Chromebook a nice way to stay connected and productive on the go.

I’ve been working off of laptops for most of my adult life. Desktop computers have sort of become a thing of the past except for those people who need it for a specific purpose like gaming. I’ve had a variety of laptops throughout my life and really like how easy it makes working on the go. Mobile computing has been evolving for the past several years and now there are hybrid laptop/tablets like the Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook.

The Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook takes the best of the tablet and puts it into a small laptop form. It’s an 11-inch small-form laptop with a 360-degree dual-torque hinge for the screen. This allows the user to flip the screen around so that you can use it in full table form. It’s quite an interesting device and something that I’ve really enjoyed testing out. Here are some of my experiences with this Chromebook.

Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook REVIEW

First Impressions
The Chromebook arrived in a simple brown cardboard box. When I opened it up, the laptop was encased in a soft cloth sleeve and was held in place by a couple of pieces of pre-formed styrofoam. Along with the computer and its packaging, there was a power cable with wall adapter and minimal paperwork. When I took the laptop out of the packaging, I found a beautiful, clean, white computer with two simple logos on the cover – Acer and Google Chrome. Lifting the lid, you will find a soft fiber/cloth keyboard/screen protector. I would suggest if you don’t keep that one in place that you find one to use with the computer so that you have little risk of damaging your screen.

Before I started the laptop up for the first time, I plugged in the power adapter. I was surprised to find that this very portable Chromebook came with such a large power cable. I really expected it to have a single charging cable like most tablets do. But, Acer provided a fairly old-school, but standard AC adapter. This is one thing that I hope Acer would take note of in future updates – this computer should charge with a single cable and one that is universal like USB.

The specs for the Chromebook are quite impressive. It has an Intel Celeron dual-core processor with 1.60 GHz processor speed. The computer has a 16GB hard drive with 4GB of RAM. You can expand your storage by using Flash Drive or SD cards. The screen is 11.6 inches in size and features in-plane switching. The screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768 (HD). It does have 1 HDMI port, 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port, and an SD card reader built-in. Since it’s an internet-based machine, I was impressed by how many ports for external support it has.

Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook REVIEW

First Startup
There is a simple power button on the side of the computer. I would have liked to see this be a part of the keyboard instead of next to a plug port because there would be less chance that I might tap the button when I’m plugging something in. The Chromebook powered up very quickly and prompted me to enter a Google account to keep all my information synced. What was interesting to me was that the operating system, as fast it is, it is essentially just Google Chrome? Most of the activities you can participate within the OS are internet-based. All your data is stored in the cloud. This is kind of the essence of the Chromebook. While it was kind of a shock and a different experience for me since I’m primarily a Mac user, but also have quite a bit of experience with Windows. Chrome OS was new to me. It’s very minimalist, which I like.

Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook REVIEW

So, after I entered my account information, I began working with the interface. It is fast. I think that is perhaps because the system is not cluttered or weighed down with any big files. It is simple and clean – much like the hardware itself. One of the things I like most about this laptop is the keyboard. It has very soft, quiet keys. This makes it ideal for late night work when I take my computer to bed with me. The keys are full size and spaced out very well.

The Chromebook has an impressive array of input ports, which is surprising since this laptop is supposed to be minimalist and extremely mobile. I’m not complaining. It’s very helpful to be able to connect various accessories with no trouble. The Acer Chromebook is also Bluetooth compatible. One of the first things I did was to connect a Bluetooth mouse to it so that I could manage files easier and more efficiently.

As a tablet, the Chromebook works very well. It’s a little larger than some hybrid’s I’ve seen. The touch screen is very responsive and transitioning between the two methods of computing with this device. The screen rotates very easily and it functions well as a tablet.

Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook REVIEW

Testing & Benchmarks
As I mentioned above, working with Chrome OS was a bit new to me. It has a strong look and feel and it’s very intuitive. You can use “Ok Google” as a voice assistant to help you with searching for information online. I have to say that it worked remarkably well when I tested it out. I was in a noisy room and even though the microphone was picking up the other noise in the room, it still understood my command. My basic testing for performance included internet searches and browsing, composing a blog article, and reviewing the interface as a whole. I think that some people might get confused about the cloud-based, internet-only nature of the OS, but for me, I definitely see the benefit.

Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook REVIEW

As far as benchmarks go, I found that with Chrome OS you have to use a system called Octane, which measures the JavaScript engine performance. I tested the Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook three times and found that its performance level is greater than most other Chromebooks in the market. Below are a few screenshots of the benchmarking tests I ran and a table that shows benchmarking across Chromebooks.

Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook REVIEW

Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook REVIEW

Conclusions
The Acer Touch-Screen Chromebook is a very capable mobile computing device. I really enjoying using it, especially for light computer work. It’s great for anything internet-based, but if you need something for more than that, you may want to look elsewhere. It’s not that the hardware can’t support it, it’s that the OS isn’t built for it.
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