Acer, as a manufacturer, has been pretty clear on what’s it set out to do in the Chrome OS industry. Nevertheless, this Taiwanese company is, without argument, one of the best Chromebook makers out there, with back-to-back superb devices like the Acer Chromebook Spin 311 and the Acer Chromebook 713. The former, especially, has been crowned as the single best Chrome OS laptop in the mid-range category of 2020 by renowned tech websites without exceptions.
However, the device that we’re going to fondle today specifies itself as the dweller of the budget-friendly Chromebook sector. It’s got a great deal of hype associate with it, along with an extremely charming price tag. With that being said, looks and impressions can be deceiving, and we’re here to judge whether the Acer Chromebook 315 truly packs any value for money or it’s just another dismal let-down.
Therefore, in this article, we’re going to review the Acer Chromebook 315 and talk about its major strengths and weaknesses. By highlighting its best features and downsides and covering everything else, you’ll definitely be coming to a solid buying conclusion by the end of the read.
Acer Chromebook 315 specifications
- CPU: Intel Celeron N4020 processor dual-core 1.10 GHz
- Display: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 IPS touchscreen display
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 600 shared memory
- Hard Drive Size: 64 GB eMMC
- RAM: 4 GB
- Camera: HD 720p webcam with HDR
- Ports: 2x 3.1 Gen 1 USB-C, 2x 3.1 Gen 1 USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card reader slot
- Battery: 3-cell, Li-ion battery, 11-12 hrs life
- Charging Speed: 0-50% in 50 minutes
- Weight: 4.19 lb
- Price: $279
Acer Chromebook 315 in-depth review
The Acer Chromebook 315 may not come off as the most specced-out Chromebook in the budget line of devices, but it measures up fairly nicely regarding its design. This is an exceptionally enticing, slick-looking Chrome OS that doesn’t make compromises on looks. The device’s build feels as if it was made of metal, but that is far from the actual case. Though checking all the right boxes right from the get-go, the 315 houses an all-plastic build, and that might not sound so good on paper, but let us affirm that it’s nothing to lose sleep on. Acer has surely used some high-quality plastic since that’s the only explanation we can come up with for this decent build quality of the Chromebook 315. It’s also pretty thin and sleek, and these traits continue to the screen as well. However, it does weigh quite a bit—about 4.19 pounds—and that doesn’t lend the device ultra-portability. Still, it’s not overly difficult to carry it and get some on-the-go usage out of the 315.
Furthermore, Acer has somewhat of a reputation for making high endurance, military-grade laptops. While the device at hand isn’t mil-spec rated, it sure can take quite a hefty beating. A portion of the manufacturer’s targeted user base with this budget-friendly beauty is schools, children, and everything of the like. The company understands how this sector, specifically, requires something that’s built to withstand harsh use, drops, and impacts. Therefore, that is what they’ve exactly done with the 315, as this Chromebook is fairly durable and can be trusted with for months and years to come.
Moving on to the device’s screen, which also happens to be one of the 315’s strongest selling points, the specifications tell us that we are looking at a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 aspect ratio IPS touchscreen display with anti-glare coating. We have been outright pleased to witness such a good-looking display on a budget-friendly Chromebook such as this. The viewing angles are great, the colors seem rich and amazing, and there’s just an overall fantastic impression that the screen ever so proudly leaves. Most Chrome OS machines in the sub $300 category come with a so-so screen that’s only as good as getting the job done. With the 315, on the other hand, you’ll be doing so much more with comfort, ease, and a sense of reliability. The 9.5 mm narrow bezels are another factor that genuinely suits the form factor of the laptop. Speaking of which, the 315 isn’t a convertible laptop that sports multiple viewing modes. It does, however, lays flat all the way to 180° on a surface.
Coming down to the keyboard of the device, which is something that we’re particularly keen on reviewing to the best of our ability, this is where things start to head south. The keyboard hasn’t left us all that impressed if we state our thoughts on it clearly. It’s satisfactory to a certain extent, but considering those cases where you have to write a 3000-word blog or anything similar, you’re going to notice the shortcomings. For starters, there’s no backlighting, and the key travel feels inadequate. The clicking mechanism doesn’t hit that sweet spot as well. Finally, though, there is one thing that would delight expert typists thinking about getting this device – a dedicated numeric pad. This feature has been slapped onto the right side of the keyboard, making it possible to type digits effortlessly.
To our surprise, the trackpad has been made a lot better. It’s large and spacious, boasts a decent click mechanism, and doesn’t feel cheaply made. However, the layout of the trackpad does raises some eyebrows. It’s shifted a bit to the left, creating a scenario where you’d have space to rest your hand on its right side comfortably, but your left hand? Not so much. This was eerie to see, and we’re not sure why the arrangement is made like that.
Coming back to the positives of the 315, the I/O is something to vouch for. You’ve got two 3.1 Gen 1 USB-C ports for fast charging and data transfer speeds, two 3.1 Gen 1 USB-A ports to take care of all your legacy peripherals, the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microSD card reader slot to expand your storage options. In addition, the stereo speakers aren’t going to blow you away with the quality of their sound, but they’re still workable and not horrible-sounding.
So far, so sufficient, give or take a few hiccups. So, where does this Chromebook stand in the performance section? Sporting an Intel Celeron N4020 dual-core 1.10 GHz processor with 4 GBs of RAM and 64 GB eMMC flash storage, we’re pleased to proclaim that the Acer Chromebook 315 is a workhorse that’s going to stand by your side whatever the task in question. It performs consistently day in day out with the help of the Celeron processor and ample internal memory. In addition, it runs Play Store and Linux applications in a manner that doesn’t settle for anything less than buttery smooth. This is one aspect that has us admiring the 315 – it packs an attractive price tag and doesn’t lag in places where it matters a lot, one of them being performance. However, do bear in mind the capacity of the N4020 chipset, as going overboard with anything doesn’t turn out well.
Acer offers a whole ton of configuration for this Chromebook. You can check them all out by clicking on this link. We highly recommend that you opt for the FHD, touchscreen-enabled model that comprises 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. In addition, do purchase while being fully aware of the specifications you’re getting. Finally, since there are several models of the 315, make sure that you’re not paying more for a version that costs cheaper elsewhere.
3. Battery life
Another high-ranking attribute of this Chromebook is its sensational battery life. The Acer Chromebook 315 will last you painlessly for somewhere between 11-12 hours, making it a great fit to charge it once and then take it to a whole day of school or office. Whatever goes down, this machine won’t disappoint you in terms of battery performance. Several users have conformed to this device for its runtime.
Acer has managed to fit a 3-cell, Li-ion battery in the 315. Nothing out of the usual here. Since it sports a USB-C port for fast charging, expect it to get all juiced up within 2 hours.
4. Final thoughts
The Acer Chromebook 315 makes the cut as one of the best budget Chromebooks you can purchase right now. It packs all the bells and whistles design-wise, affording a stylish, dazzling look and a meritorious display that’s capable enough to astound right out the gate. There’s also a first-rate port selection to look out for. However, it does fall short in some areas, such as the keyboard and trackpad, but it does a great job in other facts without breaking a sweat. Coming for about $250, this Chromebook packs top-tier value for money, and we strongly think that this should be your next Chrome OS if you’re looking for one and are under a tight budget.
- However, before you take the plunge, do check out another similarly-priced device that we think competes heavily with the Acer Chromebook 315 – the Lenovo Chromebook Duet.