Demand for Chromebooks is increasing at a staggering pace, and computer manufacturers are scrambling to meet them in terms of cost, size, specifications and design. The Acer Chromebook 15 CB3-532 is one of the latest devices to have emerged from this lot, and it seems to be gunning for a wide swath of consumers with its features.
Chromebooks have been generally considered low-priced, bang-for-the-buck laptops, and Acer stayed well within this tested formula in its latest 15-inch laptop. First off, the device is really cheap at $199, and this factor is made more important by the fact that it brings significant improvements to its predecessor, which costs $50 more.
Its battery life, for example, now hovers at about 12 hours, two hours more than what the older version could manage.
The 15.6-inch screen could also be a sweet spot for consumers trying to decide between the Acer Chromebook and a cheaper competitor. The screen size effectively makes the laptop the biggest in the entire Acer Chromebook range. It also has a backlit keyboard, which is still a rarity for Chromebooks at this price point.
Acer outfitted the laptop with an Intel Celeron N3060 dual-core processor. This is not exactly top of the line but is still considered decent to run the Chrome OS. The device will come with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage.
With the basement-low price, it is expected that Acer would cut some corners. Indeed, the company did this with the screen resolution of the CB3-532. The laptop only has 1,366 x 768 display, which is a resolution one usually finds in 11-inch laptops.
To apply this in actual usage, one can say that viewing media could be a pleasant experience given the display size. However, a user will not be able to use it to open several windows at the same time. There's just no room for it.
The decision to adopt low-resolution display for the CB3-532 could be attributed to the fact that the device is equipped with middling processor and RAM. A higher pixel density could significantly tax performance while also undermining the Chromebook's battery life. Unfortunately, the low resolution is quite noticeable, and a user in the market for a big-resolution Chromebook will most assuredly find a better option elsewhere. The Acer Chromebook 15 C910 is an excellent example.
While many Chromebooks are still cheap and cheap-looking, manufacturers are now increasingly producing excellent variants that feature premium hardware and design. The upcoming Samsung Chromebook Pro immediately comes to mind. Acer should be minding this development if it wants to establish a foothold and a solid reputation in the Chromebook market.
With the CB3-532, the company appears to be in it to get a product that consumers can buy as a gift for the holidays.