Acer Chromebook 14 Review
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Chromebooks have come a long way since they were first released in 2011, as evidenced by the Acer Chromebook 14. This laptop may not be a powerhouse of a computer, but someone that just wants a simple machine for browsing the internet and typing up documents can’t go wrong with the Acer Chromebook 14. Though it’s lack of power keeps this from the top of our list for the best travel laptop, the best chromebook for linux, and the best laptop, it is still a stellar choice so long as you know precisely what this laptop is capable of.

Why We Like It – Acer Chromebook 14

Entry-level Chromebooks are often looked down upon for their cheap construction and lack of power. Enter the Acer Chromebook 14, which forgoes the plastic construction for an all-metal one. Not to mention, it also has a stellar 14” screen that far surpasses many of the other entry-level Chromebooks available.

Pros
  • HD 14” screen
  • Excellent battery life
  • All-metal casing
Cons
  • Lack of connectivity options

Power/Performance

Make no mistake: the performance of the Acer Chromebook 14 isn’t the best out there, despite what some overly enthusiastic users might claim. This doesn’t have the power of a laptop decked out with an Intel Core i7 or even Intel Core i5 processor, nor does it have the same graphical capabilities as a computer with something like an AMD Radeon graphics card. That being said, Acer noticeably upgraded to an HD display. While many 14” Chromebooks take an 11” screen and stretch it to fit the larger display, Acer did not, resulting in a sharp, clean, and vibrant screen perfect for watching movies or typing up a term paper.

Battery

Acer claims this laptop can get up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge. Most reviewers found instead that they could get between 9 to 10 hours. While not quite as long-lasting as Acer claims, the battery life on the Acer Chromebook 14 is solid enough to last a full day of school or work. By comparison, this laptop has similar battery life to that of the Lenovo Flex 14, which costs more than twice as much. That said, that laptop has a touch screen and an active pen, while the Chromebook does not.

Ports/Expandability

One major downside to the Acer Chromebook 14 is its lack of connectivity options. Unlike most modern laptops, this computer doesn’t have any USB type c ports. Instead, this laptop is equipped with a modest two USB 3 ports, an audio jack, and an HDMI port. Without a single USB C port, the Acer Chromebook 14 feels a little obsolete right off the bat, though casual users and young students might not miss this connectivity option any time soon. Many users also lament the lack of a microSD card slot to expand the system’s memory, but even more expensive laptops like the Lenovo Yoga C940 lack this as well.

Build Quality

The design of the Acer Chromebook 14 is what really sets it apart from its Chromebook brethren. The all-aluminum chassis is clearly meant to evoke a MacBook Air, even if it can’t quite stand up to that laptop upon closer inspection. The Acer Chromebook 14 is sleek and lightweight, perfect for carrying around campus or the office. Reviews about the keyboard are mixed, with some reviewers being ecstatic about its performance and others finding the keyboard lacking. Of the latter, most focused on the keys’ short travel and overall unpleasant tactile experience.

Value

Provided it satisfies all of your needs, the Acer Chromebook 14 is a great deal. If, however, you want something faster and more powerful for creative purposes or gaming, you’re better off looking elsewhere. This Chromebook is best suited for young students that need a basic computer for document creation and some light streaming entertainment. College students might also like this as a note taking device because it is so easy to carry around from class to class, though they might prefer a laptop with more capabilities like the HP Spectre X360 13t.

Acer Chromebook 14 Wrap Up

If you approach the Acer Chromebook 14 with the right perspective, you’ll love its sleek design and modest power. It’s frustrating that this laptop lacks connectivity options like USB C and a microSD card reader, but not a dealbreaker for most of the target audience. The battery life, though not quite as long as Acer claims, is still more than enough for a full day of classes or work, and the HD 14” screen is a noticeable upgrade from other 14” Chromebooks.

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Zoe Dumas

Zoe is a digital native who cannot remember a time when she didn’t have access to some type of computer. When she’s not busy researching the latest innovations in technology, Zoe loves playing video games, watching movies and TV, reading books, and playing with her two cats.

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