Acer Chromebook R13 review: A Chromebook 2-in-1 with killer battery life

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The Good The Acer Chromebook R13 has a long-lasting battery and a variety of ports. Its 360-degree hinge allows it to be used as a tablet.

The Bad It's heavy. The Chrome OS is limited in what it can do. Its keyboard isn't backlit.

The Bottom Line The Acer Chromebook R13 is a capable Chromebook that won't break the bank, but if your needs are simple there are many other, more affordable laptops worth scoping out.

7.8 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 8
  • Battery 9

The Acer Chromebook R13 is a little expensive for a Chromebook, starting at $400 (converts to about £320, AU$525), but it's perfectly priced for all the features it offers.

It's a convertible laptop with a touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge that allows it to be used as a tablet. It also has commendably long-lasting battery life, a stylish aluminum lid and plenty of ports for connecting peripherals.

Depending on your needs, you might be able to find a more affordable alternative. However, for a 2-in-1 Chromebook with a killer battery life, the Acer Chromebook is a diamond in the rough. And if you want to spend more, Samsung's Chromebook Pro has a higher-res hybrid touch screen and an included stylus, and runs Google Play Android apps.

About that battery life

There's one big reason to buy the Acer Chromebook R13: battery life.

The 13-inch Chromebook averaged 13 hours in our battery testing, and that's well beyond what we're used to seeing from Chromebooks. A Chromebook with "good" battery life is around 8 to 10 hours, so the Acer's 13-hour average is pretty great -- if you need something that lasts that long.


Use it as a tablet. Or not, because it's heavy.

Josh Miller/CNET

For most people 8 to 10 hours is a full day's charge. If you need something with a little more juice than that, the Acer Chromebook R13 is the only Chromebook we've tested that outlasts the rest by a considerable amount.

Versatile design

The Acer Chromebook 13 has a smooth and stylish aluminum lid that gives it a touch of class. It's not as skinny and lightweight as the HP Chromebook 13, but by no means does it look like a cheap laptop.


Can your laptop do that?

Josh Miller/CNET

On the left of the laptop you'll find plenty of ports for your connection needs, and the headphone jack, power button and volume rocker are located on the right side.

  • Full-size USB 3.0 port
  • USB Type-C (no Thunderbolt 3 support)
  • HDMI port
  • MicroSD card slot

Its keyboard feels spacious and the touchpad is responsive, but the keys aren't backlit. I prefer the option of backlit keys, especially since I'm a writer who sometimes has to type in dim environments, but that's understandably less of a deal breaker for others.


The aluminum lid and 360-degree hinge give the Acer a touch of high-end class.

Josh Miller/CNET

The speakers, which are located on the left and right edges toward the front of the computer, are pretty weak. Their maximum volume can meekly fill a quiet room, so I suggest packing a pair of headphones.

Solid screen

The Acer Chromebook R13's screen is sharp with impressively wide viewing angles; you can clearly see what's on the screen no matter at what angle it's titled.