Two new variants of Acer's recently announced Chromebook 514 have now officially received landing pages on the company's website. Bearing the model numbers CB514-1H-C47X and CB514-1HT-C7AZ, respectively, neither gadget currently has a purchase option, with associated UI leading to blank pages as of this writing. The pages serve instead to offer up new details about what separates the Chromebooks apart from pricing since they are almost identical in most respects. The first of the two devices currently represents the entry-level Acer Chromebook 514, shipping for $349 with a dual-core Intel Celeron N3350 processor clocked at 1.10 GHz and backed by an integrated Intel HD Graphics 500 chip. 32GB of storage is provided in that package as well as 4GB of LPDDR4 memory. The Acer Chromebook 514 (CB514-1HT-C7AZ) is listed for $399 and keeps the RAM used in the cheaper variant but uses a quad-core Intel Celeron N3450 processor instead, clocked at the same 1.10 GHz. Storage is doubled with the more expensive version.
Background: The Acer Chromebook 514 series was announced at IFA Berlin 2018 in August as a clamshell-style Chrome OS laptop, bucking the trend toward 2-in-1 hybrid Chromebooks. A more expensive version of the device, sold for $499.99 under model designation CB514-1HT-P2D1, received its own landing page just under a week ago and differs from these two new devices in a few ways. To begin with, that model ships with a multi-touch enabled display where the newer additions to the website do not. It also offers a quad-core Intel Pentium N4200 processor clocked at 1.10 GHz with 8GB of RAM, 64GB storage, and a more capable Intel HD Graphics 505 integrated chip backing that up.
Although both those specifications and the newly listed ones don't appear to set the Acer Chromebook 514 as a premium device, there are plenty of aspects across each variant that more than justify the pricing. Each arrives with a 14-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution anti-flicker display with a bezel measuring just 6mm thick and an HDR camera above that. The keyboard below is backlit as a standard feature and accompanied by a Gorilla Glass-coated touchpad. Two stereo speakers are embedded on the underside of that, set into an all-aluminum frame and body that measures 9.1 x 12.7-inches. That's also just 0.7-inches thick and weighs just 3.3 lbs in spite of the larger-than-average format. Two USB-C ports -- for charging, display output, and data transfers -- are included in that in addition to two standard USB 3.0 ports, a Noble lock slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, and memory card reader. Each has a claimed battery life of up to 12-hours on a single charge from the 3,920mAh battery.
Impact: The new listings bring the total offerings in Acer's Chromebook 514 lineup to three, up from the two that were expected following the initial reveal of a budget and upper model at IFA. As alluded to above, the specifications and lack of a 360-degree hinge in the gadgets won't likely offer the very best experience on Chrome OS. But any of the versions should deliver more than enough power for most users to perform every task they might want to accomplish with the devices. The use of those components has the benefit of keeping the price well under that seen on other Chromebooks while still allowing the use of high-end materials and features. Acer's decision to utilize LPDDR4 RAM will also have a big impact on performance since that aspect tends to be more of a bottleneck for Chrome or Chrome OS than the processor.