Chromebooks are hot these days, denting the traditional PC market all around but especially in areas such as education, and they're increasingly coming to market with features that set them apart from one another.
That's not always easy to do, as Google's Chrome OS platform is quite homogenous (more so than Android, even), including no custom skins and standardized keyboards. There's much more differentiation these days, including multiple processor options, but you also see OEMs try to stand out with different displays.
Some are lower-res, some are higher, but Acer just decided to go big and build a Chromebook with a 15.6-inch display.
The Acer Chromebook 15 features a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, and it's one of Acer's "ComfyView" displays with anti-glare features. There's also a 1366 x 768 version, but -- pardon us if we come off as finicky here -- that seems awfully low-res for such a big screen.
Under the hood, you have the option of a 5th-gen Intel Core i3 or Celeron processor, as well as either 16 GB or 32 GB of SSD storage and 2 GB or 4 GB of RAM. The amount of RAM is significant, because although earlier Chromebooks often sported 4 GB of RAM, the most recent generation only offered 2 GB.
Other features include 802.11ac WiFi (with MIMO 2x2) and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, and ports include USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI and an SD card reader. There's also a 720p webcam. The machine itself has a white, textured finish.
Acer smartly made use of the extra body real estate necessitated by the big display by adding a larger touchpad than you usually see on a Chromebook and placing two upward-facing speakers on either side of the keyboard area.
The Chromebook 15 (model CB5-571) starts at $249.99 -- which is a normally a good price for a Chromebook -- but bear in mind that's going to be for a model with the lower 1366 x 768 resolution, the Celeron chip, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of SSD storage.
With the highest-end specs, it's hard to say what the Chromebook 15 might cost, but it will be a lot more than $249.99.
In addition to announcing the Chromebook 15, Acer added another SKU to its Chromebook family with the touchscreen version of the Acer Chromebook 13. The 13.3-inch device runs on an Nvidia Tegra K1 chip and will be available this month for $329.99. The non-touchscreen version retails for $299.99, so if you're into touchscreens, you're looking at a mere $30 to upgrade.