Acer Chromebook 314 evaluate
Acer has up to date its Chromebook lineup, with the brand new vary together with the CB314, an affordable and cheerful mannequin that could possibly be ideally suited for college kids, youthful customers or just somebody who wants a reasonable laptop computer that may nonetheless deal with a variety of apps and duties. We put it by way of its paces in our full evaluate to see if this is able to be cash nicely spent.
Design & Construct High quality
Acer has opted for a steely blue livery for the Chromebook 314’s plastic chassis, and we have now to say that it does make this a really good-looking gadget.
The highest cowl is a plain, matt end adorned with the Acer and Chrome logos. Twin, downward-facing audio system are positioned on the underside panel, together with the rubber toes that forestall the CB314 from slipping round when used on a desk.
Opening the lid reveals the 14in TN panel that runs at a primary decision of 1366 x 768, which is fairly normal fare for entry-level Chromebooks round this value.
There’s no contact choice on this mannequin and the hinges are traditional laptop computer fashion slightly than a number of the 360-degree wraparound ones which can be discovered on costlier fashions just like the Asus Chromebook C433TA.
Keyboard & Trackpad
Chromebooks are surprisingly according to their keyboards, in that almost all are decently constructed and comfy to kind upon. The one on this gadget matches the invoice properly, coming replete with the specialist keys that provide you with fast entry to Search, latest apps, and fullscreen mode.
The island-style keyboard is a wonderfully serviceable floor for engaged on, if a bit spongy at instances and the trackpad is a strong providing that helps gesture controls for navigating round ChromeOS.
ChromeOS has varied multi-touch gestures for rapidly shifting across the OS and the trackpad delivers these with persistently dependable outcomes. Faucets are our favoured choice as a substitute of clicks, however you should use both with confidence.
It’s not usually that you just discover a Full HD, IPS panel on a less expensive Chromebook and the CB314 doesn’t buck that development. As a substitute there’s the conventional TN panel that may undergo a bit from washed out colors, particularly once you have a look at it off-angle.
This isn’t a problem should you intend to make use of the gadget only for your self, however attempting to indicate something to others on the identical time will show a lower than optimum expertise until they’re wanting immediately over your shoulder.
It’s brilliant sufficient to be used in average daylight and excellent for working indoors.The 1366 x 768 decision is once more acceptable, however don’t anticipate pin-sharp textual content or wealthy colors on this laptop computer. You may get a mannequin with a Full HD (1920 x 1080) decision
As we talked about earlier, there’s no contact capabilities on this specific gadget, so should you intend to make use of plenty of Android apps in your Chromebook, you might need to attempt a special machine.
Specs & Efficiency
Processing duties on the CB314 are dealt with by a dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4000 that has a burst capability of two.6GHz. It’s hardly a speedster within the silicon stakes, however Chromebooks don’t have the heft of Home windows 10 to take care of, so these decrease energy chips usually ship quick efficiency, which is mostly the case with the CB314.
In day-to-day use, with a number of tabs open with web-pages within the background, video streaming from Netflix, and infrequently flicking between them to test e mail or conduct an web search, we skilled fast and reliable efficiency.
One blip was that the video stream on Netflix would typically grow to be caught after switching tabs however the audio would proceed. We noticed this behaviour on the Acer Chromebook 15 we reviewed final 12 months and it’s a disgrace that it persists however it’s simply one thing you’ll be able to reside with should you have a tendency to not depart a tab when streaming TV or motion pictures.
The CPU is assisted in its duties by 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 32GB of eMMC storage, though on our mannequin solely 22GB had been truly out there to make use of after the assorted system recordsdata and different software program had taken their share. There’s additionally a 65GB mannequin should you really feel the necessity.
Once more, ChromeOS is focussed on storing recordsdata within the cloud and Google gives 100GB free storage to everybody who buys a brand new Chromebook, so it must be good for many customers.
With this heavy leaning on the web, it’s good to see 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO, which is able to preserve issues ticking alongside properly.
Placing the CB314 by way of our common benchmarks returned scores of 45.eight on Jetstream 2 and 304.2 in Benchmark three.zero, putting it within the decrease finish of Chromebooks we’ve examined however commensurate with the worth tag.
On the flanks there are two USB three.zero ports and two USB-C, a microSD slot, headphone jack and a Kensington lock, which is an honest providing for a laptop computer on this value bracket.
Digital camera & Audio
Acer claims that the webcam on the CB314 is HD, however the efficiency means that’s a bit beneficiant. Video is grainy and doesn’t deal with lighting very nicely, however you may make calls on Skype, Duo or your most well-liked app so long as your recipient is keen to place up with distinctly common visuals.
Audio is the same case, with the dual audio system beneath the chassis producing tones which can be gentle on base and barely echoey at instances. Once more, usable however nothing that’s going to impress.
One space that does stand out is battery life. Looping an HD video on YouTube, with the display set to 60% and the amount at 50%, the CB314 stored going for a exceptional 11 hours and 52 minutes.
Clearly, utilizing a mixture of different apps could cut back this time, however as compared with many different Chromebooks we’ve examined that is glorious battery efficiency.
ChromeOS has come a good distance and right this moment seems like a system that may cowl most bases for common customers. The addition of Android apps some time again opens up much more potentialities, though these often stay in portrait codecs that might usually be used on smartphones.
Google gives a variety of default apps, together with the superb Google Workplace suite that features Docs (Phrase), Sheets (Excel), and Slides (PowerPoint). It’s true that none of those will match the ability of Microsoft’s choices, but when your wants are modest then these ought to match the invoice and value you nothing in any respect.
There’s additionally Google Preserve in your notes, Calendar for appointments, and you may pair Messages together with your cellphone so that you just obtain and reply to SMS conversations immediately in your Chromebook. It’s additionally attainable to attach Android telephones in order that they robotically unlock the laptop computer when it senses the handset close by.
Gaming on the CB314 isn’t actually definitely worth the effort, as the shortage of contact sensors means the Android titles are clunky, whereas the ChromeOS Net Retailer doesn’t have a lot in the way in which of high quality titles.
Worth & Availability
On the time of writing, Acer didn’t have the CB314 listed on its website though we anticipate this to be rectified shortly. Till then you’ll be able to choose it up from Argos for £249.99 or Amazon UK for £229.99.
Oddly, Amazon has each the 32GB HD and 65GB Full HD fashions for a similar value.
Clients within the US should buy the Acer CB314 from Amazon for $249.99 or go to the Acer website the place the laptop computer is on the market for a similar value.
Chromebook costs have been creeping up not too long ago, together with most tech, so it’s good to see the Acer Chromebook 314 return to the system that originally made them so interesting: low-cost and helpful.
There’s little in the way in which of bells and whistles on this gadget, the webcam is serviceable at finest, plus the HD show and audio are perfunctory. Fortunately Amazon has the Full HD/64GB mannequin for a similar value.
However, efficiency is strong, the gadget itself is light-weight and comfy to make use of, battery life is superb and it’s a really succesful platform should you’re joyful to make use of Google apps.
Basically, it’s a Chromebook, at the very least the way in which they used to make them, and that’s a very good factor.
If you wish to see the opposite units that Acer’s new providing is competing with, try our Greatest Chromebook 2020 chart.
Acer Chromebook 314: Specs
- Intel Celeron N4000 1.1GHz dual-core processor with 2.6Ghz pace burst
- 4GB DDR4 RAM
- 32GB eMMC storage
- 1366 x 768 TN show
- 802.11ac MU-MIMO Wi-Fi 5
- Bluetooth four.2
- HD webcam
- 2 x USB three.zero ports
- 2 x USB-C ports
- microSD slot
- three.5mm headphone jack
- Kensington lock
- 197 x 325 x 23.2mm
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