Notebookcheck

Acer Chromebook 715 Laptop Review

Chrome for Work. The Acer Chromebook 715 is perhaps the current pinnacle of Chromebooks. With a sleek and sturdy build, excellent keyboard, and powerful hardware, it is easily one of the best Chromebooks on the market. Additionally, Android app integration and a built-in Linux virtual machine (still in beta) finally make Chrome OS feel like a fully-fledged (though piecemeal) operating system.

Chromebooks are often seen as cheap but limited laptops that are well-suited for the education market but fall flat in the business arena. However, Acer's latest Chromebook, the Chromebook 715, packs quite a punch in its aluminum case. Thanks to its Kaby Lake-R Core i5-8350U CPU and 8 GB of RAM, the Chromebook 715 stands heads and shoulders above other Chromebooks. This power comes at quite a cost, though; this model of the Chromebook 715 starts at US $899. 

Direct competitors are few and far between; most Chromebooks run on low-powered chips. However, the Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14, HP Chromebook x360 14 G1, and Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 have similar configurations to the Acer Chromebook 715. 

Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F (Chromebook 715 Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, Capacitive, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5mm, Card Reader: microSD, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.9 x 366 x 249 ( = 0.7 x 14.41 x 9.8 in)
Battery
56 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4-cell
Operating System
Google Chrome OS
Camera
Webcam: HD 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.95 kg ( = 68.78 oz / 4.3 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
800 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
83 %
03/2020
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
i5-8350U, UHD Graphics 620
2 kg17.9 mm15.6"1920x1080
87 %
01/2019
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
i3-8130U, UHD Graphics 620
1.8 kg17.7 mm14"1920x1080
83 %
04/2019
HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
i5-8350U, UHD Graphics 620
1.6 kg16 mm14"1920x1200
83 %
02/2019
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
i5-8250U, UHD Graphics 620
2 kg17.85 mm15.6"3840x2160

Case

The Chromebook 715 has a unibody aluminum chassis, reminiscent of the MacBook line and high-end Windows laptops. While the build quality is good, it falls short of the more premium devices it aims to mimic. There is a small bit of flex across the keyboard deck, but this is not noticeable when typing. The thin lid can easily be twisted and warped. The hinges are firm and hold the screen steady under normal use. They are too stiff for one-handed opening, however. The screen bobbles when touch input is used but steadies itself quickly. Unlike its convertible competition, the Chromebook 715's lid only opens 180°.

Overall, the case is excellent considering most Chromebooks are made from either plastic or cheap and thin metal. Gaps are tight and even. The matte finish across the laptop's body is resistant to fingerprints, which should keep the Chromebook 715 looking nice and clean. This is one of the best-built and best looking Chromebooks on the market.

The Chromebook 715 is similar in size and weight to the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630. However, Acer managed to fit a 15.6-inch FHD display in a similar footprint to the Yoga's, which has a 14-inch display. The Chromebook 715's weight is a manageable 2 kg, which gives it a robust feel when carried but is light enough to schlep all day. The weight is tipped toward the back of the device, so care should be taken when balancing the laptop on small surfaces.

366 mm / 14.4 inch 249 mm / 9.8 inch 17.9 mm / 0.705 inch 2 kg4.3 lbs361.5 mm / 14.2 inch 248.5 mm / 9.78 inch 17.85 mm / 0.703 inch 2 kg4.47 lbs349.3 mm / 13.8 inch 240.7 mm / 9.48 inch 15.5 mm / 0.61 inch 1.8 kg4.03 lbs328.9 mm / 12.9 inch 230.1 mm / 9.06 inch 17.7 mm / 0.697 inch 1.8 kg3.99 lbs325.5 mm / 12.8 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 16 mm / 0.63 inch 1.6 kg3.55 lbs

Connectivity

Port selection on the Chromebook 715 is a bit sparse. There are two USB-C ports, one on either side of the machine. Both of these support power delivery to the laptop and display output. There is an additional USB-A port on the left side, as well as a headset jack (left) and microSD card slot (right). All of the USB ports are USB 3.1 Gen 1, meaning they offer transfer rates up to 5 Gbps.

Left: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (with power and display), USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, headset
Left: USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (with power and display), USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, headset
Right: microSD, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (with power and display), Kensington lock
Right: microSD, USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (with power and display), Kensington lock

SD Card Reader

The microSD reader is below-average. In our JPG copy test, which measures how fast a device can copy ~1 GB of photos, the Chromebook 715 managed about 51 MB/s, which is on par with the Dell Inspiron 7486 and a fair bit slower than the Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630. The reader should be fine for small file transfers but will be too slow for other uses.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed - average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
70.43 MB/s ∼100% +37%
Average of class Office
  (10.2 - 191, n=291)
62 MB/s ∼88% +21%
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
56.89 MB/s ∼81% +11%
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
51.38 MB/s ∼73%

Webcam

The webcam is serviceable. It captures video and photos at 1280x720. However, the image processor creates lots of digital noise, particularly in mid-tones like light browns and grays. The webcam will be fine for the occasional conference call, but considering the Chromebook 715 is intended for business users, its lackluster quality is disappointing.

Webcam Sample. Photos and video are noisy, especially in mid-tones.
Webcam Sample. Photos and video are noisy, especially in mid-tones.
ColorChecker
11.4 ∆E
10.6 ∆E
10.7 ∆E
12.2 ∆E
11.2 ∆E
7.1 ∆E
8.3 ∆E
11.6 ∆E
9.6 ∆E
9.5 ∆E
5.3 ∆E
6 ∆E
10.8 ∆E
6.8 ∆E
12.2 ∆E
2.8 ∆E
10.3 ∆E
10.4 ∆E
3.4 ∆E
3.6 ∆E
7.6 ∆E
7.1 ∆E
8.8 ∆E
6.2 ∆E
ColorChecker Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F: 8.48 ∆E min: 2.77 - max: 12.25 ∆E

Security

The Chromebook 715 has a fingerprint reader, which is something not commonly found on Chromebooks. The reader is reliable and quick; fingerprints are read on the first try every time, and sign-ins take less than half a second.

Maintenance

Maintenance options are very limited. After removing ten T6 screws, the bottom panel easily lifts off. Once inside, the only serviceable component is the wireless card, which can be changed out. Every other component is soldered to the mainboard, including the RAM and eMMC SSD.

Input Devices

Keyboard

One of the high points of the Chromebook 715 is its crisp keyboard. Key travel is a bit shallow, but feedback is firm. The keyboard is noisy; clatter is noticeable in a quiet office. The keys also feel cheap underhand. On the plus side, the keys are well-sized (15 x 15 cm, 5.9 x 5.9 in) and responsive. The overall experience is good; most typists will be happy, but the keyboard falls short of more premium devices.

The keyboard has a five-stage white backlight. The addition of a numeric keypad is a nice touch and is a boon for office workers that spend the day in spreadsheets. The numpad keys are a bit cramped, at 12 x 15 cm or 4.7 x 5.9 in.

Touchpad & Touchscreen

Like the keyboard, the touchpad is overall excellent with some minor drawbacks. Glide across the Corning Gorilla Glass surface is smooth. The pad is highly responsive, and tracking warrants no complaints. The clicking mechanism feels hollow, and the touchpad feels like it warps when clicked. The touchpad surface is roomy (10.7 x 7.8 cm, 4.2 x 3.1 in).

The Chromebook 715 can be configured with a 10-point multi-touch touchscreen. Touch input is accurate and elicits no concern.

Keyboard, touchpad, and fingerprint reader
Keyboard, touchpad, and fingerprint reader

Display

The Full HD IPS display is mediocre. The backlight averages just below 250 nits. While this is adequate for most indoor environments, users will need to turn the brightness all the way up in bright offices. Outdoor use is difficult as a result; due to the relatively dim backlight and semi-gloss finish, the screen is difficult to use under the sun. Viewing angles are similarly weak. The screen noticeably dims when viewed at 60° off-axis or more.

Otherwise, the screen is simply average. The contrast ratio is roughly 1000:1, which is typical for modern IPS displays. Color accuracy is decent. While not good enough for professional use (DeltaE2000 score of 3 or less), the color reproduction is fine for most users. There are no major complaints about the screen, but there is little praise as well.

Subpixel matrix
Subpixel matrix
Display under overcast sky
Display under overcast sky
Display in sunlight
Display in sunlight
ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
246.5
cd/m²
241.5
cd/m²
231
cd/m²
233
cd/m²
243.9
cd/m²
311.1
cd/m²
236.1
cd/m²
249.2
cd/m²
235.6
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 311.1 cd/m² Average: 247.5 cd/m² Minimum: 11.91 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 74 %
Center on Battery: 243.9 cd/m²
Contrast: 976:1 (Black: 0.25 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.83 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.9
ΔE Greyscale 3.9 | 0.64-98 Ø6.1
Gamma: 2.428
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
IPS, 14, 1920x1080
HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
IPS, 14, 1920x1200
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Response Times
-23%
-19%
-24%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
28.8 (12, 16.8)
40.8 (22, 18.8)
-42%
42 (20, 22)
-46%
38.4 (22, 16.4)
-33%
Response Time Black / White *
30.8 (18, 12.8)
32 (17.2, 14.8)
-4%
28 (16, 12)
9%
35.2 (19.6, 15.6)
-14%
PWM Frequency
961.5 (99)
Screen
34%
-16%
20%
Brightness middle
243.9
348.1
43%
267
9%
281.2
15%
Brightness
248
321
29%
247
0%
262
6%
Brightness Distribution
74
85
15%
88
19%
76
3%
Black Level *
0.25
0.28
-12%
0.45
-80%
0.24
4%
Contrast
976
1243
27%
593
-39%
1172
20%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.83
1.75
64%
3.63
25%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
18.29
4.74
74%
4.5
75%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.9
2.6
33%
4.06
-4%
3.3
15%
Gamma
2.428 91%
2.206 100%
2.65 83%
2.349 94%
CCT
6286 103%
6441 101%
6058 107%
6299 103%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
6% / 23%
-18% / -17%
-2% / 12%

* ... smaller is better

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
30.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 12.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 77 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
28.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12 ms rise
↘ 16.8 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 18 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (39.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 50 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 17159 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

Performance

With its Intel Core i5-8350U, the Acer Chromebook 715 would make for a peppy, if dated, Windows Ultrabook. However, thanks to the comparatively light demands of ChromeOS and Android apps, the Chromebook 715 flies through work with aplomb. 

Processor & System Performance

Considering most Chromebooks opt for low-powered CPUs like Intel's Celeron line, the Acer Chromebook 715 feels overpowered. Similarly to the Dell Inspiron 7486 and Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630 (which also use Intel Core chips), the Acer Chromebook 715 chews through anything thrown at it without much trouble. The Core i5-8350U glides through workloads without any hiccups. Content-heavy webpages load quickly, and scrolling is smooth. The ample 8 GB of DDR4 RAM is more than enough for Chrome OS; the machine easily handles multiple open tabs and Android apps.

UI navigation is buttery smooth; animations are fluid and flow gracefully. Heavier workloads, such as loading complex Google Sheets documents or streaming 4K video, are no problem. All said, this is perhaps the most powerful Chromebook to cross our test bench. Chrome OS power users will want to keep Acer in mind.

WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
Intel Core i5-8250U
608 Points ∼75% +21%
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
Intel Core i5-8350U
501 Points ∼62%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
 
501 Points ∼62% 0%
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Intel Core i3-8130U
472 Points ∼58% -6%
Google Pixelbook
Intel Core i5-7Y57
441 Points ∼55% -12%
Average of class Office
  (128 - 697, n=32)
348 Points ∼43% -31%
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
Mediatek MT8173C
216 Points ∼27% -57%
WebXPRT 3 - ---
HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
Intel Core i5-8350U
203 Points ∼77% +24%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
  (164 - 203, n=2)
184 Points ∼69% +12%
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
Intel Core i5-8350U
164 Points ∼62%
Average of class Office
  (41.1 - 233, n=13)
138 Points ∼52% -16%
Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA-AI0264
Intel Core m3-8100Y
137 Points ∼52% -16%
Lenovo Chromebook S340-14T 81V30002GE
Intel Celeron N4000
86 Points ∼32% -48%
HP Chromebook 14 G5
Intel Celeron N3350
68 Points ∼26% -59%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
  (173 - 232, n=5)
205 Points ∼58% +19%
Average of class Office
  (36.7 - 296, n=261)
180 Points ∼51% +4%
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
Intel Core i5-8350U
172.98 Points ∼49%
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
Intel Core i5-8250U
171.15 Points ∼49% -1%
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Intel Core i3-8130U
160.93 Points ∼46% -7%
Google Pixelbook
Intel Core i5-7Y57
144.78 Points ∼41% -16%
Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA-AI0264
Intel Core m3-8100Y
132.99 Points ∼38% -23%
Lenovo Chromebook S340-14T 81V30002GE
Intel Celeron N4000
81.649 Points ∼23% -53%
HP Chromebook 14 G5
Intel Celeron N3350
60.236 Points ∼17% -65%
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
Mediatek MT8173C
53.997 Points ∼15% -69%
Jetstream 2 - Total Score
Average of class Office
  (97.5 - 120, n=2)
109 Points ∼69% +12%
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
Intel Core i5-8350U
97.54 Points ∼62%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
  (91.9 - 97.5, n=2)
94.7 Points ∼60% -3%
HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
Intel Core i5-8350U
91.924 Points ∼58% -6%
Octane V2 - Total Score
HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
Intel Core i5-8350U
38722 Points ∼74% +13%
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
Intel Core i5-8250U
35674 Points ∼68% +4%
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
Intel Core i5-8350U
34334 Points ∼66%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
  (28223 - 38722, n=5)
32497 Points ∼62% -5%
Google Pixelbook
Intel Core i5-7Y57
32334 Points ∼62% -6%
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Intel Core i3-8130U
31980 Points ∼61% -7%
Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA-AI0264
Intel Core m3-8100Y
29318 Points ∼56% -15%
Average of class Office
  (3727 - 49795, n=260)
23883 Points ∼46% -30%
Lenovo Chromebook S340-14T 81V30002GE
Intel Celeron N4000
15679 Points ∼30% -54%
HP Chromebook 14 G5
Intel Celeron N3350
11461 Points ∼22% -67%
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
Mediatek MT8173C
11089 Points ∼21% -68%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score
Lenovo Chromebook C330-81HY0000US
Mediatek MT8173C
838.7 ms * ∼9% -232%
HP Chromebook 14 G5
Intel Celeron N3350
627.6 ms * ∼7% -148%
Lenovo Chromebook S340-14T 81V30002GE
Intel Celeron N4000
446.5 ms * ∼5% -77%
Asus Chromebook Flip C434TA-AI0264
Intel Core m3-8100Y
304.6 ms * ∼3% -21%
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
Intel Core i3-8130U
282.7 ms * ∼3% -12%
Google Pixelbook
Intel Core i5-7Y57
268.1 ms * ∼3% -6%
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
Intel Core i5-8250U
265.6 ms * ∼3% -5%
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
Intel Core i5-8350U
252.7 ms * ∼3%
HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
Intel Core i5-8350U
224.9 ms * ∼2% +11%
Average of class Office
  (62.5 - 835, n=175)
185 ms * ∼2% +27%
Average Intel Core i5-8350U
  (78.9 - 253, n=4)
161 ms * ∼2% +36%

* ... smaller is better

Linux (Beta)

Enabling Linux from settings.
Enabling Linux from settings.
Seasoned Linux users will be familiar with the terminal.
Seasoned Linux users will be familiar with the terminal.

New to Chrome OS is Linux integration. While tinkerers have been able to run Linux distros via chroot since Chromebooks came into existence, Google has now integrated a Linux terminal directly into Chrome OS. The feature is still in beta, but the results are quite promising. Once installed via the setting menu, users are dumped into a Linux terminal that acts as a standard command line.

Linux for Chrome OS is based on Debian Stretch. As such, it uses apt for its package manager. Not all of the Chromebook's hardware is supported yet (e.g., the webcam, USB drives, etc.), and there are some kinks. However, apps can be installed from repositories. Most that we tried (including Kdenlive, PyCharm, and Steam) work well.

Games can be installed via Steam, but keep in mind the graphical limitations of Chromebooks, including the Chromebook 715. Additionally, GPU acceleration is not enabled by default, so users will need to do that. Enabling this feature goes beyond the scope of this review.

PyCharm IDE
PyCharm IDE
Steam for Linux works as expected. Compatible games can be installed and launched from the frontend.
Steam for Linux works as expected. Compatible games can be installed and launched from the frontend.

Storage

The Acer Chromebook 715 comes with either 64 or 128 GB of eMMC flash storage. On paper, this seems lilliputian compared to other notebooks, but keep in mind that Chrome OS integrates directly with Google Drive. Google continues to offer 100 GB of cloud storage free for two years with the purchase of a Chromebook. Additionally, a microSD card can expand local storage further. Still, installing Android and Linux apps will eat up space quickly, so users should keep their remaining storage space in mind.

While eMMC flash would normally be a death sentence for a modern notebook, Chrome OS and Android apps are generally small compared to Windows programs. The laptop boots from cold to the desktop in about 6 seconds, Chrome apps open near-instantaneously, and most Android apps launch quickly. Larger apps, such as games, will push the slow storage and require patience.

GPU Performance & Gaming

The Linux version of Stardew Valley running natively on a Chromebook.
The Linux version of Stardew Valley running natively on a Chromebook.

Considering Chrome OS and Android applications are typically designed around low-powered GPUs, even the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 feels monstrously powerful. Streaming 4K content at 60 fps typically jitters on a Chromebook, but Acer's machine handles such content without breaking a sweat. As mentioned, UI animations are silky smooth.

Thanks to Google's efforts to integrate Android applications into Chrome OS, Chromebooks have a large library of games for users to enjoy. Demanding games like Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile run smoothly.

Additionally, Linux support allows Chromebooks to play supported games via Steam. Keep in mind the limited hardware of most Chromebooks. That said, Chromebooks are now able to play some mainstream titles. Performance is not as good as equivalent Windows machines, primarily because Linux on Chrome OS uses OpenGL instead of DirectX for GPU support.

Emissions

System Noise

Fan noise is well-controlled with one peculiarity. Under most loads, the fan stays silent. Heavier work (such as video streaming) causes the fan to spin, but noise hovers around 30 dB(A) and is easily drowned out. Extended heavy loads cause the fan to randomly spin up to full speed, spiking at 44 dB(A), for a second or two before spinning back down to about 30 dB(A).

There is no noticeable coil whine.

Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8350U, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
UHD Graphics 620, i3-8130U, 128 GB eMMC Flash
HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8350U, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
UHD Graphics 620, i5-8250U, 128 GB eMMC Flash
Noise
5%
-2%
6%
off / environment *
28.4
28.7
-1%
30.7
-8%
28
1%
Idle Minimum *
28.4
28.7
-1%
30.7
-8%
28
1%
Idle Average *
28.4
28.7
-1%
30.7
-8%
28
1%
Idle Maximum *
28.4
28.7
-1%
30.7
-8%
28
1%
Load Average *
30.2
29.8
1%
32.1
-6%
29.2
3%
Load Maximum *
44
29.8
32%
33.4
24%
32.4
26%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
28.4 / 28.4 / 28.4 dB(A)
Load
30.2 / 44 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.4 dB(A)

Temperature

The Acer Chromebook 715 keeps its cool under any load. When pushed (streaming 1080p video via YouTube in three tabs concurrently), the chassis stays relatively cool. There is a warm spot on the left palm rest and the rear of the bottom panel, but these do not get uncomfortably warm. Under normal office use, the chassis remains cool and comfortable.

Exhaust out rear
Exhaust out rear
Power supply
Power supply
Max. Load
 32.4 °C
90 F
32.6 °C
91 F
29.6 °C
85 F
 
 31.4 °C
89 F
32.4 °C
90 F
27.6 °C
82 F
 
 38.8 °C
102 F
26.8 °C
80 F
26.6 °C
80 F
 
Maximum: 38.8 °C = 102 F
Average: 30.9 °C = 88 F
30.8 °C
87 F
39 °C
102 F
36.6 °C
98 F
29.2 °C
85 F
33.4 °C
92 F
34 °C
93 F
28.6 °C
83 F
30 °C
86 F
31.2 °C
88 F
Maximum: 39 °C = 102 F
Average: 32.5 °C = 91 F
Power Supply (max.)  39.2 °C = 103 F | Room Temperature 21.6 °C = 71 F | Raytek Raynger ST
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 30.9 °C / 88 F, compared to the average of 29.4 °C / 85 F for the devices in the class Office.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38.8 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F, ranging from 21.2 to 62.5 °C for the class Office.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39 °C / 102 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 22.4 °C / 72 F, compared to the device average of 29.4 °C / 85 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 38.8 °C / 101.8 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.1 °C / 82.6 F (-10.7 °C / -19.2 F).
Keyboard, idle
Keyboard, idle
Bottom, idle
Bottom, idle
Keyboard, load
Keyboard, load
Bottom, load
Bottom, load

Speakers

The speakers can get loud and remain clear at full volume. However, the sound is thin and tinny. Media consumption suffers as a result. The speakers are fine for watching a movie, but the experience is lackluster.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2042.543.92541.239.33136.837.8403740.5503839.36335.238.88035.435.410034.834.212533.434.716032.235.420031.349.725030.656.431530.258.440029.663.650028.963.263029.16580028.579.5100027.783125027.775.9160027.271.5200027.271.8250027.172.4315027.172.2400026.874.8500026.673.8630026.669.7800026.667.31000026.671.71250026.473.61600026.468.5SPL39.687N3.767.2median 27.7median 69.7Delta1.97.43938.138.138.237.838.138.936.734.438.433.435.533.134.433.235.132.733.732.641.930.947.830.556.529.959.629.263.829.162.529.267.428.470.828.264.728.164.727.766.727.764.727.462.327.466.927.468.627.366.427.167.32768.42764.626.963.226.957.839.978.53.745.4median 28.1median 64.61.66.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527FLenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.96 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 6.3% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (11.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.7% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 68% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 24% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 21%, worst was 51%
Compared to all devices tested
» 62% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 30% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (70.75 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 31% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 60% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 31% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 62% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Acer Chromebook 715 doesn't draw much power. Even under load, the laptop draws no more than 10 Watts on average. When pressed to its limits, the Chromebook 715 draws 42.4 Watts, but these kinds of loads are unrealistic in everyday use. The included power adapter is rated at 45 Watts. It should also be noted the Chromebook 715 can be charged with generic USB-C chargers, provided that they pump enough Watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.38 / 0.63 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.3 / 6.6 / 6.9 Watt
Load midlight 9 / 42.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
i5-8350U, UHD Graphics 620, 64 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
i3-8130U, UHD Graphics 620, 128 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
i5-8350U, UHD Graphics 620, 64 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1920x1200, 14
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
i5-8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 128 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Power Consumption
6%
-18%
-25%
Idle Minimum *
1.3
1.6
-23%
1
23%
1.3
-0%
Idle Average *
6.6
6.3
5%
5.7
14%
9.3
-41%
Idle Maximum *
6.9
6.5
6%
6.1
12%
9.5
-38%
Load Average *
9
8.1
10%
23
-156%
12.9
-43%
Load Maximum *
42.4
28.6
33%
36
15%
43.3
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

One of the strengths of Chromebooks lies in longevity. The Acer Chromebook 715 is no exception; in our WiFi v1.3 battery test, which opens a new web page every 30-40 seconds while the display is set to 150 nits, the Chromebook 715 lasted a minute shy of 12 hours. Road warriors won't need to worry about the laptop dying before the workday is done. That said, the Pixelbook lasts about two hours longer thanks to its lighter processor.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Chrome 80.0.3987.158)
11h 59min
Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F
i5-8350U, UHD Graphics 620, 56 Wh
Dell Inspiron 7486 Chromebook 14 2-in-1
i3-8130U, UHD Graphics 620, 56 Wh
HP Chromebook x360 14 G1
i5-8350U, UHD Graphics 620, 60.9 Wh
Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630-81JX0008UX
i5-8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 56 Wh
Google Pixelbook
7Y57, HD Graphics 615, 41 Wh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
719
637
-11%
738
3%
383
-47%
835
16%

Pros

+ aluminum chassis
+ crisp backlit keyboard
+ number pad
+ decent port selection
+ large display w/ touch
+ great battery life
+ Chrome OS is snappy for most office work and web browsing
+ Chrome OS now supports Android apps and Linux

Cons

- mediocre webcam
- not convertible
- expensive for a Chromebook
- peculiar fan behavior under load
- ChromeOS is still limited compared to Windows and macOS

Verdict

In review: Acer Chromebook 715. Review unit courtesy of Acer.
In review: Acer Chromebook 715. Review unit courtesy of Acer.

Chromebooks have come a long way. Every time a Chromebook crosses our review desk, it carries new features that continue to push Chrome OS. The Acer Chromebook 715 is perhaps the pinnacle of the Chromebook experience, but that depends on your needs.

As an office laptop, the Chromebook 715 measures up well against most other Ultrabooks. However, the limits of Chrome OS and the machine's small SSD will be a roadblock to those used to Windows. As a Chromebook, however, the Acer Chromebook 715 is one of the best options on the market.

The machine is snappy. Chrome OS programs, Android apps, and Linux navigation are responsive. The Chromebook 715 even has some gaming chops, which usually cannot be said about a Chromebook. The build quality is top-notch, and the keyboard and touchpad are great. Lastly, the fingerprint reader is quick, accurate, and adds an additional layer of security for office environments.

There are a few shortcomings. For one, it is not a convertible, limiting its usability. Both the Dell Inspiron 7486 and Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630, its closest competitors, can be used as tablets, albeit bulky ones. The Acer Chromebook 715 can only be used as a standard laptop. Additionally, its keyboard is not as pleasant as the Inspiron 7486's and its display is lackluster compared to the Yoga Chromebook C630's.

The biggest sticking point is the price. At US $899, it is $200 more expensive than the Yoga Chromebook C630 and $300 more expensive than the Dell Inspiron 7486. Taking that into consideration, it's difficult to recommend the Acer Chromebook 715 over its competition.

All said, the Acer Chromebook 715 is the best 15.6-inch Chromebook available on the market. However, considering its limiting form factor and expensive price tag, we recommend you look to Dell for the best overall Chrome OS experience.

Acer Chromebook 715 CB715-1WT-527F - 03/25/2020 v7
Sam Medley

Chassis
82 / 98 → 84%
Keyboard
88%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
50 / 80 → 62%
Weight
64 / 20-75 → 79%
Battery
89%
Display
79%
Games Performance
0 / 78 → 
Application Performance
71 / 95 → 75%
Temperature
93%
Noise
93%
Audio
74%
Camera
30 / 85 → 35%
Average
76%
83%
Office - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Chromebook 715 Laptop Review
Sam Medley, 2020-03-26 (Update: 2020-03-26)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.