Acer’s new Chromebook 14 classes up $300 laptops with an aluminum body

Acer Chromebook 14
Acer Chromebook 14
Acer’s new Chromebook 14 lineup may have hit the tipping point combination of features and price to lure Windows and Apple notebook buyers. Granted, OS loyalty among computer users is generally hooked to more than just features and dollars, but a sufficient number of attractive elements coming together can make jumping to another platform mighty appealing. If you’re ready for a new everyday mobile computer and have wondered in the past about going Chrome, the new Acer might put you over the line.

The Acer Chromebook 14 line is available now for pre-order at Amazon and will be in stock for real life look and feel at Best Buy in April. The new Acers boast several Chromebook firsts including display size, battery life, case, and ports. The Chromebook 14 has a 14-inch IPS LCD display with either Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) or HD (1366 x 768) resolutions and up to 170-degree wide viewing angle so you don’t have to be directly in front of the screen to see it clearly. A 720p HD (1280 x 720 resolution) webcam with digital microphone records in both audio and video HD, ready for selfies and video conferencing.

The Chromebook 14 has Acer’s first all-aluminum case and is the first model with two USB 3.1 ports. The aluminum case has rounded corners and a brush finish for smooth feel and the material keeps the weight down. The Chromebook 14 is rated at 3.42 pounds, about 6 ounces heavier than Acer’s 11-inch models. Not only light but also thin, the new Acers measure just 0.67 inches thick, notably .01 inches less than the MacBook Air’s 0.68 inches. Portability and sturdiness matter for Chromebooks and the aluminum case helps both.

Various Chromebook 14 models will have dual-core or quad-core Intel Celeron processors, 2GB or 4GB dual channel LPDDR3 SDRAM, and either 16GB or 32GB eMMC flash memory storage. These specifications are reasonable, but we are worried about the processor choice, which apparently will not include low-end versions of Intel’s latest Broadwell and Skylake chips. If run low of on-board storage, the Chromebook 14 comes with 100GB of free Google Drive space.

Windows notebook loyalists (I was one until just last year) who have in the past been attracted by Chromebook lightness, near instant-on, and superior battery life could be swayed by the new Chromebook 14. Apple users likely find it harder to switch, but the prospect of a decked out Acer Chromebook 14 with full HD display, 4GB SDRAM, and 32GB on-board storage for $300 may attract them as well. If you don’t have a particular OS loyalty and want easy portability and all-day battery life, the Acer Chromebook 14 may bear consideration.

Product Review

LG Gram 14 proves 2-in-1 laptops don’t need to sacrifice battery for light weight

The LG Gram 14 2-in-1 aims to be very light for a laptop that converts to a tablet. And it is. But it doesn’t skimp on the battery, and so it lasts a very long time on a charge.

Don't spend a fortune on a PC. These are the best laptops under $300

Buying a laptop needn't mean spending a fortune. If you're just looking to browse the internet, answer emails, and watch Netflix, you can pick up a great laptop at a great price. These are the best laptops under $300.

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for January 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.

From Samsung to HP, here are the best cheap Chromebook deals right now

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- with most…

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!

Fix those internet dead zones by turning an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater

Is there a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office? A Wi-Fi repeater can help. Don't buy a new one, though. Here is how to extend Wi-Fi range with another router you have lying around.

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering ergonomic mice alternatives. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.

Want a MacBook that will last all day on a single charge? Check these models out

Battery life is one of the most important factors in buying any laptop, especially MacBooks. Their battery life is typically average, but there are some standouts. Knowing which MacBook has the best battery life can be rather useful.

Want a Dell laptop with an RTX 2060? Cross the new XPS 15 off your list

The next iteration of Dell's XPS 15 laptop won't come with an option for an RTX 2060, according to Alienware's Frank Azor. You could always opt for a new Alienware m15 or m17 instead.

Always have way too many tabs open? Google Chrome might finally help

Google is one step closer to bringing tab groups to its Chrome browser. The feature is now available in Google's Chrome Canady build with an early implementation that can be enabled through its flag system.