Acer Chromebook 14 review (hands on): A Chromebook that’s as tough as it is pretty
Acer launched a volley of new products at its global press conference in New York yesterday. From fitness wearables to gaming desktops and even a cycling computer, the list went on, and on, and on. Very little of it caught the eye, however, until the presentation turned to the company’s latest Chromebook. Yes, a Chromebook was the highlight – the Acer Chromebook 14, in fact – and it’s great.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised at this. Acer has a 33% share of this particular market, so it should know its Chromebook onions, and so it proves. Let’s start with the design. It’s beautiful, and not – as Acer hinted during the press conference – at all unlike Apple’s MacBook Pro to look at. See for yourself in the gallery above.
It has an in-vogue feel of what a laptop should look like in 2016. It’s moody and metallic grey with laser-cut edges. I’m kind of in love with the keyboard, too. Your fingers skim effortlessly over the keys, and the little typing I was able to do at the event was oddly enjoyable. However, it’s not all amazing: the trackpad needs work and this is mainly because its click is too deep. A shame, but I still love the look of it.
Acer Chromebook 14 review: Tested to destruction
I’m perhaps most impressed with the attention to detail, in particular the Chromebook 14’s toughness. I can’t report I’ve tested this part out, but Acer promises me its Chromebook is compliant with US Military Standard testing (MIL-STD 810G).
The Chromebook 14 has been tested to withstand up to 60kg of downward force as well as drops of up to 122cm. It has a spill-resistant keyboard, with a gutter system under the keyboard and touchpad that’s able to drain up to 330ml of liquid through the chassis and out of the base without damaging the internal components.
And the Chromebook 14’s large 14in screen – available in Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or HD (1,366 x 768) resolutions – is clad in scratch- and shatter-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. An industry first for Chromebooks.
Powering the Chromebook 14 is a sixth-generation Intel Core processor, which I didn’t get the chance to benchmark. However, the time I spent using the Chromebook 14 suggests performance won’t be an issue.
Other specifications include 16GB or 32GB of eMMC storage and either 2GB, 4GB or 8GB of dual-channel LPDDR3 RAM. A purchase of the Chromebook 14 also qualifies users for 100GB of free Google Drive storage.
The Chromebook 14 will cost €249 and will be coming to the UK in May.
Acer Chromebook 14 review: Specifications
- 6th-generation Intel Core processor
- 12-hour battery life
- 14in Full HD or HD Corning Gorilla Glass display
- Dimensions: 330.9 x 227 x 22.4mm
- Weight 1.45kg
- 16/32GB eMMC storage (100GB free Google Drive storage)
- 2/4GB dual channel LPDDR3 RAM
- 720p webcam