Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 review: It’s no toy, but it feels like one

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 front view showing display and keyboard deck.
Acer Chromebook Vero 514
MSRP $600.00
“Green credentials can’t save the Acer Chromebook Vero 514 from its cheap feel and disappointing display.”
  • Very fast performance
  • Decent battery life
  • Good touchpad
  • Class-leading sustainability
  • Lid is too bendable
  • Display is subpar
  • Chassis is thick and unattractive

Acer’s laptop lineup, the Vero, has the express purpose of being as sustainable and using as much recycled material, as possible. The line isn’t limited to Windows, with the Chromebook Vero 514 adding ChromeOS as an option. The laptop features 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in the chassis and 50% in the keycaps. The chassis is paint-free, and the display panel is 99% recyclable. Even the touchpad, dubbed OceanGlass, comprises 100% ocean-bound plastics.

If you’re looking for a Chromebook with an eye on the environment, then the Chromebook Vero 514 stands out. But how does it stand up as a laptop? Well, that’s a mixed bag, and it’s not so inexpensive that you can please both your wallet and your conscience.

Specs and configurations

  Acer Chromebook Vero 514
Dimensions 12.81 inches x 8.83 inches x 0.80 inches
Weight 3.09 pounds
Processor Intel Core i3-1215U
Intel Core i5-1235U
Graphics Intel Iris Xe
Display 14.0-inch 16:9 Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS
Storage 128GB SSD
Touch No
Ports 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 1080p
Operating system ChromeOS
Battery 56 watt-hours
Price $500+

Acer offers two configurations of the Chromebook Vero 514. First, there’s our $571 (on sale from $600) Best Buy review configuration with an Intel 12th-gen Core i5-1235U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 14.0-inch Full HD IPS display. For $500, also from , you can opt for a Core i3-1215U, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, and the same display. The review machine is far more attractive, with a much faster CPU and twice the storage for $100 more.

Recycled, and it feels like it

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Chromebook Vero 514 looks and feels completely different from any laptop I’ve reviewed. Its chassis has a thick, rough surface that feels more to me like the plastic you’d find on a cheap toy. That sounds harsh, but I’m just giving my personal impressions. Our Acer Aspire Vero review was kinder. None of what I say here means it’s structurally compromised. The chassis is rigid without bending or flexing, but the lid has a lot of give. You don’t have to exert much force to bend it, which lends an air of cheapness. At least there’s no display distortion. The hinge is stiff, requiring two hands to pry open the lid.

Since the recycled plastic is unpainted, you can see colored flecks of different kinds of plastic used in its construction. I’m sure that’s on purpose, and it lends an interesting aesthetic to the otherwise boring grey color scheme. The lines are simple, and it’s a minimalist design, with only the nature of the recycled plastic making it stand out. It’s not the most attractive laptop, and a buyer will have to be dedicated to the environment to overlook its less desirable aspects.

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 top down view showing recycled logo and plastic flecks.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The top and bottom display bezels are huge by modern standards, while the side bezels aren’t particularly small. That makes this machine wider and deeper than it needs to be, given its 14.0-inch old-school 16:9 display. It’s also quite thick at 0.80 inches while being reasonably light at 3.09 pounds. Compare that to the similarly priced Acer Chromebook Spin 513 that’s 0.64 inches thick and weighs 2.83 pounds. The Chromebook Spin 513 is a convertible 2-in-1 that you’d expect to be a little thicker, which points out how thick the Chromebook Vero 514 really is.

The Chromebook Vero 514’s standard island keyboard with medium-sized black keycaps has good spacing, but the switches are a little loose. There’s just enough of a click in the bottoming action to make the keyboard OK for longer typing sessions, but I’ve used similarly priced Chromebooks with better keyboards. The keyboard is backlit with the usual ChromeOS range of levels, and the “e” and “r” keys are lime green. The touchpad is decently sized and precise, with quiet and confident clicks. The display isn’t touch-enabled.

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

With USB-C and legacy ports, connectivity is fine, but there’s no Thunderbolt 4. That’s not a ding against the laptop, though, given that only a few recent Chromebooks have added Thunderbolt 4, and they’re considerably more expensive. The $1,100 HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is one example. Wireless connectivity is up-to-date with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.

Finally, the webcam is 1080p, which is welcome on a budget Chromebook. There’s a physical cover you can use for some added privacy. There’s no biometric login, though, which some lower-priced Chromebooks have started to add.

Being eco-friendly doesn’t mean it’s slow

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 top down view showing vents.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

ChromeOS is a lightweight operating system that doesn’t require superfast CPUs for excellent performance. However, that’s not to say it can’t benefit from a good CPU, and the Chromebook Vero 514 utilizes a 15-watt Intel 12th-gen Core i5-1235U with 10 cores (two Performance and eight Efficient) and 12 threads. It’s a CPU that provides good performance in Windows 11 laptops. In a Chromebook, it’s incredibly fast.

Toss in the Chromebook Vero 514’s 8GB of RAM (again, plenty for ChromeOS) and speedy PCIe SSD, and you have a recipe for a fast laptop. According to the Android version of Geekbench 5, the Chromebook Ver0 514 is among the fastest Chromebooks we’ve tested. I also ran the Speedometer 2.0 web benchmark, which is important for ChromeOS given its reliance on the Chrome browser for much of its activity, and it again scores at the top of the Chromebook heap.

I could keep as many Chrome tabs open as I liked and run a few Android apps in the background without noticing any slowdowns. The Intel Iris Xe GPU also provided good Android gaming performance, with Asphalt 9 running smoothly (although not comfortably on a clamshell). Suffice it to say that the Chromebook Vero 514 is as fast as you’ll need your Chromebook to be for just about any task you throw at it.

(single / multi)
Speedometer 2.0
Acer Chromeboook Ver0 514
(Core i5-1235U)
1,437 / 4,909 201
HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
(Core i5-1245U)
1,394 / 4,055 206
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
(MediaTek Kompanio 1380)
936 / 3,438 76
HP Chromebook x360 14c
(Core i3-1125G4)
898 / 2,866 N/A
HP Chromebook x2 11
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c)
590 / 1,689 45
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
(Core i5-1135G7)
1,190 / 4,151 163

Battery life was solid, lasting for almost nine hours in our web browsing test. That beats the other 12th-gen Core i5-based laptop on our list but falls slightly behind the 11th-gen Core i5 machine. It couldn’t keep up with the ARM-based Chromebooks, unsurprisingly. It was stronger in the video looping test, with only six minutes separating it from the ARM-based leader. That’s likely down to the low-resolution display.

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 side view showing ports and display.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Depending on your workflow, you’ll probably get close to a full day of productivity out of the Chromebook Ver0 514. You might need to take a little more extended lunch break, though, to make it all the way.

Web browsing Video
Acer Chromebook Vero 514
(Core i5-1235U)
8 hours, 51 minutes 12 hours, 36 minutes
HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
(Core i5-1245U)
7 hours, 59 minutes 9 hours, 13 minutes
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
(MediaTek Kompanio 1380)
11 hours, 7 minutes 12 hours, 42 minutes
HP Chromebook x360 14c
(Core i3-1125G4)
7 hours, 44 minutes 8 hours, 2 minutes
HP Chromebook x2 11
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c)
12 hours, 42 minutes 10 hours, 59 minutes
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
(Core i5-1135G7)
9 hours, 25 minutes 8 hours, 50 minutes

An old-school and underwhelming display

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 front view showing display.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The laptop industry is moving away from 16:9 displays, instead adopting taller and more productivity-friendly 16:10 and 3:2 aspect ratios. I’ve also seen higher-resolution displays on lower-priced Chromebooks, like the 2K (2256 x 1504) display on the Chromebook Spin 513. That makes the 16:9 Full HD (1920 x 1080) display immediately disappointing.

I also found the display to be relatively dim, with underwhelming colors and contrast that couldn’t stop blacks from bleeding into grey. It’s not a terrible display for typical productivity tasks, but creators and media consumers won’t love it.

Audio quality was also underwhelming, with two downward-firing speakers that didn’t get loud or provide high-quality sound. Mids and clears were just okay, and there was no bass. You’ll want to use a pair of headphones or external speakers for streaming video and, really, for anything other than normal system sounds.

Great for the environment, but not a great laptop

The Chromebook Ver0 514 contributes to the sustainability movement with a ton of recycled materials, and it has a unique look and feel. By that standard, it’s a solid notebook. By other standards, such as the disappointing display and mediocre keyboard, it’s not quite so impressive.

It is fast, though, and its battery life is decent. At $600, it’s not a cheap Chromebook, but it’s not overly expensive, either. Still, I find it hard to recommend to anyone whose priorities go beyond the environment.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
Chromebook gaming could get serious with rumored Nvidia GPUs on the way
Chromebook2 on table.

Serious gaming on ChromeOS could soon be a bigger reality and get a huge boost to leverage the power of Steam.

According to a report from Chrome Unboxed, a Chromebook with some kind of Nvidia GPU could soon be on the way. Nothing has been officially confirmed and the report is based on pure speculation, but listings in the Chromium Gerrit are fueling the latest rumors. Those listings make mention of "Agah" which Chrome Unboxed believes is some kind of Chromebook with an Intel Alder Lake CPU, and Nvidia GPU.

Read more
Chromebooks might get another great feature from Windows laptops
Google Meets on an HP Chromebook.

Some premium Windows laptops have a nifty feature that can detect your presence and lock the screen for your security, or even track you to improve your digital well-being. This is something that current ChromeOS devices don't yet support, but there's now an indication, spotted by Chrome Unboxed, that it might already be in the works for a new Chromebook model.

This is all being fueled by a listing in the Chromium repository that mentions "body detection" for a Chromebook that goes by the name of "Crota." This Chromebook apparently has the 12th-generation Intel Alder Lake CPU and could be coming in early 2023. Adding to that speculation is the fact that @wistron is attached to the email domain in the listing, which Chromeunboxed finds is typically associated with Dell's involvement in a project.

Read more
Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (2022) hands-on review: Warp speed
The Acer Chromebook 514 on a table.

Chromebooks don't ask for a lot. Compared to Macs or Windows laptops, Google's Chrome OS operating system is lightweight and resource-friendly, able to run well enough on even modest hardware to get real work done. Toss in a speedy CPU, like AMD's Chromebook-specific Ryzen 7 5825C eight-core, 16-thread powerhouse, and it's going to feel real fast. That's precisely what Acer has down with the latest version of its Chromebook Spin 514 2-in-1.

I looked at a preproduction unit that is slated to be released in July 2022 at a starting price of $580 — putting it into the expensive Chromebook category. Mine was a higher-end Chromebook Spin 514 that will be more costly, but it was nicely configured with the AMD Ryzen 7 5825C CPU and a 14-inch IPS display. I couldn't do in-depth testing, because this is a preproduction unit, but this one shows some promise so far.

Read more