Price (RRP): $299
Budget computers should be just that — budget — and Acer’s Aspire One Cloudbook 11 certainly ticks that box, but is it worthwhile buying for other reasons too?
Acer’s latest take on the student computer craze, the Aspire One Cloudbook 11 is the latest from the brand that manages to carry a price tag well under the $400 or $500 people expect to pay for a small computer.
Even with this sub-$300 price, you’ll find an Intel processor (Celeron N3050) with 2GB RAM and 32GB storage, with room to move if you bring an SD card to the table.
Connections for the computer are fairly ordinary, with wireless handled via support for 802.11a/b/g/n networks, while Bluetooth is also here for wireless peripheral support. If you need to plug things in, you’ll find two USB ports — one of which is USB 2.0 while the other is USB 3.0 — as well as an HDMI port and a 3.5mm headset jack.
All of this sits under an 11.6 inch HD display providing a resolution of 1366×768, while a webcam sits above this providing a mere 640×360 for your video conferencing and occasional self-portraiture needs.
The battery is rated for up to seven hours of life and sits in a body that collectively weighs 1.12 kilograms.
First things first, let’s get that price up on the screen, because when a computer carries the price tag of $299, you can’t expect top shelf design.
And with the Acer Cloudbook 11, that’s more or less what you’re going to find: not top shelf design.
That being said, it’s not bad either, because even when you get it out of the box, the dimpled plastic top and bottom has a good feel to it, making it easy to grip, even if the shell can be a touch slippery.
There’s no denying that the Cloudbook is a low-end machine, and its design doesn’t try to push out different ideas, but at least Acer has made it comfortable to hold, and it’s in a dark grey, no less, so you don’t have to worry about arriving with a bright and cheerful computer design.
Instead you’ll find the Acer Aspire One Cloudbook 11 is inconspicuous, because sometimes that’s precisely what you want.
Performance is a little all over shop on the Cloudbook 11, because while Windows 10 and the combination of an Intel Celeron help to make the machine get the basics done, you do find some slowdowns here and there, and they’re pretty noticeable.
We had it while we were typing in Evernote, and we picked it up while we trying to get a scope on battery life in the power settings, with slowdowns that would bring the Acer Cloudbook 11 to a screaming halt, stopping our text from appearing on the screen or delaying it by a second or two.