Acer has unveiled a healthy selection of Chromebooks at their latest Global Press Event and we have hands-on with one of those devices here in the office. The Acer Chromebook 515 is the company’s latest stab at a larger 15.6-inch device and they aren’t holding back on the internals this time.
In years past, Acer has put out quite a few 15.6-inch Chromebooks, but most of them were pretty under-powered. That is definitely not the case this time around as this new 515 is packed with speed, RAM and storage. With up to a Core i7, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of NVMe storage, there’s no doubt this thing will be a high-end performer all around. But what about all the outside stuff?
From the outside, this is an Acer laptop through and through. Love it or hate it, Acer has a look and a feel, and this Chromebook does little to deviate from that. The lid is aluminum while the bottom half is plastic, but device as a whole feels relatively sturdy and well-made. Acer let us know that this is definitely a pre-production model, so I won’t draw too many conclusions at this point.
What I can tell you is that the anti-glare screen is nice to have, even if the 250-nit screen is a bit dim for my tastes. The backlit keyboard feels comfortable to type on and the inclusion of the numeric keypad is always welcome on larger devices like this. Below that keyboard is a fingerprint scanner and a large, glass trackpad: both welcome and appreciated additions.
Other than that, this isn’t some mind-blowing breakthrough in the Chrome OS space. Instead, it’s a solid-looking offering from a well-known Chromebook maker that could fit in well for lots of users. There are two configurations Acer has shared with us so far, and two price points. There will be more, but for now these are the only two they are sure on. With a release date set for December, there’s time to sort out which versions of this device will actually hit the market. At $799, you’ll get the Chromebook 515 with an 11th-gen Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of NVMe storage. For $649, you’ll have the same spec line with the Core i3.
With how often Acer Chromebooks go on sale, I could see the Core i3 version of this device getting into the $550 range on a regular basis, and for those looking for a 15.6-inch Chromebook, it could be a great competitor to the excellent ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5500. We’re excited to get our hands on the other Chromebooks announced at the event today and as we do, you’ll be the first to know. Make sure you are subscribed below so you don’t miss it.