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Acer's new Chromebooks bring beefier Intel CPUs, surprise MediaTek option
- Acer has announced four new Chromebooks, including two Spin models for the work-from-home crowd.
- Although Acer chiefly relies on Intel power, one model lands with MediaTek’s Kompanio 828 SoC.
- Pricing starts at $399 for the base Chromebook 514 model.
Acer launched its latest wave of Chromebooks on Wednesday. The four new models cover a broad swathe of the market, catering to power users and budget buyers alike. Although pricing between the top and tail models see a ~$300 swing, the Chromebooks all focus on providing accessible conferencing facilities to those still working from home.
See also: The best Acer Chromebooks you can buy
Acer Chromebook 515: The home office range-topper
The latest series starts with the range-topping Chromebook 515. Geared for the home office, this model adheres to a more traditional laptop format complete with a 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080 display. Internally, six fanless CPU options range from the Intel Pentium Gold 7505 to the more powerful Core i7-1180G7. Up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of NVMe-based storage are also optional.
The Chromebook 515 is pretty hefty at 1.7 kg, but it packs 10 hours of battery life and a MIL-STD-810H durability rating. Wi-Fi 6, DTS Audio, stereo speakers, and a Corning Gorilla Glass coated touchpad round out the options list. I/O includes two USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, HDMI, and a microSD card slot.
The Acer Chromebook 515 goes on sale in Europe from October, starting at €499 (~$577). There’s no indication that this model will be available in North America.
Acer Chromebook 514: Powered by MediaTek
Alternatively, the Chromebook 514 is a more compact 1.3 kg model packing a 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 display. Unlike its Intel-clad siblings, the 514 employs the MediaTek Kompanio 828 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage. This combo gives the Chromebook 514 the best battery life of its peers, with a claimed 15 hours. This spec should make this model the preferred option for road warriors. Charging is swift too. Acer claims the Chromebook 514 needs half an hour to restore 50% of its battery.
See also: The best budget Chromebooks you can buy
Other niceties include a backlit keyboard, a Corning Gorilla Glass touchpad, two USB-C ports, an HDMI port, a single USB-A port, and a microSD card slot.
The Acer Chromebook 514 arrives in North America in December and Europe in November, priced at a pretty affordable $399/€399.
Acer Chromebook Spin 514: A punchy convertible
The first of the new Spin models, the newly-upgraded Chromebook Spin 514 features a familiar chunky 360-degree hinge design that transforms the device into a tablet when required. Despite its flexibility, the Chromebook also features a MIL-STD-810H body thanks to its reinforced but sleek aluminum construction.
It wears a 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS touch display up front, up to 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and up to 512GB of NVMe-based storage inside. Acer’s giving buyers five chipset options, too, topping out with the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1180G7. Acer claims the Chromebook Spin 514 is good for 10 hours of use per charge. Notably, there’s a distinct lack of AMD Ryzen chipset options this time around.
The Chromebook Spin 514 will be available in North America from January 2022 and Europe from October starting at $699/€799.
Acer Chromebook Spin 314: For budget buyers
Finally, rounding up Acer’s new Chromebook offerings is the Spin 314. The budget convertible packs a 14-inch display available with a 1,366 x 768 or 1,920 x 1,080 panel. CPU offerings are limited to Pentiums and Celerons, with the Pentium Silver N6000 the quickest available option. Up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of eMMC storage are available, too. The 1.55 kg machine packs 10 hours of battery life, Wi-Fi 6, dual microphones, and DTS Audio support.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 314 will also be available in North America in December and Europe in November, but pricing is a little steeper than expected. It starts at $499/€449, probably owing to its convertible design.