Acer Chromebook 317 Review: A great big Chromebook for the whole family

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Josh Goldman / topwatchbest

The variety of Chromebooks has grown in the last few years as these laptops have moved from marginal devices to the mainstream. However, there’s one thing that hasn’t changed much with them, and that’s the size. With the exception of the occasional 15-inch Chromebooks, manufacturers have stuck to a screen that is 14-inch or smaller. It was only last year that the first 17.3-inch model, the Acer Chromebook 317, came out – 10 years after the first Chromebook came out.

The 317 is basically an all-in-one portable desktop computer running on ChromeOS. The large display makes it easy to multitask and even stream YouTube video in the corner while you work on your presentation and keep an eye on your email or chat. It’s big and heavy compared to all smaller Chromebooks, so not a great option if mobility is a priority. But it’s certainly small enough to move around your home, and with over 10 hours of battery life in my testing, you can work all day long and still have time to video chat with your family, play games, or stream a movie.

As

  • Attractive premium features for its price
  • Excellent battery life

I do not like

  • Slower Pentium processor and eMMC memory

this The Acer 317 Chromebook I tested costs $ 500 but really starts at a low $ 329, £ 299 in the UK or o AU $ 590 in Australia. For the price, you get a Chromebook that provides the basics of productivity, but still has a large 17.3-inch Full HD screen. The $ 500 version is much better inside and out thanks to a faster Intel Pentium processor, twice the RAM, a Full HD touchscreen, backlit keyboard and 1080p webcam which improved the sharpness and detail of my video calls compared to typical 720p cameras. Basically, spending the extra money not only gets you better performance, it improves the experience overall.

Acer 317 Chromebook (CB317-1HT-P5PF)

Price in line with the review

PLN 500

Display size / resolution

17.3 inch 1920 x 1080 pixels touchscreen

Editor

Intel Pentium Silver N6000 1.1 GHz

Memory

8 GB LPDDR4X 2933 MHz

Graphics

Integrated Intel UHD Graphics

Storage

64GB eMMC flash memory

Ports

USB-C (x2), USB-A (x2), audio / microphone socket, HDMI output, microSD card slot

Network

802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) Bluetooth 5.0

Operating system

Google Chrome / Android 11 operating system

Libra

4.8 lb (2.2 kg)

That said, performance is still a mesh or two less than that of an Intel Core i series processor or the equivalent AMD Ryzen chip. So, if you need the fastest performance you will have to consider other options. Plus, if you think you’ll be downloading a lot of apps or storing your files, photos, and videos on a Chromebook, the 64GB eMMC flash memory will fill up quickly (and it’s slower than an SSD). There is a microSD card slot for memory expansion and there is always cloud storage.

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Acer has placed single USB-C and USB-A ports on both sides.

Josh Goldman / topwatchbest

Lower storage and CPU make this 317 not a true premium Chromebook, but honestly, it should meet most of the needs of a general-purpose family machine. The big screen is definitely a bonus if you want to have multiple windows open. In particular, this facilitates school work compared to the 11.6-inch models usually distributed by schools. (Or at least, that was the opinion I got from my kids.) And while the color accuracy and brightness of the display are just fine, they haven’t taken away from them watching movies and playing it. Having Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) also helps, especially if you subscribe to a game streaming service like Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Obviously, the larger size – almost 1 inch thick – and nearly 5 pounds of weight make it better for home or office use than carrying it around campus or for your regular commute. (If you need a smaller and lighter Chromebook, here’s: our top recommendations at the momentBut unlike many 17 inch Windows laptops we’ve tested in the past at this price, the battery life is good here: although Acer rates it up to 10 hours, mine ran for 11 hours, 58 minutes in our upload test streaming video.

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317 has a simple, clean design. But also boring.

Josh Goldman / topwatchbest

It’s a little disappointing that it doesn’t have an HDMI output, making the 317 less complicated when plugging into an external monitor. On the other hand, with two USB-C ports (one on each side), you always can connect the hub to handle all your needs when you want to use it more like a desktop computer than a laptop.

The Acer Chromebook 317 is an easy choice for a WFH Chromebook that rarely, if ever, leaves the house. I highly recommend spending the extra money if possible on a $ 500 setup. Whether you like running several apps in the background or you want every open tab open, extra RAM and a better processor will keep things running smoothly. Add additional features such as Full HD webcam, backlit keyboard and touchscreen, and the offer will become even more enjoyable.

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