Acer goes after the classroom with new durable Spin 511, Spin 512 Chromebooks

The Spin Chromebooks are just a part of Acer's latest efforts to go after the education market.

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Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
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Eli Blumenthal
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Acer Spin Chromebooks

Acer has new convertible, and durable, Chromebooks for the classroom. 


Acer's going after the Chromebook education market. On Tuesday the computer added two new classroom-focused Chromebooks to its lineup, what it calls the Chromebook Spin 511 and Chromebook Spin 512 laptops

The two devices, both of which feature 360-degree hinges to flip the screen around into a tablet mode, run on Google's Chrome OS platform and feature an antimicrobial Gorilla Glass display from Corning that the company says will resist "the growth of odor and stain causing microorganisms." 

With a shock-absorbent bumper, the two laptops are military-rated (MIL-STD 810H) for absorbing hits and tumbles. Acer says the design can withstand drops from up to four feet and up to 132 lbs of "downward force." Hopefully, this should fare well when dealing with the daily rigors of a rambunctious early childhood classroom. 

Spill-resistant keyboards are also present, with Acer touting a "gutter system that routes up to 330 ml (11 fluid ounces) of water away from internal components to be drained out the bottom" of the laptops. 

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As for specs, the two laptops are similar to other Chromebooks. The Spin 511 has a 16:9-formatted 11.6-inch HD IPS display while the Spin 512 features a 12-inch HD IPS display that is in a 3:2 format. Acer says the 3:2 aspect ratio should allow for "18 percent more vertical space compared to an equally wide display" and less scrolling for students. 

Intel's N4500 and N5100 processors power the laptops, with Acer touting up to 10 hours of battery life. Other specs include up to 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, two USB 3.2 Type-C ports, two USB 3.2 Type-A ports as well as support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. There is also an 8-megapixel camera for video chats. 

The Spin 511 will retail for $400 while the Spin 512 will run $430. Acer says that both Spins will ship in North America in April. 

In addition to the Intel-powered Chromebooks, the company also introduced two other durable 11-inch Chromebooks powered by Qualcomm and MediaTek. The first is the Chromebook 511, which uses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 7c platform and has built-in LTE, while the second is the Chromebook 311 which uses a MediaTek MT8183 processor. Like the new Spins, both are similarly military-rated with Acer claiming up to 20 hours of battery life on the machines. 

The Chromebook 311 will be available in North America this month for $300 while the Chromebook 511 will arrive in April for $400. 

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