Notebookcheck

Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2 Chromebook Review

Sascha Mölck (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 10/01/2014

Athletic. Athletic. Acer launches a 13.3-inch Chromebook dubbed CB5-311 on the market. A Tegra K1-ARM processor from Nvidia ticks inside. Our review reveals whether the laptop is compelling.

For the original German review, see here.

Chromebook users do not have to tediously grapple with the laptop's software. After it is opened, the user only has to log in with their Google account and is ready to go. The system updates automatically in the background, and additional software is simply downloaded via the Chrome Store. To date, most Chromebooks have featured an 11.6-inch size. However, various manufacturers now build larger models, such as Acer with its Chromebook 13. Our report will determine whether the concept of a 13.3-inch Chromebook is convincing.

Basically, all Chromebooks are rivals of the Chromebook 13. This is particularly true for Toshiba's Chromebook CB30-102 because it is also a 13.3-inch model.

Case & Connectivity

The technology of the Chromebook 13 is packed in a plastic casing with matte surfaces. The base unit can be dented under the touchpad and on both sides of the keyboard. Furthermore, the base unit is too easy to warp for our taste. This is even so for the lid. Not only does it twist easily, it yields clearly when pressure is applied from the back. On the other hand, the hinges are compelling as they keep the lid firmly in position.

There are no surprises in terms of connectivity. The Chromebook 13 utilizes the interfaces that we find in most Chromebooks. Good: Both USB ports operate in USB 3.0 standard.

The laptop features a white casing. (Picture: Acer)
The laptop features a white casing. (Picture: Acer)
It has a weight of approx. 1.5 kg. (Picture: Acer)
It has a weight of approx. 1.5 kg. (Picture: Acer)
On the left, we find a USB 3.0 port and the memory card reader. A second USB 3.0 port and the HDMI socket are on the rear. (Picture: Acer)
On the left, we find a USB 3.0 port and the memory card reader. A second USB 3.0 port and the HDMI socket are on the rear. (Picture: Acer)
Right: combo audio, power socket (Picture: Acer)
Right: combo audio, power socket (Picture: Acer)

Input Devices

Acer Chromebook 13 - input devices (picture: Acer)
Acer Chromebook 13 - input devices (picture: Acer)

The Chromebook 13 is equipped with an unlit chiclet keyboard. The black, flat, and smooth keys have a medium drop and clear pressure point. The keys' resistance could be a bit crisper. Overall, the keyboard is suitable even for longer typing sessions. An approximately 10.4 x 5.9 cm (4.1 x 2.32 inches) ClickPad (touchpad without dedicated keys) with multi-touch support, serves as the mouse replacement. Its large area facilitates gesture control, and its sleek surface allows the fingers to glide easily. The pad features a short drop and clear pressure point.

Display

The Chromebook 13 is equipped with a 13.3-inch screen. The brightness (242.2 cd/m²), contrast (458:1) and black level (0.55 cd/m²) are entirely acceptable in view of the laptop's price range. The screen in Toshiba's Chromebook is on par here. However, a glossy screen is used in Toshiba's laptop. Acer's Chromebook is also available with a matte, Full HD screen.

242
cd/m²
235
cd/m²
239
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
252
cd/m²
234
cd/m²
249
cd/m²
251
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 252 cd/m² Average: 242.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 252 cd/m²
Contrast: 458:1 (Black: 0.55 cd/m²)
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
-17%
1%
61%
30%
Brightness
242
213
-12%
249
3%
278
15%
243
0%
Brightness Distribution
91
87
-4%
92
1%
88
-3%
90
-1%
Black Level *
0.55
0.668
-21%
0.56
-2%
0.23
58%
0.31
44%
Contrast
458
322
-30%
457
0%
1260
175%
806
76%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9.48
5.46
9.3
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
9.31
11.28
5.73
10.18
Gamma
2.26 106%
2.67 90%
2.4 100%
2.37 101%
CCT
10638 61%
14066 46%
7269 89%
12578 52%

* ... smaller is better

Acer installs a basic TN screen in the Chromebook 13. Consequently, the screen only has limited viewing angles. It is possible to use the Chromebook outdoors owing to the combination of a matte surface and adequate brightness.

Performance

The Chromebook offers enough power for applications in the fields of office and Internet. Our review sample is available for about 299 Euros (~$377); other configurations are also available. Acer's Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T6R7 with a Full HD screen and 4 GB of working memory costs roughly 350 Euros (~$442).

Processor

The Chromebook 13 is powered by Nvidia's Tegra K1 processor. The processor is comprised of five Cortex A15 cores. One of the cores (companion core) is not visible to the operating system, and is used for basic tasks to keep the laptop's power consumption low. A look at the multiple benchmarks we have performed shows that the performance of the Tegra K1 is roughly on par with Intel's Bay Trail Celeron N2930 and N2830. The Haswell Celeron in Toshiba's laptop is clearly superior.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash (Chrome 37.0.2062.119)
1255 Points ∼20%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1005 Points ∼16% -20%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1292 Points ∼21% +3%
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2765 Points ∼45% +120%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
634.6 ms * ∼16%
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
455.3 ms * ∼11% +28%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
632.2 ms * ∼16% -0%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
736.8 ms * ∼18% -16%

* ... smaller is better

Browsermark - 2.1 (sort by value)
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
2119 points ∼7%
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash (ChromeOS 35.0)
1988 points ∼6% -6%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
6843 Points ∼15%
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4943 Points ∼11% -28%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
7334 Points ∼16% +7%
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
8758 Points ∼19% +28%

System Performance

The system runs smoothly, and we did not experience any problems. ChromeOS booted within a few seconds, and applications opened quickly.

Storage Devices

An eMMC storage with a capacity of 32 GB is installed in the Chromebook 13. The user has approximately 22 GB available. Additionally, Chromebook 13 customers receive 100 GB of Cloud storage (Google Drive) free of charge for two years.

Graphics Card & Games

The graphics card in the Chromebook is based on Nvidia's Kepler architecture, which is also used in the GeForce GT 740M graphics core. Thus, the core supports features like DirectX 11, CUDA and OpenGL. The Android GPU benchmarks are not available under Chrome, and therefore we cannot provide any scores. However, quite a few Tegra K1 based Android devices can be found in our database. The benchmark results of these devices reveal that the performance of Nvidia's GPU is roughly on par with Intel's HD Graphics 4400 graphics core.

We tested WebGL Water demo and can confirm that the Chromebook 13 renders this demo very smoothly. Chromebooks with an HD Graphics (Bay Trail) GPU, such as Asus' C200MA-KX003 have difficulties with this demo. Also, the game Save the Day did not present us with problems and ran lag-free on the laptop. Asus' C200MA cannot keep up with Acer's Chromebook in this game either.

Emissions

System Noise

The Chromebook does not have a fan, and consequently does not produce any noise.

Temperature

The Chromebook never gets excessively warm. We put the device under full load by simultaneously running both Google's V8 benchmark and a Full HD video in a loop. Here, we recorded a maximum temperature of 35 degrees Celsius (~95 °F) on one spot on the casing.

Max. Load
 30.2 °C31.5 °C26.4 °C 
 26.3 °C29.4 °C25.3 °C 
 25.3 °C24.6 °C26 °C 
Maximum: 31.5 °C
Average: 27.2 °C
25.4 °C35 °C34.7 °C
24.6 °C25.9 °C26 °C
25.1 °C24.8 °C24.7 °C
Maximum: 35 °C
Average: 27.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  30 °C | Room Temperature 22.7 °C | Voltcraft IR-360
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Heat
-9%
-7%
-18%
-5%
Maximum Upper Side *
31.5
37.4
-19%
32.9
-4%
36.2
-15%
36.1
-15%
Maximum Bottom *
35
40
-14%
32.5
7%
37
-6%
34.3
2%
Idle Upper Side *
26
26.6
-2%
31.1
-20%
33.4
-28%
28.1
-8%
Idle Bottom *
27
27.6
-2%
30.2
-12%
33.4
-24%
26.2
3%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The stereo speakers in the Chromebook 13 are located on the device's underside. They produce a thin sound that tends to be tinny. There is no bass whatsoever. Headphones or external speakers are needed for a better sound experience.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

While idling, power consumption of the Chromebook 13 ranges below 5 Watts - which is a very good rate. We could boost the power consumption of Acer's laptop up to 9.5 Watts by running a Full HD video alongside the benchmarks Peacekeeper and Browsermark 2014. This computing load will be very unlikely in practice, and the power consumption should therefore remain well below 10 Watts in everyday use. Toshiba's Chromebook cannot compete with Acer's model here, and consumes approximately twice as much power over the entire load range.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1 / 2.9 / 3.9 Watt
Load midlight 6.4 / 7.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Power Consumption
-202%
-54%
Idle Minimum *
1
5.6
-460%
2.2
-120%
Idle Average *
2.9
8.6
-197%
3.6
-24%
Idle Maximum *
3.9
8.8
-126%
Load Average *
6.4
12.3
-92%
Load Maximum *
7.6
18
-137%
9
-18%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Web sites are opened automatically every 40 seconds in the practical Wi-Fi test. The screen's brightness is set to about 150 cd/m². The Chromebook achieved a runtime of 10:04 h, which is a considerably better rate than that of Toshiba's Chromebook (7:07 h).

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
10h 04min
Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2
GeForce ULP K1 (Tegra K1 Kepler GPU), K1, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Chromebook XE303C12-A01US
Mali-T604 MP4, 5250 Dual, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102
HD Graphics (Haswell), 2955U, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Asus C200MA-KX003
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2830, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
WiFi
604
240
-60%
427
-29%
389
-36%
612
1%

Verdict

Acer's Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2 makes an overall good impression. The CPU's performance is more than sufficient for the expected applications of a Chromebook, and ranges on the level of Intel's Bay Trail Celerons. The graphics core has a considerably higher performance, and can compete with Intel's HD Graphics 4400 graphics core. The computer operates silently, and barely heats up. Furthermore, the Chromebook offers  good battery runtimes. It will last a day at the university or school with one battery charge. Not to forget the very decent keyboard.

static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment this article:
In Review: Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de.
In Review: Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2. Test model courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de.

Specifications

Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2 (Chromebook 13 Series)
Processor
Nvidia Tegra K1 2.3 GHz
Memory
2048 MB 
, DDR3L
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, TN LED, glossy: no
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: combo audio jack, Card Reader: SD
Networking
Wireless LAN 802.11 a/g/n/ac (a/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.95 x 327 x 227.5 ( = 0.71 x 12.87 x 8.96 in)
Operating System
Google Chrome OS
Camera
Webcam: HD webcam
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.5 kg ( = 52.91 oz / 3.31 pounds), Power Supply: 273 g ( = 9.63 oz / 0.6 pounds)
Price
300 Euro

 

Similar Laptops

Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D Convertible Review
HD Graphics 615, Core i5 7Y54, 14", 1.271 kg
Acer TravelMate X3 X349-M-7261 Notebook Review
HD Graphics 520, Core i7 6500U, 14", 1.53 kg
Acer Aspire V3-372-57CW Subnotebook Review
Iris Graphics 550, Core i5 6267U, 13.3", 1.55 kg
Acer Aspire S 13 S5-371 Notebook Review
HD Graphics 520, Core i7 6500U, 13.3", 1.27 kg
Acer TravelMate P238-M-5575 Subnotebook Review
HD Graphics 520, Core i5 6200U, 13.3", 1.5 kg
Acer Aspire V3-372 Subnotebook Review
HD Graphics 520, Core i5 6200U, 13.3", 1.55 kg
Acer Aspire ES1-331-C5KL Notebook Review
HD Graphics (Braswell), Celeron N3150, 13.3", 1.6 kg

Links

  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pro

+Silent operation
+Barely heats up
+Very good battery runtimes
+Matte screen
 

Cons

-Viewing angle dependent screen

Shortcut

What we like

The silent operation.

What we'd like to see

Nothing actually. However, a 3G/LTE modem would generally make Chromebooks less dependent on Wi-Fi.

What surprises us

No surprises here. Acer offers an all-around deal for a price of 300 Euros.

The competition

Toshiba Chromebook CB30-102, Samsung XE303C12-A01US, Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e, Asus C200MA-KX003, Acer C720-2800

Rating

Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2 - 09/28/2014 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
72 /  98 → 73%
Keyboard
72%
Pointing Device
75%
Connectivity
49 / 80 → 61%
Weight
69 / 78 → 79%
Battery
92%
Display
80%
Games Performance
0 / 68 → 
Application Performance
53 / 87 → 61%
Temperature
94 / 91 → 100%
Noise
100%
Audio
30 / 91 → 33%
Camera
40 / 85 → 47%
Average
69%
78%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Acer Chromebook 13 CB5-311-T0B2 Chromebook Review
Sascha Mölck, 2014-10- 1 (Update: 2016-02-18)