Review of Acer CB515-1HT 15 Inch Chromebook

Written by Karen Bryan

In October 2017, started thinking about replacing my then six year old Samsung R519 laptop. However, I never got around to doing it. Partly because I was unsure of what I should buy as a replacement and partly because the Samsung could do everything required.

But recently the Samsung laptop had become so slow, that I needed a replacement.

It was the same old confusion as in October 2017 in trying to decide on a replacement device.

I’ve had an Acer Asprie CB5-311 chromebook with a 13 inch screen as my back up and travel laptop for three and a half years. As I’ve been very happy with it, I was tempted to buy a chromebook with a larger screen as my main laptop. While a 13 inch screen is a good compromise for travel in that it’s fairly portable and compact, I like to have a 15 inch screen on my main machine.

Chromebook do have limitations, but as I mainly use browser based applications, they haven’t affected me much. The main issue has not being able to print from my Chromebook, as my WiFi printer is not Google Could Print ready. But I can print from my mobile phone using the Printer 2 Go app.

I decided to take the plunge and purchase an Acer CB515-1HT-P099, which has a full HD 15.6 inch touchscreen. It cost £399 from John Lewis, who included a two year guarantee as standard on electrical and electronic goods.

The Acer CB515 has an Intel N4200 1.1GHZ quad core processor. I was a bit concerned that this wouldn’t be adequate, as my Acer 13 inch chromebook has an 2.2GHz quad core processor. I asked our son about this. He didn’t think that it would be a problem as the Acer CB515 has 4GB of RAM, compared to the 2GB of RAM in the older chreomebook.

I really liked the fact that the Acer CB515 battery can last up to twelve hours, impressive for a large HD screen. Although the new chromebook would be mainly used on my desk at home, I thought that I would take it with me when away from home if I was travelling by car.

Newer chromebooks, such as the Acer CB515, can download apps from Google Play, so I was hopeful that if I downloaded the Print 2 Go app, that I would able to print from the chromebook, I also wanted to download the Eurosport Player app, as I’d like to subscribe to be able to watch tennis online.

I haven’t used the touchsceen on the Acer CB515-1HT-P099 much, Most of the time, I forget that it’s an option, as I can do everything required on the keyboard. I would have been happier if the chromebook screen wasn’t touchscreen and the price had been lower. But £400 was a good price for a large full HD screen.

The keyboard is very nice to use and is backlit. I find that I need to turn up the screen brightness quite a bit, otherwise it seems to dull.

Neither of the apps I wanted to use, Print 2 Go or Eurosport would work on the chromebook. I tried a chrome extension for my Ricoh printer, but my printer wasn’t listed, so I couldn’t get that to work either.

The battery doesn’t last for anything like twelve hours, but then I do turn up the brightness and use WiFi as opposed to a wired connection.

The side of the keyboard speakers on the Acer chromebook didn’t score highly in several reviews which I read, but I find them to be quite good, especially compared to the speakers in my previous Samsung laptop.

Overall, I am happy with the Acer CB515-1HT-P099 for the price of £400. But part of that is due to the contrast with my old Samsung laptop, which was so slow. The new chromebook does everything that I want to do competently. I like the feel of the keyboard and the fact that it is backlit.

But I am disappointed that the two apps, which I wanted to use, to print and watch Eurosport, won’t work on the chromebook. Both apps work on my android mobile phone. It seems a bit pointless to advertise that a chromebook can download apps, if ones that are fine on an android phone, aren’t compatible with a chromebook.

I knew that I’d probably have to turn the brightness right up on the 15 inch screen chromebook, as that’s the case in my 13 inch Acer chromebook, But the battery in the smaller chromebook did last for closer to the advertised length of time when it was brand new. The shorter battery life of my new chromebook is not very important to me, as I don’t plan to use the chromebook on battery for long periods of time. But if you want to run the Acer CB515-1HT-P099 all day on battery, and prefer a brighter screen, you could be disappointed.