Day 3 of CES 2021, and we have a little surprise for you thanks to a small package that Acer sent us. In addition to the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook2, the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 is the second Chrome OS device to come out of this year’s virtual technical event, and we have our hands on a pre-production model of the AMD Ryzen-powered convertible. Although we are unable to report performance at this time, we wanted to put together a quick video to give you a brief overview of what the new Chromebook has to offer and our first impression of the device. Take a look at it and I’ll break down the details of Acer’s latest premium Chromebook.
Acer Chromebook Spin 514
As I mentioned in the video, Acer is not only targeting 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 $ 479, but the options will range all the way up to a Ryzen 7 with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of NVMe storage. We do not have prices on the steak models at the moment, but you can probably bet that the top model is not less than $ 1000.
The Chromebook Spin 514 may look a little familiar because it shares many design references with the Spin 713. At first glance, the screen is the biggest difference. The Ryzen-powered Chromebook Spin 514 has a 14 ″ 16: 9 screen as opposed to the 713s 13.5 ″ 3: 2 panel. Apart from that, the two devices can pass for close relatives. The new Chromebook 514 has an aluminum lid and base with a magnesium alloy keyboard cover. While the designs are similar, the 514 feels more “put together” than the Spin 713, which is probably due to the fact that it has a MIL-Spec rating for drop testing, water repellent and direct downward force. The hinges are tight and the chassis is solid with very little bending or giving regardless of the mode you may have it in. The best part is that the Spin 514 only adds a millimeter thickness over the 713, so it does not feel like a clumsy, robust device.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard on this Chromebook is the standard price for an Acer device, and it’s good. No, there is no Pixelbook Go, but Acer makes good keyboards, and this is no exception. The 514 offers optional keyboard backlighting that looks very good against the black keys. The trackpad is definitely an area where Acer may have cut some corners, but that’s not to say it’s bad. It is certainly not glass, but no matter what it is made of, it is not floppy or cheap feeling. I guess mylar, but I have to examine it a bit. Either way, it has a decent sharp click and very little play that you occasionally see on non-glass TouchPads.
Ports and speakers
Around the outside, Acer added a decent selection of ports. You get two USB-C ports, an A-port, MicroSD and for the Ryzen 5/7 models you get an HDMI port. Of course there is a headphone jack and a Kensington lock. The speakers are not the best I have heard on a laptop, but they are far from work. They are actually quite loud for downward sound, and the midtones and peaks are clear as a bell. There’s just no bass, but hey, it’s a laptop. For video conferencing and easy media consumption, they are just fine. It’s about everything we have right now until we can get a retail unit and make some real references. Here is an overview of the specifications of the Acer Chromebook Spin 514, which will be available at some point in February or March. ->
Chromebook 514 specifications
- Chrome OS / Chrome OS with Chrome Enterprise Upgrade
- 14 ″ IPS screen, touch panel, Full HD 1920 x 1080
- AMD Ryzen Accelerated Processing Unit (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 that support USB 3.2 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps)
- Show 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 does not have a built-in HDMI port)
- 3.5 mm headphone / speaker connector, support 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 lbs.)
- Battery life: Up to 10 hours
- Wireless: Wi-Fi 5 2 × 2 MIMO Bluetooth 5
- Audio: Two built-in stereo speakers; Two built-in microphones
- Durability: US MIL-STD 810 (Sand and dust testing based on MIL-STD 810F.)