Chromebooks are great if you're after a low-cost computer and are happy to work primarily in the Cloud, but not everyone needs a portable machine that can slip in a bag. Acer clearly thinks there's demand for bigger screen models, which is why it has used its pre-CES 2015 announcements to reveal the Chromebook 15 - the first Chromebook laptop with a 15in display.
That 15.6in screen is also one of the highest resolution panels available for a Chromebook (not counting Google's own, incredibly expensive Chromebook Pixel ) - at least, it is if you opt for the 1,920x1,080 Full HD display. There will also be a cheaper 1,366x768 model, but 1080p is definitely the better choice.
Otherwise, the largest Chromebook yet follows a familiar pattern when it comes to internals. Buyers have a choice of either an Intel Celeron or more powerful Core i3 processor, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. Acer says it will be using Intel's currently unannounced 5th Generation Core CPUs, otherwise known as Broadwell, which will almost certainly mean battery life gains versus older Haswell models.
Unsurprisingly for a 15in laptop, the Chromebook 15 is hardly svelte; it weighs 2.2kg and is 24mm thick. Styled to match Acer's e xisting Chromebook models , it looks functional rather than sleek, although the white colour, textured lid and speakers either side of the Chiclet-style keyboard are more attractive than previous efforts. While you can still carry it around if you want to, the 15in Chromebook is better suited to a permanent place on a desk than as a travelling companion.
Acer expects the Chromebook 15 to go on sale in Europe in February for around €279, although there's currently no confirmed UK price or release date - or even details on specific models. It will also be updating the Chromebook 13, the first Chromebook laptop to use an Nvidia Tegra K1 processor, with a touchscreen option; it will be launching in January for €329.
We'll be checking out both later this week when CES 2015 kicks off, so be sure to check back for some first impressions if you're in the market for a big-screen Chromebook.