Selasa, 24 Maret 2015

Acer Chromebook 15 Review: A Big, Small Laptop

Laptop Review - Acer Chromebook 15 Review: A Big, Small Laptop, I know the baffling statistics: a huge part of the population think it’s necessary to have a 15 or 17-inch laptop. I’ve never been one of those people, but I certainly recognize why someone might want one. But Chromebooks always seemed to have a different value proposition—small, cheap, fast, and relatively sleek machines, made for a particular niche market looking for a computer under $400.

The new Acer Chromebook 15 isn’t a complete change-up of that proposition—it just changes the size variable. The 15-inch laptop is, as a PR person emphasized, meant to feel big. But is it truly worth considering over the wide range of other Chromebooks on the market? Let’s find out.

The Acer Chromebook 15 is a big laptop—the biggest Chromebook ever made. Before I get to the downside of that, let me point out the clear benefit of that: the big, beautiful display. This 15-inch IPS display is bright, colorful, and high resolution. As we’d expect with an IPS display, the viewing angles are great, making this a great laptop to watch Netflix and YouTube on.

The model we got to use for review is the version with the 1920×1080 panel, which starts at $349. It’s a bit on the higher spectrum of the price range of Chromebooks, whereas the 1366×768 panel starts at $249. As was the same in the case of the two Toshiba Chromebook 2 models, the higher resolution display is definitely worth the money. In the case of the Acer Chromebook 15, it really is all about the screen—so why not get the best one?

The display really is the focal point of the product—and I’ll admit that when I was home watching videos, the extra screen real estate was certainly nice. The problem is that a high resolution display is more and more becoming a problem of the past with Chromebooks. Expect all of the late-2014 and 2015 Chromebooks to have HD IPS panels in them (or least have that configuration as an option), regardless of how small or cheap they are.

The second problem with the big screen is the physical ramifications that come with it. Let’s just say that the Acer Chromebook 15 isn’t exactly what I’d call sleek. The thing has a pretty massive chassis and weighs in at almost five pounds. It’s big, clunky, and heavy—not absurdly so, but it’s noticeably so. The thing a bit stranger about the size of the Chromebook 15 is that the keyboard is the same size as one you’d find an 11-inch Chromebook. The keyboard itself does the job, but I have to say that it looks a bit silly next to how much blank space it sits next to.

Rather than spacing out the keys a bit more or adding some more functionality, the keyboard remains squished into a small area in the middle of the laptop. Instead, Acer has chosen two place two nice big stereo speakers right next to the keyboard. While that doesn’t excuse how small the keyboard feels, the output on the speakers really is impressive. They’re loud, clear, and can handle a fairly wide spectrum of frequencies.

The body of the Acer Chromebook 15 has a grippy plastic texture, which seems to be the current trend in cheap computers. In fact, it’s very similar to last year’s Chromebook 13 in look and feel, which in itself isn’t too different from what’s on the Toshiba Chromebook 2. The textured feel does a good job of reducing fingerprints, it also is really great at collecting dust and dirt in the ridges and isn’t exactly what I’d call beautiful design.

As for performance, you won’t be disappointed with how the Chromebook 15 does. Thanks to the Intel dual-core 1.6 GHz processor and the 4GB of RAM. In testing, I pulled open pretty much as I reasonably could in Chrome tabs and rarely found any skipping or loading problems. Because there isn’t a lot going on in Chrome OS, the Chromebook 15 definitely feels like a performer.


Overall, the Acer Chromebook 15 is a pretty hefty laptop that in some ways doesn’t at all feel like a Chromebook. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though—especially if you’re looking for a cheap computer that you can watch Netflix on. In fact, in that case, this is probably the ideal purchase for you. The Chromebook 15 even does pretty well with battery life, despite the big, bright screen. You’ll get somewhere between 7 and 9 hours most often, depending on how you’re using the display.

But for those who got interested in Chromebooks as a work or school machine that can be taken to class, coffee shops, and meetings—the Acer Chromebook 15 just doesn’t quite fit the bill. The Toshiba Chromebook 2 is still the closest thing we have to a Chromebook without major compromises and while the Acer Chromebook 15 definitely gets a lot of things right, I can’t quite say the same for it.

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