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Acer's gigantic 17-inch Chromebook is a great idea — here's why

Acer Chromebook 317
(Image credit: Acer)

Acer has decided what the world really needs is an absolutely massive Chromebook, so the new Acer Chromebook 317 comes packing a truly colossal 17.3-inch screen with slim bezels. 

If you look at our selection of best Chromebooks, you'll see that most feature more compact displays, usually sitting at the 13-inch mark. But Acer is targeting the Chromebook 317 at people who might want a laptop with a big display for home working, without needing opt for a powerful Windows 10 machine or a MacBook Pro 16-inch.

That's not to say the Chromebook 317 is underpowered as it comes with an Intel 11th Gen Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 265GB of storage. That's plenty for some general computing, and more than enough to power the 1920 x 1080 display, which can be had in touchscreen form. 

The latest intel processors also provide access to Wi-Fi 6, which is a handy addition if you have a router that supports it; those aren't prolific yet, but it does add some futureproofing to the Chromebook 317. 

There are two USB 3.2 ports with the type-C connector which can be used for display output, quick charging and fast data. And two USB Type-A connections are available for handling legacy peripherals, like a mouse and keyboard. There’s even a nifty microSD card slot. 

The Acer Chromebook 317 will go on sale in June in the U.S. for a starting price of  $397 and £349 in the U.K. We'd need to take a closer look at the expansive Chromebook, but a keenly-priced machine with a 17-inch display is intriguing.

Acer Chromebook 371: Bigger could be better 

Acer Chromebook 317

(Image credit: Acer)

It would be easy to be confused about such a large Chromebook, but there’s plenty of use cases where it makes sense. People who need some sort of home computer, but nothing especially advanced would, presumably, enjoy such a large display that can be easily put away when not in use. 

And then there’s accessibility, lots of people don’t have perfect vision, so a larger screen makes a lot of sense for them. They won’t need a separate monitor and it could be fantastic for grandparents keeping in touch with kids and grandkids using email and video calls, it has a wide angle webcam too. Plus if they want to try a bit of streaming, that’s an option too. 

Chromebooks are ideal for a lot of people who want a computer with an operating system that's rather simple and fuss-free when compared to Window 10 macOS. 

Chromebooks are supported for ages, are incredibly easy to use and have a simple reset that restores them to factory condition in a few minutes. With most of your files and data stored on the cloud, Chromebooks offer a generally worry-free computer. 

As such, Acer could be onto something here by offering the first 17-inch Chromebook, especially when it won't break the bank to buy the Chromebook 317.