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Acer Chromebook 514 Review

Verdict

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The Acer Chromebook 514 is a decent mid-range Chromebook. For the price, you’re getting some good looks, a great selection of ports and some beefy performance compared to other Chromebooks out there. However, its battery life is disappointing, which is something to watch out for if want to work on the go.

Pros

  • Decent performance
  • Great port selection
  • Well-built

Cons

  • Expensive for a mid-range Chromebook
  • Sub-par battery life

Availability

  • UKRRP: £399

Key Features

  • Plentiful port selection:Ports include everything from HDMI and USB-C to a MicroSD reader.
  • Dual-core CPU:The Intel Pentium Gold 7505 provides a good performance for light computing.
  • Full HD display:The1920x1080 resolution ensures a sharp display when watching the likes of Netflix.

Introduction

Acer is one of the leading brands when it comes to affordable Chromebooks, and the Acer Chromebook 514 is a great example of this.

As mid-range Chromebooks go, it sounds good on paper with a 14-inch Full HD display, dual-core Pentium Gold processor and 128GB of storage. That does come at a bit of a cost though, with the Chromebook 514 costing around £400 or so in this configuration.

So is the Acer Chromebook 514 worth enough to make our Best Chromebook list? Read on to find out.

Design and keyboard

  • Sturdy construction
  • Great port selection
  • Tactile keyboard and trackpad

For a more affordable laptop, the Acer Chromebook 514 doesn’t half look and feel great. It features this smooth dark grey outer shell that also feels nicely sturdy in comparison to the plethora of Chromebooks that line the market these days.

For a laptop with a 14-inch panel, it still feels pleasingly light at 1.4kg or so. It’s still hefty enough to feel sturdy and well-made, but also light enough to pop into a bag and take with you on your travels.

Ports include USB-C, HDMI and a headphone jack

The Chromebook 514’s screen bezel is on the thicker side, but that can be forgiven since the top one houses a handy webcam that also comes complete with a privacy slider. It seems that Acer has designed this particular Chromebook with remote working in mind.

As for connectivity, the Chromebook 514 features quite a good selection of ports with 2x USB-C, 1x USB-A, and HDMI, alongside a MicroSD card slot and Kensington lock. Compared to other mid-range Chromebooks, and even some more expensive Windows laptops, this feels generous. And even with loads of ports, the 514 is still fashionably slender.

A look down at the keyboard

Once you lift the lid of the 514 up, you’re greeted with a standard-looking compact keyboard, complete with white legends on a black plastic. All the keys feel solid and tactile and are comfortable to use for an extended period. It also features white backlighting, which is useful for after-dark working.

As for the trackpad, the one on offer here is relatively sizeable and is made of Gorilla Glass, although I have seen bigger ones on cheaper devices. Its buttons are nicely tactile though, and the tracking is handily accurate too.

Also, on the front of creature comforts, the 514 also features an integrated fingerprint sensor which is useful for both secure entry and also convenience.

Display

  • Full HD display is nice and sharp
  • 250 nits of brightness is okay
  • Images can look a little flat

If you’re on the hunt for a wallet-friendly laptop with an Full HD panel, then you’re certainly in luck with the Acer Chromebook 514. It features a 1920×1080 resolution, all strewn over a 14 inch display.

This means that it’s rather good for watching any shows on Disney+ or Netflix and in my experience, colours weren’t bad and the screen offered up some detailed images.

The Acer Chromebook 514 with a Trusted Reviews wallpaper

Its quoted brightness of around 250 nits is passable for the price, but it did mean sometimes images did look a little flat when I was watching the likes of the latest Grand Tour episode or Jungle Cruise, for instance.

There’s no touchscreen here, and you can’t flip the screen back into tablet mode either. You’ll need to look elsewhere if you want to doodle on the screen with a stylus.

Performance

  • Dual-core Pentium Gold offers good basic performance
  • 128GB SSD is generous for a mid-range Chromebook
  • ChromeOS is nice and light

As the Chromebook 514 is more of a budget Chromebook, I wasn’t really expecting too much when it came to performance, apart from doing the basics well.

With that being said though, this Chromebook packs an Intel Pentium Gold 7505 inside which (with its 2GHz clock speed and dual-core setup) offers a solid performance, especially for a Chromebook. You should be able to perform basic tasks at a decent speed, whether that’s browsing the web, reading through emails or streaming video.

Acer Chromebook 514Acer Chromebook Spin 513Asus Chromebook CX1
ProcessorIntel Pentium Gold 7505Qualcomm Snapdragon 7cIntel Celeron N3350
Geekbench 5 Single Core942536269
Geekbench 5 Multi Core19481574522

This more pronounced speed is also backed up by some decent scores in our Geekbench 5 processor benchmark test with it beating off the competition and the slew of lower-priced Chromebooks out there by some margin.

In terms of storage, this configuration of the Chromebook 514 has been bestowed with a 128GB SSD which is pretty generous considering a lot of the more affordable options opt for eMMC storage of lower capacities.

The lid of the Acer Chromebook 514

Going for proper solid stage storage is also a noticeable upgrade, although you can get double the storage capacity elsewhere for a similar price. That said, the included MicroSD card slot allows you to expand the storage if you do need more room.

In addition, the fact it runs ChromeOS is particularly useful just considering the OS is light and perfect for productivity and casual computing. It’s ideal for small children and those uninterested in downloading obscure software.

Battery life

  • Lasted 7hrs 20 mins in our battery test
  • Capable of lasting one working day

It all sounds like plain sailing for the Acer Chromebook 514 so far, but it, unfortunately, falls at the hurdle of battery life. In our video loop test, it only mustered up seven and a bit hours before deciding to conk out.

This is nearly half of some of the Chromebooks we’ve tested in the past and is beaten off by a whole load of cheaper laptops too. You’ll easily be able to find an alternative laptop that can last for at least 10 hours if stamina is a priority for you.

That said, the Chromebook 514 should last one working day though, so it’s still a worthwhile option for students and office workers, as long as you make sure to top-up the battery daily.

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Should you buy it?

You want a powerful mid-range Chromebook: The 514 is quite the speedy device for lightweight computing with an 11th gen dual core Pentium Gold, so will be great if you want something snappy.

You’re after some great battery life: Unfortunately, the 514 falls down massively on its battery life with it lasting for half the time of many of its competitors. If you’re looking for great battery life, we’d say to look elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

Acer usually makes some of the best Chromebooks on the market, but this latest iteration of the 514 does seem to fall short of their usual offerings. Whilst it’s brilliant in most regards with great construction, good ports and some decent performance, its short battery life is some cause for concern.

Seven hours or so is low even for a budget laptop, and for similar money, you can have the base model Acer Chromebook Spin 513, which won a Trusted Reviews Award last year and has a battery life that nearly doubles that of the 514.

If you aren’t too fussed about having to plug it in just to keep it charged yjroufhout the day, then the 514 is a great mid-range Chromebook, make no mistake. Its dual core Pentium Gold processor is snappy and the 128GB SSD is generous to say thev least, but do note its battery life before you do make a purchase.

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How we test

Every laptop we review goes through a series of uniform checks designed to gauge key things including build quality, performance, screen quality and battery life.

These include formal synthetic benchmarks and scripted tests, plus a series of real-world checks, such as how well it runs the most frequently used apps.

We also make sure to use every laptop we review as our primary device for at least a week to ensure our review is as accurate as possible.

Spent a week with the laptop.

Used PCMark 10 and Geekbench 5 to test performance

Looped video to test battery life

FAQs

Trusted Reviews test data

Geekbench 5 single core
Geekbench 5 multi core

Full specs

UK RRP
CPU
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Front Camera
Battery Hours
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
Refresh Rate
Ports
GPU
RAM
Connectivity
Colours
Display Technology
Screen Technology
Touch Screen
Convertible?

Jargon buster

Nits

The brightness level of a display. 300 nits is regarded as the minimum target for high-end screens.

USB-C

The modern USB connector you’ll find on most Android phones, new laptops, cameras and games consoles. It’s reversible and used for charging along with data-transfer.

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