This New 3:2 Display Chromebook from Acer Is a Game Changer for the Classroom

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Acer Chromebook Spin 311
Image: Acer – There will be a battle between these four Chrome OS laptops and Acer’s new Windows 11 SE computers in the coming months. After introducing a fleet of Chromebooks ahead of CES, Acer introduced six Windows 11 SE laptops for K-8 schools earlier this month. Now the firm is providing educators even more options by launching four more laptops running Google’s Chrome OS.

There is a difference between the Chromebooks Acer unveiled earlier this month, which are aimed at customers with modest budgets and the Chromebook 512 and Chromebook 511, which are specifically designed for students. Though all four of these laptops have a number of similar features, there are a few key variances that distinguish them from one another.

Image: Acer

To begin, let’s take a look at the functions shared by all of the products in this portfolio. MIL-STD 810H military durability criteria are met by each of these laptops, which include a “impact-resistant” chassis. With shock-absorbing bumpers and strengthened surfaces, they can withstand four-foot fall in the event that a pupil brushes one off their desk. Each has a keyboard that can be drained so they don’t become sticky from liquids and chocolate milk, and all save the Chromebook 314 have anchored keys that are tough to get off.

Other common characteristics include flexible hinges that let you to spin the displays back 180 degrees, or 360 degrees on the Chromebook Spin 311, the only convertible in this quartet. They also offer chassis including post-consumer recycled polymers and touchpads created from ocean-bound plastic debris. “OceanGlass” is a marketing ploy by Acer, but don’t believe it: they are plastic.

Image: Acer

Chromebook 511 and Chromebook Spin 311 feature 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel screens, whilst Chromebook 512 and Chromebook 314 offer bigger 12-inch (1366 x 912) and 14-inch, 1080p panels, respectively. There’s also the Chromebook 512’s screen, which has a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is a departure from the standard 16:9 ratio.

The Intel Celeron N4500, N5100, or Pentium Silver N6000 (512 and 314) CPUs power the Chromebook 512, Chromebook 511, and Chromebook 314, while the MediaTek MT8183 chip powers the Spin 311. While the Spin 311 has just 4GB of RAM, the first three devices all feature 8GB of RAM. As far as eMMC storage goes, all bar the Chromebook 314, which has 128GB, max out at 64GB.

The Spin 311 has the longest anticipated runtime of 15 hours, however the Chromebook 314 (10 hours), Chromebook 511 (12 hours), and Chromebook 512 (12 hours) would shut down a class period or two sooner than the other three.

Image: Acer

Additionally, each of these laptops has at least one USB-C port and one USB-C input, making them ideal for students of any age, as well as lightweight enough for smaller children.

Chromebooks 512 and 511 from Acer will be on sale in January for $349 each, and the Chromebooks 512 will be followed a month later by the Chromebooks 511. Chromebook 314, which is the most powerful and features the biggest display, will cost $429 when it launches in the second part of the year. In March, the Spin 311, which costs $399, will be available for pre-order. In light of Microsoft’s new Windows 11 SE operating system, it will be fascinating to see whether educators continue to buy Chromebooks like these.