Acer Chromebook Spin 514 Hands-On: Fast, Thin, and Pricey

Acer Chromebook Spin 514 Hands-On: Fast, Thin, and Pricey


An Acer Chromebook Spin 514 sitting on a table (angled front view..
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

There was a time when a 14-inch Chromebook convertible 2-in-1 with an Intel Core processor would flip some heads. Chrome OS doesn’t want a superfast CPU to be a screaming machine, and tossing in an Eleventh-gen Core i7 with 8GB of RAM or extra (lots for Chrome OS) creates a laptop computer that received’t ever make you wait.

Even although it’s turning into extra frequent to see such highly effective Chromebooks hit the market, it’s nonetheless value noting when one does. The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 is one such machine, and it suits the invoice with not solely quick CPUs, but in addition as much as 16GB of RAM and the choice for a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) — an enormous quantity of high-performance storage for Chrome OS in comparison with the necessities of Windows and MacOS.

I bought some hands-on time with an early preproduction pattern unit of the Chromebook Spin 514, geared up with a low-power Core i5-1140G7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) show within the old-school 16:9 side ratio.

I couldn’t run the machine via our full suite of benchmarks, however I got here away from my time with the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 fairly impressed.

Design

The Chromebook Spin 514 is constructed fully of metallic but weighs simply 3.02 kilos. It’s 0.68 inches thick, and its chassis is reasonably sized due to show bezels which are skinny alongside the edges and moderately skinny on high and backside. It’s not a tiny-bezel laptop computer, but it surely has smaller bezels than you’ll discover on another funds laptops, together with a smaller backside chin than many convertible 2-in-1s possess. The construct high quality even on this early preproduction mannequin was strong, with no bending or flexing within the lid, keyboard deck, or chassis backside.

Acer created a conservative design, with an all-silver chassis that has easy strains and angles. The hinges are chrome, which provides some aptitude, and there are sufficient chamfered edges to keep away from it being a totally minimalistic design. The Chromebook Spin 514 is a laptop computer that matches within the boardroom in addition to it does within the coffeehouse.

There’s additionally loads of connectivity, with a full-size HDMI port (uncommon for Chromebooks), a USB-A port for legacy help, and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4. The latter is especially uncommon on Chrome OS units and guarantees increased efficiency than the standard USB-C 3.2. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 present wi-fi duties.

Performance and show

Close up on the Acer Chromebook Spin 514's display.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

With a Core i5-1140G7 and 8GB of RAM inside, the Chromebook Spin 514 guarantees to be very quick. Again, I couldn’t check it given its prerelease nature, however I ran it with tons of open Chrome tabs and quite a few Android apps within the background and I couldn’t sluggish it down. This has been my expertise with each high-end Chromebook I’ve examined. And whereas I’m not the most important fan of Chrome OS due to its lack of help for the legacy Windows apps that I depend on, I acknowledge the worth of its light-weight nature and how briskly and seamless it could actually run with much less {hardware}. And whenever you give it quick elements, it flies.

With Intel Iris Xe graphics, the Chromebook Spin 514 ought to be adept at working Android video games. At 14 inches, that is nonetheless a big machine in pill mode for enjoying video games, but it surely’s doable. I’d most likely simply prop it up on my knees and have at it if I had been in a gaming temper.

I don’t know the way massive the battery is within the Chromebook Spin 514, however Acer guarantees as much as 10 hours of battery life. That can be on the sting of acceptable, and as soon as I can benchmark the laptop computer, I’ll make sure you report the outcomes.

Close up on the Acer Chromebook Spin 514's display.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Chromebook Spin 514 incorporates a 14-inch Full HD IPS multitouch show, sadly within the old-school 16:9 side ratio, and it helps the Acer pen. That means the show shall be too stretched out in pill mode, versus the taller 16:10 and 3:2 side ratio shows which are nearer to an actual piece of paper of their dimensions. Acer didn’t present any specs on the show, and so I don’t know its promised brightness, however Acer’s previous Chromebooks have achieved properly sufficient on this division. I discovered the show to supply loads of colours and brightness in my ordinary working environments.

Two upward-firing audio system flank the keyboard, and they put out respectable quantity with only a trace of distortion. Mids and highs had been a bit muddied, and bass was missing. The sound high quality is okay for the occasional YouTube video, however you’ll need headphones for music and bingeing Netflix.

Notably, the webcam is 1080p, becoming a member of a slow-growing development away from grainy 720p video. That’s a welcome addition that may make the Chromebook Spin 514 an efficient videoconferencing device.

Keyboard and touchpad

Close up on the Acer Chromebook Spin 514's keyboard.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The keyboard has loads of spacing and massive keycaps with loads of journey and a light-weight contact. I discovered the switches to be a bit looser than I like, however there’s nonetheless a quick bottoming motion that makes for exact typing. It’s not the perfect Chromebook keyboard I’ve used, but it surely received’t decelerate quick contact typists.

The touchpad is reasonably sized and has a snug floor for swiping. It supported all of the Chrome OS multitouch gestures with no downside, and the buttons have a strong and quiet click on. The touch-enabled show helps an Active Pen, however one wasn’t included with my evaluate unit.

Price and availability

The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 shall be accessible in January, 2022, beginning at $700. CPU choices begin on the Intel Core i3-1110G4 and vary as much as the Core i7-1180G7, whereas RAM tops out at 16GB and storage at a 512GB SSD. An Enterprise model of the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 shall be accessible at a date to be decided, beginning at $900. Finally, a model of the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 working the MediaTek Kompanio 828 processor can even be launched in December 2021 at a beginning worth of $400.

Acer can also be introducing just a few different Chromebooks that spherical out its Chrome OS lineup. The Acer Chromebook Enterprise 515 is a 15.6-inch clamshell laptop computer that gives a premium design, enhanced sturdiness, and Eleventh-gen Intel Core CPUs. It may be configured with as much as 16GB of RAM and as much as a 512GB PCIe SSD. The show will supply optionally available contact functionality, and the audio has been optimized for videoconferencing. The Chromebook 515 Enterprise will begin at $650.

Lastly, the Acer Chromebook Spin 314 is a 14-inch convertible 2-in-1 utilizing an environmentally pleasant OceanGlass touchpad that’s constructed fully of recycled plastic waste. The 2-in-1 shall be accessible in January 2022 beginning at $500.

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