Acer has the affordable Chromebook 514 with a Full HD display, and we tested it in the editorial office for a few weeks. Acer is pushing the device forward as a great entry-level model for students. Here you can read our findings.
Acer Chromebook 514
Acer is a well-known manufacturer of PCs and laptops, but the company has also been offering beautiful product ranges in the field of Chromebooks for years. The Chromebook 514 is an affordable model that still wants to show off with its screen quality and the solid metal housing. More specifically, we have tested the Acer Chromebook 514 CB514-1H-C8PA (349 euros), which is a more affordable variant with a Full HD screen and an Intel Celeron processor. You will discover the specification below and then also all the strengths and weaknesses of this Chromebook.
- Dimensions : 32.30 cm x 1.695 cm x 23.20 cm
- Weight : 1.4 kg
- Screen : 1.4 inch Full HD IPS LCD (1920 x 1080)
- Processor : Intel Celeron N3350
- RAM : 4 GB
- Storage : 32 GB
- Camera : 0.3 MP, 720p
- Battery life : up to 12 hours
- Operating System : Chrome OS
- Extra : Metal housing, Google Play Store support, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Acer Chromebook 514 – the pluses
1. Design and build quality
Acer has done a good job of opting for a full metal case, as it makes the Chromebook 514 feel a lot less cheap than it really is. Furthermore, the laptop does not have the largest screen edges and it has a handsome and large touchpad under the keyboard.
The laptop is therefore well designed, but it still betrays its true price tag due to a few subtle features. The Chromebook 514, for example, has a hinge that contrasts strongly with the light ‘Pure Silver’ color, which is made of plastic, by the way. The hinge does a fine job, but it is an element that is somewhat out of place.
2. Lovely large touchpad
Without a doubt, my favorite aspect of the Chromebook 514 is the touchpad. It is not only very large, but the operation and the click feeling is also very pleasant. Gestures work fine and all of that makes the Chromebook 514 a pleasure to use without a mouse. In addition, the touchpad, like the screen, is equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection against scratches.
The keyboard leaves a less crushing impression. The keycaps do not immediately radiate quality, as you would expect from a Chromebook from the budget segment. The keyboard also comes without lighting. Furthermore, the layout and size of the keys is fine, so it is certainly not an element that reduces the quality of the Chromebook as a whole.
Chrome OS is a pleasure to use, especially with affordable laptops. Google’s operating system works well on low-end hardware and it does that much better compared to Windows. In addition, the Chromebook 514 also works with Play Store apps and that usually works very smoothly. Although a touchscreen is a shortcoming for certain applications.
Still, the combination of Android apps and web apps provides a powerful suite of tools, and many consumers will find that a Chromebook can do more than they think. Add to that the update policy of seven years or more and some interesting Chrome OS developments that are still to come, and you have a very attractive and accessible operating system.
4. Battery life
Chrome OS is a relatively economical system, and the Acer Chromebook 514 is one of the devices that can prove that. With its 14-inch Full HD screen, it can last for 12 hours on one battery charge, and the laptop also lives up to that promise of Acer in practice. Good battery life is also very important for this inexpensive device and it fits well with students as a target group. If you use the laptop during lessons, you will of course not always be lucky enough to be able to sit close to an electrical outlet, but with the Chromebook 514 you can get through the day without charging.
Acer Chromebook 514 – the negatives
Yet it is difficult to say that there is no problem for the Chromebook 514. Despite the fact that Chrome OS is very suitable for low-end hardware, you notice that the Intel Celeron N3350 and its 1.1 GHz clock speed struggle during use. has to keep programs running smoothly. You can notice this with simple tasks, and it’s a real difference when compared to certain laptops that use a Pentium or Intel Core processor. I was particularly experiencing performance issues m
Furthermore, the Chromebook 514 does not work with the new Wi-Fi 6 standard and it also still has bluetooth 4.2 technology on board, which also has limitations with regard to the future.
Acer equips its Chromebook 514 with two USB-C ports (one for charging), two USB-A ports, a 3.5 mm audio jack and a microSD slot. That’s quite nice if you know that Lenovo equipped its 15-inch C340-15 with even fewer connections, but if we look at some competitors, we see that they do even better. On the other hand, the Acer C514 does not have a 360-degree rotating screen like the Lenovo laptop, so it can also be used as a tablet. It’s a more traditional laptop, which is why connections are important. An extra usb-a or usb-c port, for example, could be a great added value, because such an extra port can ensure that you do not need a dongle. The lack of an HDMI connection also feels like a loss.
One of the major selling points of this inexpensive Chromebook is its Full HD display. It is therefore a pity that this aspect is quite disappointing. The high resolution is strong considering the price of the laptop, but the low brightness of the screen is a shame. When I first used the Chromebook 514, I thought it was running in auto power save mode with low brightness due to the fact that the battery might not be charging properly. Immediately after that I noticed of course that the maximum brightness is just low. Fortunately, the IPS panel has a matte finish, making it more suitable for outdoor use.
Acer Chromebook 514 – Conclusion
The Chromebook 514 from Acer is a low-end Chromebook that manages to give you anything but a cheap feeling in terms of design. The device is well designed and so is the excellent touchpad which is a pleasure to use. The strong battery life is also an important plus of this 14 inch Chromebook, because it can easily survive a school day or a day at the office without having to use the charger.
Of course not everything can be good about a product, but Acer does drop a number of annoying stitches. The company comes out with a Full HD screen with this affordable Chromebook, but the low brightness is a downer. I would have liked to see even more connections, because it is a traditional laptop and not a convertible model with a touchscreen that should be light and compact. As far as performance is concerned, I recommend for this Chromebook to opt for a more powerful variant with at least a Pentium processor.
All in all, with the Chromebook 514 CB514-1H-C8PA you get enough value in exchange for the asking price of 349 euros. Especially when you know that you can currently find the laptop in promotion at various places for a lower price.