It all started with the Acer Chromebook 715, which was designed to appeal to the expanding corporate market for Chrome OS devices at the time of its release. With the same quality all-aluminum chassis as its smaller sister, the Acer Chromebook 714, the 715 is engineered to withstand drops from as high as 48 inches (122 cm) and the downward force of up to 132 pounds (60 kg). Also available for approximately $750 is the Chromebook 715 with a fingerprint scanner, a backlit keyboard, an Intel Core i5 CPU, and 16GB of RAM (instead of the standard 8GB). Alternatively, you may get a considerably more inexpensive version that has fewer features and extras but retains the superior build quality, making it an excellent choice for a Chromebook for the home office or for use by students.

Acer was able to cut the price by eliminating features like the lighting on the keyboard and the fingerprint sensor, as well as using a lower-end processor and less RAM. The final price was reduced to $330. Because of the growing demand for low-cost Chromebooks for remote learning and working, the price has gone up to $419 with a touchscreen and $399 without, respectively, reflecting the increased demand. Those are both still quite a reasonable pricing when everything is taken into consideration, and they are an easy suggestion if you do not want anything ultraportable. (While the Acer Chromebook 715 is not presently available in the United Kingdom or Australia, the pricing of my configuration translates to £260 and AU$470, respectively.)

Acer Chromebook 715, Intel Core i3-8130U, 15.6" Full-HD 1080p Screen, 4GB DDR4, 128GB eMMC - CB715-1W-35ZK, Steel Gray

Specifications

Display size/resolution15.6-inch 1,920×1,080-pixel matte touch display
Processor2.2GHz Intel Core i3-8130U
Memory4GB DDR4 (dual-channel)
GraphicsIntegrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
Storage128GB eMMC
Ports2x USB-C (3.1 Gen 1), 1x USB-A, audio/mic jack, MicroSD card slot
Networking802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
Operating systemChrome OS
Weight4.3 pounds (1.9 kg)

Pricing and Configurations

The Acer Chromebook 715 entry-level model, which costs $499, is equipped with a 2.3-GHz Intel Pentium 4417U CPU, 8GB of RAM, 32GB of flash memory, and an Intel HD Graphics 610 graphics engine. When you upgrade to the $649 midtier model, you’ll get the 2.2-GHz Intel Core i3-8130U processor, 64GB of flash memory, and an Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU.

Intel Core i5-8350U CPU, 8GB of RAM, 64GB of flash storage, and an Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics card are all included in the $779 price of our review device, which is also available for purchase.

Design 

The Acer Chromebook 715 has a quality appearance that belies its high selling price. The slate-gray metal chassis is elegantly contoured on all sides, including at the corners. The Chrome logo, which is dark gray in color, is located in the upper-left corner, directly above the Acer logo, which is shiny chrome.

When you open the laptop, you’ll see even more of the dark-gray metal. An illuminated keyboard is housed in a recessed panel above the glass touchpad, providing additional functionality. An embedded fingerprint reader is located just to the right of the keyboard. The display bezels are a little thicker than I want, but they are not annoyingly thick. The 14.4 x 9.8 x 0.7-inch notebook is 3.8 pounds and measures 14.4 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches. However, it weighs more than the smaller Asus Chromebook Flip C434 (3.9 pounds, 14.1 by 9.7 by 0.7 inches) and weighs less than the larger HP Chromebook 15 (4.6 pounds, 15.2 by 10.3 by 0.8 inches). It is lighter than both the HP Chromebook 15 and the Acer Chromebook Spin 15, but heavier than the smaller Acer Chromebook Spin 15. (3.1 pounds, 12.6 x 8 x 0.6 inches).

Display

The 715’s 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 display delivers decent color and detail, but it lacks sharpness and contrast. It seems to me that none of the colors in this typically colorful trailer really stood out when I saw the Wonder Woman 1985 trailer. Wonder Woman’s gleaming golden armor appeared to be lacking in definition, and the lightning that she utilized to travel the skies appeared to be lacking in definition.

I wasn’t shocked to see that the panel tested just 63 percent of the sRGB gamut, given how listless the Wonder Woman teaser appeared to be. Not only does this fall short of our 100 percent requirement, but it also falls short of the 79 percent Chromebook average. Despite this, it was on par with the color reproduction of our other two Chromebooks, which had 64 percent and 68 percent color reproduction, respectively (see chart below). The Flip C434 was the only one to beat the average with a score of 93 percent.

I wasn’t shocked to see that the panel tested just 63 percent of the sRGB gamut, given how listless the Wonder Woman teaser appeared to be. Not only does this fall short of our 100 percent requirement, but it also falls short of the 79 percent Chromebook average. Despite this, it was on par with the color reproduction of our other two Chromebooks, which had 64 percent and 68 percent color reproduction, respectively (see chart below). The Flip C434 was the only one to beat the average with a score of 93 percent.

Nonetheless, I was dissatisfied with the lack of brightness in 715. The average brightness of the panel was just 237 nits, which is much lower than the national average of 258 nits. This is not the laptop for you if you want to work outside in the fresh air. The Chromebook 15 and Spin 15 performed somewhat better, with 247 nits, while the Flip C434 achieved 286 nits in comparison. The display on the 715, on the other hand, had a maximum brightness of 250 nits. As a result, if you are someone who likes to work outside, don’t expect this laptop to give adequate screen illumination. To make matters worse, the camera was blurry and choppy, which added to the frustration. It appeared as though the webcam was included as an afterthought at times, and it seems likely that Acer would have been better off simply keeping it out of the laptop altogether.

Performance

Because it was equipped with an Intel Core i5-8350U CPU and 8GB of RAM, the 715 was able to handle 20 Google Chrome websites, including four pages that were hosting YouTube channels, without experiencing any lag or slowness.

After switching to our synthetic tests, such as the Geekbench 4 test (which evaluates overall performance), the 715 scored 14,088, well surpassing the 6,100 average scores of the Chromebooks in our testing. With a Core m3-8100Y CPU, the Flip C434 earned 6,968 points, while the Spin 15 scored 4,752 points with the Pentium N4200 CPU-powered Spin 15.

The 715 obtained a score of 116.31 on the JetStream benchmark, outperforming the 71.78 average and the Chromebook 15 (Core i3-8130U) which scored 98.53 on the same test.

Conclusion

Acer has a winner on its hands with this acquisition. The Intel Core i5 CPU in the Chromebook 715 allows it to offer excellent performance to users. I really enjoy the fingerprint sensor, and I like that there is also a number pad on the device. And to have lasted more than 10 hours on our battery test is no minor accomplishment. The notebook’s MIL-SPEC-tested aluminum chassis offers a premium appearance and can withstand mild bumps and bruises.

However, for $779, I had hoped for a better display and more storage space. Acer Chromebook Flip C434 is a good option if you want a better viewing experience on your screen. It’s also a convertible, which means it’s incredibly adaptable in its use. Furthermore, at $473, it is hundreds of dollars less expensive. Despite this, the Acer Chromebook 715 is an excellent alternative for mobile workers or students on the go.

Pros

  • Premium, durable chassis
  • Over 10 hours of battery life
  • Great performance
  • Integrated number pad

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Dim display
  • Poor audio
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