Every day, Chromebooks get better and better. Updated hardware, 1080p webcams, and AI capabilities arrive with the new Chromebook Plus series of computers. These days, that’s the new norm, and I’m all for it. Chromebooks, which were first introduced in 2011, have undoubtedly advanced. Should you be searching for a fast laptop for daily use, the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 is unquestionably worthy of your valuable time and consideration.
The everyday user can benefit greatly from the Acer Chromebook Plus 515’s dependable performance and enjoyable typing experience. There was no discernible lag while switching between tabs. The upward-firing speakers also produce clear sounds. Even though the display’s bezels are thicker than I prefer and the style is a little dated, overall, I think this is a good buy, especially considering the $399.99 price tag. Not bad for a machine under $500, eh?
An Intel Core i3-1215U CPU, Intel UHD graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of SSD storage are included with our evaluation model. That is more than enough power for routine activities like checking email and social media. While it’s not intended for gaming, this Chromebook isn’t exactly a gaming computer. It performs well for the price of $399.99. But storage is a little light, which might raise some suspicions. Considering that I keep the most of my files on the cloud, it didn’t really affect me. Furthermore, you are unable to modify this model. In the future, though, you will have a choice of setups.
- Intel Core i3-1215U CPU
- Intel UHD graphics
- 8GB RAM memory
- 15.6-inch 1080p, 16:9 aspect ratio display
- 128GB SSD storage
- Webcam resolution: 1080p at 60 frames per second
- Connectivity: One USB-A, Two USB-C, One HDMI, One headset jack
- Battery life: Thirteen hours; Weight: 3.7 pounds
- Cost: $399.99
AI functionalities and other aspects
While enjoyable, the new AI toolkit is not required. Beautiful wallpapers that change throughout the day provide a pleasant background to gaze at while working or completing other duties. Additionally, you may adjust the illumination in webcam images and recordings. Additionally, generative AI can be used to create meeting backgrounds and wallpapers. Though I’m not sure how to use it just yet, I’m a little hesitant. I don’t really want to get into a debate about it because it goes too far into the ethical ambiguity of AI art theft.
Build Quality and Design
The Acer Chromebook Plus 515, I must say, isn’t going to win any beauty pageants. It fits right in with the many dark gray rectangles that are ubiquitous in the laptop industry. Nevertheless, the lid’s delicate pattern—a triangle of lighter gray meeting a triangle of darker gray—is visually appealing. Although it’s not the most exciting design, some people might not care. After all, if you intend to use this laptop in a professional setting, a more understated or practical design might be more appealing.
Even while the design isn’t very noteworthy, the build quality is remarkable—especially for a laptop that costs less than $500. If you bend the corners of the screen, you’ll feel a slight flex, but the keyboard deck is sturdy and held up well when I pressed my palms down on it. The laptop has a comparatively modest weight of 3.7 pounds. Though it doesn’t have to be, this isn’t the lightest machine we’ve ever tested. Ultimately, using it shouldn’t hurt your shoulders when you’re traveling.
Keyboard, Trackpad, and Display
The 15.6-inch 1080p display on the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 is decent but not outstanding. I had to constantly change the brightness because it could only manage approximately 250 nits, especially when watching Netflix or YouTube. Regarding image quality, daily use and productivity tasks can both benefit from the clear details. The contrast on the screen was pleasing to me as I watched an episode of The House of Usher, a very gloomy drama both visually and narratively. To allow for more picture, I would like that the bezels—particularly the ones at the top and bottom of the screen—were a little bit smaller.
The keyboard has plenty of room. As a matter of fact, typing on this device is strikingly comparable to that of the Asus Chromebook Plus CX34. The keys are springy under my fingertips, and it didn’t take long for me to get used to them. For people with larger hands, the individual keys also seem wider than other ones I’ve seen. I really like that the trackpad is positioned in the center of the keyboard. As I’ve mentioned in past reviews, nothing annoys me more than an off-center trackpad because my palms tend to contact it and misfire. The Plus 515s responded fast to my taps and glides and made a satisfying snapping sound when I depressed on them.
The Acer Chromebook Plus 515’s connectivity options are adequate, if perhaps a little limited for some users. It features an HDMI port, two USB-C, one USB-A, and a headset jack. Although I would have liked to have had more USB-A ports, a hub can take care of that. Furthermore, I don’t require as many connectivity alternatives as an office worker might because I work remotely and have access to both a desktop and a laptop.
I adore that a 1080p webcam is now included as standard equipment on all Chromebook Plus models. I didn’t appear washed out or grainy on video, which is ideal for someone like me who works from home and takes part in video conferences. Though I’m not sure whether I could call it the best color-accurate camera I’ve ever seen. My garment, which had the color of tangerine, appeared more subdued than it does in person. This webcam also has a real privacy shutter, which is an advantage in my opinion.
The upward-firing speakers that surround the keyboard produce surprisingly nice audio. Kate Bush’s witch-like vocals on the Hounds of Love album were clear and ethereal—I promise that’s a compliment. Strange tininess wasn’t apparent to me, although bass tones are scarce. However, that’s just the way laptop audio works. Simply said, the audio quality is not as good as it would be with external speakers or a sound bar.
The specifications of this machine might not look too impressive at first. Ultimately, the Intel Core i3 processor is primarily intended for tasks involving browsers and not much else. Nonetheless, the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 functions like a true pro for a device intended for light use. Startup and shutdown occur quite quickly, and I had no lag while
hopping between tabs. With a Basemark Web 3.0 score of 1313.43, the Plus 515 outperformed the Asus Chromebook Plus CX34, which was equivalent. This benchmark assesses your machine’s performance with web-based applications. Despite this, its CrXPRT 2 score was lower, at 169. Despite scoring lower than the Plus CX34 (181), I saw no discernible difference between the two devices. Both functions similarly, especially when used in everyday situations.
Here are the results of the five browser-based benchmarks for the Acer Chromebook Plus 515.
- Speedometer: 116
- CrXPRT 2: 169
- Kraken: 504.7 ms
- Basemark Web 3.0: 1313.43
- Jetstream 2: 248.98
Life of the Battery
Although the battery life is respectable, Chromebooks have clearly produced superior results. For instance, the Asus Chromebook CM34 Flip could run for an astounding 19 hours on a single charge. But after 13 hours, the Chromebook Plus 515 began to lose its performance. Don’t get it wrong that’s still a fantastic outcome. It should be mentioned that I used the laptop with the brightness set to 50% when doing the battery benchmark, so if you use the laptop with the brightness turned up, you might see a shorter result.
Is it worth buying?
Yes, You ought to. The aesthetically poor design is the sole significant drawback. In contrast, the Asus Chromebook Plus CX34 is more elegant in my opinion because to its ivory-colored casing and illuminated keyboard. Nevertheless, the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 is a dependable performer, and that’s ultimately what matters. Folks, beauty is only skin deep. For a Chromebook, the 13-hour battery life is about average, but if you’re ever without an outlet, that’s plenty of power. for some time. The Acer Chromebook Plus 515 is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a reliable all-around laptop with good performance, good audio, and a 1080p webcam.