If you’re looking for a laptop with a whopping great display then you may be interested in the Acer 317 Chromebook. It comes with an unusually large size for a laptop at 17.3-inches. It’s fair to say this Chromebook is not going to be for everyone. However, if a laptop with a huge screen is important to you then this specification review of the Acer 317 Chrome OS laptop is a must-read.
You’d expect a laptop with such a large display to be pretty expensive. The good news is the Acer 317 is amazingly priced considering the size of the display. At the time of writing, it retails for just £399.99 in the UK, and in the USA $499.00.
You can get good deals on this Chromebook, as I’ve just found out whilst taking a quick look. Currently available at Argos in the UK at £50 off the RRP, and in the USA from Best Buy, you can save $70 off the RRP. So if you’re interested in this laptop I’d suggest having a look around for any deals first.
The build quality is what you’d expect when buying a laptop for serious work. A traditional silver finish, which never fails to disappoint. It comes in a different colour in the USA, as it has a much sexier dark grey casing. Considering the size of this laptop it looks pretty slim and not overly bulky. That being said, when you’re buying a laptop with a 17.3-inch display you need to accept it isn’t going to be highly portable.
Weighing in at 2.2kg it isn’t the lightest laptop you would have used, but I’m sure you wouldn’t expect it to be a laptop you can just throw into a backpack. At the same time, considering the size it’s pretty lightweight. This is a laptop only device, so you cannot use it as a tablet, which is what you get with some Chrome OS laptops. I don’t think that is anything you need to worry about because a 17.3-inch tablet would look rather strange.
The good news about having such a large display is that you get a separate numeric pad. This is really important if you do a lot of number crunching on spreadsheets. Touch typing numbers on a numeric pad is so much faster than trying to type numbers when there isn’t one.
Acer 317 Chromebook performance
This laptop has been made with the worker in mind, so you’ll not find any Intel i5 or i7 processor. This is nothing to worry about at all when it comes to Chrome OS. The Intel Pentium N6000 quad-core processor with a base speed of 1.1GHz and a turbo boost of 3.3GHz isn’t going to let you down. It will easily cope with multi-tasking, spreadsheets, word processing, social media, and watching HD movies. Android Apps will also perform perfectly well with the processor used here.
When it comes to the RAM you’ll find models with either 4 GB or 8 GB. Although 4 GB of RAM is perfectly acceptable when using Chrome OS. If you’re expecting to use applications that need that extra RAM. Then you may want to opt for the 8GB version instead. It will also help future proof your laptop. Find out more about how much RAM you need for your Chromebook.
It’s worth noting this laptop is also available with an Intel Celeron N4500 processor. More than capable of doing some tasks on Chrome OS. That being said, it will do these tasks much slower than the Chromebook using the Pentium N6000 processor. We’re looking at a dual-core Celeron compared to a quad-core Pentium, so you’ll notice the difference in performance.
|Acer 317 Chromebook||Intel Celeron N4500|
dual-core 1.1GHz / 2.8GHz turbo
|Acer 317 Chromebook||Intel Pentium N6000|
quad-core 1.1GHz / 3.3GHz turbo
|Acer 317 Chromebook||Intel Pentium N6000|
quad-core 1.1GHz / 3.3GHz turbo
The storage options
When it comes to the storage options available. The most typical options I’ve seen available are either 64GB or 128GB. Both of these storage options are fine, but it does depend on what you’ll be using your Chromebook for. If you’ll be spending most of your time web browsing or using the Google Sheets spreadsheet program. Then you don’t need to worry about having too little storage because all of these tasks allow you to save to the cloud.
All Chrome OS laptops come with Google drive integration, which means you get 15GB of cloud storage for free. The best thing is because Chrome OS and Google Drive are integrated they work seamlessly together.
You should have no issues installing plenty of Android apps with the 64 GB option. It will depend on the type of apps, but you should easily be able to install at least 50 apps without any issues of running out of storage. If you’re intending to use Linux apps then you’ll be fine with 64GB. That being said, you can easily run out of space when using Linux, so I’d opt for the 128 GB version if Linux Apps is something you’ll be using a lot.
|Acer 317||64 GB eMMC|
|Acer 317||128 GB eMMC|
Acer 317 Chromebook has two display types
One thing you need to be careful about is whether you’re looking for a touchscreen. Considering this is a laptop only device, so you cannot use it as a tablet. You may not be too concerned about whether it has a touchscreen or not. However, I really like having a touchscreen even on a laptop only device because it means you can take full advantage of any Android Apps you may want to use.
The none touchscreen version is model number CB317-1H, and the touchscreen model number is CB317-1HT. If it does not have a 1HT in the number then it does not come with a touchscreen.
I’ve already mentioned the size of the display at 17.3-inches. As you would expect with such a large display the resolution offered is Full HD. That means it comes with a Full HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080. Great for watching Full HD movies on Netflix. It also comes with an IPS panel, which means you’ll get great viewing angles and colours will be more vivid and true-to-life when comparing it to a TN panel.
|Display Size||Resolution||Panel Type||Touchscreen|
|17.3-inches||1920 x 1080||IPS||1H model – No|
1HT model – Yes
When it comes to connectivity the Acer 317 has you covered. It comes with two older type USB A ports and two newer USB Type C ports. This is great to see because it means you can use older or newer peripherals without having to worry about any compatibility issues. What I also like is both of these port types are available on either side of the laptop. This removes the issue of having to worry about where you locate any hardware you want to connect.
The USB Type C ports are great because they can also be used to charge your Chromebook and connect an external display if you wish. A Micro SD slot is available, so you can easily add further storage at a later date. You’ll also find a Mic/Headphone jack should you wish to use wired headphones or a wired mic.
|Micro SD slot||Yes|
Automatic Update Expiry (AUE) date
All ChromeOS computers receive updates on a monthly basis. These updates bring new functionality to your Chromebook or Chromebox. Apart from offering some great new features with every update; these updates also ensure you’re safe when surfing online.
This is one of the reasons why ChromeOS computers are much safer than computers running on a different operating system. To continually improve ChromeOS and take advantage of the new technology found in the latest Chromebooks; all ChromeOS computers come with an AUE date. Once this date is reached your Chromebook will no longer receive automatic updates. Find out more about the AUE date and check the AUE date for any ChromeOS computer.
Should you buy this Chromebook
If you’re looking for a laptop with a large display then this is an obvious choice. It comes with a Full HD resolution and IPS panel, so you’ll have nothing to worry about when it comes to the display. Just remember not all models come with a touchscreen, so keep an eye out for that.
The extra-large display allowing for a separate number pad means it’s perfect for number crunching. Some models of this Chromebook come with a backlit keyboard, whilst others don’t, so again watch out for this.
From what I can see most retailers in the UK are selling the none-touchscreen model without a backlit keyboard. Anyone in the USA is getting a much better model because it comes with a touchscreen and backlit keyboard. Also, the dark grey used on the USA version looks better than the lighter grey used on the UK version, but that’s just my personal opinion.
The performance again will depend on the model. The Intel Celeron version isn’t going to blow you away but will be fine for basic Chrome OS tasks. If you’re after a more powerful Chromebook then the Intel Pentium quad-core is the one you’ll want to go with.