I’ve said it again and again: price informs our opinions of a device. When there are multiple decent options, the more affordable one tends to be favored over the others. Regardless of whether you are a deal seeker or just a general shopper, everyone loves a great deal. Though this 15-inch Chromebook from Acer isn’t the absolute best large Chromebook, it is close enough. And the money you’ll save on it easily makes up for its shortcomings.
We spent quite a bit of time with the Acer Chromebook 714 and did a full-blown review of that device, so we’re not taking this time to do that on the 715. In general, they are very similar. Both employ all-aluminum builds, Gorilla Glass track pads, anti-glare screens, fast internals, solid keyboards, and ample storage. You can check out that review if you’d like a bit more info on the more detailed bits, but what you really need to know is this Chromebook is built well, is great to use, and is really worth owning.
Our test model had a couple omissions from the 714 (and the higher-priced 715 variants) and they are important to note. First, the backlighting on the keyboard and didn’t make it to this particular model. Though the product listing and the sticker right on the Chromebook say it has this feature, it does not.
Secondly, the fingerprint scanner is missing. This is one of those omissions that isn’t a terrible loss as long as you are aware of it going in. If you are just buying a Chromebook 715 without looking, you could end up expecting to get a fingerprint scanner and end up sorely disappointed. While I loved having it there on the 714 we reviewed, I’m still not spoiled by having a fingerprint scanner on my Chromebook yet, so this didn’t really hurt my overall experience.
Once you get past those things, though, these are the exact same 715 parts that are used on the much pricier models. You even get the 8th-gen Core i3 and 128GB of internal storage, too. Sure, the 4GB of RAM is a tad disappointing, but I have to admit I never had memory issues while using it for days of work. I’m an advocate for at least 8GB of RAM, but the truth is I rarely have issue with devices that only have 4GB. As always, your mileage may vary.
Price Informs Opinions
With all that on board, the price is still the standout feature. Currently at $349 over at Walmart, this Chromebook at this price almost makes no sense. There is nowhere else you are going to get something built completely of metal with a glass trackpad and a Core i3 processor for this kind of money. It just doesn’t happen. When we bought this Chromebook a few weeks ago, it was actually even cheaper at $299, so there’s a chance that asking price goes down even more.
Would I say this is better than the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630? No. I think the Lenovo is a better overall device. But the Yoga costs twice what this one does, so at this price, it doesn’t even enter the conversation. That is precisely why I’m saying this is the best 15-inch Chromebook for the money right now. Other 15-inch devices in this price range aren’t worth your time or money. Even if you ended up finding one of the other 15-inch Chromebooks for $50 or $75 cheaper, this one is so much better than all of them that I’d highly advise finding a way to come up with that extra cash. This Chromebook is truly one of those rare exceptions to the “get what you pay for” rule: it really is much better than what you are paying for it.