Acer Chromebook 15 Review – Being Big Has It’s Advantages
Chromebooks are one of my favorite types of laptops available, but one slight downside is the sizes. In the past couple years we’ve never seen a Chromebook with a screen larger than 14″, in fact most stick beneath 13″, give or take. However Acer took the plunge earlier this year into big screen Chromebooks by announcing the Acer Chromebook 15. With a 15″ inch display, it’s certainly going to stand out among the competition, but why should you check it out?
Specs (as reviewed)
- Intel Celeron Processor
- 4GB of RAM
- 32GB SSD Storage
- 15.6″ 1920×1080 LCD Display
The looks of the Acer Chromebook 15 isn’t exactly anything to be impressed by. This machine has a pretty generic laptop design, but with a few little tricks up it’s sleeve. First off, it’s got a texture all over the top and bottom of the machine which feels nothing short of amazing. It provides plenty of grip when lifting the laptop and carrying it around. While the weight is a bit more than I would have preferred, it is well balanced throughout the machine so I can easily overlook it. The machine is also quite thick, but it’s not too much to where it isn’t portable.
As I said the design on this machine is pretty basic, but I really do enjoy it. The hardware itself is very well put together and it feels very sturdy. The plastic body doesn’t creak at all and feels just as solid as my fully-metal Chromebook Pixel.
On a side note, during my testing on this machine, I noticed that the white model does tend to gather light stains fairly easily. Luckily there is an easy solution. If you use a paper towel soaked lightly in bleach, you can dab the towel on the outer shell and then after waiting a few moments, lightly rub the area with a microfiber cloth. The results from doing this are great!
The display on the Acer Chromebook 15 is really it’s biggest selling point. With a size of 15.6″, this is the largest Chromebook on the market and I have to admit, I’m loving every moment of using this large display. Chrome OS works very well on such a large display as well. There’s plenty of room to use multiple windows at a time and watching videos is a pleasure. As for the actual quality of the display, it’s spectacular. The Full HD resolution looks great on this size and the quality of the picture is top notch. It’s not the best display I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly one of the best on a Chromebook. Viewing angles are also top notch which is useful considering the odds that you’ll be using this machine to watch a video with other people at some point or another.
Keyboard & Trackpad
My absolute favorite things about all Chrome OS devices are the keyabord, and the trackpad. I absolutely, love the layout found on Chromebooks and the Acer Chromebook 15 is no different. This keyboard is an absolute pleasure to type on even over long periods of time. There’s plenty of room to rest your hands beneath the keyboard as well which is nice if you’re typing with the machine on your lap. The keyboard keys all give just the right amount of travel as well and aren’t too loud like some of Acer’s other Chromebooks. The trackpad on the Acer Chromebook 15 is also great. It’s just the right size to where it doesn’t get in the, but still provides enough room to comfortably navigate the OS. It also has a satisfying click when used and is very responsive.
Battery life on this machine is, well, it’s decent. I get about two days of moderate use on a charge. This is mostly using the machine to type out an article or two at night. When being used straight through, the Acer Chromebook 15 can last about 7 hours in real world usage even though Acer claims about 9 hours. This would certainly be possible however since your own results may differ based on usage. I was very satisfied however with the battery life on the Chromebook 15.
One of the smartest decisions Acer made with this new Chromebook was to place the speakers on either side of the keyboard. This means that the user will not only experience stereo audio, but also clearer sound quality since the speakers are on the the stage.. The speakers aren’t the best out there, but they are fairly loud and very capable.
Software & Performance
As previously mentioned I am using the Celeron powered model of the Acer Chromebook 15 with 4GB of RAM. Performance on the latest stable version of Chrome OS has been great. I can easily keep a handful of tabs open to get some multitasking done. I could easily edit some pictures, write up articles, and run through social media, sometimes all at the same time. While I haven’t been able to check out any of the higher end models, I have little doubt that they provide an even better experience, especially for power users.
At the end of the day, the Acer Chromebook 15 is simply a great Chromebook. The display, keyboard, and performance are all great. Add in the build quality and speakers, and you’re looking at a great machine. However some users may be turned off to it’s size. This machine definitely throws portability out the window, but for use at a desk or around the house, there’s no better option in my opinion. Pricing and links to buy this Chromebook are included below.