In terms of specifications, This particular model has a quad core Intel Celeron N3160 to be found that’s clocked at 1.6 GHz with a turbo boost up to 2.24 GHz. There’s 4GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC flash storage on-board that I’ve found rather fast – having used it on a daily basis.
It has Bluetooth 4.2, and an extremely fast internet speed to that allows you to browse the web very quickly. Unfortunately some Bluetooth devices are not compatible and cannot be connected to the laptop such as my Logitec MX Master 2S mouse, but my Anker headphones are – check out my review linked below in the description.
The 720p camera is usable but it’s certainly not recommended to be used for any sort of conference talks. The overall quality of the video isn’t great, but the microphone is fine.
The stereo speakers are faced downwards which means that it can be very easily covered by your lap or small objects on a desk – but when it’s not covered, it’s decent for the price and you can get some okay performance out of it for consuming content.
Let’s talk software. Here I am running the latest ChromeOS that’s currently available for this device – including the Google Play Store. What you see in front of you is with Developer Mode enabled, however the Public Mode that it comes with looks the same. I’ve enabled developer mode to put ubuntu alongside my laptop as mentioned previously, which worked OK for most of the times – but it would provide slow loading times and sometimes close down applications out of the blue – but overall, I can’t really complain as everything worked as it was supposed to.
ChromeOS itself has nothing too fancy in it. I would go as far as comparing the experience to a toned down MacBook that only offers the essentials, but it does so by doing it very well. While this can’t really play and work with all applications from the PlayStore, there is a long list of software that work and can make you even replace your Windows computer for the better. Google has worked hard on making Chromebooks more usable while spending time offline, and it has gotten really good – but not to the level where I’d recommend it for users who are more advanced and require a lot of work to be done – at least not on ChromeOS but maybe with Ubuntu alongside it.
The performance is everything you can expect from a Chromebook at this price range. It boots up in the matter of seconds and it runs okay-ish. I experienced a few slowdowns here and there, but usually after running the laptop for 10 or more minutes, the performance became a lot better and much smoother.
I think it’s worth mentioning that I’m the kind of person that always has, on average at least 50 tabs open in Chrome – so having used this Chromebook with between 5-15 tabs open in the background, I can’t complain about the performance. It slowed down a little at certain times, but I’d say it was totally usable up to 10-12 tabs, depending on what was displayed of course.
When watching a few videos here and there on Full HD resolution, sometimes the video was sluggish for a couple seconds – but luckily that has only happened a few times during my usage.
Using this Chromebook as a student myself, it has allowed me to keep my larger, heavier Dell Inspiron 7577 at home and pack this in my backpack when I went to university. It was a joy to use during lectures as it was compact, quiet and powerful for my needs – not the fastest, but I was even able to use a few programming software on it. Check out my Dell Inspiron 7577 Review, linked in the description down below!
Now, using programs like Visual Code or Eclipse is not something you can run on a Chromebook, and that’s why I’ve installed Ubuntu alongside ChromeOS. As I’ve come to find out, Ubuntu is mostly fully functional – even if not the fastest – on this particular ChromeBook, and there are plenty bugs to be found – such as: when using anything in Ubuntu, at times, some or all programs may close themselves down for no reason. Therefore, compatibility is certainly an issue, but I can assure you that it’s a good little device to carry if you’re a student at a university or college and even maybe for work.
In terms of battery, when I only used ChromeOS I would get 7-9 hours of use out of this device by browsing the web and maybe using a few Android applications here and there. However while using ChromeOS and Ubuntu, I would only get between 6-8 hours, depending on what would be running on the computer and for how long. I’ve noticed that when I’ve left ubuntu open, it would still make the computer go to sleep and hibernate when closed down, but would drastically drain more battery – roughly 10-20% more in the background while not in use. After I’ve learned my lesson, I always made sure to power and close down ubuntu and I would get a consistent 6-8 hours of use while using Ubuntu and ChromeOS.
I feel like this Acer Chromebook is aimed at not only students, elderly people and those who want an affordable device – but pretty much everyone. It allows everyone to keep themselves entertained and allow them to get some work done while being on-the-go. Sure, more advanced people might laugh at me when I say this, but ChromeOS and its features have gotten so much better over the years that it’s now worth thinking about it.
This Acer Chromebook pretty much excels at everything. It has a great aluminium design that’s lightweight, thin and very compact. It has a Full HD display that allows you to watch movies and multitask just like you would on any other laptop or computer. It has a decent performance – and while not class leading – it will definitely allow you to get some work done or to have some relaxing time watching Netflix. The battery will definitely allow you to go through a full workday without charging it – that is, if you don’t install a Linux operating system alongside ChromeOS.
What are your thoughts about the Acer 14 Chromebook? Do you own one? What are your experiences with it? Let us know in the comments down below!