Chromebooks thus far have cemented themselves into the small notebook space. Over the last few years, manufacturers have refined their cloud-based offerings and come out with some truly excellent machines, such as the premium 11-inch Samsung Chromebook 2 and 13-inch Toshiba Chromebook 2, one of the first models with a vibrant 1080p screen.
Now, we have our hands on something new and yet very familiar with the the world's first 15-inch Chromebook from Acer. Aptly named the Acer Chromebook 15, this machine is not only the largest Chrome OS notebook to ever exist, it's also the very first that's come equipped with Intel's 5th generation processor.
Despite all these changes, the Chromebook 15 still comes at a very affordable $349 ( £249, about AU$458). That's well beneath the usual 500 smackers you would pay for a budget Windows laptops, and frankly, this Acer notebook has more than a few qualities that might make you consider this budget machine over all others.
After so many 13-inch Chromebooks, Acer's latest 15-inch Chrome OS offering looks downright massive. Of course, that means way more plastic, but the Taiwanese computer manufacturer has done a great job at making it feel entirely solid.
The laptop's entire plastic exterior is also wrapped in a net-like texture. The entire laptop has been given this finish including the lid, bottom and even the on the back of the screen hinges. So, no matter how you're carrying around the Chromebook 15, you'll have a bit more to grip onto. This woven finish also just feels much warmer than a slab of smooth plastic.
Open up the laptop, and you'll be greeted with a massive, 15.6-inch screen that seemingly just absorbs all light and diffracts it without any reflections or glare. Acer calls this its ComfyView antiglare display, and it's much easier on my eyes. Even with the screen turned off, it resembles something more of a dark satin sheet compared to the mirror like sheen that comes off other notebooks outfitted with with glossy panels.
Just below this extremely nice display, you'll find even more space for activities. The spacious keyboard deck leaves plenty of room for a full-size keyboard without any truncated tilde keys or short shift bars. I would have loved to see a number pad as well, but Acer reserved the space for two large speaker grills that flank the keyboard.
Towards the bottom there's also a large trackpad, which – not unlike the new MacBook – will click in no matter where you press on it. You'll want to be careful about pressing in too deeply around the trackpads two bottom edges, though, as it bends a few millimeters beneath the palm rests.