The Acer Chromebook 314 is a great Chromebook for those looking to get online for not much money. The Celeron N4000 and 4GB of DDR4 RAM result in a smooth user experience, the battery life is great, and ChromeOS helps to keep things simple. If you’d like a device that can do a little more, expect to pay a fair bit more.
- Great value for money
- Sturdy construction
- Good port selection
- Fantastic battery life
- Flat colours and dim display
- No touchscreen
- ChromeOS could provide some limitations
- UKRRP: £229
- USARRP: $299.99
- EuropeRRP: €299.99
- Budget price:This Acer Chromebook’s biggest strength is its affordable price, making it a good option for students and bargain hunters.
- Great battery life: The Acer lasted for 13 hours and 30 minutes in our benchmark tests, meaning it can easily last a full day of lectures or work.
- Plenty of ports:The 314 has an abundance of ports to make data transfer a breeze without the need for dongles.
The Acer Chromebook 314 might just be one of the best Chromebooks out there for those on a tight budget.
Offering a decent performance with its combination of Celeron N4000 and 4GB of RAM, this Chromebook is ideal for standard tasks.
It’s not going to handle more demanding tasks such as gaming or creative applications, but if you’re happy to stick to the basics, this could be one of the best budget laptop and best Chromebook options available.
Price and availability
Unlike many of Acer’s Chromebooks, the 314 features a simple line-up, with configuration options being limited to what’s on show here.
The sample here features a dual-core Celeron N4000 from Intel, 4GB of RAM, 32GB’s worth of eMMC memory and a decent screen – all for £229/$299.99/€299.99, which makes it one of the most affordable laptops I’ve tested, as well as one of the most wallet-friendly on the market today.
It is possible to get the 314 with 64GB of storage, as well as with a Full HD IPS panel.
- Steely blue exterior and construction is solid
- Good keyboard, accurate trackpad and decent port selection
- Relatively thin and portable
Given the cost of the Acer Chromebook 314, don’t expect this laptop to turn any heads. On the design front things are arguably as expected.
The device is well built, with the attractive steely blue finish making it stand out from the sea of silver and black models found elsewhere. This is a welcome change that makes the 314 look better than some of its contemporaries.
With a weight of 1.7kg, it feels pretty hefty when I lift it up, but given its slim size and small stature, it remains pretty portable. This makes it ideal for students looking for a laptop to pick up and pop in a bag.
Despite being a budget machine, Acer has included a great selection of ports. There isn’t one but two speedy USB-Cs, two USB-As, as well as a micro-SD reader, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a Kensington Lock. You’ve got to hand it to Acer: the 314 is a little machine with a lot of compatibility and legacy offerings.
For a budget laptop, Acer’s keyboard feels solid not spongy, with a compact layout that’s ideal for those times you need to bang out an essay. It isn’t backlit, though.
The Acer Chromebook 314’s speakers sound relatively okay for the price, with dual downward-facing units mounted on the laptop’s underside.
It’s good to see the 314 including a trackpad that offers a shed-load of space for your fingers. Like this Chromebook’s keyboard, the trackpad is firm and tactile, plus its tracking is very accurate.
- Low-resolution display offers okay colours
- 14-inch screen is a happy medium of space
- Can look a little dim at times
Looking for a Full HD display? You’re out of luck here, with the Acer Chromebook 314 limited to a 1366 x 768 resolution, which is a little above 720p.
This low resolution isn’t ideal for a 14-inch screen, making things look a little fuzzy since the gap between pixels is sometimes noticeable. You’ll especially notice this when watching videos from the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus, and is arguably the laptop’s biggest weak point.
What’s more, on its brightest setting the 314 looks a little dim, which could be problematic if you want to use the laptop outside on a sunny day. Colour looks flat too, resulting in a passable viewing experience.
However, its viewing angles were decent when I watched the latest episode of This Time With Alan Partridge on BBC iPlayer, and the fact it has a relatively slim bezel on the sides means the screen real estate on offer is decent overall.
While this laptop isn’t ideal for viewing video, the 14-inch screen size is great for compact laptops for productivity purposes, with anything smaller seeming too small, and anything bigger a little ostentatious. Note that it isn’t a touchscreen, which is a shame for a Chromebook.
- Intel Celeron processor is adequate
- 4GB of RAM provides decent headroom
- ChromeOS works for a simple machine
There’s no real expectation on the 314 to outperform any of the competition; it’s just to do the basics well, not only given its cost, but also the simple point of it being a Chromebook.
I’m happy to report that Acer’s budget beast does perform those day-to-day tasks well, with its Intel Celeron 4000 processor under the bonnet providing a relatively snappy user experience.
Its 4GB of RAM is plenty for web browsing and video viewing, and even opening a shed-load of Chrome tabs at once didn’t slow the 314 down too much – it only caused images to take a smidgen longer to load, but overall, the slowdown was pretty negligible.
|Acer Chromebook 315||Surface Laptop Go||Lenovo Chromebook Duet|
|Geekbench 5 (single-core||428||1205||263|
|Geekbench 5 (multi-core)||799||3386||915|
However, as our above benchmark results show, you have to be realistic with Acer Chromebook’s performance power. It’s miles behind the Surface Laptop Go in terms of performance speed, and is even slower than the Lenovo Chromebook Duet which is essentially just a tablet.
This means you really have to stick to the basics with the Acer Chromebook 314, such as web browsing, watching video and typing up word word documents.
It’s also worth remembering that ChromeOS is not as flexible as Windows, limiting downloads to what’s available on the Google Play Store. All of the most common apps are available, such as Spotify and Netflix, but you may be out of luck if you’re looking for something obscure.
- Lasted 13hrs 30mins in our tests
- Capable of lasting a few working days
The 314 continues to cement itself as one of the best budget machines out there when it comes to battery life.
After reducing the brightness and setting a video on loop, the 314 lasted a grand total of 13 and a half hours before shutting down.
We usually look for a laptop to last for at least 10 hours in our battery tests, so this is an impressive result. AMD-powered laptops, such as the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7, have admittedly reached higher figures, but they’re also more than triple the cost of the 314.
Acer’s Chromebook 314 is one of the best budget laptops out there thanks to its attractive price, good build quality and port selection, and exemplary battery life.
The biggest weak point here is undoubtedly the screen, with the low resolution and flat colours falling way short of laptops with Full HD IPS displays. And while performance is decent for the price, it does mean you’re restricted to basic tasks.
But with all that being said, you’re unlikely to find a better laptop for the price. If you want a machine with a Full HD IPS panel, the functionality of Windows and more powerful hardware, you’ll be required to pay a significant premium over the 314’s price.
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Should you buy it?
You want a budget laptop for basic tasks
If you’re happy to stick to basic tasks such as web browsing and opening emails, then this Acer represents outstanding value. But it isn’t powerful enough for heavy workloads such as gaming and creation.
You want a laptop with a great display
The Acer Chromebook 314’s greatest limitation is the display, failing to hit a Full HD resolution which results in fuzzy video. Colours don’t look as vibrant as they do on other laptops, either.
Acer’s Chromebook 314 represents a great option for those looking to get online for not much money. The Celeron N4000 and 4GB of DDR4 RAM result in a smooth user experience, the battery life is great, and ChromeOS helps to keep things simple. If you’d like a device that can do a little more, then expect to pay a fair bit more.
No – but there are plenty of ports to upgrade capacity either through microSD, or external HDD or SSDs.