The Acer Aspire R11 is an 11.6 inch notebook with a touchscreen display and a 360 degree hinge that lets you use the computer like a tablet. It’s a relatively low-cost device, with prices starting at about $330 in the US.

For that price, you get a computer with an Intel Braswell processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. Want to make some changes? It’s pretty easy to perform upgrades.

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Acer loaned me a demo unit to review, and one of the things I wanted to find out was how easy it would be to open up the case and perform upgrades. While my demo unit arrived with 4GB of RAM, the chipset can support up to 8GB.

So I flipped the computer over onto its back, pulled out a screwdriver, and set to work removing the 12 screws holding the bottom cover in place.

Each of those screws is in a pretty deep well, so you’ll need a magnetic screwdriver, a pair of tweezers, or some other sort of prying tool to get the screws out. You could also just flip the laptop over when the screws are loose, but you run the risk of losing some that way.

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Once the screws are out, feel around the sides of the case and try to pry the plastic cover from the bottom of the laptop. I found the easiest place to start is near the Ethernet, HDMI, and USB ports. Once the first part snaps off, you should be able to sort of feel your way around the rest of the case to get the rest open. You need to apply a little pressure, but don’t push too hard if it feels like the plastic is going to snap.

Got the cover off? OK. So where’s the RAM?

It’s easy to spot the 2.5 inch hard drive on the right side of the photo above, even though it’s covered by a little sheet and a cable. The RAM? It’s hidden underneath that RAM-sized metal box.

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You can lift up this protective shield with your fingers to reveal the SODIMM slot. Pop out the 4GB of memory that came with the laptop and you can slide in an 8GB stick.

When you’re done, make sure to align the metal cover with the little catches that hold it in place.

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Replacing the hard drive is probably a little trickier, since you’ll need to remove the cable that covers it. Since I plan to return this demo unit when I’m done testing it, I didn’t bother risking damage to the cables to do that. But it’s nice to know that the hard drive is easy to reach, which means you should theoretically be able to swap out the HDD for a faster SSD or a higher-capacity hard drive.

And that’s it. Put the plastic cover back on the bottom, tighten the screws, and you should be able to turn the PC back on and bask in the glow of extra memory.

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Does the system need more RAM? That’s up to you to decide. In my testing, the computer offers competent performance as a low-cost laptop, but I’m not entirely convinced by its tablet features. Stay tuned for more details in Liliputing’s full review, coming… soon.

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9 replies on “How to upgrade RAM on the Acer Aspire 11 convertible notebook”

  1. Could you tell me how to replace the keyboard in Aspire R11? please

  2. I’ve had an Aspire R11 for 18 months.

    I’ve generally bought computers with a good amount of RAM as a preference over higher graphics or processor performance, because I’ve found RAM to be more important than anything else for overall system performance, at least for how I use a computer. However, I bought my Aspire because it was a particularly good deal, even though it ‘only’ came with 4GB of RAM, which still seems like a lot of RAM to me.

    The computer has always suffered from HDD thrashing, but research indicated that this shouldn’t be caused by the amount of RAM. Part of my research was a discussion with a technician in a computer shop when I went in to get more RAM. He pointed out that, as Window was reporting only 70-80% memory utilisation, I wasn’t running out of memory; therefore insufficient RAM should not be the causer of my problems, so I didn’t buy any RAM and continued to put up with the disk thrashing.

    Recently my daughter upgraded her laptop and discarded her old one. It had 8GB of RAM, so I took the opportunity to transfer the RAM to my Aspire R11 to see if it would make any difference. Since doing this the HDD thrashing has almost disappeared. I can now easily open 20 tabs on Google Chrome with no slow-down. My RAM utilisation now commonly shows 60% (of the 8GB), so the computer is now using a lot more RAM than when it had the original 4GB, which indicates that it was being constrained by insufficient RAM.

    As a side effect I’m now seeing a lot more time with the processor at 100%, which previously was a rare occurrence. Evidently the RAM is no longer overflowing onto the hard drive, causing the hard drive to become a bottle neck that slows everything down.

    I’m not a heavy user – usually just browsing, word processing, and some photo editing in Photoshop, certainly no gaming; but 4GB was definitely a limitation with that level of use.

    So, you ask “Does the system need more RAM?” I say it definitely does! And, as this is a low-end computer, no computer should have less than 8GB!

    1. I also have an acer aspire r 11 with 4 gb 1rx8 ram. I would like to get would an 8gb stick, Would 2rx8 be compatible or does it have to be 1rx8?

      1. Acer aspire R11 (R13-131T) has only 1 ram slot, so you can only use 1 8G RAM stick at most. (8GB is the maximum supported memory) go for any SODIMM 1600MHz memory it will work just fine.
        More main memory prevents rather delay paging to happen, it gets delayed till you open numerous apps or big apps which will eat up almost 75 to 80 % of total memory. So more RAM is always welcome.
        second thing to enhance performance is to upgrade to a SATA 3 SSD (NAND), get any 2.5 inch internal laptop SSD it will be compatible and will enhance the performance and battery life further.

  3. Snapping open the case, that’s a call for Guitar Picks! to pry the little parts carefully.

  4. Wait, Brad, if it’s a loaner, well does it not have a warranty sticker somewhere in there along your path to upgrade?

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