Acer Chromebook 317 Review
Released in May 2021, the Acer Chromebook 317 is the world’s biggest Chrome OS laptop so far. At first glance, this 17.3-inch Chromebook would make you wonder why Acer would manufacture a clunky Chromebook like this, especially since Chromebooks are supposed to be portable and for people on the go.
But after trying it out like we did, you will understand why Acer went and made a laptop this big. You see, this Chromebook is for consumers who do not want to type on cramped-up keys. It’s for people who only want to use their computers indoors. It’s not made to be carried with you everywhere you go. And once you read this Acer Chromebook 317 review, you will discover that Acer actually did a pretty good job making a Chromebook that does not travel friendly and is designed to be stationed indoors.
So without further ado, let’s dig into a detailed review of Acer Chromebook 317, shall we?
If you are someone who prefers an affordable computer with massive space and displays over a powerful processor, long battery life, or the brightest display, this Chromebook is for you.
As you can tell from its 17-inch size, the Acer Chromebook 317 is not for the faint of heart. It is not your typical lightweight laptop that you can take with you wherever you go. It is a Chromebook that feels more like a desktop computer. And as you can guess, it is heavier than your average laptop. You may need both of your hands when lifting this big boy, or your arm will collapse from the pressure.
For only $500, the Acer Chromebook 17 has got all the features that a premium laptop does. A look at its titanium-gray chassis and shiny and decorated Acer logo, and you would assume it to be a pricey executive laptop that is at least $700. When you open its lid, you will find a surprisingly big 17.3-inch display with slim bezels, a 720p webcam, and another logo of the company housed in the thick chin.
Given how big the laptop is, its keyboard is quite spacious with stylish keys that are flanked by two speakers on the sides. This keyboard style and the build quality would remind you of Apple MacBooks. There is also a silver trim around the touchpad, giving it a little oomph.
The Acer Chromebook 317 weighs 5.3 pounds and is 15.8 x 10.5 x 0.9 inches, which makes it a much bigger and heavier Chromebook than its competitors, Asus Chromebook C423NA and Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, both of which weigh lighter and are thinner.
The Chromebook 317’s display is not as rewarding as its size. While it may win an award for the biggest display in any Chromebook, it definitely would not get any awards for its display quality. The 1920 x 1080 pixel display is not as good as it should have been. Although it is a pretty decent display for a Chromebook, you would not be blown away by its results. It is only satisfactory for your streaming needs. You won’t fall in love with its results as you stream Euphoria on HBO Max or watch food videos on YouTube.
In terms of display brightness, the Acer Chromebook 317 only offers 269 nits. So if you are going to use this laptop in a sunny spot, you may find it difficult to see anything on the screen. At 269 nits, its display panel is quite dimmer than an average Chromebook, which offers 298 nits. However, it is still better than the 205 nits display of Chromebook C423NA.
In terms of color accuracy, the Acer Chromebook 317 is also less accurate than your average Chromebook. It has a color accuracy of 0.3, which is the same as the Chromebook C423NA but lesser than that of the Galaxy Chromebook 2 (0.2).
Coming to performance, the Acer Chromebook 317 features an Intel Pentium Silver N60000 CPU with 8GB RAM. So there is more than enough memory if you want to multitask. You can open as many as 30 tabs on this machine without experiencing any slowdown or lag. It can handle your workloads pretty decently. Although its loading speed is below par, it still manages to outperform the Asus Chromebook.
The Acer Chrome 317 features an island-style keyboard, which is ideal for people with large hands or those who find spacious decks easy to use. When you type on your Acer Chromebook 317, you will never feel restricted like you would with a typical Chromebook.
In fact, the keyboard is quite spacious and roomy, with keys placed at a good distance from each other for you to type comfortably. Given its size, it even has a Numpad. You will also find that your typing speed has increased as you start typing on this white-backlit keyboard that offers great tactile feedback.
What’s more, the touchpad of the Acer Chromebook 317 is spacious too. This 4.75 x 3.1-inch touchpad is smooth and offers just enough resistance for navigating naturally. You will find the Chromebook’s gestures very easy to use, including the three-finger swiping and the two-finger scrolling.
As you can imagine, this big and beautiful Chromebook has a decent supply of ports. On the right side of the chassis, you will find a Kensington lock slot and two USB ports: Type C and Type-A. On the left side of the chassis, there is a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type C port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, a headset jack, and a microSD card reader. So there are plenty of ports for everyone. But even if you do feel like you need more ports, you can always get a docking station for your Chromebook.
When it comes to battery life, the Acer Chromebook 317 is a definite winner. This Chromebook can last you about 10 hours on a single charge. We were skeptical about this battery life when it advertised earlier, but when we tested this Chromebook, we found this claim to be true. The Chromebook lasted about nine and a half hours in our test, which is more than the average battery life of Chromebooks such as the Chromebook C423NA and the Galaxy Chromebook 2. This one definitely outshines its counterparts in terms of battery life.
The 720p Acer Chromebook 317 webcam will not allow you to stream as confidently on Twitch, but it is a pretty decent camera for video calling your friends or colleagues. The webcam comes with digital noise and has a really good color accuracy. However, if you are looking for outstanding webcam results, you can mount an external webcam on your Acer Chromebook 317.
In terms of audio, the built-in DTS-tuned speakers in Acer Chromebook 317 would only give you a so-so performance. You can fire up your Spotify playlist, but you won’t get sound results as good as a MacBook. That said, since this is nowhere near a MacBook and more like an average laptop, its speakers do a good job at offering satisfactory results. They are good enough to watch a movie with your friends or listen to your favorite songs without feeling any distortion in the sound.
If you are worried about the Acer Chromebook 317 getting overheated when performing heavy tasks, you don’t need to worry. After running all the tests and streaming high-quality videos for longer durations, we did not find this Chromebook to be prone to overheating. In fact, it maintained a pretty stable temperature. So if you are someone who uses their laptop on their lap, don’t worry. This one won’t burn a hole through your pants or your wallet!
The starting price of Acer Chromebook 317 is $399, which comes with 4GB RAM, 64GB of flash memory, a 1.1-GHz Intel Celeron N4500 processing unit, and Intel UHD graphics. On the other hand, the $499 unit comes with 8GB RAM, 64GB of flash memory, a 1.1-GHz Intel Pentium Silver N6000 processing unit, and Intel UHD graphics. So if you are someone who is looking to get more done on their Chromebook than just your everyday tasks, then you should spend $100 more and get the $499 unit instead of the base $399 unit.
You can find a lot of Chromebooks under $499. However, not all are designed to meet every consumer’s needs. If you are someone who does not take their laptops out much and likes to use them indoors, you should definitely get your hands on the Acer Chromebook 317. It is also ideal for people who have large hands and find it difficult to type on a small laptop. But if you would like a travel-friendly laptop, this one may not be the right option for you.
We hope this Acer Chromebook 317 review helps you make your decision. For more Chromebook reviews, check out this space.