Long Battery Life, HD Screen Top Features in Acer's Chromebook 15

Long Battery Life, HD Screen Top Features in Acer's Chromebook 15
Chrome OS Is the Chromebook 15's Most Important Feature
There's a Relatively Big Display for a Lightweight Notebook
Acer Touts Its Outstanding Battery Life
The Storage Space Is Rather Anemic
Processing Power Isn't Impressive
Bring On the Android Apps
The Simple Design Helps Keep the Price Low
But the Design Is Sturdy Where It Matters
A Nice Selection of Ports
The Price Is Hard to Beat
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Long Battery Life, HD Screen Top Features in Acer's Chromebook 15

Acer is calling its sub-$200 Chromebook 15 a "game-changer" for PC users of all types. Here's a look at what's good and bad about the new notebook.

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Chrome OS Is the Chromebook 15's Most Important Feature

The critical component in the Chromebook 15 is its Chrome OS integration. With the operating system, users rely on the internet and cloud applications. However, Chrome OS is also capable of working offline and comes with several apps from Google, including YouTube, Gmail and more. Chrome OS is simpler than Windows or macOS, but that doesn't take much away from the user experience.

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There's a Relatively Big Display for a Lightweight Notebook

The Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch HD screen with antiglare to deliver a better picture in direct sunlight. While the screen quality won't be ideal for watching video, Acer noted the display is one of the larger options on the market and can show up to 24 percent more surface area than a 14-inch Chromebook. That means less time scrolling and more time viewing content, Acer says.

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Acer Touts Its Outstanding Battery Life

Acer's Chromebook 15 comes with outstanding battery life. According to an Acer spokesperson who spoke to eWEEK, the company performed real-life testing on the Chromebook 15 and found that it can last up to 12 hours on a single charge. Acer didn't say how long it takes to recharge the battery, but one full charge should be able to last through the day without trouble.

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The Storage Space Is Rather Anemic

To help keep prices down, Chromebook makers often go low on storage, and Acer is no different. The Chromebook 15 ships with just 16GB of storage space, leaving little room for users to store files and multimedia on the computer. However, since this is a Chromebook, users can store 100GB in the cloud for free via Google Drive. Knowing that, the 16GB capacity isn't necessarily a deal breaker.

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Processing Power Isn't Impressive

Like storage, Chromebook makers tend to save some money on power. The Acer Chromebook 15 comes with the relatively underpowered dual-core Intel Celeron N3060 processor. To compensate, the computer has 2GB of RAM, which Acer said should suffice for most internet-based activities.

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Bring On the Android Apps

Out of the box, the Chromebook 15 can only run apps that are compatible with Chrome OS. However, Acer noted in a statement accompanying its Chromebook 15 announcement that the computer will be updated to enable it to run Android apps downloaded from the Google Play store.

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The Simple Design Helps Keep the Price Low

The Chromebook 15's design is rather simple, offering a black plastic finish, a relatively large touchpad and a full-sized keyboard. It's also important to note that while more companies are exploring hybrid designs for Chromebooks, enabling them to be used as tablets, the Acer Chromebook 15 is designed to be used only as a notebook. Finally, the Chromebook 15 is a little on the hefty side, tipping the scales at 4.3 pounds.

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But the Design Is Sturdy Where It Matters

Acer said that the Chromebook 15 comes with several features designed to keep the computer safe in the event of a minor spill. The Chromebook has been reinforced across its chassis and can survive up to 132 pounds of force. The corners can absorb a nearly 2-foot drop without causing any damage to the machine.

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A Nice Selection of Ports

The Chromebook 15 comes equipped with two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port. It also has an SD Card reader that can accept SDXC cards of up to 128GB. In addition, users will find support for 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2. That means users looking to expand the Chromebook 15's functionality and use the latest technology will get their wish from Acer.

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The Price Is Hard to Beat

Acer said other Chromebook 15 versions will launch as time goes on and will be available in more retail locations. Those who want the Chromebook 15 now, though, will need to venture to Walmart, the exclusive home of Acer's latest computer. The Chromebook 15 is available at Walmart for the nicely affordable price of $199.

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