This is a review of the Acer Chromebook 13, performed on the Acer Chromebook 13 that I just received from Best Buy on Friday. I purchased the 768 resolution model as I tend to be cheap which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. I purchased this mainly for home use and wanted the longest battery possible. Cheap and long battery life led me to this. So here we go.
It's Monday, so what did I do with it over the weekend? Nothing, I let it sit at my office in standby mode since about 5pm last Friday. It's 8am as I'm typing this and my battery dropped 14% over the weekend.
On to the review with real time thoughts on thing. First the keyboard. It has an odd textural component to it that I can't put my finger on for what it reminds me of. It's not a pleasant texture as my fingernails scrape the keys in an odd way. Maybe I should trim the nails.
NOTE: There's no obvious Delete key or a Caps Lock.
The trackpad is clearly head and shoulders over any I've ever used. It's smooth and fluid. Right clicks are performed with two fingers pressing the trackpad. Two fingers scroll. It's awesome. It's not so touchy that I'm accidentally moving it with my palm though.
The screen worried me when I bought the thing sight unseen. Too dark, not resolute enough, bad viewing angles, etc. Well, the viewing angles both horizontally and vertically do suck, but it's not as if I share my screen with a group of people so I actually consider it a positive that any Joe jackass on an airplane can't clearly read the drivel I'm typing at any given point. The 768 resolution is absolutely fine. No, it's not the 1080p resolution that my lead weight of an engineering laptop has, but for what it is, it works great. I do have the brightness all the way up and don't see that ever changing. It could be brighter.
The Chromebook 13 is nice and light. Much lighter subjectively than my Asus Transformer T100, which has a 10 inch screen and actually weighs 0.5lbs less. It has no fans so it's silent. That's something I've gotten used to with my iPad and Transformer that any fan noise sounds loud to me.
Color? The thing is white. We'll see what happens the first time red wine meets it.
The Chrome "OS" is easy to use right out of the gate. I'm sure there's a learning curve somewhere, but at least to get up and running there wasn't one.
Time will tell how much I'll use it. I've moved away from Google Drive so it's nice that I can connect my Office 365 account to it to access my One Drive for Business files as well as use Word/Excel/the rest. Right now it feels like a winner with a great combination of weight, battery life and screen size.
THREE MONTH UPDATE
Now that I've used this Chromebook for three months here are some updated thoughts.
I find the battery life incredible. This is why I bought it and it has not disappointed me. While I don't use it for hours every day, it's lasted as long as I needed it to. I charge it about once a week, and let it sleep when I'm not using it.
From reviews apparently it gets sluggish is you open a dozen tabs in Chrome. Luckily I never do that so I don't know. Every now and then I have about four tabs open and it runs just fine.
Resolution - it's never been an issue.
Trackpad - it still amazes me. It's perfect. Rarely do I feel that I must have my mouse to operate the cursor. The downside is that I try to use my other laptops the same way and they all suck. I have four other laptops that I work with routinely for varying purposes at work.
Wifi after waking - this is probably the only disappointing thing - when waking up it takes more than a few seconds to reconnect to wifi. I would appreciate it if it were near instant.
I don't like NOT having a delete button. ALT+Backspace serves as the Delete key. I would much rather have a dedicated Delete key.
Red wine has not been dumped on it yet. It's remained clean save for some dust.
Basically this serves as my home laptop and will continue in that role for at least the near future. While it can't run my CAD programs (why would I want to do that at home anymore?) I use it for blogging, email, Evernote, Team Viewer, video chatting and document writing.