Acer Chromebook 15 C910-C453 Review

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March 18, 2015
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A 15 inch Chromebook is here, brought to you by a certain Taiwanese electronics giant. Dubbed Acer Chromebook 15 C910-C453, the laptop features quite a big display for Chrome based computer. There’s also an entry level Intel Celeron processor and battery life of up to 9 hours. What are the laptop’s good sides, and is it essentially worth 350 bucks? You’ll get answer to that in the review below.

Performance

Acer Chromebook 15 C910-C453 contains a processor called Intel Celeron 3205U. It’s a 2015 release, so brand new, although many people rightfully associate Celeron with poor performance. Indeed, this processor runs on two cores and on low 1.5GHz clock frequency. In Windows world those specifications would be nothing to brag about, but for a Chrome laptop the Celeron suffices. It will handle basic web browsing and streaming off YouTube without problems.

4GB DDR3L SDRAM is installed on the laptop. Some say there’s not much difference between 2GB and 4GB when using Chrome – with a Windows notebook there certainly would be. At any rate, the current four gigabytes is good for multitasking, like having loads of browser tabes open simultaneously. The system won’t freeze if you’re an active surfer.

The storage solution is naturally a solid-state drive. 16GB in this model, it should run the Chrome smooth and boot it up in a matter of seconds. The storage space itself is ridiculously small compared to hard drives but that’s not a big problem. You wont be installing software on this model the way you’re used with Windows – much of the stuff happens online, although not so much as before. Google has recently put some effort to make Chromebooks offline friendly computers.

Graphics and screen

Acer Chromebook 15 C910-C453 features a 15.6″ screen with 1366×768 – unlike it’s brother, the C910-C37P that has a Full HD IPS display of similar size. The current resolution should work fine for lightweight stuff you do on a Chromebook, although the Full HD model probably offers better image quality without costing much more.

The graphics engine is a Broadwell based Intel HD chip, also a new product, but performance is just roughly similar to the older HD 4000 model. So not great gaming experience can be expected, especially due to limitations the Chrome OS has. Unless you’re well versed in tech and install Linux and emulators, you can’t play any Windows-based games on this rig. Browser games, however, work fine on a Chromebook and should run smoothly thanks to their simple graphics.

Connectivity

Acer Chromebook 15 C910-C453 contains one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, an adequate amount if you don’t have many peripherals. HDMI output is offered too, so you can use this notebook with your favorite HDTV or bigger PC display. Webcam is located on top of the screen, allowing for video chats on Google Hangouts (Skype video isn’t supported yet).

Chromebooks are wireless machines. There’s an excellent 802.11 AC WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card installed, but you can’t use Ethernet RJ-45 with this laptop.

Another thing Chromebooks lack is a DVD drive. That’s because the operating system doesn’t support movie discs or burning any discs. If you want to read data DVDs you have to get an external DVD drive and plug it in to the laptop’s USB 3.0 port. You might also be good with the built-in SD card reader if you have data on memory cards.

Other noteworthy things

Acer Chromebook 15 C910-C453 is, like all Chrome notebooks, a portable machine. At least if you compare it to most 15 inchers. It weighs 4.8 pounds while Windows-based rigs usually do more than 5 lbs. Also, it looks like the battery life is solid. With dim screen and WiFi browsing you should easily get 6-8 hours on a single charge.

No backlit keyboard is found on this Acer. In addition, 10-key pad is missing which is unusual for a 15″ model.

Summing it up

Acer Chromebook 15 C910-C453 seems to be a Chromebook with at least one new thing: a 15.6″ screen, something only seen in Windows laptops until now. This is good news for casual users who have been checking out Chrome notebooks, only to find their screen too small for their liking. That problem is now fixed, and other aspects of this model seem pretty solid as well.

But, there is one but. Compare this laptop to the other new 15″ Acer Chromebook. You see the other model has a Full HD IPS (= high quality) display and 32GB solid-state drive. And it only costs 50 bucks more. I would definitely recommend going for the other one since you get much better screen and more storage space to play with!


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