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Acer Chromebook 715 review: Business in the front and the back

Acer Chromebook 715 Keyboard
(Image: © Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Our Verdict

Bottom line: With options for an i3 or i5 processor and up to 128GB of storage, this is a Chromebook that's made to get things done, especially with its 15.6 touchscreen — perfect for split-screening — and keyboard with a number pad for entering grades and other figures.

For

  • Big touchscreen
  • Powerful enough for business
  • Well-priced

Against

  • Design's a bit basic
  • Dull screen
  • Webcam sucks

I had thought Chromebooks would grow even more popular in 2020, but I could never have imagined that they'd become the hot ticket item of the year! Leave it to tens of millions of people having to work or learn from home to overwhelm the Chromebook market, I guess. While most enthusiasts and tech publications are more focused on premium Chromebooks like the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook and the ASUS Chromebook Flip C436, I've always drifted towards more affordable models. My daily driver is a $300 Chromebook, and it's perfectly suited to my needs, and it's more often what users like you are looking for.

The Acer Chromebook 715 isn't a head-turner for spec hounds, but it's exactly the kind of Chromebook that most people actually need before they get lured in by shiny shells and the premium marketing: a no-nonsense Chromebook with enough get-up and go to get your work done. It doesn't do everything right — the screen is big, but a bit dull — but if you just want a Chromebook for your kid to get their coursework done, this is affordable, available, and perfectly acceptable.

Ready to work

Acer Chromebook 715 What's great about it

Acer Chromebook 715 on my standing desk

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)
CategoryAcer Chromebook 715
Display15.6-inch IPS
Optional touchscreen
1920x1200
ProcessorIntel Pentium 4417U
Intel Core i3-8130U
Intel Core i5-8350U
Memory4-8GB LPDDR4x
Storage32-128GB
Ports2x USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1)
1x USB-A (USB 3.1 Gen 1)
microSD slot
Audio combo jack
Peripheral featuresFull-size keyboard with number pad
Aluminum body
AudioDual speakers
Battery45Wh
10-12 hours
Weight4.3 lbs
AUE DateJune 2025

Under the large aluminum lid of the 715 sits a 15.6-inch screen and a full-size keyboard with a number pad, which is emphasized because, before last year, numpad Chromebooks were unheard of. The keyboard here is easy enough to use, and the glass trackpad is even easier to glide around on — I kinda wish it was centered on the laptop rather than centered on the spacebar — but I still used the touchscreen for a lot of my scrolling and navigation.

A touchscreen on a clamshell laptop may seem superfluous, but I'm happy it's here. The fold-flat hinge here is sturdy enough that while you can open it with one hand, I almost always took the precaution of using two. I'm grateful for that rigidity; the lid wouldn't flop flat or slam shut when I pick it up off my lap the way some 2-in-1s do.

Getting to the specs and performance, Chrome OS absolutely purrs on an i3, even with only paired with 4GB of RAM on my review unit (8GB models are available, but you'll pay significantly more for them), and the 128GB of storage gives you plenty of space for Android apps, offlines content, or just oodles and oodles of downloaded attachments because that's inevitably what the download folder on any Chromebook becomes. I didn't run into any stutters or lags on the 715 until I was north of 25 tabs, and Android apps ran as smoothly as they did on the ASUS C436, which is great considering this Chromebook is half the price.

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Battery while using the 715 is about what I'd expect from a modern Chromebook: I usually got 8-10 hours on a charge. I did notice that if I left this Chromebook sitting unused on a table unplugged for days at a time, it eats a little more battery than other Chromebooks I've used recently, but it never left me hanging when I needed it. That said, as a 15-inch Chromebook, I usually left it plugged into my micro docking station because it's a bit big for couch-surfing.

Where's the pizzazz?

Acer Chromebook 715 What's not good

Washed out screen

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

While it's nice to have a big screen, the 15.6-inch screen on the Acer 715 isn't exactly vibrant. It's good enough for research and number-crunching large Excel sheets, but I wouldn't want to watch movie marathons on it. It can get bright enough to use in the shade outdoors, but things start looking faded really easily once you take it out of the office. You'll find better 15.6-inch screens on the Lenovo C340-15 (opens in new tab) and some of HP's larger models, but the screen quality here matches what we've seen on other Acer Chromebooks in this price range.

Acer Chromebook 715 Webcam Sample

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Normally, I'm not too hard on Chromebook webcams, but on business-oriented models like the 715 — especially in 2020 where most of us are having video calls for work — it's worth more than a passing mention here. Especially because the webcam here is just bad. Even last year's $250 Lenovo C330 has a noticeably better webcam than the Acer 715. I understand that at $400, there had to be a compromise somewhere, but if you're going to be making a lot of web calls, I would either get a USB webcam or choose another laptop.

I've had this Chromebook for the better part of three months, but I kept getting lured away from it by other Chromebooks — like the $1000 ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 and the compact Lenovo Chromebook Duet — because while the Acer Chromebook 715 does most things right and does them all quickly, it does them in a boring shell. And if you're someone who values aesthetics in everything they own, you'll probably want something shinier and flashier than the 715, though you will undoubtedly pay more for it.

There's nothing wrong with boring laptops; even laptops twice this price can feel boring to some of us. If you need a Chromebook with a more powerful processor and a big screen for split-screening work as you work from home without breaking your budget — the way the $600 (or more) ASUS C434 can — the Acer Chromebook 715 can be a great laptop for you.

Acer Chromebook 715 Should you buy it?

Acer Chromebook 715

Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Acer didn't really break the mold with the Acer Chromebook 715, but that's perfectly fine. For $400, a Chromebook with a 15.6-inch touchscreen and an i3 processor is about as good as it gets, especially once you add in 128GB of storage and the fact that it'll get Chrome OS updates until June 2025. For schoolwork or "real work," this Chromebook is all you need to keep connected and productive, so long as you can live with the webcam and a slightly dim screen.

3.5 out of 5

If there's anything to be wary of when buying the Acer 715, it's this: there are some configurations (opens in new tab) that don't include a touchscreen, but I recommend steering clear of them. While touchscreens are necessary on 2-in-1s like the Lenovo C340-15 (opens in new tab), I really do advocate buying a touchscreen even on clamshell Chromebooks because they make it far easier to interact with Android apps, which are usually touch-optimized rather than geared towards mouse/trackpad.

Check the specs when you're buying to ensure that you're grabbing a touchscreen model; if you're not, it better be under $350 or you need to close the tab and walk away.

Who it's for

  • If you need a Chromebook with a big screen but not a big price
  • If you don't need a 4K screen or Project Athena
  • If you want a low-key laptop that can get it done
  • If you want a touchscreen but don't need a 2-in-1

Who it isn't for

  • If you do a lot of professional video calls
  • If you absolutely need a killer screen
  • If you want a compact/light Chromebook

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

1 Comment
  • Meh. The better MediaTek SOCs: A) support Android apps better than Intel CPUs
    B) support Linux better than Qualcomm and Exynos
    C) have INTEGRATED 5G
    D) are cheaper than the Intel, Qualcomm and Exynos options while offering "good enough" performance (note how the Lenovo Duet performs "similar" to Intel Celeron/Atom devices and does it with a two year old MT6771 which powers phones that cost as little as $125) If Google had, I don't know, a hardware guy with a hardware strategy then the Lenovo Flex 5G - which absolutely no one is going to buy because Windows on ARM is terrible and the Snapdragon 8cx is ehhh - would be running ChromeOS, cost half the price and would be marketed to ... well pretty much anyone who wants an always connected productivity device. The funny thing: MediaTek WANTS more manufacturers to use their chips. But the OEMs are being "guided" by Google to use the (lousy) Intel "mobile" CPUs.