a lot, especially on mobile devices. One of the things that i like the most about it is that um, at least in this part of the world, you have the ability to download uh videos for offline viewing, which is something that you cant do um on the desktop browser right. So because this can run the mobile version of uh the youtube app, i was able to download uh. Some of my favorite shows, you know, use them. You know on a commute um, you know view them from that point of view. But, interestingly one or two things that i noticed in the software experience is the fact that um this device plays videos using the gallery app, but those videos it cant, be complex. Codecs, for that youd have to get yourself a player such as a vlc. The other one is that uh chrome os now implements a desktop setup sort of like the one that we see over on mac os, where you have one or two different desktops. That can be run at the same time. The other thing to like about chrome os is the fact that, because it is running a google desktop operating system, there are constant updates um that are coming along, and there were a couple during my time of testing. Moving on to some impressions and quirks about the machine itself, firstly, i mentioned the fact that theres an update uh that now allows people to scan documents, but its a little bit awkward because it uses the front facing camera.
Now, unlike a smartphone, where you can scan documents using the back camera and do that, this one uses a front camera which means youre scanning. Is you holding document in front of the camera which can look a little bit awkward? The other one is that the machine that i specifically was using, it seemed to not sleep at all. Literally the moment you put it down, you open it up its right back where you left it, it doesnt seem to have any uh boot up or any sleep mode that it enters. The other quirk of such a machine is the keyboard right, because this is a convertible type of machine, so when its over in tablet mode youve got the keys um on the back, and i personally find such a mode to be a little bit awkward. I know that convertible devices like this have been around for a number of years, but i personally still find it awkward to hold a machine um and still be feeling the keys at the back, as opposed to a hard surface like you would get on a normal Tablet, but that said as soon as you get into tablet mode, those keys, arent, responsive anymore, which is really great because it means you can rest your hands knowing full wow um that youre not going to be accidentally typing anything. Some observations, two in particular. First, the speakers i say it time and time again when it comes to any type of laptop machine.
These are great. These are okay, they are not great. I would suggest that if you do have an external speaker of some sort or headphones youd rather go in that direction. One of the biggest strengths of this machine is the battery life. I got easily over 14 hours of use from a single charge. Acer actually rates. The battery at about 16 hours, so i think those two things are in alignment, at least for my testing in terms of productivity. If youre going to be typing out documents, the keyboard is really great. Despite being small, you have really good key travel and its not squishy like what we see um, you know on other machines. It sort of reminds me of the typing experience that we had over on the 2015 uh macbooks before um apple came in with the ill fated, butterfly switches, but at the same time, theres also an on screen keyboard that i personally found a little bit harder to Get used to especially when it came to hitting the spacebar because it does convert into a tablet, so you do have an on screen keyboard that does come into play. But for me, a little bit hard to get used to. The last thing. To note is that, because this is a google chromebook, the productivity apps are for presentations. Word processing as well as spreadsheets are all going to come from the g suite of uh. You know online productivity tools.
If you are someone whos used those, then youre going to be in a good position. One of the things thats really been great over the years is the fact that theyve been introducing more of an offline mode, and i remember saying in my first chromebook um review that when it comes to using chrome os, you really need to have a good internet Connection because a lot of it is web based, but at least from a productivity point of view, you do have that ability uh to turn on offline mode so that you can work environments where there isnt internet so overall ill say that this is a great machine For someone whos, first looking for a media consumption device that will not break the bank and then, secondly, for the student market, where such devices have really become popular around the world and understandably so, because they come in at an affordable price and also at the same Time they do offer a lot of you know productivity tools that students can take advantage of. But one of the biggest caveats i did say that offline mode is available for things like the g suite, but this is going to be a machine that is best used in an online environment. Yes, you can store some things locally, but youre going to get the best experience if youre connected to the internet, and that is one of the biggest things that a person buying a chromebook any chromebook will have to think about.
Lastly, im quite excited to see the development of chrome os, and this particular review was great, because i got to experience chrome os first in the laptop mode that ive been used to, but also what it can do in a touch environment. I think theres a little bit of way to go from that point of view, but at least theres the advantage of being able to use um native android apps that have been made as a touch first interfaces. So all of that is really working well and im. Quite excited to see what other form factors will come from the platform, so thats been it for this review. You can, let me know what you think in the comments. Are you someone who uses chrome os? How long have you been using it for um? Are you someone whos new to the platform or someone whos thinking about switching over or at least trying out the platform you can? Let me know what you think in the comments um. I will definitely be trying to see if we can get our hands on more chromebooks just so that we can expand and see what other form factors they are. What are the use cases uh people can have out there so thats been it ill catch you guys in the next video hey. This is baby g and youre. Watching the mob justice channel. Follow us on twitter, instagram and facebook. Live it love it like it.