Acer Chromebook 317 hits the spot for home workers

Acer has launched Chromebook 317 and 314 with some interesting specs. The Chromebook 317 comes with a 17-inch screen and Intel processors, while the Chromebook 314 has a 14-inch screen and a MediaTek processor.Acer is targeting mobile professionals and families alike with the Chromebook 317, the first Chromebook to feature a 17.3-inch display. Acer believes the Chromebook 317 is ideal for multitaskers, hybrid workers, and parents with kids — all due to the extra-large canvas it affords for getting things done.This monster machine offers more than just a big screen.

All display versions measure 17.3 inches and weighs in at a back-straining 2.35kg. It come with Full HD resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio. You can opt for a touchscreen or not if you want to save some cash.Thanks to the vast amount of real estate afforded by the massive display, the full-sized keyboard includes a dedicated 10-digit numeric keypad. A backlight for the keyboard is optional.

You have your choice of processors. The top machine is powered by an Intel Pentium Silver N6000 processor, while the mid-range model touts an Intel Celeron N5100 processor, and the entry-level variant comes with a Celeron N4500 processor. All three are supported by Intel UHD graphics. Models come with 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and there are two eMMC storage options: 64GB and 128GB.

If you expect to participate in a lot of video calls, you’ll need to spring extra for the Full HD video camera, which has a wide 82-degree field of view. Also optional? A dual-digital microphone array to make your voice extra dreamy during video calls. A single mic is standard.

In the optional built-in Full HD 82° wide-angle webcam and optional dual digital microphones provide clearer visuals and audio during remote meetings, making this Chromebook perfect for remote workers and those working from home.

 

Thanks to Chrome OS, you get a boot time of about 8 seconds so you’ll start working quicker; the simplified interface makes it easy to learn; integrated malware protection stops viruses in their tracks; and finally an efficient use of power means you can work all day without your power adaptererms of battery life, the Chromebook promises about 10 hours of battery life, rechargeable via USB 3.2 Type-C. Two stereo speakers will be in charge of the sound and it has WiFi 6 (Gig+).

Other standard features include upward-facing stereo speakers, Wi-Fi 6, and a host of ports, including two USB-C and two USB-A ports, a combo headphone/microphone jack, and a microSD card slot.It comes in silver.

There’s a USB-C and USB-A port on each side of the machine. The combo jack and microSD card reader are on the left, while the Kensington lock is on the right. Of note, there’s no power button nor volume toggle on any of the side edges. You’ll have to use the keyboard controls for managing volume — the 317 boots or wakes when you open the lid.

 

The Acer Chromebook 317 model CB317-1H comes with a non-touchscreen, the Intel Celeron N4500 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a single microphone for $379/€399. That’s a fair starting price, given the absolute enormity of this machine and the workspace it provides. It’s hard to know just how pricey the Chromebook gets without knowing the cost of items such as the webcam, dual-mic setup, or backlit keyboard.The major selling point of the 317 is clearly the large screen and productivity-boosting powers it bestows on the end-user

It's hard to be critical of a laptop that has no competition—if you'd like a 17-inch Chromebook, your options begin and end here. The "3" is as significant as the "17" in the Acer Chromebook 317's model number, telling you that you're getting a modestly equipped, entry-level system rather than one of the fancier, faster machines in Acer's Chromebook 500 or 700 series. But it also means you're not paying very much. The Chromebook 317 isn't a stunner, but it should satisfy many consumers.

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