Acer Chromebook Spin 11 (2017) review

A ruggedized Chromebook, and that’s about it

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

The Spin 11 isn’t the fastest Chromebook we’ve had the pleasure of using. It often runs sluggish, taking longer than we’d like to open a new tab or refresh a tab upon selection. 

The laptops is capable of handling basic computing tasks – indeed what Chrome OS is built to do – but little else. Multiple tabs slow the device down, something we also experience when using Android apps, thanks to the Spin 11’s support of the Google Play Store.


Here’s how the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Kraken: 3,121
Octane: 10,029
Jetstream: 57.53ms
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 10 hours and 58 minutes

To put those scores into context, the Asus Chromebook Flip doubles the performance of the Spin 11 across the board. The only highlight from our benchmarks of the Spin 11 is battery life, coming in just a couple of minutes shy of hitting 11 hours.

We realize we sound pretty down on the Spin 11. It’s hard to sing its praises when it’s priced near higher-end Chromebooks that run circles around it when it comes to performance. 

Just because the Spin 11 is rugged and ready for classroom use doesn’t give it a pass on performance or screen quality. Actually, performance is perhaps equally as important as ruggedness when students are at stake.

We liked

The ruggedized build feels sturdy and surely can take a knock or two. Charging via either USB-C port is a nice touch, and the battery life is nice and lengthy. The included stylus and gobs of ports are just icing on the cake.

We disliked

For one, the lackluster display leaves a lot to be desired in both resolution and sharpness, even understanding it’s a Chromebook. The sluggish performance is a detraction as well, especially for course work use. Putting this all up against the price, it's hard to get too excited about the Spin 11.

Final verdict

We admire what Acer tried to accomplish with the Spin 11. More and more schools are investing in Chromebooks, and by building a rugged laptop, Acer gives school districts and parents alike some reassurance their investments will last. 

However, there are far too many trade-offs with the Spin 11 between performance and protection, especially considering the final price point. 

With that in mind, we do recommend the Acer Chromebook Spin 11 as a capable device for those who prioritize a ruggedized housing and a spill-proof keyboard.