A Chromebook with a modest performance for all and a study companion

Chromebook is on of the category that most people rarely talk about but its been getting popular lately as an alternative over Windows and Mac based laptops, and slowly improved becoming a better tool when it comes to work and study over our daily lives. Today we will look at the ASUS Chromebook CR1100, a budget minded Chromebook that is meant for productivity, tailored for education and light workload with a combination of Android apps together. 

Design

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The ASUS Chromebook CR1100 is similar to the BR1100 education laptop in terms of design, and is all about simplicity and durability, with the added element of practicality needed in a package. The chiclet keyboard is comfortable enough for your everyday typing for all your authoring and documents with a good amount of key travel to it. The keyboard has no backlight, but I would expect kids and adults should be working with the laptop in a bright room environment. Since this is a touchscreen laptop, you can use it in 4 modes, Tent, Laptop, Tablet and Stand mode. There is also an active stylus included for writing, drawing and some scribbling with Google Keep or Photoshop for Android.

One of the outstanding features of the CR1100 is that this laptop is built to surpass the US military-grade MIL-STD-810H durability standards that can withstand occasional drops up to 120CM. Moving the display panel from normal laptop mode to tablet mode is sturdy and stable, with no noise or creaks over the hinge when switching over different use modes. Over to the trackpad, this is a fairly spaced trackpad that features full ChromeOS trackpad gestures with most of the Android apps compatible with it via Google Play Store.

There are two webcams on this laptop, one located slightly above the keyboard and another one located above the screen. Both webcam are configured at 720P on video mode with a 13MP capture resolution. Overall experience with the webcam is pretty good and well more than enough for conference and virtual learning classes usage, which is perfect for all round everyday use. While it lacks of the privacy shutter on the webcam, it should be an issue since most Chromebook is mostly focused and meant for learning use and not really on the privacy topic here.

Ports and Charging

The ASUS Chromebook CR1100 comes with a standard supplied USB C charger that supplies charging from 10% to 100 % around 2hours and 35minutes on average. Over on the left side of the laptop you will spot 1 USB C slot for charging and data, 1 USB A port, MicroSD card slot, Combo Headphone/Microphone jack, A power button and a pair of Volume buttons. Over on the right side, there is a 1 USB C port, and another USB A ports.

Thermals and Heat

The ASUS Chromebook CR1100FK does an excellent job in the thermal department, hovering around 36 degree celsius in a normal temperature room while working on documents with very minimal noise over the fan heatsink giving it a pleasure working with the laptop. There will be no testing on heavy load of files, but Chromebooks can edit documents and images, as long you have the right applications installed with no loud noises.

Display

Over in the display department, the ASUS BR1100 features an LCD 768P 11.6 inch display with blue light filtering. Furthermore, looking at the display is not glaring and comfortable, perfect for those who are using it for long hours for minor work editing and multimedia use. Viewing angle wise, as long you are working in front of it, it’s perfectly OK. If you wish for a color accurate display, this laptop may not be for you, but in terms of just quick editing, this laptop is perfect.

Specifications and Features

The ASUS BR1100 features the Intel Celeron N4500 dual core processor Jasper Lake Platform with Intel UHD graphics, 8GB of system RAM and 64GB of EMMC storage. Besides that you will have additional storage expansion from the microSD card slot and also by signing in to Google Drive, you will have at least 15GB of free cloud storage, and can be further expanded if you have subscribe to Google One which you can add another 100GB for RM85 a year. On top of that if you are feeling adventurous, you can install Linux environment, enabling Debian Linux app installation as well, which includes Steam.

Another good feature on this Chromebook that it is easy to service, just a few screws removed and a proper IT admin or even an average joe can replace the components and parts easily as ASUS assemble the parts together in a modular fashion.

Performance

This is definitely not a gaming or pure entertainment laptop, it is still able to play light games as long the settings are set on low, you still be able to play games like Minecraft or Asphalt 9 at a very acceptable frame rate without issues.

Over general performance, from Google Sheets to web browsing, it works pretty well and is satisfying. Over to streaming, you can stream up to 1080P 60FPS without issues encountered.

Technical Specifications

ProcessorIntel Celeron N4500 Processor
Graphic CardIntel UHD Graphics
System Memory8GB DDR4 (On Board Soldered)
Display11.6 Inch 1366 x 768 Multi-touch screen with stylus support
Primary Drive64GB EMMC storage with MicroSD slot expansion up to 1TB
Ports2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C support display / power delivery
1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack
Micro SD card reader
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6(802.11ax)+BT5.2 (Dual band) with 4G
Battery and Charger42Wh Battery with 45w AC adaptor
Operating SystemChromebook OS ver 9x with updates from Google and Linux Environment support
Weight and dimensions294.6 x 204.9 x 19.95 mm @ 1.31KG

Verdict & Thoughts

With its retail price of RM1499, we can recommend this laptop for those who want something that is easy to carry, work, study and some casual gaming. Besides that the design of the laptop is simple yet practical for starters and able to withstand drops, as all productivity laptop looks should be with its comfortable keyboard and touchpad that also comes together with a great 11.6 inch display with touchscreen and an active stylus which is also much suitable on most selected Android Applications.

Special thanks to ASUS for loaning us the product to review

For more information on the ASUS CR1100, click here

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