Acer Chromebook 15 (2017) review: bigger doesn’t meant improved …
February 17, 2018 - chromebook
“What if Chromebooks were bigger?” That’s a doubt that a Acer Chromebook 15 line has attempted to answer, as a customarily 15-inch sized Chromebook on a market. That laptop was ultimately outclassed by some-more absolute or versatile Chromebooks, though Acer has revised a Chromebook 15 with a some-more reward aluminum pattern and improved battery life.
Unfortunately, while a updated Chromebook 15 is still a biggest Chromebook around, in this case, bigger doesn’t meant better.
There are high-end Chromebooks out there, with a latest Intel processors, memory, and high-resolution screens that can opposition a best Windows and Apple laptops on a market. The Chromebook 15 — with a $399 starting cost add-on — isn’t one of them. It’s got a 1.1GHz quad-core Intel Pentium processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of inner storage.
Acer indeed bumped a cost adult significantly with a 2017 refresh, as prior versions of a Chromebook 15 started during $299, definition that you’re already profitable a partially vast reward for a steel case, additional battery, and bumped adult processor.
One of a biggest changes to a new Chromebook 15 is a aluminum case, where a lid and palm rests are now done from metal, instead of cosmetic (the bottom of a laptop doesn’t get a same diagnosis and is a soft, rubber-coated cosmetic instead). The mechanism is weirdly weighted, too — fixation it down on a table and perplexing to open a lid customarily formula in lifting adult a whole laptop. And a miss of any arrange of cut-out nick on a bottom creates it infrequently formidable to get a hold on a lid to open it. On a other hand, a cosmetic components give it a lighter heft than you’d design during usually underneath 4 pounds, creation it easy to lift around.
As for a shade — a supposed star of this uncover here — it’s usually average. As promised, it’s a 15.6-inch display, finish with a further of a touchscreen. But fortitude is still stranded during 1080p, and stretching a now-paltry 1920 x 1080 pixels opposite such a partially vast shade creates content demeanour roughly becloud and severe around a edges. This is in partial due to a fact that I’ve gotten used to regulating higher-resolution screens on some-more costly and improved laptops, phones, and tablets, though that doesn’t make it any harder to go back. Adding to a low resolution, a shade itself is lifeless both in liughtness and color, though again: we get what we compensate for here.
Connectivity is a clever fit for a Chromebook 15, with dual USB-C ports (both of that can assign a laptop), dual USB 3.0 ports, and a MicroSD label slot, that puts dramatically some-more costly laptops like Apple’s MacBook Pro line or Microsoft’s Surface Laptop to shame.
The trackpad on a Chromebook 15 is also disappointing. Chrome OS offers few options for adjusting attraction or trackpad settings, and what’s there is usually not really good. Using a rodent usually feels ungainly and inaccurate, creation things as simple as highlighting content feel like a chore. The drivers for detecting multitouch for right click are quite bad — we don’t consider that, in a week-plus that we tested a Chromebook 15, we ever managed to get it to trigger on my initial try.
The keyboard fairs a bit better, doing a reasonable mock-up of Apple’s MacBook Pro keyboard, nonetheless a keys are a bit softer and squishier, that adds to a inexpensive feel of a laptop.
The biggest problem with a Chromebook 15 is a RAM, or miss thereof. The indication we tested has customarily 4GB of memory to go around, and with a omnivorous direct of Google Chrome (i.e., a customarily thing we can indeed run on a Chromebook), there usually simply isn’t adequate memory for multitasking properly. My common effort — pared down to roughly 4 Chrome windows, Tweetdeck, Slack, and some song in a credentials — was adequate to move a Chromebook 15 to a knees. According to a Chrome OS complement tool, I’m now regulating roughly 98 percent of accessible memory, that means that all usually runs kind of sluggish. Cut down tasks to, say, a singular add-on for examination Netflix or operative on an letter in Google Docs, and a knowledge improves, though a bar needs to be aloft here than what a Chromebook 15 now can do.
The Pentium N4200 processor also struggled a bit when there was too most going on from a multitasking perspective. For reduction dire tasks, a Chromebook 15 was fine, though regulating it still felt in many ways like perplexing to run with weights around my ankles, and when we had to hoop some-more time-sensitive projects — even ones that can be achieved wholly within Chrome — we finished adult switching behind to my unchanging MacBook Pro.
Some of my biggest problems with a Chromebook 15 are also usually fundamental to Chrome OS. The miss of hardware pattern collection is eventually on Google, as is a fact that a web browser-based OS usually simply doesn’t have any decent collection for simple picture modifying that work as good as even Microsoft Paint.
The Chromebook 15 also has a ability to run Android applications, that worked some-more or reduction as you’d expect. The underline is still glitchy — a Twitter app in sold tended to pile-up on me sincerely regularly, heading me to switch behind to a Tweetdeck add-on docked to a side of my arrangement instead, though things like Google Play Music and Facebook Messenger worked good in my tests. The bigger emanate was simply not carrying too many viable uses for installing them in a initial place — many of a apps I’d wish on a phone are accessible as some-more full featured websites, and a ones that aren’t, like gaming apps, are improved enjoyed on a some-more serviceable handheld smartphones they were designed for.
Acer estimates around 11 to 12 hours of battery life, and while we wasn’t means to endorse that (since we thankfully haven’t been operative 12-hour workdays), we was means to get during slightest between 6 and 7 hours of battery life out of it though recharging. I’m not certain that it’ll final a full betrothed 12 hours, though it should during slightest get we by a day though wanting to worry about battery life.
At a finish of a day, a Chromebook 15 isn’t a really good computer. But it’s during slightest an fine Chromebook, and due to a singular size, there will expected always be a place for it somewhere in a pantheon of Chromebooks, even if it’s eventually still rather underpowered.
At $399, a Chromebook 15 is already infringing on a cost operation of low-end Windows laptops, that container some-more absolute Intel Core processors, some-more memory, and some-more organic software.
But a customarily genuine reason to buy a Chromebook 15 over another Chromebook is a screen, and a additional space usually simply isn’t value a opening sacrifices a Chromebook 15 asks users to make.