Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-532 Review

Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-532 Review
7.3 Total Score

$320.00

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Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-532 Review
Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-532 Review
$320.00
  • Easy-to-ready screen size
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Android app support

Performance

This version of the Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-532 is not a top-of-the-line performer. If you commonly have a dozen tabs open and are streaming YouTube videos and modifying Google Documents while visiting several other websites at the same time, this probably isn’t the Chromebook for you. I noticed performance can stutter even when loading just one ad- and javascript-heavy website. However, if you tend to focus one website at a time or only need to perform basic web browsing and social media tasks, you would be fine with this Chromebook.

This Chromebook also has the ability to run Android apps from the Google Play store. I found basic apps like Instagram work fine and even some 3D games like Real Racing look OK.  The visuals were a little jaggy and choppy, but still watchable (unfortunately, a lack of a touchscreen makes it unplayable).

Display

Most Chromebooks come in the 11-inch and 13-inch variety, so I feel like I’m sitting in front of a big screen TV with this Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-532. In this case though, a larger display does not mean a larger resolution. The resolution maxes out at 1536×864, meaning you get bigger text on the screen (rather than being able to fit more stuff on the screen).

The screen, although large, is somewhat disappointing. Colors are very dull and the viewing angle is narrow. The display fades out if you view it from an angle or don’t have the tilt of the display just right. Netflix and YouTube are still watchable, but pales in comparison to many other laptops.

The hinge on the display does not rotate 180 degrees, so you will not be able to fold this Chromebook into “tent mode” nor will you be able to fold the display back and use it as a tablet.  It is also not a “touch screen,” which makes navigating some Android apps difficult.

Design

The larger screen size on this Chromebook comes with a larger structure. It reminds me of a laptop from circa-2005, before ultrabooks existed. While not necessarily heavy, the Acer Chromebook 15 is quite large and thick and requires a good bit of room in my laptop bag. It’s about the size of an Alienware unit, but with a fraction of the processing power.

One advantage of the large size is a full-sized keyboard that does not feel cramped, although it is lacking a numeric keypad. It is very comfortable type out a Google Doc or a long email.  The keys are a little “mushy” and don’t quite give that satisfying “click” like most laptops. Sadly, the keys on this particular model are not backlit. There are two speakers on either side of the keyboard that provide decent stereo sound quality, but bass is non-existent.

There are two USB 3.0 ports on either side of the laptop.  The left side is also home to the charging port, HDMI output and headphone jack.

Battery Life

Battery life is very good and averages about 10 to 12 hours, allowing you to get through a full day without charging. The charger is proprietary (no USB-C), so you’ll need to remember to bring the charging brick along with you on your travels. With USB-C becoming the standard, I would have preferred that at least the charging port be USB-C compliant.

7.3 Total Score
Average

The Acer Chromebook 15 is big and relatively slow by today's standards. The colors on the display are dull and the screen looks washed out at an angle, so this Chromebook may not be the best for Netflix binging. However, the large display makes text easy to read and the 12-hour battery life will get you through the work day, so this Chromebook is OK for basic web browsing and Google Doc editing.

Performance
6.5
Display
6
Design
7.5
Battery Life
9
PROS
  • Easy-to-ready screen size
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Android app support
CONS
  • Display is dull
  • Performance is slow with multiple tabs open
  • No USB-C ports or charging

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