Acer has continued its push into the world of Chromebook with yet another model, this time a rather large 15.6-inch offering for those that want to enjoy more screen.
Acer's goal, according to the company, is to offer a big screen Chrome OS experience and to cement its 40 per cent market share of the OS that wants to be a viable alternative to Windows and OS X.
Rather than opt for a metal casing as the company does for its Aspire range, Acer has opted for a white or black plastic design with a fabric like coating. We say plastic, but in reality it feels more like a wicker or weaved material. The by-product of which means that it is fairly grippy and soft to touch in the hand, and doesn't come across as a knock-off MacBook from 5 years ago, but something that is trying to define its own space.
That plastic shell is reinforced by a metal chassis to give it some robustness and for the most part it works, although this is no Toughbook in terms of industrial design. There are still huge gaps in the clamshell design, and Acer has done nothing to disguise or make a statement of the hinges joining the two parts together.
In the hand and the experience is very similar to that of the company's previous Chromebook offerings with that screen really offering a lot of real estate to enjoy the web. That 15.6-inch screen really is big. It is considerably more screen than previously with any other Chrome OS device.
The resolution isn't as mind-numbing as the Chromebook Pixel from a couple of years ago, but still manages to deliver a crisp 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, which will be more than able for most use cases. Those looking to save a few pennies can opt for a 1366 x 768 screen, although at that size you would start to see blurring on finer details.
Thanks to that large screen there is plenty of space for the keyboard, speakers either side of the keys, and trackpad, with the latter being able to boast that it is the largest touchpad on any Chromebook at the moment. The keyboard is predictably acceptable, nice to type on and the keys well spaced out.
This being a Chromebook, the Acer Chromebook 15 isn't the most powerful laptop around, but anyone that knows about or has used Chrome OS will know that's not really a problem. Here Acer has included a range of processor and spec variations to suit different budgets. It packs the new 5th Generation Intel Core i3 based on the chipmaker's Broadwell architecture, a 16GB or 32GB solid state drive (SSD), 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and the promise of an all-day battery.
Connectivity comes in the guise of MIMO 2x2 Wifi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 3.0, USB 2.0 and HDMI. There is also a SD card reader.
The Acer Chromebook 15 will start at $249.99, UK prices are still to be confirmed.