Acer’s $400 Chromebook Plus 514 has up to 512GB of storage

It nails a lot of key points for a Chromebook, including port options.

Acer's $400 Chromebook Plus 514 has up to 512GB of storage

Key Takeaways

  • Acer's Chromebook Plus 514 offers mid-range specs with a 14-inch display, Intel Core i3 processor, 8GB RAM, and up to 512GB storage.
  • The laptop includes features such as a 1080p webcam, 11-hour battery life, MIL-STD 810H durability, and multiple connectivity options.
  • Priced starting at $399.99, the Acer Chromebook Plus 514 is set to launch in North America in May and in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East in June.

Acer expanded its Chromebook lineup on Thursday with a new version of the Chromebook Plus 514, a mid-range model that nevertheless hits a number of essential specs. The CB514-4H/T update of the 514 features a 14-inch, 1080p display with IPS technology, which should keep it reasonably sharp and color-accurate. Brightness is rated at 300 nits, which should be plenty strong if you're indoors.

Acer's $400 Chromebook Plus 514 has up to 512GB of storage

Internally, the laptop is equipped with an Intel Core i3-N305 processor and 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM. That may not sound that impressive considering the Core i5, i7, and i9 chips in many laptops, most of which also have 16GB of RAM, but the 514 should be able to handle the demands of ChromeOS, which is primarily web-based. For apps and documents that can run offline, Acer is providing up to 512GB of storage. Considering that Apple sells MacBooks with half the storage for over $1,000, there may be some appeal here for budget-conscious shoppers with light browsing and productivity tasks in mind. Most gaming will have to be done via cloud streaming, since the 514 relies on integrated Intel UHD graphics, and most computer games are made for Windows.

Acer's $400 Chromebook Plus 514 has up to 512GB of storage

More specs and launch details

Some other features of the 514 include a 1080p webcam, up to 11 hours of battery life, and support for Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E. Ports include two USB-C connectors (specifically, USB 3.2 Gen 1), two for USB-A, and a microSD card reader when you need to expand storage or transfer files. The laptop weighs just 3.15 pounds, but meets US MIL-STD 810H durability standards if you're concerned about issues like dust or light impacts. Both USB-C ports can handle charging, as well as DisplayPort video output if you want to use an external monitor.

The updated Acer Chromebook Plus 514 will ship to North America in May, with pricing starting at $400. There will be multiple configurations, so it's not yet clear if you'll have to pay extra to get the full 512GB of storage. In June, the machine will ship to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East with a €479 entry price.

Aside from Acer, the Chromebook market is dominated by ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo. Notably, while Chromebooks are a common sight in electronics stores, the biggest market for them is often schools — conventional laptops tend to be too expensive for school budgets, and the cloud-based nature of ChromeOS makes them easier to manage en masse. There have been concerns about their longevity, since many models aren't built to withstand that much usage, and further problems can arise if their software support expires. They may, for instance, be unable to access websites a school relies on. Districts can be reluctant to pay for replacement machines, or even repairs for existing hardware.

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