Acer Chromebook 315 Review: It's perfect for distance learning and smart working

When they presented the first Chromebook, I immediately thought of the idea of ​​wanting to try a device animated by Google's Chrome OS, which, however, has the same dimensions as a “traditional” notebook. Of course, the Mountain View OS seems to have been developed to fit ultrabooks or, in any case, relatively small devices designed for portability, but being able to use such a product with a larger display, right now could be a convenience for anyone. he found himself - out of the blue - having to follow the lessons in distance teaching, or to work in smart working.

And in short, Acer seems to have read my mind and produced the 315 Chromebook, a notebook with a 15.6-inch display animated by Chrome OS, of which it exploits all the positives, but also all the limitations that, in the end, I understood to be more evident in a more traditional size device.

Acer Chromebook 315 Review: ChromeOS as a traditional notebook

Package Contents

Given its size, the packaging of theAcer Chromebook 315 it is virtually identical to that of the vast majority of the company's notebooks. It is made entirely of cardboard (recycled) and inside there are, in addition to the Chromebook, the power supply with USB-C plug for the electrical outlet, and the typical manuals.

Design and materials

When you open theAcer Chromebook 315, you have the feeling of reusing a notebook produced a decade ago. The frames ranging from 9.5 mm to 1.5 cm, the keyboard with a rather rubbery stroke (but equipped with a numeric keypad) and the whole body made of plastic, are all in line with the price range in which the Acer device fits. : it's a Chromebook and, as such, it's definitely cheap (it costs poco more than 300 euros) and also the weight of 1.6 Kg it is quite contained (thanks to the plastic) for a 15 ”.

To make room for the numeric keypad, the speakers were not placed in conjunction with the keyboard, but were inserted in the lower body. The trackpad is quite comfortable to use, even if in my opinion it is relatively small, and a webcam (with a resolution of 720p) has been integrated which, of course, does not scream a miracle but allows participation in video calls or meetings without any problem. .

Space is a lot and it has been well filled with doors, which guarantee the Acer Chromebook 315 a rather complete connectivity: they are present two USB-C type ports (one of which is dedicated to charging (but which is also able to work with one of the dongles I connected to it), two ports USB-A, a slot for microSD, the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Display

Not bad the screen from 15.6 inches dell 'Acer Chromebook 315 even if, as it should be for such a device, certainly one cannot expect excellent quality from such a device. The panel is an LCD with a maximum resolution FullHD, able to guarantee a prominent brightness of approx 230 nits and 60% of the sRGB spectrum. It is therefore not a display to be used for any graphic need, especially since our tests showed a decidedly low contrast ratio: is about 340: 1 and, in a nutshell, the result is a rather faded image, even for the matte finish of the panel itself.

But don't get me wrong, these are not poor values ​​and after all you must never forget that it is a cheap notebook and buying at poco more than 300 euros a 15 "Chromebook, some compromise will certainly have to be accepted.

Hardware and Performance

To animate theAcer Chromebook 315 a processor thinks of it Intel Celeron N4020, a Gemini Lake made at 14 nm, flanked by 4 GB of RAM memory e 64 GB of internal memory, eMMC type and a graphics card Intel UHD 600. And even if, at first glance, what made me turn up my nose the most was the choice to use rather slow memories, all in all it is a hardware not only suitable for the price at which the device is sold, but capable of guarantee excellent performance in all the most common applications of Chrome OS. They are few, similar to those that basically can be found in a tablet, but they all work without any slowdown.

As you will notice from the images below, we have performed all possible benchmark tests, but we urge you to take them with a grain of salt because - being all apps for Android - are performed in mobile mode and it is certain that the results shown are affected from a simple compatibility problem.

Even because multitasking management is good and always responsive, and the execution of applications related to smart working e - mostly - distance learning is more than guaranteed: apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet and all the office applications that can be installed can also be run simultaneously, without any specific limitation, as long as you remember that you have a device in your hands that is not suitable for more complex operations or for the execution of heavy 3D games . Mobile CoD runs at low to medium graphics settings and with a good framerate, but titles like Genshin impact o Fortnite are not available for download. The ignition, then, is truly instantaneous and takes place in about 5 seconds.

There is also no limitation for running all video streaming applications, which are all installable and run at full resolution. The only limit, in reality, are the stereo speakers which guarantee a rather poor sound, very rich in volumes but with a balance that tends only to high tones.

Excellent WiFi performance, which is compatible with the WiFi 5 standard, but is Gigabit Wi-Fi 2 × 2 802.11ac at 160 MHz (with a theoretical maximum download speed of 1733 Mbps) and a set of MU-MIMO antennas that work very well .

Software and user experience

In short, Chrome OS we all know him and, by now, we know him quite well. And it seems that those of Acer have carried out a painstaking optimization work regarding the software. System navigation is always fast and smooth, even with many tabs open in Chrome and Android and Linux applications running. You can even run some of the Windows compatible programs by purchasing a CrossOver license.

Clearly, the 4 GB of RAM and eMMC memories start to kick in when you perform many complex tasks at the same time, but not so fast and not in a way that causes the entire system to crash. In short, anyone who has the need or the simple curiosity to try Chrome OS, in this Acer Chromebook 315 it could have to do with one of the best expressions of Google's operating system, with all the merits and limitations that it brings.

Battery

La battery integrated with 4670 mAh according to what we read on the company's website, it should be able to guarantee up to 12 and a half hours of autonomy, with average use. In reality, however, things are not quite like this: with a video file stored locally I managed to overcome the 10 hours of battery life in reproduction, but things change slightly in terms of mobility, in which I have di poco exceeded 7 hours with office use and smart working, and a couple of hours of video streaming, which continues to be a pretty good result, especially considering that it is a 15-inch.

The recharge then, which takes place with the USB-C power supply included in the package, is rather fast but not very fast: to get from 0 to 100% charge, using the computer, it takes about two hours.

Price and conclusions

The price of the Acer Chromebook 315 is 349,00 euros on Amazon, it goes without saying that anyone who decides to buy a 15-inch at such a cheap price will have to accept certain compromises. And taken for granted the limits of Chrome OS or the choice to use rather light materials for the construction of the structure - compromises that, in fact, must be known from the beginning if you buy such a large Chromebook - in my opinion the only real tangible limit is perhaps hidden in the keyboard, which has keys with a too “spongy” stroke and which, especially for those who would buy it for productivity, could start to be annoying over time.

Then you hear the lack of a biometric authentication system but, besides these little notes, there is poco to blameAcer Chromebook 315. If you are looking for a notebook with a battery that can last all day, perfect for college, work, distance learning and all those tasks that are most commonly done with a computer, then this Chromebook is definitely to keep in mind.

 

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