Acer’s New Chromebook Has Everything I Look for in an Affordable Laptop

A 13th Gen Intel Core processor, Wi-Fi 6E, a great port selection, and more.

Acer’s New Chromebook Has Everything I Look for in an Affordable Laptop

Available in early May, the new Acer Chromebook Plus 514 (CB514-4H/T) includes a 13th-gen Intel Core processor, a 1080p anti-glare screen, Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, and an excellent port selection. It has everything that I look for in an affordable laptop.

For a $399 laptop, the new Chromebook Plus 514 boasts some impressive specs. It's powered by a 13th-gen Intel Core i3-N305 processor—a brand-new CPU that, while modest in terms of power, extends battery life during video meetings and other everyday tasks. Acer also loaded the laptop with 8GB of modern LPDDR5 RAM and offers configurations with up to 512GB of speedy PCIe Gen 3 storage. It should feel extremely responsive when multitasking.

I'm not really a mouse user, so a good trackpad is a must. Acer's new Chromebook has a large OceanGlass touchpad, and its 14-inch 1080p display can be configured with touch functionality. Plus, the 1080p webcam has a privacy shutter and contains Acer's AI image-correction technology. (To be clear, Google demands these display and webcam specs for all Chromebook Plus laptops.)

Acer’s New Chromebook Has Everything I Look for in an Affordable Laptop

As for the port selection, you get a pair of USB-C ports, a pair of USB 3.2 Type-A ports, a headphone jack, and a microSD reader. The only thing that's missing is an HDMI port, but you won't hear me complaining, as the laptop's USB-C ports offer video output (via DP Alt Mode) and accept passthrough charging from monitors or USB hubs.

Other features include Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, upward-firing speakers, and an 11-hour battery life. As with some other Acer laptops, the Chromebook Plus 514 contains recycled materials and ships in sustainable packaging.

Funny enough, my only complaint is Acer's naming scheme. There are a half-dozen different "Chromebook Plus 514" configurations. Some versions of this Chromebook are equipped with AMD Ryzen processors, while others are business-oriented and cost $1,000. If you're interested in the newest configuration—the one with the Core I3-N305 CPU—you need to look out for the "CB514-4H/T" SKU.

Acer will begin selling the Chromebook Plus 514 (CB514-4H/T) in May 2024, though it may arrive at Costco a few weeks early. Pricing starts at $399 for the non-touchscreen version. Unfortunately, Acer hasn't announced the base storage configuration. We just know that you can pay extra for 512GB.

Source: Acer

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