There’s a number of pleasure within the Chromebook area proper now, with Steam Alpha lastly arriving, together with Intel’s Twelfth-gen chipsets coming to new Chromebooks within the close to future. However Intel is not the one participant within the Chromebook area, as we have been seeing increasingly choices launched utilizing a few of MediaTek’s chipsets.
One such instance is the Acer Chromebook 514 (2H) which is powered by the MediaTek Kompanio 828. This Chromebook was introduced late in 2021, promising to supply a robust different to Intel-powered Chromebooks at a lower cost.
That is the entire cope with MediaTek’s present lineup of chips, as we’re seeing cheaper smartphones, cheaper tablets, and now cheaper Chromebooks. However at this time, we’re having a look at how the Kompanio 828 performs throughout the Acer Chromebook 514.
There’s not an excessive amount of to write down house about in the case of the general design of the Chromebook 514. You are still greeted with the identical design we have seen throughout virtually all of Acer’s current Chromebooks, save for a couple of variations right here and there.
Because the identify denotes, this Chromebook sports activities a 14-inch show, full with a 1920×1080 decision and an anti-glare end. Whereas this does not provide a convertible design, it does sport a touchscreen panel, however you will not be capable to use your favorite USI stylus with it. As an alternative, you may want to stay with the stylus’ connected to your hand with a purpose to work together with the display.
One factor that I seen straight away is that the Chromebook 514 will get fairly a bit brighter than I anticipated. Even with the anti-glare, matte end on the display, this Chromebook has been in a position to face up to me sitting on my patio and getting some work achieved. It isn’t one thing that’s relevant throughout the entire best Chromebooks, but it surely’s positively a pleasant contact not needing to pressure your eyes.
One thing else that may be a good contact is the upward-firing audio system. Most Chromebook makers generally tend of utilizing bottom-firing audio system, which is simply irritating. As a result of once you’re utilizing this laptop computer in your lap, the sound is muffled and it is virtually pointless to take heed to something because it simply will not be pleasing. Fortunately, that is not the case right here, and whereas the Chromebook 514 cannot match up with my 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro, it is higher than a number of the opposite units that I’ve, so I do not really feel the necessity to attain for some Bluetooth headphones.
Efficiency is healthier than anticipated
To be fairly sincere, I wasn’t certain what to anticipate going into utilizing a Chromebook with a MediaTek chipset. I’ve used Chromebooks on and off over time, however after becoming a member of Android Central in a full-time capability, it was time to leap in head-first. Throughout that point, there are some units that I take advantage of that are powered by Snapdragon chips or Intel ones. However there’s simply been one thing about this MediaTek possibility that makes me preserve coming again for extra.
Not like one thing just like the ASUS Chromebook CX9, and even Acer’s personal Chromebook Spin 713, you will not be capable to take pleasure in the brand new Steam Alpha program. However I did set up a couple of video games to get a really feel for the efficiency and positively have not been disillusioned. For individuals who are focused on benchmarks, this is how the Chromebook 514 (2H) carried out:
For the sake of comparability, that is how the Chromebook Spin 713 fared in the identical check:
That is a reasonably stark distinction, proper? Particularly contemplating that our Spin 713 is operating Intel’s Eleventh-gen i5 chipset. However there’s additionally extra to the story, as this particular configuration can also be roughly about $250 costlier than the Kompanio-powered Chromebook 514. In day-to-day use, you may not discover a distinction between the 2, save for the power to leap into Steam.
Multi-tasking is a breeze, because the Chromebook 514 handles the entire totally different tabs that I’ve open at any given time, together with PWA’s like Feedbin and apps like Obsidian, Todoist, and Preserve. I solely seen a hiccup a few occasions, and that is after I began messing round with attempting to put in a Linux partition.
The Chromebook 514 was even in a position to deal with me firing up Lightroom to edit the images you see on this article with ease. Exports took a bit longer than different units that I’ve at my disposal, however I nonetheless was in a position to carry out the edits and get them formatted in order that they may very well be used.
The true purpose to get the Chromebook 514 is battery life
Let me put this plainly. The Chromebook 514 with its Kompanio 828 chip and 1080p show is totally my favourite Chromebook in the case of needing battery life. Chrome OS has developed to the purpose the place it isn’t as a lot of a battery hog on most units, however I am simply in a position to get by way of a complete day, round 10 hours or so, without having to achieve for a charger as soon as.
If you would like a smartphone analogy, this Chromebook is the equal of proudly owning and utilizing the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It simply sips the battery, even when attempting to do extra labor-intensive duties. Naturally, the battery will drain quicker or slower relying on what it’s that you simply’re doing, however you do not want to have a charger inside arm’s attain.
We’d like extra Chromebooks like this, and I believe we’re doubtless near seeing simply that as newer Kompanio chips make their approach into new Chromebook fashions.
There is a catch, and it is irritating
For the entire good that has come out of my time with the Chromebook 514, there’s one obtrusive drawback. It has nothing to do with the Kompanio 828, or the show, audio system, keyboard, and even port choice. It has the whole lot to do with storage. The plain purpose of this machine is to be among the best higher-end, “low cost” Chromebooks.
However one space that I continued to be involved with is the storage. For starters, you are solely given 64GB of storage through eMMC, so you are not even getting a conventional SSD right here. Whereas the inclusion of eMMC is one detractor, the larger drawback is that the Chromebook 514 is barely out there with 64GB of storage for customers. There isn’t any choice to swing for a 128GB SSD mannequin, not to mention one with an possibility for nVME storage.
With so many various apps and video games out there at this time, for those who had been actually hoping to show the Chromebook 514 into an on a regular basis machine, it is robust. 64GB on a laptop computer is comical, particularly when different Chromebooks, just like the recently-released Chromebook Duet 3 and its 128GB of storage, can be found for even lower than the Chromebook 514. Issues might need appeared in another way if there was a approach to make use of a microSD card slot, however Acer opted in opposition to together with that with this launch. It isn’t an absolute make-or-break situation, but it surely’s positively not a enjoyable one.
Who’s the Acer Chromebook 514 for and must you purchase it?
To reply the query posed, the Acer Chromebook 514 is for individuals who don’t desire (or want) the entire energy packed right into a Chromebook. It is for individuals who want as a lot battery life as doable, those that stay within the cloud (for storage), and for those who simply need a stable Chromebook that is a step above one of the best low cost Chromebooks. Acer’s tried and true design continues to bore us, however the upward-firing audio system and cozy keyboard make for an incredible general expertise.
Do you have to purchase it? Most likely. Should you meet any or the entire necessities that I listed above, then that is the proper Chromebook for you. Sure, I want that it had extra storage, and I want that there was a non-eMMC possibility out there. However exterior of that, the Acer Chromebook 514 is the proper companion for the all-day warriors who want a stable mixture of decrease pricing, stable efficiency, and unimaginable battery life.
The battery king of Chromebooks
The Acer Chromebook 514 may not have a convertible design, nor does it have USI stylus help. However with the Kompanio 828 and the brighter-than-expected 1080p show, this Chromebook simply sips on battery. Simply be sure you have an exterior SSD useful in your storage wants.