According to market research by IDC, 2020 was the year when Chromebooks outsold Macs posting impressive market share gains. It may come across as a surprise to many, but Chromebooks, which were originally aimed at students and the education sector, gained market share amidst pandemic when most learning sessions moved from classrooms to the secured confines of homes. No wonder many companies have been continuously innovating in the Chromebooks arena, one of which is Acer.
The company recently announced a range of new Chromebooks last month and one of them – the Chromebook 514 – was sent to us for a test drive. Now, this new variant comes packed with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor running the ChromeOS. The Acer Chromebook 514 also features an aluminum top cover that offers a sturdy look and feels and it accompanies a wide range of features such as conferencing ability, secure cloud technology, and lots more, which makes it ideal for both students and corporate users.
The device offers a display size of 14-inches which also makes it easy to carry around. The display offers a Full HD resolution of 1920-by-1080 pixels, with the touchscreen being optional. The laptop itself comes with a metal frame, a Gorilla Glass-topped touchpad, and backlit keys. While the Chromebook 514 is quite slim and light, it has also been drop-tested and earns military-grade approval for the MIL-STD-810H durability standard.
In terms of connectivity, you get plenty. On the left edge of the laptop, you get two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. On the right edge, you get a microSD card slot, a USB 3.0 port, and a Kensington lock. You also get an embedded fingerprint reader located next to the keyboard, which is a quick and secure way for users to unlock and verify their identity without a password. Since the fingerprint’s details are stored directly on the Chromebook itself and not in the cloud, the user’s fingerprints are kept safe.
Under the hood, the Acer Chromebook 514 runs on the 11th Gen Intel Core i5 1135G7 processor, running at a clock speed of 2.4GHz. You also get up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage space. The Chromebook also supports Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+).
Performance on the Acer Chromebook 514 was quite good. For the most part of your computing needs, such as typing away on Google Docs, filling in spreadsheets, shopping on the net, watching YouTube videos, and so on, the Chromebook 514 should feel absolutely fine. Acer promises around 12 hours of battery life on a single charge – in our tests, we clocked around 7 hours of use, before the Chromebook 514 gave up the ghost.
If you are a student, or someone who requires a laptop for day-to-day computing needs, and does not mind using ChromeOS as their operating system of choice, the Acer Chromebook 514 might appeal to you. For a price of AED 2378, you get a device that offers excellent build quality and good battery life. Since the Acer Chromebook 514 also comes packed with an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor coupled with up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, it is safe to say that its performance will not disappoint.
Price: AED 2378
– Photography by Ranbir Sen