Acer Chromebook 514 Laptop | 14" FHD Touch
Its lion, seiben were taking a look today at the Acer Chromebook 514. This is a really nicely performing Chromebook that doesnt cost all that much and were going to take a look at all. This Chromebook can do in just a second, but I do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure. This is on loan from Acer, so were done with this, it goes back to them all the opinions youre about to hear are my own. No one is paying for this review, nor has anyone reviewed or approved what youre about to see before it was uploaded, so lets get into it now and see what this Chromebook is all about. There are two flavors of this Chromebook one is running with a mediatek compatio 828 processor thats. The one were looking at today. This is the lower cost option. Theres a higher cost option running with an Intel processor. Now that ones going to be a little quicker because the Intel chip is more robust, but for a Chromebook I think the arm version is the one that I would choose, because the performance is more than adequate for basic web browsing, and I found that this one Does does really really well with Android apps, especially Android gaming and thats, something the Intel chips sometimes suffer with as far as compatibility goes. Additionally, this will get much better battery life than the Intel equivalent because it is running a more power, efficient processor.
So Acer is advertising about 15 hours of battery life on this, and I think you can get very close to that if you stick to basic web browsing and keep the display brightness down Im finding my experience with this is lining up pretty closely with their battery Estimates if youre playing games and whatnot that, of course will impact things a bit. But by and large the battery life on the arm version here at the lower price will be better than the higher cost and more powerful Intel version, which is not something you always see at the lower end of the price Spectrum. This has eight gigabytes of RAM on board, which is great, so you can do a lot of multitasking between Chrome, OS functions and Android, and Linux apps and Ill show you all of that in a minute, but it only has 64GB bytes of emmc storage. That is not upgradable and, unfortunately theres no SD card slot on this Chromebook for augmenting that storage. So I would have been happier had they included that SD card or provided some means of upgrading the storage, but youll have to make do with the 64 gigabytes on board for most Chrome OS activities – thats fine. But if people are looking to do more with the Linux or Android side, you probably want a little bit more storage on board than what they give you here. Its got a very nice display. This is a 14 inch, 1080p display its running at the traditional 16×9 aspect ratio.
So youre going to start seeing Now laptops with taller displays that are maybe a little bit better for document editing and web browsing because they do have a little more vertical real estate. But I think its fine here in this form factor it is a touch display, as you can see, and the display, if I dont drop the computer here first, the display goes flat to your desk, like many other Chromebooks from Acer do, and that gives you some Protection against the kid that might be a little over zealous in opening up the display lid, but I was very pleased with the display. A true 1080p is the sticker here indicates and its nice to see this on a lower end machine and the display is an IPS display, so you get good viewing angles and a nice sharp picture on it. The keyboard is very nice on this as well. This has got your standard Chrome, OS layout. Here the keys are nice and big and well spaced. I found it really nice to type on the key travel isnt too bad on it. Either the keyboard is backlit thats, also not something you typically see on a lower cost laptop. So that was a nice addition here, but theres no fingerprint reader for Biometrics. Unfortunately, it also has a nice track pad. This is an area where Ive kind of dinged Acer in the past. This one feels a little nicer. Its actually got some glass on it, so its got a more premium feel to it and overall, I was very pleased with that.
You got two speakers here on the left and right hand, side, theyre, kind of tinny, but theyre adequate enough for doing web conferences and that sort of thing. But if you want better music quality pair up some Bluetooth headphones or plug some headphones into its headphone jack. One thing I got to chuckle out of here on the sticker was that it has this note that says theres a very narrow bezel on the display, and that is true. If youre looking at the left and right hand side of the display. But you do have a pretty big beefy one down here at the bottom of the display. Now the weight on this one is 2.87 pounds or 1.3 kilograms, its not all that heavy, but its mostly made out of plastic. The top of the lid is metal and again youve got the glass on the track pad here, but thats about the extent of Premium materials. The rest of this is all plastic and, as you can see here, as you move, the display around the keyboard comes with it, so you dont have that balanced, feel youll have on a more premium laptop but its not bad. I think for its price point now: the webcam is a 720p webcam. You can see me trying to shoe a fly out of the scene there and its not the best quality, but its about out what I would expect out of a low cost Chromebook its good enough for doing your Google meets and your Zoom calls and everything, and By the way, thats a great use case for Chromebooks, there is no shutter over the lens here, so if you want to block it for privacy, youll have to find some tape or something to cover it up now.
The machine here has two USB type c: ports. Youve got one here on the left hand, side and another one on the right hand, side. These are both full service ports, so you can plug the power cable into either side. Depending on your needs. You could also use a docking station with this. A USB type c docking station, so you can have one cable, providing power and then allowing video to go out along with adding additional data ports to the laptop. Here. A couple of things to note, though, on the video output, it only supports 1080p 60 for an external display at 60 frames per second, and it only allows one display output at a time. So you can have an external display, plus the internal display of the laptop, but if you plug two displays in only one of them is going to work. Some of the Intel Chromebooks will allow you to plug in two displays, plus the internal Monitor and those external displays support 4K, but on this one it is 1080p only and only one display. You also have a USB 3 Port here, along with a headphone jack, and that is it for the ports on this one now one thing you dont see on this laptop are airflow vents, because this is a fanless device, so it will run completely silent, no matter What you are doing with it, and so far in my testing, it hasnt gotten all that warm either, and that is due to the fact that were running with a more power efficient arm processor inside.
So now that weve gone through the hardware lets take a look and see how it performs all right lets. Take a look now and see how it performs well load up the Chrome browser here and head over to the nasa.gov home page and, as you can see here, everything renders in pretty quickly on this and it might be a little quicker on the Intel version. But I dont think most people will notice all that much of a difference doing this kind of work and, as you can see, as we jump around to different parts of their website, things are pretty Zippy here. I dont think youre going to have any real issues watching YouTube videos or doing basic web browsing. This processor is more than adequate, for that purpose. Lets take a look now and see how YouTube does on it. All right so were taking a look at a 1080p 60 frames per second video from my YouTube channel, and it did drop a bunch of frames when it first got started, but now its kind of settled down. However, it is dropping a frame here and there not much to be concerned about. I dont think many people will notice a drop frame every couple of seconds or so but its not able to maintain a steady frame rate here and that might be important to some folks. But I think, if youre watching regular Netflix content and things from Prime video and whatnot, you should have a pretty good experience here.
One thing Id like to note, though, is that these machines run Android apps and you can download the YouTube app and the Netflix app and all the other apps for each of those streaming services. But the best resolution and image quality is going to come out of the web browser or the Chrome browser versus the apps that you might download and its due to the DRM or digital Rights Management that all these Services employ. So if you notice that your video quality isnt all that great on Netflix its because youre likely using the Android app and not going directly to their website using the web browser now, as I mentioned, this does run the Google Play Store and you can install a Lot of the games that you might have purchased on your phone right here on the Chromebook and Ive got Goat Simulator here running. So let me get that game pulled up here with the touch display and I can actually play the game with the touch screen here. Kind of using it like a big tablet, if I wanted to – and you can see just how fast everything and how smooth everything is running on this, you can also connect game controllers. Although Im finding with this game at least there are some glitches. So, for example, I cant figure out a way to get the goat to jump using my Xbox controller, and I also found that the camera controls here are a little crazy on this particular game.
And this is the kind of little compatibility issues you run into when you grab an Android game and try to run it on something like a laptop many of the games work. Fine. Some have little issues here and there, but youre going to have less issues with an arm based Chromebook than you might with an Intel one, because most Android apps are written for Arm based devices. Now the performance on this Chromebook for running a lot of these Android games is pretty remarkable. Lets have a look at some emulators now, so this first emulator were looking at is the raycast emulator, and this runs Sega Dreamcast games. This is an unreleased game, were playing here called propeller Arena, and it looks great, it plays great, were pretty much at 60 frames per second most of the time here, and I was very very pleased with what I was getting out of this Chromebook. We havent seen these arm chips run this well on some of these devices in the past, so its good to see performance catching up here. We also played with the Dolphin Emulator, were running Wave Race here, and this game ran at its full 30 frames per second frame rate. Pretty much perfectly. The sound was great, the controls were great with the Xbox controller. All was pretty good. We did try a Star Wars, Rogue leader, that ones a really challenging game to emulate that didnt do as well, but a bulk of these middle of the road GameCube games, I think, are going to run pretty nice on here, and that was a nice bonus.
Now we also tried some game streaming on the Chromebook and we booted up the Microsoft cloud gaming service, which is part of the Game, Pass ultimate subscription. We are running it here in the browser now. The Chromebook here has a Wi Fi 6 radio on board, and it was able to stream this game pretty. Well. I got a couple of areas where it was a little glitchy when we first started the stream, but as we were playing, it was pretty solid and didnt let up throughout the time that we were testing it. So if you are looking to do some game streaming, I think this will do well for that and many of the game streaming providers do offer a means of connecting to their services using a web browser which, on Chromebooks, might be the best way to go. But you can also download their Android apps if available and try those out too and on the 3dmark slingshot benchmark test. We got a score of 5220 and this score is pretty remarkable because it bests the Nvidia Shield K1 tablet, which for many years was the leading performer when it came to large screen Android devices, and this is one of the first that Ive seen in this size That could get close to dethroning it, and I think, in this case, if you look across all the different metrics, it does Dethrone the K1 tablet, its still under what the Nvidia Shield TV box can do, but overall as an Android gaming device, this laptop is pretty Darn impressive now one thing that Chromebooks have been able to do now for a couple of years is run Linux in their own safe environment, and what I mean by that is that you can boot up Linux apps, but not risk screwing up the rest of the System, if you do something wrong and theyve been improving this feature more and more over time, you can now have multiple Linux instances running together.
This is where that storage issue becomes a problem. If you want to install multiple Linux instances, but if you just have a single one like I do, I think the storage here should be adequate for a basic Linux installation. As you can see here, Ive got my command prompt. I can boot up the Nano text. Editor here and install other software, and then of course you can install more graphical kinds of things like the Libre office suite so Ill load up their spreadsheet application right now and whats fun about running Linux. Apps on your Chromebook is that they run locally on the Chromebooks. Even if you have no connection, you can write a document with their word processor. You can work on a spreadsheet with the spreadsheet application here. All the software is free and all the files that you create are stored locally on the Chromebook as well. So it really turns this thing from just a web browsing Android device into a more regular kind of computing experience, and you have a vast library of Open Source applications that you can install and try out on here and its definitely something that I recommend people play With because you can do a lot of development work with this with open source tools, you can run a lot of the things that the open source Community provides to the world and there are some really solid equivalents that are free to more expensive commercial applications and Thats, why I like to show LibreOffice here, because it is very much a Microsoft Office experience that you dont have to pay to use.
Now all Chromebooks have an end of support date, where you stop getting system updates and security patches. The date on this one is June of 2029, and after that date those patches no longer come down, but the computer still works and thats on par with other Chromebooks that this one is competing with. Overall, I found it to be a very good value. I think the display is really nice on it. Youve got a nice backlit keyboard here, and the performance in particular really surprised me, because these mediatek chips havent always been that quick theyve been fine and adequate, but not more than that. This one actually surpassed my expectations in a way that I was not expecting. So I think this is a great value and something worth considering if you are in the market for a lower price Chromebook, especially if youre doing the Linux stuff or some light Android gaming. So all in I cant find much to complain about here and I think its another solid Chrome OS offering from Acer that is going to do it for now until next time.