Acer Chromebook 715 review: A great, big Chromebook for at-home school and work

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Josh Goldman / CNET

The Acer Chromebook 715 was born as a premium model aimed at a growing business market for Chrome OS devices. Together with his younger brother, the Chromebook 714, the 715 has a premium all-aluminum frame built to withstand drops of up to 48 inches (122cm) and downward force of up to 132lbs (60kg). You might as well take the Chromebook 715 with a fingerprint reader, a backlit keyboard, an Intel Core i5 processor, and 16GB of memory for around $ 750. Alternatively, you can get a much cheaper version that recomposes the specs and extras but retains the premium build quality, making it a fantastic choice for a home office or student Chromebook.

Like it

  • Premium lightweight design with large 15.6 inch display
  • Battery life longer than a working day
  • Good daily performance

I do not like

  • No backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader like the high-end versions
  • Memory, memory soldered

By doing away with things like the keyboard backlight and fingerprint reader, plus a lower-end processor and less memory, Acer has slashed the price to $ 330. The price is now higher as demand for cheap Chromebooks increases. distance learning and working on the way to $ 419 with a touchscreen or $ 399 without. These are both really good prices all in all and an easy recommendation if you don’t need something ultraportable. (The Acer Chromebook 715 is currently not available in the UK or Australia, but the price of my setup converts to £ 260 and AU $ 470.)

Acer Chromebook 715 (CB715-1WT-39HZ)

Price as reviewed

$ 330

Screen size / resolution

15.6-inch matte touch display 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

Processor

2.2 GHz Intel Core i3-8130U

Memory

4GB DDR4 (dual channel)

Graphics

Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620

storage

128GB eMMC

ports

2x USB-C (3.1 Gen 1), 1x USB-A, audio / microphone jack, MicroSD card slot

Net

802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2

Operating system

Chrome OS

Weight

4.3 lbs (1.9 kg)

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The 715 is big because of its display, but it’s still thin and light.

Josh Goldman / CNET

A mobile home office or classroom

My children are currently in full-time distance learning for seventh, fifth and third grades. They change the place where they take classes in our home almost every day. They are on Google Meet most of the day while they work and then stay on their Chromebooks after school is over to finish their “homework”. They are also not the best at charging their devices. The Chromebook 715 is what I would buy them.

The 15.6-inch display gives them space to see what they’re working on without constantly scrolling. And the touchscreen is an advantage since they’ve never known a time without them and are used to poking around screens. The display is reasonably bright, but reflections are less of a problem with its matte finish.

The 715 dwarfs the 11.6-inch Chromebooks my kids use, but because the Acer is relatively light and thin for its size, it’s still manageable to carry around the house. Plus, since it’s built to last, I’d be less worried about them dropping it.

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The hinge allows you to place the display on a desk.

Josh Goldman / CNET

The Core i3 processor and 4GB of memory are more than enough to handle their schoolwork and then some. This is good as the memory and storage cannot be upgraded. The 715 also has incredible battery life. During our streaming video test, it lasted 16 hours and 18 minutes. With more typical use, they will be able to get through the school day without needing to plug it in. It charges via its USB-C ports and with one on each side, it’s no problem how close they are to an outlet.

The Chromebook 715 has a useful 720p webcam; you will need a lot of light to get an image that is not soft and noisy. Microphone quality is also good, so you shouldn’t have a problem getting seen and heard at your next Google Meet. Virtually no Chromebooks, Windows laptops, or MacBooks have decent full-HD or better webcams, which is a shame now that everyone uses them non-stop.

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The keyboard is spacious.

Josh Goldman / CNET

The keyboard is comfortable and the keys are well spaced. And, for those who need it, there’s a full numeric keypad. However, it’s disappointing that the backlight was one of the things removed to bring the price down. However, Acer left the touchpad covered in Gorilla Glass, which is smooth and responsive.

At its original price of $ 330, the Acer Chromebook 715 was a steal. But even at its slightly higher price tag of $ 399 it’s a pretty good deal. If you need or want a smaller, lighter Chromebook to slip into your backpack, the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 or others like it it will be a better fit. For those who just need a good, durable Chromebook for the home, however, you may want to get a Chromebook 715.

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Josh Goldman / CNET