Review: Acer Chromebook 15 CB515-1HT-P39B | WIRED
October 21, 2017 - chromebook
Four years ago, we attempted to live my whole work life on a Chromebook, and it was a disaster. we couldn’t open Word documents, make Skype calls, summary colleagues, or lift off a horde of other daily tasks though jumping by hoops and pulling off miracles. This week, we frequency beheld that we hadn’t incited my MacBook Pro on in days while relying on a Chromebook. Times positively have changed.
Chromebooks are unambitious computers, and that’s what creates them genius. Using a laptop that’s usually a browser sounds strange, though saying how many of us spend a immeasurable infancy of a PC time in web browsers it’s totally doable. And in a final few years, Google has figured out how to make non-browser tasks lot some-more docile on Chrome.
I unequivocally wanted to suffer my time with Acer’s latest Chromebook 15 though a attribute became strained. Things were a tiny laggy during first, though we had a thing going for a while. Then, it unexpected close down on me, twice. We’ve had trust issues ever since.
A Very Big Book
For a lot of people, Acer’s Chromebook 15 will seem ludicrously large. To me, a Chromebook 15 feels like entrance home. After years on close 11- to 13-inch screens, a Chromebook’s far-reaching support and atmospheric 1,920 x 1,080-pixel 15.6-inch touch-sensitive arrangement reminds me of my hulk aged Sony VAIO laptop. It’s far-reaching adequate to place dual full-size browser windows side by side—a vast capability boon, and examination media is usually some-more fun. And while it’s not a best touchscreen I’ve ever used, it’s usually so pleasing to exit an app with my finger.
Acer has attempted to category adult a Chromebook 15 with aluminum on a palm rest and tip outdoor shell. Just don’t design MacBook-level elegance. The specs might contend it’s lonesome in aluminum, though many of a laptop is indeed plastic. The half-aluminum/half-plastic demeanour is kind of like wearing a tie with a t-shirt—it doesn’t dope anyone.
Acer Chromebook 15 (2017)
Biggest Chromebook nonetheless with a pointy 15.6-inch HD screen. Chrome OS has gotten a lot some-more useful in a final few years. The keyboard is comfy and there are copiousness of ports. Battery life can strech 10 hours. It has a touchscreen!
Half-aluminum physique doesn’t feel as good as you’d think. Pentium processor is underpowered. Android apps are fun, though still singular and buggy. The touchpad rattles and has a unbending click. It totally crashed twice though warning.
On a Chromebook 15, a keyboard keys arise adult from a chassis, like islands in a peaceful sea of aluminum. The keys have good transport to them, and bottom out with a good gratifying click. The white LED backlight isn’t blindingly bright, though provides adequate prominence to form during night though issue. Flanking a keyboard are large, comparatively clear-sounding stereo speakers.
This vast Chromebook is also vast on ports. It comes with a USB-C and USB 3 pier on any side, along with a MicroSD container and headphone jack.
All of that is excellent, though it brings me to what we hatred many about a design: a trackpad. This cheap-feeling touchpad has already grown a tiny clap after usually a week of use. we tend to use tap-to-click a lot, and we never got used to conference a touchpad ever-so-slightly shake around. This is a kind of fact that separates this affordable indication from classier competitors like a Samsung Chromebook Pro or HP Chromebook 13.
Android Apps are Fun though Frustrating
The Chromebook 15 runs on an Intel processor so diseased that Acer doesn’t publicize a indication series (it’s a Pentium N4200), packs medium storage (32GB), and usually adequate RAM (4GB). Yet notwithstanding a temperate spec sheet, it has one of Chrome OS’s fanciest new features: Google Play Android app support. That means we can implement phone and inscription apps on this laptop, in speculation adding a engorgement of prolific possibilities.
In reality, Google has work to do before these apps spin useful. we got vehement to implement a Slack discuss app, for example, though was unhappy when we satisfied it wasn’t resizable—some apps can usually be used in a tiny, phone-sized window or don’t arrangement scrupulously in full shade mode. Other apps didn’t have facilities you’d design in a standard desktop program—for instance, pasting a Microsoft Excel draft into Outlook valid impossible. Many of a apps lagged and crashed, though it’s still good to have them.
There’s a lot of guarantee in a Chromebook regulating Android apps, though a “beta” disclaimer on this underline is really critical to note. we can’t be totally sure, though I’m flattering assured that my endless Android app use was to censure for problems we had while regulating a Chromebook 15.
Not Ready for Prime Time?
On a low-power appurtenance like this Acer, duration freezes and hiccups aren’t uncommon, though on one day that we non-stop too many tabs, a Chromebook 15 sealed up. The shade froze completely, cut to black, and afterwards a appurtenance totally close off.
I attempted all to spin it behind on, though no luck. Five mins later, it magically sprung behind to life. Thinking it was a fluke, we resumed my normal slight like it hadn’t happened. A half hour later, off it went for 10 minutes, before it again came behind to life like zero had happened. we beheld black flickers for a rest of a day.
Acer told me to try expelling browser extensions and try guest mode. So we did, and stopped regulating Android apps and it hasn’t happened since. Did we usually get unlucky? we don’t know, though I’m attack a “save draft” symbol a lot some-more mostly now.
Crashes aside, this Chromebook offers a lot for your $400. You get a good 8-10 hours of battery life, a atmospheric 15.6-inch HD touchscreen, and a gentle keyboard. But there’s also a lot to be desired, as we found when encountering a rattling trackpad and undercooked Google Play support. With a tiny some-more energy underneath a hood and a program refurbish or two, it could spin some heads. But right now, like a half-aluminum case, a Chromebook 15 is some-more about appearances than performance.
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