Acer Chromebook 317 Overview | PCMag


The phrase “massive Chrome” now not refers back to the 1957 Chevy BelAir. It appears stunning, since Chromebooks have been round for a decade, however the Acer Chromebook 317 ($369.99) is the primary Chrome OS laptop computer with a 17.3-inch display screen. It is an economic system mannequin, with a humble Intel Celeron CPU and eMMC flash storage as a substitute of a solid-state drive, however the 317 is an appropriate selection for customers in search of big-screen video viewing or a movable, if not overly moveable, various to a cheap all-in-one PC as a family-room browser kiosk and homework station.


That is a Lot of Plastic 

The Chromebook 317 (mannequin CB317-1H-C994) lists for $369.99 on Acer.com, although I noticed it at Walmart for $329. It has a dual-core, 1.1GHz Celeron N4500 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage, together with 4 USB 3.2 ports, a microSD card slot, and Wi-Fi 6. The non-touch display screen gives full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) decision. Do not search for luxuries like a backlit keyboard or a fingerprint reader.

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Acer Chromebook 317 left angle


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

Measuring 0.89 by 15.8 by 10.5 inches and weighing 5.18 kilos, the Acer is the heftiest Chromebook you should buy, although trimmer than some low-cost 17.3-inch Home windows laptops just like the Dell Inspiron 17 3000 (0.98 by 16.4 by 11 inches, 6.2 kilos). It is clad in grayish plastic that Acer calls Sparkly Silver; there is a truthful quantity of flex for those who grasp the display screen corners or press the keyboard deck. 

The large chassis leaves loads of room for the standard Chromebook keyboard, a numeric keypad to the suitable of it, and upward-firing audio system on both facet. There is a massive palm relaxation and buttonless touchpad. The display screen bezels are medium-thick, with a 720p webcam (no privateness shutter) centered within the prime bezel.

Acer Chromebook 317 rear view


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

Each the left and proper edges maintain two USB 3.2 ports, one Kind-A and one Kind-C, with the latter accommodating the AC adapter. The left facet additionally supplies an audio jack and a microSD card slot, whereas the suitable has a safety lock slot. There isn’t a HDMI port, so if you wish to join an exterior monitor you will want a USB-C DisplayPort adapter.

Acer Chromebook 317 left ports


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

Acer Chromebook 317 right ports


(Photograph: Molly Flores)


Taking Care of Enterprise 

The webcam is a generic laptop computer element that captures comparatively well-lit and colourful pictures with moderately plenty of static or noise. You may look sharp in a small Digicam window however extraordinarily fuzzy for those who maximize the Digicam or Duo app. Sound from the audio system bracketing the keyboard, in the meantime, does not get very loud. It is flat and tinny with no bass (drumbeats sound like static), and you may barely make out overlapping tracks. 

The keyboard has a shallow, tappy typing really feel. I want it had been backlit, however I used to be happy to search out actual Residence, Finish, Web page Up, and Web page Down keys above the numeric keypad. They’re tiny however nonetheless extra handy than teaming the menu and Alt keys with the cursor arrows as required on most Chromebooks. The touchpad glides and faucets easily, with a muted click on.

Acer Chromebook 317 keyboard


(Photograph: Molly Flores)

One thing else I needed for was a brighter display screen backlight. The show appeared dim even at its brightest setting, and with the intention to make white backgrounds look actually white, I discovered myself having to tilt the show again till the heavy system virtually tipped over in my lap. Colours are satisfactorily saturated however not vivid, although particulars are sharp and viewing angles are large. The panel defaults to its native 1,920-by-1,080 decision, although the Settings > System menu lets nearsighted customers select a “seems to be like” or scaled decision as little as 960 by 540 to see bigger icons and display screen parts. 

Acer backs the 317 with a one-year guarantee and sweetens it with the standard Chromebook perks, together with one 12 months of 100GB Google One cloud storage and three-month YouTube Premium, Canva Professional, and SoundCloud Go+ trials. If you have not used Chrome OS recently, the most recent improve gives spectacular Android smartphone management, a better Clipboard (it saves the final 5 gadgets), and enhanced screen-capture and multiple-desktop instruments.

Acer Chromebook 317 front view


(Photograph: Molly Flores)


Efficiency Testing: A Chromebook Selection Pack 

A Celeron CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of flash storage would cramp Home windows 10’s type, however it’s ample for fairly perky Chromebook efficiency. Even so, this Acer is not meant for rather more than informal internet looking, Gmail, and Google Docs productiveness. Opening half a dozen browser tabs did not faze it, however a number of video home windows or Android video games slowed down.

For our benchmark-test comparability charts, I stacked up the 317 towards 4 different Chromebooks, together with a 15.6-inch convertible (the AMD Ryzen 5-powered Asus Chromebook Flip CM5), and two 15.6-inch clamshells (the Intel Core i3-based HP Chromebook 15, and the Celeron N4000-powered Samsung Chromebook 4+).

The final slot went to our present client Editors’ Selection award holder, the 13.5-inch Acer Chromebook Spin 713, a Core i5 convertible that is the costliest within the group ($629). The Acer Chromebook 317 is the lowest-priced of this bunch, other than the Samsung. 

The primary goal benchmarks we use are Principled Applied sciences’ CrXPRT 2 (a set of simulated Chrome OS productiveness apps) and WebXPRT 3 (a browser-based check of HTML and JavaScript throughput). The HP mannequin predates CrXPRT 2, so it does not seem in that chart. (See extra about how we check laptops.) 

Acer Chromebook 317 CrXPRT 2

Acer Chromebook 317 WebXPRT 3

The Acer Chromebook 317 simply topped the Samsung and its older CPU within the battle of the Celerons, however each positioned effectively behind the Ryzen 5-based Asus and the Core i5-based Acer Chromebook Spin 713.

JetStream 2 is one other efficiency check we use; it combines 64 JavaScript and WebAssembly benchmarks to measure a browser’s (on this case, the default Chrome’s) suitability for superior internet purposes. 

Acer Chromebook 317 JetStream 2

Historical past repeated itself. The Celeron Chromebooks are definitely able to dealing with on a regular basis duties—they will not precisely preserve you ready—however apps and home windows do not snap and circulation as they do on machines with sooner processors and extra reminiscence. 

Lastly, to check a laptop computer’s battery life, we loop a 720p video file with display screen brightness set at 50%, audio quantity at 100%, and Wi-Fi disabled till the system quits. If the Chromebook’s inner storage is not large enough to carry the video, we play it from an exterior SSD plugged right into a USB-C port. 

Acer Chromebook 317 battery life

The Acer 317 managed to grab the silver medal on this occasion, displaying sufficient stamina to get you thru a full day of labor or college, if maybe not happening to a night of streaming leisure or informal gaming.


Your Solely Selection Is a Fairly Good Selection 

It is arduous to be important of a laptop computer that has no competitors—if you would like a 17-inch Chromebook, your choices start and finish right here. The “3” is as vital because the “17” within the Acer Chromebook 317’s mannequin quantity, telling you that you simply’re getting a modestly outfitted, entry-level system moderately than one of many fancier, sooner machines in Acer’s Chromebook 500 or 700 sequence. Nevertheless it additionally means you are not paying very a lot. The Chromebook 317 is not a stunner, but it surely ought to fulfill many customers.

Professionals

  • Jumbo 1080p show

  • Comfy-feel keyboard

  • Two USB-C and two USB-A ports, plus a microSD card slot

  • Low value

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The Backside Line

Chromebook buffs want now not be jealous of 17-inch Home windows laptops—the Acer Chromebook 317 is a budget-priced, big-screen looking machine.

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