The likes of The Witcher looked perfectly fine on the Acer Chromebook, even during gloomy scenes where other budget laptops may struggle. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor. The Acer Chromebook’s speakers can be found on the bottom of the laptop, which unfortunately does mean audio sounds a bit muffled when blasted into your desk. A lot of popular games are ruled out here too, including Minecraft and Fortnite. It’s nowhere near as impressive as more premium Chromebooks such as the PixelBook Go, but simultaneously looks and feels far superior to the plastic clamshells that once dominated the Chromebook market. To buy an alternative laptop running on Windows though, you’ll need to spend twice as much. The enter key is also smaller than usual, which I’m not a fan of. Acer claims the Chromebook 315 sees a battery life of up to 12.5 hours, which surpasses the 10-hour mark that most laptops and Chromebooks aim for. Typing feel is rather flat and shallow, with a pliant, plasticky response. Contrast is good, yet small text and fine details are slightly hazy around the edges. (Some other Chromebooks I've tried have balked at the latter.) Again, it sports the usual Chromebook layout, with a menu/search key in place of Caps Lock and browser and system-control functions along the top. I’m sure there are apps on the Google Play Store that will make it struggle, such as games or photo-editors, but if you stick to the basics then this laptop should run fine. If you’ve no intentions of pushing your laptop further than basic browsing and video streaming, then the Acer Chromebook 315 is a perfectly adequate option. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. We may earn a commission if you click a deal and buy an item. The video quality is grainy, but it’s still good enough for work meetings and friendly video chats. After conducting our own standard battery test (turning brightness down to 150 nits and looping a video) the Acer Chromebook only lasted 5 and a half hours., Formerly editor-in-chief of Home Office Computing, Eric Grevstad is a contributing editor for PCMag, where he earlier served as lead laptop analyst. Overlapping tracks come through clearly, without a ton of bass but with strong highs and vocals. Apple MacBook Pro vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3: Which 13-Inch Premium Laptop Is Tops? Slick Ultraportables Face Off: 2020 Apple MacBook Air vs. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, High-End Mac Showdown: Apple iMac vs. Apple MacBook Pro, Tablet, Chromebook Demand Soars as Pandemic Prompts Need for Affordable Computers, Early Benchmarks Show Apple's ARM-Based Macs Reign Supreme, New Beta of Microsoft's Office 2019 Is Compatible with ARM-Based Macs, Amid New Macs, Apple Brings Back John Hodgman to Ridicule Windows PCs, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 (2020) Review. The 720p webcam is a lowest-common-denominator device, with fair colors but rather soft focus. PCMag, and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. However, our own battery benchmark tests show very different results. The Acer Chromebook 315 is an incredibly cheap device – retailing for £269.99 –  but it feels and looks like a laptop three times more expensive. Chromebooks have long promised smooth performances and high-end designs at a budget price, but few manufacturers have actually delivered. The max brightness is also pretty low at 261 nits, which means sun glare can make it difficult to see the screen in sunny environments. Chromebooks aren’t usually this big, but it’s really handy to have the extra screen space. That’s a pretty poor result, and means you won’t get through the work day without needing to plug it into the mains. I was disappointed not to find an HDMI video output, though you can connect an external monitor by plugging a DisplayPort adapter (not included) into a USB-C port. But it doesn't climb from the entry-level ranks to threaten its Editors' Choice sibling—its tepid performance and plastic design won't thrill you, and its display will leave you longing for more color and candlepower. Of course, the only reason Acer has been able to ensure such a smooth performance is because it’s using Chrome OS instead of Windows, which means you have to accept some compromises. is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. The Acer Chromebook 315 sees a huge 15.6-inch LCD screen with a Full HD resolution. The Acer Chromebook 315’s keyboard is one of its weakest features. On the left side are a USB 3.1 Type-C port (which accommodates the compact AC adapter), a USB 3.1 Type-A port, a microSD card slot, and an audio jack. The CPU performance, battery life and keyboard quality are far behind the standard of more expensive laptops, but that's not really an issue if you're sticking to the likes of casual web browsing, video streaming and basic apps. Bluetooth and 802.11ac Wi-Fi handle wireless connections. Carrying model number CB315-2HT-47WG, my $299.99 review unit combines the A4-9120C with 4GB of memory, 32GB of eMMC flash storage, and a 1,920-by-1,080-pixel touch panel. The 315 finished in the middle of the pack, with the Acer Chromebook 514 showing outstanding stamina and the 15.6-inch Asus falling short of the seven-hour mark. It’s nowhere near as impressive as more premium Chromebooks such as the. The most expensive, at $429.99, flaunts a faster AMD A6-9220C processor with Radeon R5 graphics, as well as 8GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Is this bargain-priced Chromebook too good to be true? Bargain hunters will be happy, but Chromebook power users will want to set their sights higher. It’s important to remember that this is an incredibly cheap laptop though, so should only be judged on basic tasks such as web browsing and video streaming. Dressed in pretty good imitation brushed aluminum—in truth it's plastic, unlike its Chromebook 514 sibling—the 315 sports Chrome and Acer logos on its lid. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. Contrast is decent enough with a 1102:1 ratio. On the right are another USB-C port, another USB-A port, and a security lock slot. For a Chromebook at this price, the screen is as good as you could hope for. The black plastic bezel surrounding the screen is relatively chunky, but not to the extent that the Chromebook 315 looks ugly. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. That changes with the Acer Chromebook 315. There are of course limitations such as the locked-down Chrome OS opposed to Windows and the Intel Pentium Silver processor that lags far behind flagship laptops. The Acer Chromebook 315 is an entry-level laptop ideal for those with a smaller budget. By comparison, the display is a bit of a disappointment. A tech journalist since the TRS-80 and Apple II days, Grevstad specializes in lightweight laptops, mobile workstations, and productivity software. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. Despite having a touchscreen, the Chromebook’s hinge can only be folded back to an 180-degree angle, so you won’t be able to use this as a tablet replacement. Cranking up the volume doesn't make sounds tinny or distorted. That’s fairly hefty, but you can still just about lift it up with one hand, albeit with some wrist strain. The AMD chip's performance is unexciting, but it helps bring the 15.6-inch system to retail for $200 less than our Editors' Choice consumer Chromebook, the 14-inch Acer Chromebook 514. The Acer's stereo speakers can fill a good-size room, and the Chromebook 315 played my MP3 files with both Chrome Audio Player and Google Play Music. But when you consider the cheapest Windows laptop with a decent performance will cost you more than £500, then there’s no doubt that the Acer Chromebook 315 represents fantastic value – just as long as you’re content sticking to web browsing, video streaming and basic apps. But if you’re planning on using it at home or in an office where a mains is always within reach, then the poor battery life shouldn’t be an issue. Connectivity is excellent with the device including 2x USB-C (one for power delivery), 2x USB-A, headphone jack and a microSD card slot. The Acer Chromebook 315 features a basic design.