Acer R11 Chromebook Over Surface Pro 3 When On The Go
I have a Surface Pro 3, and I work on SQL Server and DotNetNuke. You’d think it would be by my side 24/7, especially when I’m on the road.
But to be honest, between the battery life and difficulty working from the lap – I keep my Acer R11 Chromebook by my side.
From a form factor standpoint, the R11 has a touch screen and can work in tablet mode – but the reversible hinge and solid keyboard is a move up from the type cover (3). Even if I was going to be sitting at a table all day long, the R11 runs circles around the SP3. The SP3 hits about 3 hours, the R11 hits 9 hours at a minimum.
I’ve given the R11 two road tests in the last 2 months. The first time, I was attending a board retreat onsite at a future conference site. I knew I would be taking notes, keeping up on emails, and likely sitting in session for a full business day. Lo and behold, there weren’t enough power outlets around the table. At the end of the day, I was still at 20% battery. The 2nd day of the retreat, I ended up projecting an extended desktop with the agenda posted. How traditional of a task, and the Chromebook handled it well.
The second time, I attended a conference where I had a day of hands on C# development training, a presentation to give, several sessions to take notes on, and of course keeping up on emails. With the Android app store available on the R11, I have access to Microsoft RDP. In the base ChromeOS, I have access to Teamviewer and Chrome Remote Desktop. Between all 3 of those options, I can easily access any extra development requirements when they arise. More often than not, you’re connecting to a specific VM/remote server for development purposes. I presented from a PDF version of my slides, in full screen view, for my presentation. No issues, again traditional and boring.
When in transit, the chromebooks touch screen display is protected by the outer plastic shell. In contrast, the Surface Pro 3 has a trendy edge-to-edge glass display that looks sweet and cracks when a corner is tweaked. On a plane, the R11 is too easy to slide out of my bag and onto my lap or a tray table. Trying to set up the Surface Pro 3 hinge and type cover is like building a tower of playing cards at 30,000ft. The Android play store support means that Safari book reader and Amazon music are both available and will download books/music to play offline.