A sturdy gadget that excels at productiveness

Chromebooks have all the time match a distinct segment mildew the place restricted specs could make you query if you should purchase or skip — how does it profit you for those who already personal a laptop computer or a helpful pill that gives all of the apps you want? I’ve contemplated the identical query for a while. To start with, Chromebooks had been not often as much as par with common low-end laptops: they had been too sluggish to carry out menial duties and could not deal with the load of dozens of tabs opened in your browser.

As somebody who wants at the least twenty tabs cut up between three (browser) home windows to get work accomplished, Chromebooks weren’t for me. However after seeing the evolution of Chromebooks over the past ten years, I used to be curious if a contemporary Chromebook may get the job accomplished.

With Google’s introduction to Chromebook Plus, there’s lots new to debate. One in every of these fashions contains the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 I am reviewing as we speak, a cost-saving possibility (for skilled productiveness) that may put older generations of Chromebooks to disgrace. So, let’s discover how a contemporary Chromebook Plus mannequin delivers with the Acer Chromebook Plus 515.

Pricing and availability

Regularly on sale at an affordable value

Acer Chromebook Plus 515

Acer Chromebook Plus 515 affords the largest bang in your buck whereas championing a brand new normal in efficiency. Productiveness is boosted by all of the promised Plus options launched by Google, with only a few drawbacks on the premium {hardware} by Acer.


  • Temporal noise discount was nice
  • Improved efficiency
  • Audio system are upward-firing

  • No backlighting keyboard
  • Solely 250 nits of display screen brightness
  • Boring design

US clients might be completely happy to be taught that Acer affords the Chromebook Plus 515 (128GB mannequin) for under $400, and you’ll even discover it on sale for $300 periodically at Greatest Purchase. It is one of many first Chromebook Plus fashions that hit the market after Google’s Chromebook Plus lineup announcement.

Canada additionally sells the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 (256GB) for $570 at Greatest Purchase, nevertheless it usually can go as little as $450, slashing greater than $100 off the unique value. Sadly, the 256GB mannequin is not accessible within the US. Nonetheless, outdoors the interior storage measurement variations, each carry the identical Twelfth-generation Intel chip (i3-1215U) and 8GB RAM, with no different adjustments.


Working System
Chrome OS

Twelfth Technology Intel Core™ i3-1215U

Built-in Intel UHD Graphics


128GB – 256GB

As much as 10 Hours

Metal Gray

2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI 1.4, 3.5mm audio combo jack

19.99 x 360.6 x 238.5 mm



Show sort
IPS (Non-touch)

1080p with Temporal Noise Discount

Show dimensions
15.6 inches, 16:9 side ratio

Show decision
1920 x 1080 pixels

Cost velocity
65W USB-C Energy Supply

Wi-Fi connectivity
Wi-Fi 6E

Bluetooth 5.1

Kind issue



A protected design even when it’s a bit uninteresting

The metal grey coloured chassis is a smooth (even when considerably uninteresting) design alternative, encased by a recycled plastic shell cowl. It packs a 15.6-inch IPS show at 16:9 with slim bezels, although these solely apply to the suitable and left sides of the display screen. The general clamshell Chromebook design appears fairly normal, however I want there was extra originality, just like the way more interesting two-tone lid of the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus.

Sadly, this Acer Chromebook would not include a contact show, however Acer will (finally) supply fashions that include touchscreens.


Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook Plus overview: Boring however nonetheless one of the best Chromebook

That is the embodiment of “if it ain’t broke, do not repair it.”

Acer’s handiwork with the Chromebook Plus 515 is nothing to sneeze at. It affords sturdy (plastic) dealing with (independently verified MIL-STD-810H7 military-grade), guaranteeing portability and sturdiness. Urgent down on the keyboard felt agency, and the massive trackpad was comfy to make use of. The person keys are well-spaced out, so typing for an prolonged interval felt intuitive and clean, similar to my desktop. Nonetheless, I want this specific mannequin included a backlit keyboard, which seems like a big miss, even when it was accomplished to save cash.

The inner audio system’ sound high quality is fairly normal, missing in bass like most laptops; it wasn’t distinctive, nevertheless it wasn’t poor. The audio system are upward-firing, so the amount output was by no means a problem regardless of my setting.

General, the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 design is okay sufficient to get the job accomplished. Not horrible, however not wonderful — Acer did not exit of its method to make this one stand out on {hardware} alone. However that is possible the trade-off wanted to maintain the value all the way down to afford all of the premium Chromebook Plus specs included.


A couple of extra nits certain would not harm

close up screen with strong lighting

The default brightness is just too dim. I usually wanted to crank up the Chromebook’s brightness (it carries as much as 250 nits) to see my display screen, even when indoors. The anti-glare coating did not make a lot distinction when sitting subsequent to a window panel. In fact, the draw back to maximizing brightness is that your battery will drain faster — generally, that trade-off could seem impractical, particularly when working away from an influence supply.

Pulling up movies from Netflix was an okay expertise; I watched Blue Eye Samurai to see first-hand how darker/washed-out colours would show at default brightness. As anticipated, it was nothing to jot down residence about: the colours had been noticeably extra muted, and I used to be consistently hitting the brightness key to regulate the image. However hey, at the least streamed content material matches the 16:9 display screen, one thing that may’t be mentioned for these 16:10 Chromebooks on the market.

home screen and zoomed in screen display of the acer chromebook plus 515

For video calls, I examined the Chromebook’s FHD 1080p webcam and shutter. The webcam shutter is a pleasant add-on, nevertheless it feels fairly pointless. Most calls accomplished over Google Meet and Zoom will embody a button to show off your digicam, the place reaching above your display screen to manually flip it off felt awkward and inconvenient (you’ll hear a slight clicking noise whereas turning it off if unmuted). In fact, a neighborhood shutter is way more safe than trusting software program, so there’s a profit to manually sliding a little bit of plastic.

General, the video conferencing expertise is great; noise cancellation is noticeable, because it removes any buzzing and clock-ticking noise within the background. The AI enhancement for lighting and background blur improved the face-to-face interplay, tidying up any uneven shadowing across the face. I examined in two completely different settings: a darkish room subsequent to a lamp and an exceedingly vivid house (with loads of pure mild shining by). The AI enhancements proved higher within the latter. Sadly, the auto-face publicity and corrected lighting possibility couldn’t repair the glare on my glasses when sitting subsequent to a desk lamp.

Battery life

Sufficient energy to gasoline a full day of productiveness

The Chromebook Plus 515 has a good battery life at round 10 hours at 50% default brightness, precisely as marketed by Acer. My use is a mixture of net searching, Netflix, YouTube, and navigating Android apps for work. Then again, for those who crank up the brightness and play YouTube all day, you will note the battery dipping decrease (to round 7-8 hours). In any other case, the Chromebook affords sufficient combating energy to final a full work or faculty day.

The Acer Chromebook is supplied with two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Kind-C ports for charging. It solely takes an hour to cost to 50% or near an hour and a half to totally rejuvenate. So you will not endure from an excessive amount of downtime, which is good to see.

Software program

Google brings the products with its Chromebook Plus options

magic eraser feature in acer chromebook plus 515

As anticipated from a machine working ChromeOS, the software program is fairly barebones. Nonetheless, Google goals to repair this by bringing unique options to those Chromebook Plus machines. One of many extra thrilling choices is Magic Eraser, an AI-enhanced photograph enhancing instrument that was beforehand locked behind Pixel telephones. The aim of this instrument is to take away objects or individuals out of your images.

Utilizing Magic Eraser required putting in the instrument (78MB) within the Google Images Android app. Fortunately, it solely took a couple of minutes to make use of it after loading up one in every of my photos in Google Images. The AI auto-suggested a elimination, which I ignored and opted to manually redraw on one other space; it is a nifty instrument that I can see serving to customers with fast touchups, a sore spot on Chromebooks that also lack the total variations of Adobe’s suite.

file sync feature in acer chromebook plus 515

One other cool perk of Chromebook Plus is the included File Sync characteristic. File Sync permits anybody to entry information saved from Google Drive whereas offline. However for those who personal an excessive amount of Google Drive cupboard space in comparison with your Chromebook’s inside storage, the File Sync characteristic could trigger some undesirable errors. Fortunately, it’s straightforward to toggle the File Sync characteristic on and off, and it solely takes a number of clicks to bin previous information to make room for brand new ones. General, File Sync is a good addition for individuals who’ve tailored to a working nomad life-style.

It is a promising begin from Google to convey these instruments to Chromebook Plus, sprucing a sore spot with its software program. Whereas the benefit of selecting ChromeOS is getting away from all of the bloatware Home windows brings to many laptops, the fundamentals, like photograph enhancing, are nonetheless wanted in a world the place you may advance your productiveness by merely dabbling right into a extra feature-rich OS.


Lastly, a tool that does not check your endurance

nvidia geforce genshin impact page on acer chromebook plus 515

That is the place Google bolsters the concept of buying Chromebook Plus fashions: you get loads of efficiency for a fraction of the value you’d get from a high-end Chromebook. Thus far, the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 has accomplished nicely with every little thing marketed by Acer and Google with out chopping any corners. It is rocking an i3 chip, and fashions vary as much as an i7 (although this can be overkill, relying in your wants). However for those who’re buying a Chromebook for work/productiveness, shopping for one geared up with i3/i5 will (greater than) suffice.

I’ve examined Nvidia GeForce Now’s sport streaming, loading up Genshin Impression, a sport recognized to push even one of the best Android gaming telephones to the brink. Surprisingly, the expertise was comfy, with no noticeable stutter, regardless of the actual fact I used to be streaming. The sport by no means froze or crashed. Though I would not suggest buying this Chromebook solely for enjoying video games, it nonetheless held its personal, with streamed video games becoming the total display screen similar to streamed video content material.

General, the Chromebook Plus 515 packs a large punch at an awesome value, supporting loads of productiveness with out having to fret about sluggish efficiency. You’ll be able to’t go incorrect right here for those who’re paying for the gadget from a solely efficiency angle.


Tight competitors, however Acer nonetheless sails forward for the informal person

side view of the acer chromebook plus 515 laptop at 90 degrees

Do not forget that $400 shouldn’t be a foul deal for those who’re paying for a efficiency improve. Nonetheless, it is best to not depend your chickens earlier than they hatch, as Google additionally affords a full line of aggressive Chromebook Plus fashions with related specs.

Level clean, it is robust to beat the Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus, although this monster of a Chromebook does come at a barely steeper value at $500. Nonetheless, these items can usually be discovered underneath $400 throughout a sale. For the reason that Lenovo additionally carries the Chromebook Plus label, the software program and efficiency might be practically an identical. However Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook Plus affords a 2-in-1 convertible ({hardware}) design and a barely brighter show at 300 nits. Battery life and cost time are additionally comparable, so Acer is not chopping any corners with practicality. Nonetheless, the 2-in-1 removable configuration offers the Lenovo Flex 5i an edge over the Acer Chromebook Plus 515, making it a hard buyer to beat out.

One other robust contender is the Asus Chromebook Plus Cx34. Nobody can argue the $400 value level is worthy of a pickup (particularly in case you are on a price range). It packs a barely smaller show for individuals who could not need to go as massive as 15 inches, and at 14 inches, it additionally proves lighter and extra sensible for frequent backpack journeys. However in any other case, each laptops go head-to-head with design and specs. So that you’d most likely need to snatch the one being supplied at a greater value every time one goes on sale.


Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 overview: Productiveness on level

Subtly candy software program and durable {hardware} make for a reliable laptop computer

HP additionally helps a Chromebook Plus mannequin with the HP Chromebook Plus 15.6 inch (HP additionally has the HP Chromebook Plus x360 14 inch, however the $700 price ticket would not make it a good comparability). You’ll be able to choose this one up for $500, so that you’re a barely dearer various providing the identical specs. Nonetheless, the HP Chromebook Plus 15.6-inch features a comparatively crisp 144Hz refresh fee and 9ms response time that the Acer Chromebook would not have. That is a helpful perk for gaming, however there are a lot better Chromebooks mendacity round for gaming.

Do you have to purchase it?

Google’s Chromebook Plus initiative seems fairly promising when paired with the Chromebook Plus 515. This laptop computer is a chief instance of every little thing you want that will not allow you to down in convention calls whereas managing your day-to-day duties. The battery life will final a complete working day, and it solely takes an hour and a half to achieve full cost. However it would not come with out trade-offs: Acer brings in a barely uninteresting design whereas leaving out some necessary {hardware} concerns (lack of a backlit keyboard in some fashions, no touchscreen in others, for instance).

display example with golden retriever puppies displayed on acer chromebook plus 515

Given the competitors for a Chromebook Plus mannequin between Lenovo, HP, and Asus, you may’t go incorrect with the Acer Chromebook Plus 515, particularly when you’ll find it on sale for underneath $400. Whereas Chromebooks nonetheless endure from the barebones ChromeOS when in comparison with any Home windows PC, Google’s new line of Chromebook Plus fashions utterly revamps the productiveness use case of the OS — which suggests any hybrid distant workplace employee or scholar can knab a reliable Chromebook with out the trouble of finding out specs throughout a number of manufacturers. And an awesome place to begin, in my view, is with the $400 Acer Chromebook Plus 515.

Acer Chromebook Plus 515

Acer Chromebook Plus 515

Acer’s first Chromebook Plus mannequin is a comfortably massive 15.6-inch clamshell which will lack a touchscreen however has all the ability and productiveness to maintain up with you and your workload from now till June 2032. With a Twelfth Gen i3, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, you’ve got all of the core specs you want, in addition to massive, up-firing audio system and a 1080p digicam in your Zoom calls. (However please, be sort and put on headphones.

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