Acer Chromebook 314 assessment
Acer has up to date its Chromebook lineup, with the brand new vary together with the CB314, an affordable and cheerful mannequin that might be supreme for college kids, youthful customers or just somebody who wants an affordable laptop computer that may nonetheless deal with a spread of apps and duties. We put it by means of its paces in our full assessment to see if this might 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’ve to say that it does make this a really good-looking machine.
The highest cowl is a plain, matt end adorned with the Acer and Chrome logos. Twin, downward-facing audio system are situated 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 commonplace fare for entry-level Chromebooks round this worth.
There’s no contact choice on this mannequin and the hinges are traditional laptop computer type somewhat than a number of the 360-degree wraparound ones which might be discovered on dearer fashions just like the Asus Chromebook C433TA.
Keyboard & Trackpad
Chromebooks are surprisingly per their keyboards, in that the majority are decently constructed and comfy to sort upon. The one on this machine suits the invoice properly, coming replete with the specialist keys that offer you fast entry to Search, current apps, and fullscreen mode.
The island-style keyboard is a superbly serviceable floor for engaged on, if a little bit spongy at occasions 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 an alternative of clicks, however you should use both with confidence.
It’s not usually that you simply discover a Full HD, IPS panel on a less expensive Chromebook and the CB314 doesn’t buck that pattern. As a substitute there’s the traditional TN panel that may endure a little bit from washed out colors, particularly while you have a look at it off-angle.
This isn’t a problem if you happen to intend to make use of the machine only for your self, however attempting to point out something to others on the similar time will show a lower than optimum expertise until they’re trying straight 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 count on 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 explicit machine, so if you happen to intend to make use of a number of Android apps in your Chromebook, you might wish to strive a unique machine.
Specs & Efficiency
Processing duties on the CB314 are dealt with by a dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Celeron N4000 that has a burst means of two.6GHz. It’s hardly a speedster within the silicon stakes, however Chromebooks don’t have the heft of Home windows 10 to cope with, so these decrease energy chips usually ship quick efficiency, which is usually 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 verify e-mail or conduct an web search, we skilled fast and reliable efficiency.
One blip was that the video stream on Netflix would generally develop into caught after switching tabs however the audio would proceed. We noticed this behaviour on the Acer Chromebook 15 we reviewed final yr and it’s a disgrace that it persists however it’s simply one thing you may reside with if you happen to 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 have been really accessible to make use of after the varied system information and different software program had taken their share. There’s additionally a 65GB mannequin if you happen to really feel the necessity.
Once more, ChromeOS is focussed on storing information within the cloud and Google gives 100GB free storage to everybody who buys a brand new Chromebook, so it needs to 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 maintain issues ticking alongside properly.
Placing the CB314 by means of our standard 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 worth bracket.
Digital camera & Audio
Acer claims that the webcam on the CB314 is HD, however the efficiency means that’s a little bit beneficiant. Video is grainy and doesn’t deal with lighting very nicely, however you can also 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 might be gentle on base and barely echoey at occasions. 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 saved going for a exceptional 11 hours and 52 minutes.
Clearly, utilizing a mix of different apps might scale 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 at present seems like a system that may cowl most bases for normal customers. The addition of Android apps some time again opens up much more potentialities, though these often stay in portrait codecs that may usually be used on smartphones.
Google supplies a variety of default apps, together with the wonderful 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 Hold on your notes, Calendar for appointments, and you’ll pair Messages along with your cellphone so that you simply obtain and reply to SMS conversations straight in your Chromebook. It’s additionally doable to attach Android telephones in order that they routinely unlock the laptop computer when it senses the handset close by.
Gaming on the CB314 isn’t actually well 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 best way of high quality titles.
Worth & Availability
On the time of writing, Acer didn’t have the CB314 listed on its website though we count on this to be rectified shortly. Till then you may 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 worth.
Prospects within the US should purchase the Acer CB314 from Amazon for $249.99 or go to the Acer website the place the laptop computer is offered for a similar worth.
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 components that originally made them so interesting: low cost and helpful.
There’s little in the best way of bells and whistles on this machine, 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 worth.
However, efficiency is strong, the machine itself is light-weight and comfy to make use of, battery life is superb and it’s a really succesful platform if you happen to’re pleased to make use of Google apps.
Basically, it’s a Chromebook, not less than the best way they used to make them, and that’s a superb factor.
If you wish to see the opposite gadgets that Acer’s new providing is competing with, take a look at our Finest 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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