Hands-on: Acer's new Chromebook has a Yoga-like 360-degree hinge
Acer's latest Chromebook R11 offers something a little different for a machine running Google's cloud-centric OS. With a 360-degree hinge, you can flip the device's display all the way around to the back of the keyboard, just like numerous Windows convertibles, including the Lenovo Yoga range.
If you've been paying attention to the consumer tech space in the last couple of years then you'll know that convertibles (also known as hybrids or 2-in-1s) are a big deal. Those have traditionally been Windows-running machines, but now Acer thinks it's now time for Google's Chrome OS platform to join the fun.
Upon first glance, the Chromebook R11 looks just about the same as any number of other Chromebooks out there. The build doesn't feel particularly premium, the keyboard is comfortable but uninspiring, and the 1,366 x 768 display is fine for the price point, but doesn't excite.
However, if you pick up Acer's new machine and attempt to snap is in half, you'll find that the screen actually flips all the way around, letting you use it as a tablet (albeit one with a keyboard on its back).
Of course, Chrome OS isn't exactly built for touch input (just think of using the Chrome browser with your finger and you'll know what we're dealing with here), but it could make for a nice bit of extra functionality. And like other hinged convertibles, you can also use the R11 in tent mode for viewing media.
The Chromebook R11 is powered by an Intel Celeron chip, with up to 4 GB RAM and 16 or 32 GB of local storage. It's 19.2 mm (0.75 in) thick, tips the scales at 1.25 kg (2.8 lbs) and features 2x2 MIMO 802.11ac wireless.
The machine will start shipping to the US in November for US$300.