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The Acer Chromebook 514 is a chromebook that channels the spirit of Acer’s mid-range Windows lineup, the Acer Swift. Similar to the Swift 1, the Acer Chromebook 514 packs in a similar display, similar build quality, and similar internals, but it runs Chrome OS instead of Windows and packs in less storage to accommodate the much lighter OS. Despite some shortcomings around its overall hardware, its price to performance and its overall quality in aspects that truly matter for Chrome OS make it the best chromebook for seniors and the best chromebook for writers on a budget. In many ways, it resembles a cut-down Acer Chromebook Spin 13; build quality is similar and it has a very similar design philosophy of being a laptop that folds into a tablet, but it’s got weaker internals and a worse screen in exchange for coming in at half the price
The Acer Chromebook 514 is a midrange chromebook that punches well above its weight in terms of its build and display quality. The base Celeron model isn’t particularly great, but the Pentium model strikes a solid blend of quality and performance at a low price for a Chrome OS machine. If you want another Acer chromebook to compare this chromebook with, read our Acer Chromebook 15 Review.
The display on the Acer Chromebook 514 is pretty standard for its price point on paper; it’s a 14” 1920×1080 IPS panel with touch support, which is extremely common at this budget. Its brightness and color production, however, are surprisingly good for its price point, eclipsing the much pricier HP Chromebook x360 14’s display in terms of overall quality, though it of course won’t hold a candle to something like a much pricier Google Pixelbook i7 (or Google Pixelbook i5). Either way, it’s good enough for most users; it’s much better than the awful 1366×768 TN panels that plagued the non-premium sector a few years ago.
Battery life on the Acer Chromebook 514 is phenomenal. You’re looking at roughly 10 hours of battery life, which is more than enough for all-day use for a normal workday with juice left over. It completely eclipses the battery life of the Asus Chromebook C523NA, which only pulls around 7 hours, and it sits about on par with the Asus Chromebook Flip C302.
At 3.31 lbs., the Acer Chromebook 514 impresses with its weight; it’s fairly light for its screen size, all while employing aluminum construction. It’s not much heavier than some 12” chromebooks despite its 14” screen, which is very impressive. It should slide right into a bag with no portability issues whatsoever, making it great for students who don’t need a lot of hardware horsepower.
With solid hinges and excellent aluminum construction, the Acer Chromebook 514 is very durable, and its build quality is exceptional for the price. Like the Acer Swift lineup it’s seemingly derived from, it’s a well-built machine with sturdy hinges and very solid construction; it should hold the test of time very well.
Input selection is exactly what you’d expect on a chromebook at this price point. You’re looking at two USB Type C ports and two USB Type A ports, alongside a microSD card reader and an audio jack. One USB C port supports display out via a dongle, though there’s no display out port of any kind included on the laptop itself; you have to buy a dongle for it. Its backlit keyboard is solid, with decent travel and an overall comfortable feel.
The Acer Chromebook 514 is a very solid machine for the price. Its full HD screen is great for the price, its build quality is great, and its ability to run Android apps help circumvent Chrome OS’s poor program compatibility. It would have been nice to see Intel Core M or Core U at this price point, as it’s not unheard of for similarly priced Windows machines to pack in hardware like that, but the Pentium model is good enough for Chrome OS; the only real issue with the machine’s hardware is its lack of storage and RAM, both of which don’t matter a ton for Chrome OS. If you’re in the market for a decent chromebook, this is one of the ones to look at, so long as you can afford the Pentium model.