Google’s streamlined Chrome OS isn’t for everyone. But if you’re a fan of simplified surfing, Acer’s convertible Chromebooks are some of the best. And like festive waistlines, its line-up just expanded: Acer’s taken the wraps off a trio of brand-spanking hybrids ahead of CES 2022.
Like almost every Chromebook before them, Acer’s latest threesome won’t set your world on fire. But the fresh flip-tops should score points with students, co-workers and anyone shopping for an accessible laptop that won’t be a burden on the way to the café. Sorry, office.
Of the three new machines, the Spin 513 looks set to be the Goldilocks option. Successor to last year’s Snapdragon-powered Chromebook of the same name, the updated ultra-portable ships with an eight-core MediaTek Kompanio chip. Starting at £599 ($600), it’s convertible as before, but swaps plastic for a sturdier aluminium shell. And its 13.5in display goes all-in on productivity, aping Google’s own Pixelbook with a 3:2 aspect ratio that should make documents that much easier to manage. The only downside? A drop in battery life from 13.5 to 10 hours.
Need extra space to wrestle with spreadsheet cells? The more affordable Chromebook 315 (first seen in 2019) serves up a sizeable 15.6in screen, which can be touch-enabled as an option. Now powered by Intel silicon, the new edition is pitched squarely at suits: a wide-angle webcam promises to tackle flare, with two built-in mics to catch your dulcet tones on conference calls. That mammoth panel is also twinned with a bigger keyboard, complete with dedicated pad for crunching the numbers. Prices start at £299 ($300).
Between the two sits the Acer Chromebook 314. It costs broadly the same as the Chromebook 315 (£349 / $300) and offers a very similar set of specs: 10-hour battery life, Intel chips, a noise-tackling webcam, plus an OceanGlass touchpad crafted using waste plastic saved from the sea. The key difference is screen size: at 14in, it’s a slightly more portable productivity tool.
All three Chromebooks are set to arrive in Europe in April, before hitting US shelves in June.