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Is the Acer CB315-3HT the Best Budget Chromebook of 2023?

Finding the perfect budget Chromebook can be a challenging task, given the variety of options available in the market. Acer, a trusted name in the laptop industry, has introduced the Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT as a potential contender whose unrivaled price and stellar reviews place it as one of the most prominent competitors in the budget Chromebook market. 

This Chromebook offers a mix of attractive features that promise to cater to various needs, including a 15.6" Full HD IPS touchscreen display, an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage. In this comprehensive technical review, we will delve into various aspects of the Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT to determine if it lives up to its promises.

Of course, these features on a Windows laptop are utter rubbish and we would not recommend them to our worst enemy. However, given that Chromebooks work with Chrome OS, a less demanding operating system, they're actually not too shabby. But let's get down to business and explore everything there is to know about this Chromebook so that you can make an informed decision.

Specs Details
Model Name Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT
Display 15.6" Full HD IPS touchscreen (1920x1080)
Processor Intel Celeron N4020
Storage 64GB eMMC
Keyboard Non-backlit
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 400
Connectivity 2 USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1), 2 USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi 5 (802.11ac)
Webcam HD Webcam
Battery Life Up to 12 hours
Weight Approximately 3.6 pounds

Who's This Laptop For?

The Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT is ideal for students, professionals, and casual users who prioritize affordability, portability, and everyday computing tasks. It excels in web browsing, document creation, and video conferencing, making it a cost-effective choice for remote learning, basic office work, and entertainment.

For students, this Chromebook is an excellent choice for online classes, research, and document creation. Its lightweight design and long battery life make it a convenient companion for students on the go. It handles web browsing, Google Workspace apps, and video conferencing effortlessly, which are essential for remote learning.

However, it's important to consider the limitations of the CB315-3HT, such as audio quality, storage capacity, and its suitability for resource-intensive applications. Users who demand high-performance computing or advanced graphics capabilities should explore alternative options that better align with their needs. In summary, this Chromebook is a budget-friendly and efficient choice for those seeking a dependable, everyday laptop experience within the Chrome OS ecosystem.

Design, Display, and Keyboard

The Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT boasts a sleek and slim design that makes it incredibly portable and aesthetically pleasing. Its silver finish gives it a modern and premium look, making it stand out in the crowd of budget Chromebooks. The laptop is also fairly lightweight, weighing in at roughly 3.6 pounds, which makes it ideal for on-the-go use.

The 15.6" Full HD touchscreen display is one of the highlights of this Chromebook. With a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, it delivers sharp and vibrant visuals, making it perfect for multimedia consumption, web browsing, and productivity tasks. 

The IPS technology ensures wide viewing angles and accurate color reproduction, enhancing the overall viewing experience. Of course, it's not the best display in town but we hardly expect it to rival that of the M1 MacBook Air that's currently on sale

The keyboard on the Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT is comfortable to use, with well-spaced keys that provide good tactile feedback. Typing for extended periods is alright. The touchpad is responsive and supports multi-touch gestures, adding to the convenience of navigation. Unfortunately, the keyboard is not backlit, you're going to have to go a bit over your budget if that's what you're looking for.

Performance Overview

The Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT is powered by the Intel Celeron N4020 dual-core processor, which has a base clock speed of 1.1GHz and can turbo boost up to 2.8GHz. Paired with 4GB of DDR4 RAM, this combination offers a balanced performance suitable for the lightweight Chrome OS.

Browsing and Productivity:

For web browsing and productivity tasks, such as using Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, the Celeron N4020 processor is more than capable. Chrome OS is known for its efficiency and speed, and this Chromebook complements it well. 

You can expect snappy performance when opening multiple tabs, viewing online content, and working on documents simultaneously. This is particularly useful for students, professionals, and anyone who relies on cloud-based applications and web browsing in their daily workflow.

Streaming and Multimedia:

The Full HD touchscreen display enhances the multimedia experience on this Chromebook. Streaming content on platforms like Netflix, YouTube, or Disney+ is smooth and enjoyable. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 400 GPU handles video playback admirably, providing clear and vibrant visuals. This makes the Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT a great choice for entertainment, as it delivers a respectable quality display for movies, videos, and even casual gaming.

Multitasking and RAM Management:

While 4GB of RAM may seem modest compared to some laptops with higher capacities, it's important to note that Chrome OS is optimized to be resource-efficient. It utilizes RAM efficiently, so you can comfortably multitask with web apps and other applications.

 However, if you're planning to run more demanding applications or open a large number of tabs simultaneously, you may experience some performance limitations. For most day-to-day tasks, though, 4GB of RAM should suffice. 

On that front and if you're not married to the idea of getting yourself a Chromebook we would urge you to consider an alternative such as the URAO UA-P15, a Windows 11 15.6-inch Full HD laptop with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage at a fairly similar price point

Storage and Cloud Integration:

The 64GB eMMC storage is sufficient for storing your essential files and apps. Chrome OS heavily relies on cloud integration, allowing you to save your files on Google Drive or other cloud services. This ensures that you have access to your documents and files from any device with an internet connection. As mentioned in user reviews, some buyers have chosen to expand storage with external solutions, such as SD cards, to accommodate larger files or media libraries.

However, there are multiple choices within this price range that also offer more onboard storage, such as the SGIN M15 Pro, for example, which delivers 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage instead of eMMC storage (SSD is better) at a comparative price.

Impact on Day-to-Day Use:

In the context of Chrome OS, the performance of the Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT is well-suited for everyday tasks, including web browsing, word processing, email, video conferencing, and media consumption. It's important to recognize that Chrome OS's lightweight nature contributes significantly to the overall smoothness and responsiveness of this Chromebook.

For students and professionals who primarily work with online tools and cloud services, this Chromebook provides a cost-effective and efficient solution. 

In summary, while the Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT may not be a powerhouse for resource-intensive tasks, it performs well when it comes to delivering a seamless and enjoyable experience for typical Chrome OS usage scenarios. Its performance aligns perfectly with the operating system's design philosophy, making it an attractive choice for those seeking an affordable and efficient Chromebook for daily computing needs.

What Are People Saying?

Customers who have shared their experiences with the Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT have generally found it to be a commendable budget-friendly choice. Here's a deeper dive into their perspectives:

Positive Aspects:

Affordability and Value: Many users have praised the Chromebook's cost-effectiveness, emphasizing that it provides excellent value for the price. This budget-friendly approach allows users to access the world of Chrome OS without breaking the bank.

Efficient for Everyday Tasks: The Chromebook has garnered appreciation for its performance in handling everyday computing tasks. Users have reported smooth and responsive performance while using web browsers, email, and Google applications. Multitasking with multiple tabs open has been notably seamless.

Cloud Integration for Convenience: The Chromebook's seamless integration with Google Drive and other cloud services has been a standout feature for users. This integration allows them to effortlessly access and sync their files across various devices, enhancing productivity and accessibility.

Portability and Design: The Chromebook's slim and lightweight design has been acknowledged as a positive attribute. Users find it highly portable, making it ideal for on-the-go computing needs. Its compact form factor and lightweight build contribute to its appeal.

Challenges and Limitations:

Audio Quality Concerns: One recurring criticism among users has been the audio quality of the built-in speakers. Several users have found the sound output to be less than satisfactory, suggesting that external Bluetooth speakers or headphones may be needed for an improved audio experience.

Storage Capacity: The Chromebook's storage capacity has been another point of contention. With only 64GB of eMMC storage, some users have encountered limitations, especially when dealing with larger files or media libraries. A few users have opted to augment storage using external solutions.

Suitability for Basic Usage: While the Chromebook excels at handling typical Chrome OS tasks, it may not be the best choice for more demanding applications or resource-intensive computing needs. Users who require advanced computing capabilities may find it somewhat limited.

In summary, the Acer CB315-3HT has received praise for its affordability, efficiency in everyday tasks, seamless cloud integration, and portability. However, users have also noted its audio quality, storage limitations, and suitability for basic usage. Understanding these trade-offs is crucial for potential buyers to ensure that the Chromebook aligns with their specific computing needs and preferences.

Read All The Customer Reviews!


Connectivity Options and Battery Life

In terms of connectivity, the Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT is well-equipped. It features 2 USB Type-C ports with USB 3.1 Gen 1 support for high-speed data transfer and DisplayPort over USB Type-C. Additionally, there are 2 USB 3.0 ports - standard size - for connecting peripherals, such as external hard drives or a mouse. The inclusion of Bluetooth 4.2 and WiFi 5 (802.11ac) ensures fast and reliable wireless connectivity.

One standout feature is the HD webcam, which delivers impressive image quality for video calls and online meetings. This is a significant advantage in today's remote work and learning environments.

Battery life is another strong point of this Chromebook. Acer claims it can last up to 12 hours on a single charge, which is more than enough for a full day of work or entertainment. Actual battery life may vary based on usage, but it's clear that the Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT excels in this department, as noted in some user reviews.

I always like to apply my 30% rule when it comes down to measuring battery life. It's a very simple rule. You take the advertised battery life and slice it by 30%, If you're comfortable with the remainder (in this case 9 hours) then you're good to go. 

Alternatives Worth Checking Out

If the Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT  has piqued your interest but you're keen to explore some alternative laptops, we've curated a selection of noteworthy options for your consideration:

SGIN M15 Pro: With a similar processor, a generous 8 GB of RAM, a spacious 15.6-inch Full HD display,  and 256 GB of SSD storage the M15 Pro presents itself as a compelling alternative, all while maintaining a similar price point.

Jumper Ezbook S5 Max: If you're seeking even more RAM, the Jumper Ezbook S5 Max offers a total of 16 GB, surpassing the CB315-3HT's by 12 GB. It packs a more potent processor and provides 512 GB of SSD storage. You can check its price here.

SGIN X15: For those willing to stretch their budget a bit, the SGIN X15 is a strong contender. It boasts a whopping 12 GB of RAM, 512 GB of SSD storage, and Intel UHD Graphics for enhanced graphics performance. The display quality matches that of the CB315-3HT, and the brand enjoys a robust reputation. If these specifications align better with your requirements, you can check its price here.

Verdict: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

The Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT presents itself as a compelling budget Chromebook option with several appealing features. 

Its sleek design, respectable Full HD touchscreen display, and reliable performance make it an excellent choice for everyday use, whether for work, study, or entertainment. While it may not be a gaming powerhouse, it handles general tasks with ease, and the integrated Intel HD Graphics 400 provides satisfactory graphics performance.

The inclusion of multiple connectivity options, a high-quality webcam, and exceptional battery life further enhance its value. As stated by some users in their reviews, this Chromebook offers a cost-effective solution for those seeking a reliable and portable computing device