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– March 31, 2022
The Acer Chromebook 317 (CB317-1HT-P5PF) is a 17” touch screen enabled notebook that is pretty easy to live with. This is not to be confused with the first model of the 317 series, which featured half the RAM and no touchscreen. This isn’t my first Chromebook experience, or my first Acer notebook, so I had some prior experience going into using the 317. I have been using the 317 for a few days now, and even had my kids using it to provide some feedback. They are the real Chrome OS pros in my house since they are the main users of my other Chromebook and they have Chromebooks for school.
CPU – Intel Pentium Silver N6000 Quad Core 1.10 GHz w/ turbo boost up to 3.3 GHz
Graphics – Intel UHD (Jasper Lake 32 EU) graphics
Memory – 8GB LPDDR4X
Screen – 17.3” 1920 x 1080p HD IPS
Storage – 64GB eMMC Flash memory – microSD card port available for additional expansion – other Acer Chromebooks have been able to read 128GB cards in prior generations
Ports – 2X USB 3.2 type-C / 2X USB 3.2 type-A / microSD Slot / TRRS 3.5mm Jack (headphone and mic support)
Audio – dual speakers
Webcam – 1080p with dual microphone
Dimensions – 15.8 x 10.5 x 0.89”; 4.85lb
The design of the Acer 317 is pretty basic. The entire chassis is made out of darker gray ABS plastic. The surface textures are all soft touch and lightly textured. I am actually fairly accustom to this design due to the Chromebooks that my kids had for virtual learning. If you have kids with a school Chromebook, then you have likely seen an Acer model that is a pint sized version of this one.
The ABS chassis material does not prevent the 317 from feeling well built. Picking it up you can feel a little bit of the weight and sturdiness of the construction. Opening the screen is satisfying in a way because there is decent resistance in the hinge. The screen bezel doesn’t flex or distort the image on the screen when opening or adjust the angle. You can actually open it from the corner (albeit with some effort) without it torquing/twisting the display frame.
The screen can open to 180°. The 317 also comes with a full size keyboard and decent sized trackpad. The laptop is passively cooled (no fans), and there are no vents through which heat can escape. Acer appears to be relying on the chassis to conduct away some of the heat. This leads to the chassis getting decently warm under the left side of the keyboard, and on the bottom of the chassis, also on the left. You absolutely feel it heat up if you have the 317 resting on bare skin or even thin clothes. It doesn’t become uncomfortably warm, but it is noticeable.
The ports are evenly distributed on the body. Both sides get a USB C and A port. The USB ports can both be used to charge the 317. The left side gets the headset port and the microSD slot. I like this sort of layout because itt sucks being stuck to one side to charge.
The Silver N6000 is surprisingly quick given it’s lower 1.1GHz core clock speed. The quad core setup gives it a little extra headroom when multitasking. Things like multiple Chrome tabs, Netflix stream, and Play store app installs were all handled well when attempted simultaneously. I never really felt the 317 bog down during what I would consider normal use. However, when I let the kids play games they reported some less than stellar framerates. I would say this would be expected based on the types of games they play – there just isn’t much graphical horsepower here to play anything graphically intensive. Games like Candy Crush or 2048 would play just fine though and have no issue running on the 317. The 8GB of RAM really comes into play here and it keeps everything feeling quick. The 64GB eMMC works well, and it handles loading times fast enough. Application launch time is quick – I would liken it to SATA based SSD launch times from a few years ago. This is honestly plenty quick – I don’t know of anything on a Chromebook that really needs NVMe load times. The overall capacity is fairly limiting though, since 64BGB doesn’t take a huge amount of time to fill up. I couldn’t find any spec that says what you can expand the storage to via the microSD slot. Prior Acer Chromebooks had a stated compatibility of 64GB cards, but users were reporting that cards up to (and maybe over) 128GB worked fine as well. If you plan to expand the storage then go for the fastest available cards out there.
The 17.3” 1920 X 1080p FHD IPS touchscreen display looks great. The screen finish is a high gloss and akin to your phone touchscreens. The large real estate of the 17.3” screen is a gift and a curse in some ways. The larger size gives more usability to the touch interface with bigger icons or text, and the overall screen size is just nicer to my eyes. The downside of this size screen is trying to transport or even balance such a large screened device on your lap while using it. Another knock against the larger size is you start to drop too low in pixel density compared to other smaller FHD screens. The screen is bright, and it has good contrast so that really helps with the text sharpness. I took the time to watch some Netflix. From what I could tell the screen handled dark areas fairly well. Backlight bleed and edge bleed were nonexistent as well. I did notice some haloing/glow on bright objects in darker scenes, but it wasn’t any worse than most screens I have looked at.
The multipoint touchscreen is highly responsive. I’m not really used to touchscreen outside of my phone, so being able to pinpoint click locations was a plus for me. The screen does show fingerprints quite well, so be prepared to wipe it off often. I let my kids play a couple of touchscreen games. Watching the screen keep up with their crazed inputs was nice to see.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The keyboard is a full key design with a number pad and everything. I love having a number pad on my keyboard. I have a 17.3 gaming laptop that doesn’t have the numberpad and that irks me a bit, so I was really happy to see it on the 317. The keys themselves are nice to type on. The keys are soft with a standard laptop keyboard feel to them. The keys match the body color, but have backlit white lettering. Even the secondary key functions are lit up, and the backlight gives a nice outline to each key as well. The backlight really comes in handy when typing in the dark. have a white backlight that comes in handy for typing in the dark. I don’t see a way to adjust the brightness of the backlight. The keys have a relatively short throw with a full travel length of 0.04” and low to mid force requirement. The keys are also silent to use.
The trackpad is easy to use as well. It a clickable pad. Multipoint touch is accurate as well. The surface of the trackpad matches the body color, but comes with a smooth texture.
The advertised battery life is 10hrs. During light use – browsing the internet and writing this review I can see it getting close to that mark as long as the screen brightness is kept down. Under load though that battery time gets cut down quite a bit. After watching a movie on Netflix (1.5hours) i dropped around 30% of the battery. However, I did have the brightness up a bit (75%), which didn’t help things. So realistically I can get 5-6 hours of streaming video out of a single battery charge. Nothing spectacular here, and in my experience this is on the lower end compared to the other Chromebooks I have used. However, none of them had a 17.3” screen so its not a direct comparison. Charging time was decent as well. I think it took about 1.5-2 hours to bring it from sub-10% to a full charge.
The sound from the speakers is decent. There’s no bass to really speak of, but the speakers aren’t super tinny sounding either. Volume is plenty loud enough as well and I can here it across my house. For casually listening to music or watching a movie/show I would say these are more than acceptable sounding. I don’t have any complaints here.
In my experience Chromebook webcams tend to leave a little bit to be desired. I have found this camera to be a little better than I expected. The 1080p camera produces a good picture in a well lit room. In lower light it starts to get a little grainy and noisy. The image processing is just OK as well. Colors are kind of muted and a little dark. Overall I think it works just fine for most peoples use cases. The microphones do a good job picking up my voice, and are decent at filtering out some ambient noise. The calls I have made on Skype went through clearly. My mom said that the image was a little better than my other Chromebook.
I am impressed with the Acer 317 Chromebook. It certainly looks basic, and completely not flashy. It looks like a giant version of the little Chromebooks that my kids got from their school. However, this is decently more powerful and easier to live with than those little notebooks. The 17.3” screen is fantastic. I have been mainly living with 15.6” screens on my other laptops, so jumping up to 17.3 is just wonderful. The touchscreen works great, and the larger screen makes it even easier to be precise. The keyboard is actually better than I expected, and nice to type on (I wrote this whole review on it). Having the numberpad is one of my favorite things – I really hate not having a numberpad on my smaller machines, so having it on this one has been great. Beyond just my uses I have found that my kids, and my partner’s kids love the upgraded form factor of the 317. They are all Chromebook power users compared to me, and they immediately preferred this larger size over their 11.6” machines. It was faster, more responsive, and overall easier for them to use. The only downsides to the size is portability – 15.6” is the best balance of portability and usability. The other downside is the diminished battery life. Bigger screens suck more power unfortunately.
– April 6, 2022
Is not bad. I don’t like the color display only 1080p.
– April 30, 2022
Screen nice and bright at 60% of max (yay!), backlit keyboard (yay!) – use ALT+bright up/down keys to change the backlight level (it’s not documented anywhere in the manual!) and 8GB RAM (yay!) – for a chromebook these are stellar features. Sadly as with most chromebooks, the processor is underwhelming, but at least it’s not a Celeron! Speakers are sub-par especially given the fact they’re upward firing (I had high hopes) – the sound should be much clearer/louder. There is no tone/EQ adjustment (although it has a “dts” logo on the deck – guess I’ll take their word for it). Battery life pretty decent for a 44Whr battery – getting 6+ hrs mixed usage, and recharge rate from zero is pretty fast (~1.5hrs). Keyboard typing experience very good, as is the trackpad. Keys feel good and travel is excellent. Trackpad is accurate, large and well placed. Don’t really use touchscreen so can’t comment on accuracy – seems to work fine. It is quite heavy – noticeably heavier than a 15.6″ bargain laptop I own – especially for being all plastic construction, I’d expect it to be lighter. I use it on my lap while laying on the sofa and I know it’s there. it get’s warm with excess usage but not hot (it’s a fanless design so absolutely quiet).
The chassis is rigid and hinge seems sturdy. Build quality better than expected. Really disappointed that it uses eMMC storage instead of ATA or NVMe – ridiculous in 2022 when SATA/NVMe so cheap/mainstream…but for $329 it’s a good browsing and media consumption device. Only minor lag when loading multiple tabs. Amazingly unlike Windows, ChromeOS will use huge amounts of RAM all the way up to the physical limits (it had 2GB used/~5GB cached and only 340MB free!), so even though 8GB seems reasonable, the thing pages out to the slow eMMC storage with only a dozen tabs open (mostly news sites and my email accts). Also to note: There is some backlight bleed around all four corners of the screen on “all-black” screens, but not a deal breaker – doesn’t affect usage. One thing that irritates me is chromeOS’s lack of continuity with things like Dark/light mode in the browser and System UI. You can enable the ability to use light/dark mode in the System UI using a chrome://flags tweak, but you can’t have it switch automatically based on time like MacOS/iOS/iPad OS does (yet, nightlight (blue light reduction) does have a time-based setting). Also, when the System UI is dark, the browser pages are not, so you need to add something like the excellent DarkReader extension to fix that, but “new-tab” pages can’t be darkened (apparently a chrome thing) so you end up with retina searing white “new-tab” pages if you don’t use google as your search engine for new tabs (!?!?!?!?). You will need to add yet another extension to customize your new-tab page color. Another annoyance – the SystemUI has a toggle in the system tray for light/dark mode, yet not for the browser – the browser does have an “auto dark mode” which is similar to DarkReader (not as good) but it cannot be toggled without disabling the flag and restarting the browser and isn’t tied to the one for the SystemUI setting whatsoever – an extremely poor user experience. Makes zero sense and shows how ChromeOS is nowhere near as polished as MacOS or Windows. For $329 you can’t do better for specs and the large screen is an extra bonus – but it’s not for everyone.
– May 1, 2022
I have been a big fan of Chromebooks for many years and prefer them to Windows laptops and Macbooks.
Generally, what I like is the simplicity that Chromebooks provide. The operating system updates in roughly 30 seconds with a simple reboot every other week or so. Boot ups are almost instantaneous. The ease at which documents can be stored within Google Drive and accessed anywhere (phone, tablet, etc) is super convenient.
Now, here are some specific thoughts I have about this particular Chromebook model.
– The additional real estate provided by the 17″ screen is welcome. If you are looking for a device that doesn’t need to be super portable, this large screen is nice to have at home.
-Set up is super simple. Just connect to Wi-Fi, log in with your Google account and you are basically up and running.
– The larger size of this Chromebook allows for a number pad which is always nice to have. The track pad is also very large and functions well.
– The 1080P HD screen looks sharp
– 8 Gigs of RAM is more than enough to keep you multitasking with ease
– Terrific battery life (up to 10 hours)
– Most Chromebooks these days are compatible with the Google App store, and this one is no different. You can play many of your favorite games on the touch screen.
– If you are looking for a portable Chromebook for school or if you travel a lot, you may want to go with a smaller model. This thing is large (but not all that heavy, surprisingly).
– Speakers could be better. Audio is decent but not great.
Overall, I would definitely suggest this Chromebook for folks in the market for an at-home device!
– May 7, 2022
I’ve owned the 15″ model, with a Celeron and 4GB of RAM for a few years. At the time I bought it, it had the largest screen I could find.
My only complaints with the 15″ have been the screen size, and it was a little less snappy than I would like. In particular I would have a youtube video running, and I would be browsing and as a page loaded I would sometimes get a “twirly” on the youtube video for a couple of seconds.
I’ve had the 17″ model, with a Pentium and 8GB of RAM for a week now, and I have not seen a twirly.
I ran https://browserbench.org/Speedometer2.0/ on each unit and on the speedometer I get a 32 on the 15″ and an 88 on the 17″. So that is a bit of objective proof that the one is snappier than the other.
I’ve attached a picture of the 15″ laptop on top of the 17″ laptop. The 17″ is half an inch wider and a quarter of an inch deeper. They are almost the same size! The bezel on the 17″ is much skinnier than on the 15″. This similarity of the external size of the two laptops was a happy surprise.
A few other comments that are obvious if you read the specs, and mostly just my personal preferences:
Like the 15″ the 17″ has a touch screen, and this is of no use for me. I use a mouse so I navigate fine, and do not smudge the screen while I’m doing so. Unlike the 15″ the 17″ is not convertible, which is another feature I have no use for. I don’t have much use for the 10 key on the 17″, but the page up, page down, home, and end keys on the 17″ have a tiny bit of use. It doesn’t bother me that the main keyboard is a tad smaller on the 17″. I like that the 17″ has the power button up on the keyboard, and not sticking out of the side of the unit.
Of course I’m rating this excellent, with respect to what one pays for the laptop. I’m sure for a lot more money I could buy something snappier – but the bang for the buck is awesome.
– May 17, 2022
Acer Chromebook 317 a 17 inch laptop like but with Chrome OS. It came well packed just like any other laptop but it was inside this recycled polyethylene soft material which felt really nice. The device is nicely built and is extremely light for a 17 inch. The texture is smooth but it has this little rough feel to it. I think that was done on purpose to prevent finger print marks. That being said, the surface does the job well, keeping those prints away. The backlit keyboard keys are soft with good feedback. They are quiet while typing and they don’t get stuck. The keyboard also has a number pad. It comes with two upfiring speakers. They sound good but they’re not very loud despite having a DTS logo. This machine comes equipped with Intel processor, Wi-Fi 6, 2 USB3, 2 USBC, headphone jack and Micro SDcard.
Setting it up was super easy, it took literally less than 10 min. Just turn on the device, connect it to Wi-fi, sign in with google account and that’s pretty much it. The screen is 1080p. It is bright, it has good color reproduction and is not super glossy. The display is a touch screen, it is very responsive and it feels very smooth. It comes with a 1080p 2mp front facing camera. The photo looks clear but kind of granny same goes for the videos. I looked at the same photos on my mobile device and they look better, I guess because of the smaller screen. The camera has an option to scan documents if you placed them in front of the camera. It is a nice concept but it is kind of hard to hold a document with one hand and try to snap the pic with the other.
The Chrome OS has become much better overtime, if you’re a Windows user this should not be hard to get used to because it works in very similar ways. I owned a Pixel Slate and this is my first Chromebook, I did notice some differences between the two. As this being a 17 inch most apps are made for mobile or tablets at least for all of the ones I have installed. Luckily this OS comes with the option to resize the apps to fit this 17 inch screen. So far, they all have worked flawlessly. The touchpad has a regular size as any other laptop. It is very smooth, responsive and it supports multi finger and gestures.
Battery life I will say is pretty good. In a 24 hour period and 18 of those being standby, the battery dropped from 100% to 40%. During standby it only consumed 9%, that being said during heavy usage this device will consume battery pretty quick. I was mostly using google docs, and some media watching and web browsing. I can say that this device easily will give around 7 to 8hrs of battery life on average usage. Something I notice while sitting the device on my legs is that it does get hot on the bottom. Not to the extent of burning but enough to be noticed. I did not see any heat exhaust on this device unless it comes out from the speaker grills.
Overall this device is a great alternative to a laptop considering the price and the millions of apps available for it. With extra USB connections and Micro SDcard storage make this a competitive productive device. In the box you get the Chromebook, UBSC Charger and manuals.
– May 20, 2022
I purchased this as a replacement to an Acer Chromebook 14 I bought over 5 years ago. That was an amazing little machine. I’m sad to see it go. Its only issue in 5 years was that the battery stopped accepting a charge and I could only use it when tethered to an A/C outlet. That little workhorse solidified my loyalty to the Chromebook concept and the Acer brand.
Prices of Chromebooks have climbed significantly since then. I chose the Acer Chromebook 317 to replace it since it has an energy-efficient Intel N6000 processor, double the memory, double the storage, WiFi 6, a backlit keyboard and 50% larger screen than what I had before.
The negatives are the plastic case, lack of an HDMI port, and tiny speakers. The aluminum finish on my old Chromebook was spectacular, but you aren’t going to find that on a budget machine anymore. The plastic isn’t that bad. The speakers have no base or depth at all, but again, that is not to be expected on a budget machine.
Battery life is good (especially when comparing it to my past situation of being tethered to A/C all the time). However, you aren’t going to get 10 hours unless you perform some serious energy-saving acrobatics. Charging takes a while, but I’m assuming that is because it needs a large battery to light the big screen.
Both the keyboard and the track pad work well. I’m finally getting back the Delete, Home and End keys that I was accustomed to on Windows machines. The keys have a little more travel than what I am used to. I don’t really use touch screens so I have no comment on that.
The real selling point of this machine is the 17.3″ display. I needed to zoom the resolution of my old 14″ Chromebook in order to make words large enough to read comfortably. Not so here. I leave the display at the full 1920 x 1080 native resolution and everything is crisp, clear, and big enough to read.
Chrome OS has come a long way since my initial experience 5 years ago. Printing and scanning (yes, scanning!) are built in now. All the standard apps included with the OS are mature. I prefer the simplicity of Google Docs to Microsoft Office. All my bookmarks and passwords automatically transferred to this new device. You can even turn this into a true development machine simply by enabling Linux in the settings. Software and security updates are automatic until June 2029.
If you are looking for an easy-to-maintain, semi-portable laptop with a large screen for checking email, browsing the web, playing a few light games, and running some apps, then this machine is a strong contender.
– May 29, 2022
Ok, let’s just start with the obvious. This is for all intents and purposes, a great chromebook. Acer has never really disappointed in the chromebook field in my opinion. And I can remember using their 14′ chromebook with many of the same features, just a couple years ago. As a matter of fact, my daughter still uses it to this day. She loves it. With upward firing speakers (that don’t really amaze, but does get the job done.) A full keyboard, including the num-pad & a vivid full HD touch screen that I don’t think I’ll find myself using all that much[side note, there is a non-touch screen version available if you want to save some cash.] but truth is, you really can’t go wrong with getting the touch screen, because it just makes since when you think of what a quality laptop/chromebook should be. As far as the build, the whole thing is made of plastic, even the track pad. I don’t have an issue with it and it still looks nice and I do like the fact that it doesn’t come off as a fingerprint magnet. The brush metal hue always looks good in a coffee shop or library. It’s running with a new Pentium Silver N6000 processor and 8GB LPDDR4X – 64GB eMMC and WiFi 6, it has some punch for such a cheap device. 2 type C ports. 1 on either side as well an USB A on each side and there’s also a micro SD card slot. There’s a 3.5mm headphone/ mic on board also. I have grown to love the feel of the keyboards that come off of Acer’s production line, so you won’t get any complaints from me in that department. Talking about the screen for a moment. There’s an nice antiglare finish which allows for comfortable viewing and I really couldn’t notice the smudging going on while I handled the screen for navigation. There’s really not much that can be said on the proformance side, considering that I’ve been through maybe 5 Chromebooks since my first time with the Acer 14. If you’re chromebook user, the one thing you’ll notice is the size. This could be a good thing or bad, depending on your preference. Me, personnally, I prefer something along the lines of a 13′ chromebook. I think that is the sweet spot. Whatching media on this 17.3′ screen is nice but not outstanding. Put on a pair of bluetooth headphones and enjoy your show, because the speakers kinda pull you out of the experience. They’re right there, but sound like they would benefit from being downward facing. At least that way, it could bounce off of whatever surface it’s going to be sitting on, to give it some base. The way they are, however, the highs are just in your face, a little too much, I think. This also could’ve benefitted from folding into full table mode. I think that’s the best way to consume media on a chromebook.Also, I’m sure I would’ve given it a 5 star rating, if it did fold into tablet mode. This is possiblly the first chromebook I’ve ever had to charge before use, but that’s just me being entitled. It doesn’t take very long to charge and it has a pretty good battery life. The 720p web cam is decent, for a chromebook and honestly, I prefer it over my PC and external stream cam for video chats. All I can really say is it’s big. And I don’t think there’s a need for such a large chromebook until someone makes it possible to properly do proper video editing on them. Do I recommend it? I’d say it would be remiss of me not to. It really is a great product from an ever greater company and it’s really affordable. If you catch it on sale over the holidays, which I’m sure you will, I’d go so far as to say, pick a couple up for those students in your life. Or simply be sure to get one for yourself. Great job, Acer, on bringing something no one know they wanted, but may very well find out tha they need it.
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