Day 3 of CES 2021 and we have a little surprise for you thanks to a small package that Acer sent us. Along with the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook2, the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 is the second device with Chrome OS to come out of this year’s virtual technology event, and we have a pre-production convertible model powered by AMD Ryzen. Although we can’t report performance at this time, we wanted to put together a short video to give you a brief description of what the new Chromebook has to offer and our initial impression of the device. Check it out and then I’ll break down the details of Acer’s latest premium Chromebook.
Acer Chromebook Spin 51
As I mentioned in the video, Acer is targeting not only the enterprise market with this new Chromebook, but also the consumer segment. When it debuts next month, the entry-level model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage will run at $ 479, but options will range up to the Ryzen 7 with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of NVMe storage. We don’t currently have pricing for faster models, but you can probably bet on the top-end model, which is at least $ 1,000.
The Chromebook Spin 514 may seem a little familiar because it shares many design cues with the Spin 713. At first glance, the biggest difference is the display. The Ryzen-powered Chromebook Spin 514 has a 14 ″ 16: 9 display, unlike the 1313 ″ 3: 2 panel on the 713. Apart from that, both devices can be switched to close relatives. The new Chromebook 514 has an aluminum lid and a magnesium alloy base. Although the designs are similar, the 514 feels more “assembled” than the Spin 713, and this is probably due to the fact that it has a MIL-Spec rating for testing fall, water resistance and direct downward force. The hinges are tight and the chassis is stable with very little bending or gives regardless of the mode in which you may have it. Best of all, the Spin 514 adds just one millimeter of thickness over 713, so it doesn’t feel like a cumbersome solid device.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard on this Chromebook is a standard fare for an Acer device, and that’s a good thing. No, it’s not a Pixelbook Go, but Acer makes good keyboards and this one is no exception. The 514 offers additional backlighting on the keyboard, which looks very good compared to the black keys. The trackpad is definitely an area where Acer may have cut some corners, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s certainly not glass, but whatever is done, it’s not a floppy or a cheap feeling. I guess mylar, but I’ll have to study it a bit. Either way, it has a pretty sharp click and very little playback, which you occasionally see in a non-glass trackpad.
Ports and speakers
Externally, Acer added a decent variety of ports. You will get two USB-C ports, A port, MicroSD, and for Ryzen 5/7 models you will get an HDMI port. Of course, there is a headphone jack and a Kensington lock. The speakers are not the best I’ve heard on a laptop, but they are far from working. They are actually quite strong for downlink audio, and the averages and highs are as clear as a bell. There’s just no bass, but hey, it’s a laptop. They are great for video conferencing and light media consumption. This is all we have at the moment, as long as we manage to take advantage of the trade unit and make some real criteria. Here’s a breakdown of the specifications for the Acer Chromebook Spin 514, which will be available sometime in February or March. ->
Chromebook 514 specifications
- Chrome OS / Chrome OS with Chrome Enterprise Upgrade
- 14-inch IPS display, touch panel, Full HD 1920 x 1080
- AMD Ryzen Accelerated Processor (APU)
- Up to 16 GB DDR4 system memory
- AMD Radeon Vega mobile graphics
- Up to 128 GB eMMC, up to 256 GB NVMe SSD
- 2 – USB Type-C ports supporting USB 3.2 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps)
- Display port via USB-C
- USB 3.2 Type-A port
- HDMI® port (Acer Chromebook Spin 514 with Ryzen 5 or 7 APU will have a built-in HDMI port. For other SKUs such as Ryzen 3 Athlon Silver will not have a built-in HDMI port)
- 3.5 mm headphone / speaker jack supporting headphones with built-in microphone
- Dimensions: 322.6 (W) x 225.5 (D) x 17.35 / 17.35 (H) mm (12.7 x 8.88 x 0.68 / 0.68 inches)
- Weight: 1.55 kg (3.42 pounds).
- Battery life: Up to 10 hours
- Wireless connection: Wi-Fi 5 2 × 2 MIMO Bluetooth 5
- Audio: Two built-in stereo speakers; Two built-in microphones
- Resistance: US MIL-STD 810 (Sand and dust testing based on MIL-STD 810F.)