Acer Chromebook 515 Review: Is Bigger Better?

Larger Chromebooks appear to be making a little of a comeback just lately. While many of the ChromeOS gadgets you’ll purchase have a tendency to favour small codecs, most often constructed round a 13in show, with many of us now the use of them as a workhorse in the house, a larger panel is usually a actual receive advantages.

Acer has recognised this new development and its reaction is the Chromebook 515, whole with a fifteen.6in show. But, does larger all the time imply higher?

Design & Build

  • Plastic and steel development
  • 358 x 241 x 24.9mm dimensions
  • 1.7kg weight

Those used to the light-weight, compact nature of Chromebooks may well be a little bit bowled over after they first stumble upon the 515.

It’s a big instrument on this class, with its sizable dimensions making it one thing of a surfboard when in comparison to the likes of the HP Chromebook x360 14c, however round the similar as the opposite fresh giant ChromeOS system, the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5.

Acer Chromebook 515 review: rear design

The fabrics used within the development do stay the burden to manageable stage, with 1.7kg feeling almost about relaxed to lug round. Plastic is deployed for the bottom segment, whilst nearly all of the lid is comprised of steel with a matte end that appears sensible and harking back to many different Chromebooks I’ve reviewed in recent times. 

You gained’t in finding any of the partiality 2-in-1 taste hinges at the 515, because it thinks of itself as a pc moderately than hybrid, probably because of the loss of a touchscreen. You can push the show down flat on a desk even though, if that’s one of these factor you cherish to do even if I’m no longer positive who does and what for.

For probably the most phase, it’s a solid setup, however jiggling the instrument a little bit bit did see the show tilt again, so the hinges aren’t somewhat as tight as they may well be. That being stated, I didn’t enjoy any issues of the attitude converting on its own all over my time with the instrument. 

Acer Chromebook 515 review: Front design

On the ground of the 515, there’s a big air flow grill to stay issues cool, plus dual downward-firing audio system. Everything is stored solid and in position on a table due to the 2 rubber ft on the entrance and a protracted rubber bar on the again. 

Keyboard & Trackpad

  • Full keyboard together with quantity pad
  • Backlit keys
  • Gorilla Glass TouchPad

When I reviewed the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 I commented on how the addition of a bunch pad to a Chromebook simply felt incorrect, because it offsets the keyboard from the centre of the show and complicates the simplicity that makes Chromebooks so great to make use of.

Acer has taken the similar manner with the 515 and it nonetheless leaves me with the similar influence. Personal gripe apart, the principle keyboard took a little bit bit of having used to, because it’s a little spongy and naturally no longer central. But after about part an hour I reorientated myself and located that I may just somewhat fortuitously kind away at close to my standard speeds.

I did make extra mistakes than standard even though, so until you truly need a quantity pad to your pc, I’d counsel trying out an Acer Chromebook 515 before you purchase one (the similar is going for the Asus). 

Acer Chromebook 515 review: Keyboard and trackpad

The quantity pad itself is completely usable, albeit with narrow keys that may really feel a little bit cramped every now and then. But, should you input figures into Google Sheets or different place of work device regularly, you’ll in finding it an excessively at hand possibility to make use of. A backlight additionally makes typing at the Chromebook 515 conceivable at nighttime. 

Beneath the keyboard, you’ll discover a pill-shaped indentation that’s house to the fingerprint sensor. This is turning into extra of a standard characteristic on Chromebooks in recent times, even if I’ve by no means observed one this narrow however it sort of feels to paintings adequate although extra floor space can be preferable. 

The touchpad is a cast one, due to the Corning Gorilla Glass panel on most sensible. Cursor actions are swift and correct, with the pad itself a just right length for shifting it round. Multi-touch gestures are supported and all paintings smartly, with clean responses to the hands. 

Screen, Speakers & Webcam

  • 15.6in Full HD IPS show
  • Stereo Speakers
  • 720p webcam

Obviously, probably the most main promoting issues of this instrument is the show. With the Chromebook 515 you get a fifteen.6in Full HD IPS panel, which gives numerous house for showing internet pages, streaming leisure content material and dealing on place of work paperwork.

As discussed previous, there aren’t any touchscreen functions in this pc in the United Kingdom which is a little of a disgrace, however this does imply you get a much less shiny display screen which doesn’t be afflicted by reflections up to the ones with touch-enabled panels.

A Core i3 style with a touchscreen is to be had in the United States for an additional $50. 

Acer Chromebook 515 review: Display

The high quality of the show is just right, with sharp definition and color, even if the latter can really feel fairly muted every now and then. While the matte display screen avoids glare and reflections, making it just right to make use of out of doors, the 320 nit most brightness counterbalances this because it truly isn’t a robust sufficient backlight to deal with very sunny days.

Acer appears to be positioning this instrument as one for ‘hybrid’ employees (those that work from home and the place of work), so there’s a great opportunity that it would spend its lifestyles on a table within the again bed room, the place it could fare really well certainly. 

Above the show, there’s the usual webcam for video-calling, some other crucial characteristic for the fashionable hybrid employee. Acer doesn’t state the standard of the digicam, however Google Chat introduced 720p because the easiest environment to be had, so I feel it’s protected to think that that is the correct most high quality.

With sufficient gentle, you get a good symbol at the calls, however it’s somewhat simple to overpower the digicam with robust gentle assets, which in flip blows out the surfaces it touches.

Basically, should you sit down subsequent to a window whilst on a choice, it’ll seem like there’s a shiny highlight shining to your face. If you need to give protection to your privateness when no longer the use of the digicam, there’s a bodily lens cap that you’ll slide over to hide the digicam. Simple, however efficient. 

Acer Chromebook 515 review: Webcam

The dual audio system can generate a shocking quantity of quantity, with out a noticeable distortion when on its loudest environment due to the DTS Audio and Smart amplifier options.

Higher frequencies are surely probably the most distinguished, with bass lovely missing as is standard for a pc, however for streaming video content material and a little of sunshine being attentive to song, it’ll serve its objective. 

Specs & Performance

  • Eleventh-gen Intel Core i3/i5
  • 8GB Memory
  • 128GB SSD

Acer opts for a 3GHz Intel Eleventh Gen (Tiger Lake) Core i3 processor within the Chromebook 515, which is a good little bit of silicon that copes smartly with the calls for of ChromeOS.

Without a touchscreen, there’s little level in the use of the Chromebook 515 for video games as they continue to be basically touch-focussed. But in relation to running on Google’s place of work device, streaming Netflix content material, or having a lot of tabs open whilst the use of Chrome, I didn’t understand any slow-downs or different hitches. 

The processor is aided via 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and a 128GB PCI-Express SSD for garage. This entire mixture may well be deemed a little bit overkill for a Chromebook, as ChromeOS is a light-weight working gadget, however I’m no longer complaining and if you wish to open up the instrument to make use of Linux apps, then this additional oomph will surely be helpful for desktop-class device. 

In the United States, each Core i3 and i5 fashions are to be had now with the latter arriving in the United Kingdom in Q3. Acer’s web site mentions a Core i7 possibility too however I’m instructed that would possibly not be launched in the United Kingdom. 

Here’s how the Acer Chromebook 515 fared in our usual set of benchmark assessments so you’ll see the way it compares to a few of its opponents: 

Ports & Connectivity

  • HDMI
  • 2x USB-C (3.2 Gen 2)
  • Wi-Fi 6

With its higher body, the Chromebook 515 has room for some ports that you simply don’t all the time see on Chromebooks. These come with a full-size HDMI port and a microSD card slot.

Joining those are two USB-C (3.2 Gen 1) and one USB-A (3.2 Gen 1) port in addition to a three.5mm headphone jack. There’s additionally a Kensington Lock if you wish to protected the instrument to a desk whilst out and about.

Acer Chromebook 515 review: Ports

In phrases of connectivity, the 515 has some first rate appointments. Wi-Fi 6 will stay issues sprightly on-line (as long as you’ve a Wi-Fi 6 suitable router after all), plus there’s Bluetooth 5 for connecting to audio system and different peripherals. 

Battery Life & Charging

  • 3-Cell Lithium-Ion battery
  • 65W most fee score
  • 45W charger incorporated

Acer doesn’t state the dimensions of the battery within the Chromebook 515, however it does expose that it’s 3-cell, Lithium Ion selection and has a most fee provide of 65W. You gained’t get this out of the field even though, because the charger incorporated within the field is rated at 45W.

The corporate states a 10-hour lifespan on a unmarried fee, however in our looped HD video take a look at I noticed the battery drain from 100% to 0 in just about bang on 8 hours.

This is a little disappointing, because the Asus Flip Chromebook CX5 controlled an hour and 40 mins extra. You’ll nonetheless get thru a running day, however possibly want to recharge if you wish to use the instrument within the night time. 

That provided charger gets you from 0- to an affordable 39% in our standard 30-minute take a look at.

Software & Apps

  • ChromeOS
  • Plenty of offline apps
  • Can run Linux

If you’re no longer positive what a Chromebook runs on the subject of device, it isn’t Windows or macOS, however Google’s personal ChromeOS.

If you’ve ever used the Chrome browser then it’ll seem right away acquainted. Thanks to the simplified nature of the OS, it’s simple to familiarize yourself with and is frequently a sensible choice when recommending gadgets to members of the family that don’t know a lot about computer systems.

It’s additionally simple to provide tech improve remotely due to one of the crucial integrated options corresponding to Chrome Remote Desktop. 

Acer Chromebook 515 review: ChromeOS software

Google has a just right vary of loose device that runs on Chromebooks, corresponding to its place of work suite (Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides), plus different non-public productiveness apps like Google Keep, Google Tasks and Google Calendar.

Of direction, you’re no longer restricted to those, and also you’ll in finding numerous choices within the Chrome Web Store. You too can run many Android apps on a Chromebook, plus as we discussed prior to there’s the choice of putting in place Linux.

Add those in combination and you’ll have just about all bases lined, and it gained’t value you any additional. 

Price & Availability

You should buy the Acer Chromebook 515 (CB515-1W) at £499 in the United Kingdom from Currys (it is unique for now) or from $649 in the United States direct from Acer.

Alongside the model I’ve examined right here, you’ll choose to transport as much as extra robust processors, with the highest possibility being an Intel Core i5, in addition to extra garage and RAM.

  • Core i3, 8/128GB – $649/£499
  • Core i3, 8/128GB, touchscreen – $699
  • Core i5, 8/128 – $799
  • Core i5, 16/256GB – $999

The primary contender to the 515 is the Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 which has dropped from its preliminary £650/US$869.99 ticket to round the similar listing value because the 515.

Although, should you don’t require an enormous show, you then’ll in finding numerous first rate choices in our roundup of the most productive Chromebooks.


The Acer Chromebook 515 is a good providing for many who need a big show and numerous energy for normal ChromeOS tasks.

The omission of a touchscreen in the United Kingdom (and simplest on i5 fashions in the United States) will probably be a problem for some, however the loss of glare at the show may just smartly make up for this.

Acer is positioning the 515 because the Chromebook for hybrid employees, and I will be able to see how this can be a very helpful instrument to have to your table at house, albeit one who would possibly combat out of doors because of the dim show. 


Acer Chromebook 515: Specs

  • 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS show (16:9 facet ratio)
  • 3GHz Intel Eleventh Gen (Tiger Lake) Core i3 processor
  • 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM
  • 128GB PCI-Express SSD
  • 720p webcam
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5
  • 2 x USB-C (3.2 Gen 1)
  • 1 x USB-A (3.2 Gen 1)
  • HDMI port
  • Micro SD card reader
  • 3.5mm headphone enter
  • Kensington lock
  • 357.9 x 240.5 x 24.86mm
  • 1.7kg

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