Review of Acer R11 Chromebook

It is just 7 weeks since I purchased my first Chromebook, the Acer R11. I was a novice of what to look for and did some preliminary research before buying my Acer R11. I wanted to touch and feel before buying so I went to my nearby Best Buy store. They had 3 models on display and in stock. After looking over the 3, the Acer R11 was on sale and seemed to have the specs that I wanted. It only has 16GB of storage, but I thought that should be enough. The biggest plus for the unit was the price. It lists for $299, The website had it priced at $259 and it was on sale for $239. It has a touchscreen, which was on my required list. It also is a 2 in 1 as the screen folds all the way back to be a tablet. It has 2 USB ports, an HDMI port, an SD slot to add more storage, and a single audio input. This model also offers 100GB of free Google Drive storage for 2 years.

When I got it home, I plugged it in to charge it and it can also be used while charging. When I turned it on it asked me to select 3 items, language, keyboard, & network. Since it relies on the cloud, you need to connect to a wi-fi signal, so it gives you a list of those networks available. I chose my home wi-fi. It then asked me to accept the Google OS terms and when I did, it checked and installed some upgrades, which included the OS version which has the beta of Google Play. That beta gives me the ability to download & use Android Apps, which is new to Chromebooks.

There are only 3 Chromebook models that are ready to use Android Apps, but more on that in later blogs. I did not realize at the time that I also could still use the Google Web Store and install any of its apps as well.

Once the upgrade was completed, a matter of minutes, it asked for me to sign in. I was in a dilemma. I wasn’t sure if I should use my main Gmail account or create a new one for this Chromebook. I first logged on in an included Guest Account to look around. I then logged out and decided to use a new Gmail account, which I set up from the sign in screen. I was still unsure of which account to use, especially to get the free 100GB Google Drive space. I skipped signing up for the extra space and thought that I could do so later.

After looking around for a while, I decided to use use the new account and to log into the Google Drive from my main account when I needed it. I started to add Android Apps of programs that I use regularly on all my devices, such as Evernote, Feedly, TuneIn, Netflix, Alexa & Dropbox. It was then I tried to activate my free 100GB of storage, and it did not work. I called Acer who referred me to Google Tech Support. The tech said that I needed to go to settings and run “Powerwash” to take me back to a Factory Fresh state. “Oh, NO!” I had just installed a bunch of Apps. The tech reassured me that it was not a problem on the Chromebook. She walked me through it. And when it came up with the screen to fill in the Language, Keyboard, & Network, I knew I was screwed. I signed in and it asked if I wanted to activate the 100GB and where. I filled in my main account and it said it completed. I looked at my installed programs and ALL of them were there. I tested a few & they worked. The tech had me check and I now had 115GB of cloud storage. Since everything is stored in the cloud, everything was restored! I loved it. No backup is needed. The OS is its own backup.

I am continuing to use the Chromebook and for the most part, I am quite happy with it. Keep watching for more of my blogs about Chromebooks in general and my experiences in particular. There is also a new website coming for choosing and using Chromebooks, especially for senior citizens.