The Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) is a budget 15.6-inch Chrome OS laptop. It's available with various Intel Celeron processors, integrated graphics, 4GB or 8GB of memory, and up to 128GB of eMMC storage. You can configure it with a 720p TN or a 1080p IPS display; the latter is available with or without support for touch input. None of the internal components are user-replaceable, and there are no biometrics for quick logins.
The Acer Chromebook 315 is decent for school use. It feels very well-built and solid, and despite being a 15-inch laptop, it's remarkably light and can fit into a medium-sized bag. The battery can last a full day of schoolwork with plenty of juice left over, which is great if you don't want to bring the charger around. The webcam and microphone provide a clear image and good audio. Although typing on the keyboard feels good, it can cause fatigue over long periods, and while the touchpad tracks well, gestures don't always work. Unfortunately, the screen doesn't get bright enough to overcome glare in very well-lit settings, so the laptop isn't ideal for use outdoors.
The Acer Chromebook 315 is poor for gaming. There isn't an option for a dedicated GPU, and none of the components are replaceable. It runs on Chrome OS, meaning it's incompatible with DirectX games like Borderlands 3, so you'll have to stick with simple Linux apps and games from the Google Play Store. The screen doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology and can only reach a maximum of 60Hz, but this is expected of Chromebooks.
The Acer Chromebook 315 is decent for media consumption. The battery can last through many feature-length films, so you can binge-watch many movies in a row without needing to plug in. Its 1080p IPS display gets dim enough for comfortable nighttime viewing, but unfortunately, it looks washed out. Even though you can get it with a touchscreen, it can't flip all the way around to use in tablet mode. Also, the speakers sound sub-par and might overaccentuate speech and sharp sounds.
The Acer Chromebook 315 performs poorly as a workstation. All versions of the laptop use power-efficient Celeron processors that aren't suited for heavy tasks, there's no option for a dedicated GPU, and there aren't any serviceable components. Also, the laptop runs on Chrome OS, so you can't use popular programs like Adobe After Effects or DaVinci Resolve, making it unfit for content creators. On the bright side, there's a good port selection, including two USB-C ports that both support charging and display out, and two USB-A ports for wired peripherals.
The Acer Chromebook 315 is an adequate laptop for business use. There's a good selection of ports, including two USB-A ports for wired peripherals and two USB-C ports that both support charging and display out. The battery comfortably lasts through a full day of productivity, which is great for working while on the move. It has a decent webcam and microphone that work well for video calls, and its 15-inch screen is great for multitasking. Unfortunately, it doesn't get bright enough to overcome glare in very bright environments, limiting where you can comfortably work. The keyboard feels good to type on but can cause fatigue over long periods.
We tested the Acer Chromebook 315 (model CB315-3HT) with a 15.6-inch, 1080p IPS display, an Intel Celeron N4020 CPU, integrated Intel UHD Graphics 600, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, in the Pure Silver color scheme. The screen, CPU, and storage are configurable. You can see the available configurations in the table below.
Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration that we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar Acer Chromebook 315 that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.
You can see our unit's label here.
The Acer Chromebook 315 is a decent Chromebook for general productivity and is among the best in its price range. However, it's only suitable for people with an extremely light workload due to its CPU and GPU performance.
The Samsung Chromebook 4 (2019) and the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) are both Chromebooks that use power-efficient Intel Celeron CPUs. However, the Acer performs better overall, with a larger, crisper touchscreen display, a much better keyboard, and a better webcam and microphone. Also, it has a much better port selection, and its battery lasts far longer. On the other hand, the Samsung is much more portable, and although its speakers don't get as loud, they sound much better.
The Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) and the HP Chromebook 14 (2021) are both Chromebooks with power-efficient Intel Celeron CPUs. However, the Acer is better for productivity tasks and multimedia viewing because it has a larger, much more color-accurate 15 inch display that gives more room to multitask. It also has a better selection of ports and a far better webcam and microphone. On the other hand, the HP is a much more portable device, with a longer-lasting battery for web browsing and much better-sounding speakers.
The Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) is a Windows laptop that comes in a variety of well-performing Intel and AMD processors, whereas the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) is a power-efficient Chrome OS laptop. The Aspire is better for gaming and workstation tasks, as it can install x86 applications like After Effects, it's available with various, significantly better-performing CPUs, and it can have a dedicated entry-level GPU. Also, it has better-sounding speakers and a better-quality touchpad. On the other hand, the Chromebook has a more flexible port selection, a far better battery, and it remains silent and doesn't get too hot.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (2021) and the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) are both Chrome OS laptops, but the Spin 311 has a 360-degree hinge and can be used in tablet mode, while the 315 is a traditional clamshell laptop. The Spin 311 is better for multimedia use, with better-sounding speakers and a much longer-lasting battery, and it's smaller and lighter. On the other hand, the 315 is better for business and school use, with a numpad, a larger touchpad with better tracking, and a larger, sharper screen that's better for multitasking. Also, it has a much better port selection, but it's much less portable than the Spin 311.
The Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) is a 15-inch Chromebook available with power-efficient Intel Celeron CPUs, while the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) is a 2-in-1 Windows laptop that comes in a variety of performant Intel and AMD processors. The Lenovo is particularly better for gaming and business tasks, with variants that have significantly more powerful CPUs, the option of a dedicated GPU, and a far superior SSD. Also, the speakers sound better, the keyboard feels nicer, and it supports x86 applications like Photoshop. On the other hand, the Acer has a larger screen, its battery lasts longer overall, and it stays completely silent and doesn't get too warm.
The Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (2019) and the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) are Chrome OS laptops with power-efficient CPUs. The Acer is much larger, and it's better for school and business productivity and multimedia viewing. The Acer's keyboard has a Numpad and feels better to type on, its touchpad tracks better, and its webcam and microphone are much better. Also, it has a better-looking screen, a more flexible port selection, and far better battery life. On the other hand, the Lenovo is much more lightweight and portable.
The Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020) and the Acer Chromebook 315 (2020) are both 15.6 inch Chrome OS laptops. The main difference is that the Lenovo is a 2-in-1 convertible that you can also use as a tablet, whereas the Acer is a more traditional clamshell laptop. Performance-wise, the Lenovo comes out ahead, but both laptops are more than capable of handling general productivity tasks and media consumption on Chrome OS. Also, you can get the Acer with a more powerful 4-core CPU if you need better performance. The Acer has a much better webcam and longer battery life. However, the Lenovo has a better touchpad that tracks more reliably, especially when using gestures, and its keyboard doesn't feel as tiring to type on.
The Acer Chromebook 315 has a simple, cheap-looking design. It has a silver-color plastic chassis, a full keyboard with a Numpad on the right, and fairly thick plastic bezels, especially the bottom chin. The speakers are down-firing. There aren't any air vents, and it's fanless. If you prefer a 2-in-1 convertible laptop that you can use as a tablet, check out the Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020).
The Acer Chromebook 315 feels well built, with no gaps or flaws in the construction. Despite being almost entirely of plastic, it doesn't scratch or pick up oil easily. The hinge feels quite solid and stable. There's a bit of flex in the keyboard deck and display, but the entire laptop feels sturdy when closed.
The Acer Chromebook 315's hinge is alright. It feels strong and smooth, and it doesn't wobble very much while typing. Because the laptop is so light, the keyboard deck lifts while opening the lid, so you can't open the laptop with one hand. That said, it's a quality-of-life feature typically found on more expensive laptops, so it isn't all too surprising that it isn't present on a budget Chromebook.
The Acer Chromebook 315 is easy to carry around. You might need to use a slightly larger bag, but it isn't very heavy. The charger is compact and fits easily into most bags.
The Acer Chromebook 315 has poor serviceability. It's very easy to open up, requiring you to remove 10 Phillips screws, pry the plastic cover open with a pick, and detach the clips. Unfortunately, you need to make sure to get the model with the components you want since none of the parts are user-upgradeable. You can see the user manual here.
The Acer Chromebook 315 is available with the following displays:
The 1080p screen looks reasonably sharp and provides enough room for split-screen multitasking. However, the 720p TN panel will result in a significantly less detailed picture. Resolution aside, it's also better to get a model with an IPS panel because TN panels generally have narrower viewing angles and worse color reproduction. The side bezels are quite thin and aren't distracting, although the top and bottom bezels are noticeably thicker.
The Acer Chromebook 315 is only available with 60Hz displays, which is typical for most Chromebooks. As you can see by the amount of ghosting in the motion blur photo, the response time is slow, so fast-moving content doesn't look very good.
The Acer Chromebook 315 has a very good contrast ratio, much higher than a typical IPS panel. However, blacks still look gray when viewed in a dark environment. The TN panel will have a much worse contrast ratio.
The Acer Chromebook 315 has a mediocre maximum brightness that isn't enough to overcome glare in well-lit rooms. It also isn't suitable for use outdoors, or in very sunny rooms. The screen does get dim enough for use in dark rooms without causing eye strain, though.
The Acer Chromebook 315's matte ComfyView screen handles reflections decently. It disperses direct reflections and helps make them less distracting. Unfortunately, because the screen doesn't get very bright, glare is still an issue in areas with bright ambient light or if a light is shining directly into the screen.
The black uniformity is alright. There's some backlight bleed along the edges, but it isn't noticeable unless you're looking at a dark scene in very dim conditions.
The Acer Chromebook 315 with the 1080p IPS display has adequate horizontal viewing angles. The image quickly dims the further off center you go. It works alright for sharing content with people around you, but colors look faded from the side. If you care about good viewing angles, it's best to get a model with an IPS display, as TN panels generally perform much worse in this regard.
The Acer Chromebook 315 with the 1080p IPS display has adequate vertical viewing angles. The image looks dimmer and gains a slight bluish tint when viewed from above or below. However, there's still some room to tilt the screen forward and backward, which helps if you can't tilt the screen directly toward you. If vertical viewing angles are important to you, it's best to get an IPS panel as the TN panel performs much worse and even exhibits chroma inversion when viewed at sharp angles, severely degrading image quality.
The Acer Chromebook 315 with a 1080p IPS screen displays colors with sub-par accuracy. The color temperature is practically at the 6500K target, which makes content look natural. However, a few colors, particularly deep blues and magentas, are very inaccurate because of the display's limited color gamut. Also, dark scenes are too dark, while bright scenes are slightly brighter than they should be. As a result, the screen isn't ideal for tasks that require precise color output, such as color correction or photo editing.
The Acer Chromebook 315 with a 1080p IPS display has a poor color gamut, so content looks washed out. It doesn't have full sRGB coverage, meaning that many colors used on the web aren't properly displayed, and since its coverage of Adobe RGB is also quite bad, it isn't ideal for content creation. It has equally bad coverage of the DCI P3 and Rec. 2020 color spaces, so it can't deliver a good HDR experience. The TN panel likely has an even narrower color gamut, meaning the image will look even more washed out.
The display is entirely flicker-free, which helps reduce eye strain.
The Acer Chromebook 315 has a passable keyboard overall. It feels good to type on, with stable keys and a good amount of travel. The keys are of a good size and adequately-spaced. However, the travel might be too long for some people and might take some time to get used to, and it can be tiring to type on over long periods since it requires a lot of force to actuate each key. Also, the material of the keys doesn't feel very high quality, and there's no backlighting, making it more difficult to type in dark environments. The Numpad makes it easier to work in spreadsheets or do calculations, but it shifts the main part of the keyboard to the left, which some people might not like. Fortunately, the keys are quiet, which is good in noise-sensitive settings like classrooms.
The Acer Chromebook 315 has a decent touchpad. It's a bit small and is offset to the left, which gives you proper space to rest your palms when typing, but it might take some time to get used to. Although it tracks movements well, none of the gestures, nor dragging and dropping, work reliably. Clicking feels alright but only works near the bottom.
The Acer Chromebook 315 has middling speakers. It has two down-firing speakers that get very loud at maximum volume, with very little compression and a mostly neutral sound profile. However, there are strong peaks in the high-mid and mid-treble ranges, which can overaccentuate human speech and sharp, tinny sounds like hissing. There's very little bass, even at maximum volume.
The Acer Chromebook 315 has a decent webcam and microphone. It picks up speech very clearly, with only a little bit of static in the background. The webcam produces a good image; you can make out the texture of the rope and the fine hair on the doll's face, but you lose details like text. Although the image is a little overexposed, colors are well-identified and look mostly true to life.
The port selection is good. It has two USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports (5Gbps data transfer speed) that support charging and display out via DisplayPort. There are also two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports for USB flash drives or wired peripherals.
The wireless adapter is an Intel Wireless-AC 9560.
The Acer 315 is available with the following CPUs:
The N4000 and N4020 are dual-core processors without hyperthreading, whereas the Celeron N4120 is a quad-core processor with no hyperthreading. They're all power-efficient CPUs; the N4020 has a higher burst frequency compared to the N4000 and might give a barely noticeable performance improvement when loading programs or webpages. However, both are more than capable for web browsing or media playback. The N4120 will perform much better in multitasking and highly threaded workloads compared to the N4000 and N4020, thanks to its two extra cores.
This laptop is only available with integrated graphics. All three CPUs use Intel UHD Graphics 600, with the only difference being that the Intel Celeron N4120's graphics have a slightly faster burst frequency compared to the ones on the N4000 and N4020. However, this marginally faster clock speed doesn't result in any noticeable performance increase. The Intel UHD Graphics 600 can handle most games from the Google Play Store aside from graphically intensive ones.
The Acer 315 comes with 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, a variant of DDR4 RAM made specifically for low-power devices. 4GB is enough for casual, everyday use, especially since Chrome OS is so lightweight, but the system will lag if you have lots of browser tabs or applications open simultaneously, so it's best to get 8GB for the extra headroom.
You can configure the Acer 315 with 32GB, 64GB. or 128GB of eMMC storage. 32GB is fine if you plan to use cloud storage to store photos and videos, but you'll have more space to install apps and games if you opt for 64GB or 128GB.
The Acer Chromebook 315 equipped with the Intel Celeron N4020 performs poorly in the Geekbench 5 synthetic benchmarks, which is expected of a power-efficient dual-core CPU. The Celeron N4000 variants perform very similarly. On the other hand, the Celeron N4120 variants perform much better for multitasking and multi-threaded workloads like video encoding, but about the same for single-thread tasks like photo editing. We can't run the GPU compute test because it doesn't support the proper graphics API, but the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 600 will likely perfom poorly in computational workloads, regardless of the processor.
Cinebench isn't compatible with Chrome OS or Linux.
The Acer Chromebook 315, equipped with the dual-core Intel Celeron N4020, takes almost an hour to complete the relatively simple bmw27 benchmark. As a result, it isn't suitable for enthusiasts or professionals working with 3D models or renders. The integrated graphics will likely perform significantly worse than the CPU.
The Acer Chromebook 315 performs terribly in the Basemark GPU benchmark. The variant with the quad-core Intel Celeron N4120 will perform better in CPU-bound games like ones with lots of physically interacting objects, but none of the CPUs are suitable for running graphically intensive games at high settings.
All variants of the Acer Chromebook 315 use an eMMC storage drive that performs poorly overall. However, because Chrome OS is lightweight, the system still feels snappy and responsive. Since the random read speed is reasonably fast, booting the laptop and launching applications is comparatively faster than installing an app or transferring files.
The Acer Chromebook 315 has a fantastic battery that can comfortably last an entire school day or workday with charge left to spare. You can also get through plenty of feature-length films or TV show episodes on the go without needing to charge. However, battery life varies greatly depending on your usage.
Borderlands 3 isn't compatible with Chrome OS or Linux.
Civilization VI isn't compatible with Chrome OS or Linux.
CS:GO isn't compatible with Chrome OS. Even if you run the Linux version in a container, the CPU and integrated graphics aren't powerful enough to provide a satisfactory gaming experience.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider isn't compatible with Chrome OS. The CPU and integrated graphics aren't powerful enough to provide a satisfactory gaming experience even if you run the Linux version in a container.
The Acer Chromebook 315 has remarkable thermal and noise handling. It's fanless, so it's completely silent under load, which is great for noise-sensitive surroundings like classrooms. It remains very cool when idle and doesn't get too warm under load, with the warmest spot being between the "4" and "5" keys.
Cinebench R23 and UNIGINE Heaven aren't compatible with Chrome OS, so we couldn't test if the laptop loses performance while under load. However, we don't expect any variants to throttle under sustained workloads.
The Acer Chromebook 315 runs Chrome OS, a Linux-based operating system with functionality built around the Google Chrome browser and Google Play Store apps. You can also run Linux apps in a container using Crostini. However, it isn't compatible with many popular x86 applications like the Adobe Suite. There's no extra software other than what Chrome OS natively comes bundled with. If you need a laptop that supports x86 applications, check out the HP Stream 11 (2021).
Every Chromebook has an "expiration date" at which it stops receiving software updates, and according to Google's official document, the end-of-life of the Acer Chromebook 315 is June 2026. Google may extend this date as they have in the past for other Chromebooks; it's best to check their official document for any changes. For this particular unit, Google states that managed devices with the Chrome Education or Chrome Enterprise Upgrades will continue to receive security and management updates and support, but no new feature updates, until June 2027.