Acer’s new Chromebook Spin 514 features a fanless design and improved webcam


As part of its usual fall laptop refresh, Acer Today announces a host of new Chromebooks that will be rolled out in the coming months. Four models are currently being updated: the Chromebook Spin 514, the Chromebook 515, the Chromebook 514, and the Chromebook Spin 314. That’s a lot of product names, but Spin devices can turn around with a 360-degree hinge, and the last two digits indicate the screen size. This should hopefully anchor you as we take a look at these new models.

Probably the most interesting is the Spin 514 (pictured above), which combines a 14-inch 1080p touchscreen with minimal bezels with the 11th gen Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processors. This laptop doesn’t have fans, which means they’re probably not the most powerful versions of Intel chips, but they should still deliver solid performance for Chrome OS. Acer has also placed emphasis on the webcam, which is a smart choice given that we are all still stuck on video calls for the foreseeable future. This is a 1080p camera with a blue glass filter and new noise reduction technology to remove things like light reflections. We’ll have to see how this works in practice, but given the number of laptops with quite poor webcams, any improvement here will be welcome.

Other specs include up to 16GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and 10 hours of battery life. The Spin 514 weighs 3 pounds, so it won’t be the lightest thing to use in tablet mode, but otherwise it looks like a pretty good Chromebook – it just looks good and well built too. , at least as far as I know from these pictures. And Acer has a solid balance sheet to make some really good Chromebooks, so hopefully that will continue here. The Spin 514 is expected to arrive in the US in January and starts at $ 700.

Acer’s Chromebook 515 (available in both consumer and business editions) has similar specs to the Spin 514, although it has a larger 15.6-inch screen. Considering its large size, this laptop isn’t a convertible, which is probably a smart move. For a 15-inch laptop, however, it’s quite light – just 3.75 pounds. It comes with the same 11th gen processor options as the Spin 514, although it also has a budget Pentium Gold option (paired with Intel’s UHD graphics rather than the Iris Xe). The Chromebook 515 will initially be available in Europe this month for € 499; the Enterprise version will arrive in the US in January 2022 starting at $ 640.

Acer also offers a few cheaper Chromebooks. The Chromebook Spin 314 starts at $ 500 and arrives in the US in November. For that price, you’ll get a 14-inch display with an unfortunate resolution of 1366 x 768, which is pretty unacceptable in 2021. It also has budget processors in the form of Intel’s Pentium Gold or two Celeron options and features a 360-degree hinge, as the name suggests. More intriguing is the Chromebook 514, which pairs a 14-inch, 1080p display with MediaTek’s 8-core Kompanio 828 processor and 8 GB of RAM. We haven’t tested a MediaTek Chromebook in a while, so we can’t say for sure how it will perform yet. But Acer promises 15 hours of battery life, and the laptop weighs less than 3 pounds, so it has some potential as a budget Chromebook (the 514 will retail for $ 400 when it releases in December).

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