Alongside their new Chromebooks, Acer has also revealed a new set of inexpensive Windows laptops aimed at students. Powered by Intel’s Gemini Lake SoCs, Acer’s TravelMate B3 will be available in clamshell and convertible form-factors to satisfy different needs.

Acer’s TravelMate B3 machines use a rugged chassis made of plastic that is said to be impact resistant and therefore tough enough for educational environments. The mobile PCs are equipped with a 11.6-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio IPS display, with Acer offering either a 1366x768 or 1920x1080 resolution panel depending on SKU. Meanwhile, with a 20.95 mm z-height and at up to 1.49 kilograms weight the computers are clearly designed for longevity and durability over portability.

As noted above, the TravelMate B3 machines will be available in two form factors. The clamshell model will be sold as the TravelMate B3, while the convertible will be sold under Acer's Spin sub-brand as the TravelMate B3 Spin. Both portables are based on Intel’s low-power quad-core Gemini Lake Refresh SoC, and are accompanied by 4 GB or 8 GB of DDR4 memory as well as 64 GB, 128 GB, or 256 GB NAND flash storage.

As far as I/O features are concerned, the new Acer TravelMate B3 PCs feature Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5, GbE, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A and Type-C, HDMI, microSD, a 3.5-mm combo audio jack, a webcam, a microphone array, and speakers.

According to the manufacturer, the TravelMate B3s can work for up to 12 hours on one charge (based on MobileMark 2014 testing), which should be enough for one day in classes.

Acer’s TravelMate B3 & TravelMate Spin B3
  TravelMate B3
TravelMate Spin B3
HD (B311R-31)
TravelMate Spin B3
Full-HD (B311RN-31)
Display Diagonal 11.6" IPS 11.6" IPS with touch
Resolution 1366×768 1920×1080
Brightness ? cd/m² ? cd/m² ? cd/m²
CPU Intel Celeron dual-core N4020
Intel Celeron quad-core N4120
Intel Pentium Silver quad-core N5030
Graphics Intel UHD 600/605 Graphics
RAM 4 GB or 8 GB DDR4
Storage 64 GB eMMC
128 GB eMMC
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 5
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
WWAN - - -
GbE + + +
USB 2 × USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C
1 × USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
Camera 720p webcam
Other I/O microSD, TRRS connector for audio, speakers, microphones
Battery 48 Wh
Dimensions Thickness 20.95 mm | 0.82 inches
Width 295 mm | 11.61 inches
Depth 215 mm | 8.46 inches 212 mm | 8.35 inches
Weight 1.4 kilograms | 3.08 pounds 1.49 kilograms| 3.28 pounds
Battery Life 12 hours
Price (starting at) $239 $329

Acer’s TravelMate B3 and TravelMate Spin B3 will be available this April starting at $239 and $329, respectively.

Related Reading:

Source: Acer

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  • HStewart - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    What would be interesting is to see a laptop based on Tremont processor.

    For this low end type of computer it might be useful - especially just for internet and word processing.
  • thejaredhuang - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    1080p, IPS, 8GB <$350. I call that progress.
  • PixyMisa - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    And the recent Atoms are finally not complete garbage.
  • Great_Scott - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    From what little performance information I can find, the newest Atoms very roughly equivalent to Bulldozer-based CPUs (in general performance, not clock-for-clock).

    Not bad for a office machine or general Internet browsing.
  • HStewart - Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - link

    it depends on one's needs - an older adult does not need high resolution tree - or in fact younger with bad eyes. Also for word processing and internet browser you don't need that much horse power or memory. Not everyone in the world is gamer's . But it probably can run old games fine.
  • geokon - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    Note that the USB-C port can be used for charging
  • damianrobertjones - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    I really, really thought that 1366x768 had finally vanished. 1080p at 200dpi would be far better. Maybe 2021 will be the year for progress?!
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    We are talking about a very low end SoC with a pretty unimpressive iGPU and a relatively tiny 11.6 inch screen aimed at hitting the lowest possible price point which it does at $239. AND it has a wired ethernet port. If Acer sells their low res version with a DIMM slot (or just starts with 8GB) and has NVMe rather than sticking us with soldered down eMMC, I'd be game for one since I don't really need to resolution for plinking around on the Internet.
  • extide - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    Have you used a 1366x768 screen lately? Most current apps or web pages simply are designed for higher resolutions and just don't work correctly at such a low res. 1366x768 needs to die a horrible death.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, January 23, 2020 - link

    Yes, both of my home laptops and my only external display are all 1366x768. That'd be an Acer Aspire ES1-111M-C7DE, an HP 635 (ancient Athlon P360 version), and a Walmart special TV screen that occasionally acts as a second display when I feel motivated enough to actually work at a desk rather than the kitchen table or from a couch. I don't have any problems with web pages and I use the HP 635 for quite a bit of heavy lifting (native OS is Linux Mint, but I push a few VMs through Virtual Box, supports my addiction to drawing , and it does video creation via kdenlive). Of those chores, kdenlive is really the only thing that could use a bit more screen real estate, but it's workabl enough.

    Don't get me wrong, I agree that 1366x768 is something that really should die someday soon. You're right about it being sub-optimal and it has been less than great for a few years. However, my hobbies, side gigs, and fun all happen at that resolution right now and it doesn't really bother me much. My office laptop is some random HP 14 incher and it has a 1080 res screen. I just end up scaling it to the point where I have about the same amount of useable screen space as my home hardware so there isn't as much advantage until you start picking up larger desktop monitors which I just don't use at home..

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