Cheap and convertible Chromebooks debut at IFA: Lenovo’s 100S, Acer’s R 11

Lenovo’s Chromebook 100S costs just $179. The R 11’s 360-degree hinge makes it Acer's most versatile model yet.

acer chromebook r11 white

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Two new Chromebooks crashed the Windows PC party at IFA in Berlin. Lenovo’s Chromebook 100S is the company’s first sub-$200 model at $179. Acer’s Chromebook R 11 is the company’s first convertible, with a 360-degree hinge. Both will be available in October.

Acer already offers 11-inch and 15-inch models for both consumer and education users. The R 11's new trick is its 360-degree hinge, which lets the device flip from clamshell to tablet. Users can also position the R 11 in easel, flat, or other interim positions.

The Chromebook R 11 costs $299. It comes in a CB5-132T version for consumers—and in just one color, white. The C738T version for business and education also comes in just one color, black.

acer chromebook r11 white 360 Acer

The R 11 is Acer’s first convertible Chromebook, with a 360-degree hinge and an 11.6-inch touch display. 

The models otherwise appear identical, with typical specs for this size of Chromebook. The 11.6-inch touch display has a resolution of 1366-by-768 pixels. Acer offers either Intel Celeron N3050 or N3150 processors with up to 4GB of RAM, and either 16GB or 32GB of eMMC storage. The unit weighs a comfortable 2.76 pounds. Acer told us battery life specs were not available yet.

Lenovo has made higher-priced Chromebooks like the older N20p, and durable models for education, but the Chromebook 100S is the company’s first low-end model. The Chromebook sweet spot remains around the $200 range, so the 100S will fit right in.

lenovo ideapad  100s 1 Lenovo

With the Chromebook 100S, Lenovo finally enters the sub-$200 end of the market.

Don’t expect much from these specs: The battery lasts 8 hours, which is good. It runs on an Intel Celeron N2840 processor (those are still around?), up to 4GB of RAM, and up to 32GB of eMMC storage. The 11.6-inch, 1366-by-768 display is not a touchscreen. But hey, it’s cheap!

Why this matters: Despite the scoffing of many a power user, Chromebooks are killing it in schools, homes, and even business, filling a need for simple computers that are easy to share. Two Chromebooks don’t make a trend, but the Chromebook 100S gives Lenovo a place in the low end of the Chromebook market, and Acer’s R 11 adds yet more diversity—though at a higher price point.

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