Is the new 15.6-inch Acer the best Chromebook value ever?

Chromebook fans in search of the holy grail may have just found it: A machine with a 15.6-inch screen, long battery life, and costing only $200. But is Acer's new Chromebook 15 CB3-531 all it's cracked up to be? I've got the answer and details.

One big piece of news about Acer's new Chromebook is its big screen. Well-priced Chromebooks typically don't get much beyond 13, and so the new machines screen will be welcomed to all those who like bigger-screen notebooks. You would expect you'd have to pay top dollar for that sized screen. But you won't. The Acer only costs $200, which typically buys a lower-end Chromebook with a much smaller screen.

Acer claims that you'll get 11.5 hours of battery life as well. Even if that's inflated some, that's a lot of time for a 15.6-inch notebook. It weighs in at 4.4 pounds, and has a nice big touchpad.

The device has the usual complement of ports: HDMI, one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port, and an SD card slot that can hold up to 128GB of storage. You may need that slot, because the device itself only has 16 GB of storage. There's also Bluetooth 4.0.

If you're looking for power or cutting-edge technology, this isn't the machine for you. It comes with standard-issue WiFi, not with 802.11ac which is WiFi's next generation. Screen resolution is only 1366 by 768, which won't give you great pictures, considering that it's the same resolution typically found on smaller screens. And the machine is powered by at not-overly-impressive Intel dual-core Celeron N2830 chip.

Still, if you're looking for a large screen at a great price, this is one you can't pass up. Note that you can't buy it yet. It's scheduled to start shipping in July.

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