The Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ is an adequate piece of machinery. It does what it was built to do: Simple labors of a Chromebook, and it does it well, very well in fact. It’s powered by an Intel Celeron, a two-core processor created by the same company whose processors can be found on most PCs. This offers a little more “robustness” to this nifty little Chromebook’s processing power, compared to its peers built with an ARM processor.
An Affordable Chromebook
Acer has been making affordable Chromebooks right from the beginning. The company has its fair share of models present in the market, and it has developed a decent reputation for creating Chromebooks that are good value for their money. The Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ is no exception. Thanks to its dual-core Intel Celeron processor and Chrome OS, the Chromebook does an excellent job of impressing the users with its boot-up speed.
But remember that despite the presence of a dual-core Intel Celeron processor doesn’t mean that the Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ is more than a glorified (and powerful) smart-phone with a keypad. It is only a Chromebook, after all. The model comes with a small 11.6″ HD screen that offers a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768, which is more than enough for browsing, watching videos, and basic student usage.
Read on for a detailed review of the Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ or buy it here on Amazon.
Design / Build Quality / Durability
The design and sturdy build are the strong points in favor of the little Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ. Some people are grumpy about the unit only being available in white, but it looks neat. The body is a scratch-resistant plastic shell, but it’s sturdier than the standard models and feels good to handle. This makes it a good gift for school children and people who are not overly careful with how they handle their electronics.
This Chromebook offers decent speed in its default model that comes with 2 GB memory, but we would recommend going for a 4 GB model. The decent speed can be attributed to the Intel Celeron n2840 dual-core processor and the lightweight Chrome OS, but it’s not going to break any benchmark records. However, the Intel Celeron n2840 dual-core processor is powerful enough for basic functionality, and even some android games that the operating system lets you play.
Portability (Size and Weight)
With just 2.4 lbs weight and modest dimensions of 11.57 x 8.03 x 0.76, the Chromebook is very portable and easy to handle. Though most 11.6-inch screen Chromebooks are portable, this Acer Chromebook still stands out for its small size and lightweight, especially considering when it was released.
The people at Acer definitely didn’t skim on the battery quality for the CB3-131-C3SZ, as it definitely stays true to the long battery life promise it made in the advertisements. For light use, you might be able to get anywhere between 9 and 12 hours of battery life on this Chromebook. Even if you are putting it through the paces, you might get 5 to 7 hours between charges, which is much better than many heavy-build laptops.
The keyboard is good enough for a Chromebook, but it comes with the same problem: It will time for you to get used to it if you are switching from a typical keyboard. The Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ keyboard is as standard as it gets for these budget devices: Not back-lit, compact, and responsive, though the keys can feel “heavy” sometimes (but nothing like the legacy “typewriter” keyboards).
Display Quality & Screen Size
The display is average at best, but it gets points for not being obnoxious at odd angles like most TN displays tend to be. Screen size is standard, 11.6 inches, and capable of 1366 x 768 resolution, which might not be great, but it’s also not terrible. The quality is decent enough for most videos, but if you want something to watch 4K videos on, this budget Chromebook with its 1366 x 768 resolution might not be the one for you.
This is where the Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ redeems itself. For all its mediocrity and standard features, the Chromebook is a great value for the price. That’s even more true if you buy it during a sale when it’s at a discount.
When it came out, 2 GB memory was common for this Acer Chromebook, but most users would probably find it too slow. After all, there is only so much that an Intel processor and Chrome OS can do for the speed. So we would recommend buying the 4 GB unit.
The 16 GB is standard for budget Chromebooks. Since most of its functionality relies upon the internet anyway (including its storage, which is very cloud-centric), the 16 GB is good enough. But, if you download a lot of videos or pictures, you may need to augment the 16 GB storage with a memory card.
Ports & Connectivity
The ports are standard: An output HDMI port, which means you can connect it to your smart TV, a headphone jack, a card reader, and two USB ports (one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0). For most connections where speed isn’t such an issue (like connecting a mouse), the USB 2.0 port would be fine. But if you want to transfer files through a USB flash drive, USB 3.0 would be better.
The graphics processor is Intel HD, which pairs up nicely with the Intel Celeron. The Intel HD chip, while decent enough for a tablet with a keyboard, is not powerful enough for serious gaming (though the Operating system and the rest of the hardware won’t allow it anyway).
Buyer Reviews of Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ
Acer CB3-131-C3SZ is not an exceptional machine. The CB3 series isn’t the most glorious line of Chromebooks that Acer has produced, but among the CB3 series, the Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ has carved a decent place for itself.
Most of the users seem happy with this Acer CB3 unit, and the ones that aren’t satisfied seem to have run into similar problems, but it’s a small set.
Overall, the reviews are positive and assert the point that the Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ is a decent piece of electronics.
Not Your Chromebook Of Choice? Try These!
Do you feel that the Acer Chromebook CB3-131-C3SZ, with its Intel process and graphics, isn’t your ideal Chromebook match? And if you want to stick to the Chromebooks from about the same time, then you might want to try these:
It comes with all the bells and whistles, and the Acer CB3 doesn’t. It’s very costly compared to the budget Acer unit, but it’s also on the high-end of Chromebooks.
An Intel Core M3 processor, 64 GB storage, touch-screen, and an all-metal body. The major similarities between the two are just memory and the operating system.
This is a relatively closer match, even though it’s still expensive compared to the Acer.
It has the same screen, memory, storage, decent battery, a bit more powerful processor, and a spill-resistant keyboard.
The Acer Chromebook is not counted among the best Chromebooks of its time, and certainly don’t stand out among its peers.
But it does the job and does it well.
It’s a very decent machine, especially for the price, and delivers on the promise of being a fast (enough) and sensible Chromebook.
If you are convinced this is the Chromebook for you, check it out here on Amazon.