Acer Chromebook 514 review: daily performance all day long

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The price of the Acer Chromebook 514 starts at $ 400.

Josh Goldman / topwatchbest

Acer makes many Chromebooks and they come in a variety of configurations and screen sizes. This is great for consumers, schools and businesses as there is something to suit every need, but it can be difficult to buy, especially when Acer keeps the same name year after year as the Chromebook 514.

This older version still exists, but there are also two current versions: the Chromebook 514 CB514-1W and Chromebook 514 CB514-2H / T. The latter is reviewed here, and that’s what I would recommend to most people looking for a simple, good Chrome OS experience in a compact, lightweight package. Especially if your budget is under $ 500.

As

  • Incredible battery life
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Matte touchscreen
  • Good daily performance
  • Comes with a padded laptop sleeve

I do not like

  • Lots of features cut from the higher end of Intel

If you can spend a little more, the more expensive CB514-1W models they have 11th generation Intel Core i3 or i5 processors. They also have premium features like Full HD webcam with privacy shield; fingerprint reader; two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports; HDMI output; microSD card slot; SSD storage; and mil-spec design. Price starts at $ 680.

But Chromebook 514 CB514-2H / T turns Intel processors into an arm-based Mediatek Kompanio 828 system-on-a-chip and cuts out almost all premium features, although it still has a comfortable backlit keyboard and smooth Gorilla Glass touchpad. It would be nice if Acer could keep at least some of the better features of the Intel model (I feel keeping the HDMI output and microSD card slot is not a big deal). In its defense, the CB514-2H / T does start at $ 400. It doesn’t appear to be available in the UK or Australia yet, but the price flips to around ¬£ 305 and $ 540.

Acer 514 Chromebook (CB514-2HT-K0FZ)

Price in line with the review

460 PLN

Display size / resolution

14 inch 1920 x 1080 pixels touchscreen

Editor

2.6 GHz MediaTek Kompanio 828

Memory

8 GB LPDDR4X SDRAM

Graphics

Mali-G57 MC5 IG

Storage

64 GB eMMC flash memory

Ports

USB-C (x2), USB-A (x2), audio / microphone jack

Network

802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) Bluetooth 5.2

Operating system

Google Chrome / Android 9 operating system

Libra

2.9 lb (1.3 kg)

What’s great about that Kompanio 828 system on chip is that it’s a mid-range option designed specifically for Chromebooks. The price is similar to that of a newer Intel Celeron-powered Chromebook, but with better performance and deadly battery life. As it passes through my benchmarks, it handles processing tasks faster than a Celeron or Pentium processor, or even the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c computing platform. However, it does follow chipsets such as the AMD Ryzen 3500C and Intel Core i3-1115G4.

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There are USB-C ports on the left and right so you can charge from both sides.

Josh Goldman / topwatchbest

Unless you are an advanced user or plan to do so serious game beyond Android appsKompanio 828 should do the trick. And because it’s made for Chromebooks, it’s especially powerful. It ran for 18 hours and 30 minutes in our battery drain test while streaming video. When I was using it, even when I thought I was running out of power, the meter always felt confident that I had a few hours of charging left in the tank. And even when it runs out, 514 refills quickly.

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Simple Silver Chromebook.

Josh Goldman / topwatchbest

The body of this version of the Chromebook 514 may not be built to mil-spec standards, but it didn’t feel flimsy either. I commuted it for several weeks, using it on the train and in coffee shops. I know it’s not a long time, but even so, the metal cover showed no signs of wear and the rest of the undercarriage held up well too. It is really light and weighs less than 3 pounds. 514 boots up quickly when you flip the lid over, and connects quickly to Wi-Fi. It has Wi-Fi 6 support, which isn’t yet guaranteed on a $ 400 Chromebook.

While the Acer Chromebook 514 may not have many of its partner Intel’s premium features, it’s still an excellent Chromebook for the money. The new MediaTek SoC is surprisingly paying off here, providing 514 good all-round performance for productivity and entertainment and long battery life, all in a three-pound package.

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