CES officially starts this week, which means announcements are going to start pouring out. Every year it seems the pre-CES stuff starts earlier, and for 2015 Acer is kicking things off with a bevy of new products. We’ve already covered their new IPS G-SYNC display, and up next we have new Chromebooks. I’ve been working on a review of the Chromebook 13, which will receive a minor update with the availability of a touchscreen now, but the real news is the Chromebook 15.

At first blush, you might wonder why anyone would need a 15.6” Chromebook, but with Chrome OS expanding in features and capabilities it’s only natural to see a wider variety of devices. The 15.6” class also means things like 1080p displays are readily available, and the Chromebook 15 will have models with 1080p as well as lower spec models with 1366x768 displays. Even better is that the 1080p panel features wide viewing angles and an anti-glare coating. The 1366x768 panel on the other hand appears to be a typical mediocre quality TN panel, “ideal for budget minded customers”.

More interesting than the display perhaps is the processor choice: the Chromebook 15 will be the first Chromebook to ship with a 5th Generation Intel processor. It’s not too surprising that we’re talking about a Celeron variant of Broadwell, but given that the Haswell-based Celeron 2955U still does quite well compared to other Chromebook processors, the upgrade to Broadwell certainly can’t hurt. As with the C720, there will also be a Core i3 variant available for those that want even more performance. Battery life for now doesn’t appear to have changed from the older C720 Chromebook, as Acer is rating the CB15 at eight hours of battery life.

In terms of styling, the CB15 builds off the white theme of the Chromebook 13, only with a larger chassis obviously. The dimensions are 393mm x 256mm x 24.2mm (15.4” x 10.08” x 0.95”), and the CB15 weighs 2.2kg (4.85 lbs). It also comes with 2x2 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader.

Pricing of the Chromebook 15 starts at $249 for the 1366x768 version with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. Other models with up to 4GB RAM and 32GB storage will exist, but the full specifications and pricing for those models has not been disclosed. Availability has not been announced either, but when we visit with Acer later this week we’ll hopefully be able to find out more about the CB15 and get some hands on time with it.

As for the touchscreen C13, battery life is rated at up to 13 hours with pricing starting at $329. Availability is slated for this month, but Acer doesn’t mention whether the touchscreen option will be available with both 1366x768 and 1080p models, or only one. There’s also still the question of how much a touchscreen really matters for laptops; I don’t generally find myself missing a touchscreen if it’s not there, as I’m more concerned with keeping fingerprints off my display, but YMMV.

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  • Mikemk - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link

    Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks this.

  • klagermkii - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link

    U.G.L.Y You ain't got no alibi you ugly!
  • phoenix_rizzen - Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - link

    M.A.M.A We know how you got that way. Yo mama! Yo yo! Yo Mama!

    (Gotta love working in elementary schools...)
  • OBLAMA2009 - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link

    ur moma is uglee
  • Pissedoffyouth - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link

    Shots fired shots fired
  • axien86 - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link

    Besides looks, look how Acer's overweight 15" Chromebook compares with what Microsoft and HP have created with the HP Stream 14...

    Notable features of the HP Stream 14: aluminum deck and support frame and aluminum cover, quad core APU that outperforms Celeron Baytrails in most bench and graphics benchs , quad Beats speakers, wakes up sleep in 1-2 seconds and boots from power on in a few seconds , battery lasts around seven hours. It runs significantly more apps than Chromebook and has much more compatibility with a wide range of printers.

    Last two points, but not least is that the HP Stream 14" weighs only around 3.5 pounds, which is significantly less the Acer Chromebook 15 which weighs close to 5 pounds.

    At the Microsoft Store price of $229 for the Signature Edition of the HP Stream 14, there is no Chromebook that offers more features and performance for the same or lower price.

  • jwcalla - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link

    Was this a paid advertisement?

    FWIW, HP's Chromebook outsold its Stream on Amazon during the Christmas season.
  • OBLAMA2009 - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link

    i dont get why they keep putting shit chromebooks out. fuck the atom processors. the way chromebooks need to compete with windows is 1)to have better cpu's that same priced windows machines 2)to have screen resolutions higher than 1350x768. the greater speed and screen resolution would make up for the fact that it doesnt run windows
  • Lonyo - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link

    It's not got an Atom processor...?
  • savagemike - Sunday, January 4, 2015 - link

    ChromeOS "makes up for" not running Windows by simply not running Windows. The modern Haswell Celeron is a plucky little chip and does all most people would want of general web usage. It certainly does all I need anyway. This new Broadwell based version should be slightly better still.
    Personally my Chromebook sees duty mostly around the house so I'm fine with the increased weight. I can carry 5lbs to the couch as well as 2.5lbs.
    Of interest to me:
    How good is the good screen?
    Is the Ram and non volatile memory bussed/upgradeable or soldered?
    Is their a fan?

    Depending on those answers I might totally be into moving up to the 15 when it comes to town.

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