Acer Chromebook 14

By | October 3, 2016

Acer Chromebook 14

 

Great Value, Great Price

The Acer Chromebook 14 is a great laptop.  I have been using it almost exclusively for a month now.  I bought it on sale after doing a lot of research on the ChromeOS and the best Chromebooks.  I wanted something that looked good, performs well and meets the needs of a light duty computer.

I am happy to say the Acer Chromebook 14 hits all those marks.  Let’s do a rundown of the features and options I really like.

First off, I won’t go deep into the Chrome OS here, that is for another review.  So this will focus on just the machine itself.chromebook_14-photogallery-04

I was looking for a nice laptop that would just get out of my way and let me do what I want to do.  I have had a string of Windows machines that lacked the ability to keep up with me on the road or do what I needed done.  I thought I got close with the Dell Inspirion 3162, a small, blue 11″ screen ultraportable.  It came close, but I was never really happy with it.  The keyboard was too small and the 2GB RAM was not enough to keep up with my demands.  I was able to get it for $150, new, so that was good.

Acer Chromebook 14

So wanting to stay around that price but find something a little more capable I was drawn to the Chromebook  it’s light, fast, great battery life, and a small price.  But which one to get?  I spent a couple of weeks researching the options, of which there are many.  I looked at a lot of reviews and started shopping the usual used sites, eBay, Craigslist, etc.  I wasn’t really finding anything I liked.  I came close to buying a Toshiba Chromebook 2, but was put off by some of the reviews about it’s build quality.

It all comes down to choice

Enter the Acer.  I stumbled across a review on PCMag.com that listed the Acer as their new favorite cheap laptop.  I like the idea of something with an HD (Full 1080p) screen and an aluminum case.  I would never spend the money for a Mac, but I have to admit, I like how they look.  The Acer seemed to be the best of both worlds.  After much more research, I pulled the trigger.  The Chromebook was on sale at my local Best Buy for $269, $30 off it’s normal price, it seemed like a great deal to me.  So far I have been right!

Acer – 14″ Chromebook – Intel Celeron – 4gb Memory – 32gb Emmc Flash Memory – Sparkly Silver

Using it in the real world

I started with bringing it to work.  My company has a Bring Your Own Device network.  Mostly for letting people check their work email on their personal phones without exposing the corporate intranet to outside devices.  So integrating a Chromebook for my needs worked well.  I spend most my day going from meeting to meeting, taking notes and making presentations.  So I don’t have a huge reliance on the internal network files.  I can store my OneNote notebook on the cloud and access it through Microsoft’s OneNote Online app.  The all day battery life, I usually get about 11 hours, of the Chromebook is perfect for me.  No more carrying a laptop and a power cord, needing to sit in the back of the conference room so I can use a plug as the day goes on.

 

What it gets right

chromebook_14-photogallery-06The keyboard is also great.  Some reviews complained about the shallow stroke of the keys, I for one like it.  I makes for quieter typing while I am taking notes in meetings.  I am able to type away without disturbing the proceedings.  The keyboard is also spacious.  I can’t type for long sessions and not have any issues with my hands cramping, which is something that bothered me with the Dell.  In fact I am typing this review on it now.  I keep reading other reviews and they always say that, so I figured I should also.

chromebook_14-photogallery-02

The screen is fantastic, the 1080p really pops and the colors look great.  I sometimes will pull super HD videos up on YouTube just to see how good the screen looks.  It has a low gloss finish so there is usually no problem with glare.  I have not tried this laptop outside yet but I doubt the screen will be any less great.  I also do some light photo editing and the clarity of the screen really helps with making those fine adjustments to darker images.

This laptop comes with a mid-range Intel Celeron processor and 4GB RAM.  On board is also 32GB of storage.  I did buy it new so I also got a free 100GB on Google Drive.  98% of the files I need or use are on a cloud somewhere.  So only having the 32GB with me is never a problem.  Most other Chromebooks have an SD Card expansion slot, this one does not.  It has not been an issue and I don’t think it really will.  I am almost never somewhere without access to WiFi.

This laptop also has two USB 3.0 ports, which makes transferring files to a USB stick a snap.  When I need to do that, again, not often.  It also has a headphone/headset jack that works great with my inline mic headphones.  I am able to use Google Hangouts video chat without any issues.

Bottom Line

All in all for the money you really can’t go wrong with the Acer Chromebook 14.  It is a great form factor, the build is excellent, it looks good and performs great.  If you have been thinking about giving ChromeOS a try, this is the laptop to do it with.
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  • Good review. I have been using the Acer 11 for a couple of years. I need to upgrade to a larger size. I have been wondering about the 14. Thanks for the info.

  • This is my first Chromebook. I have used an 11" form factor Windows laptop, and I found the keyboard to be too cramped for my uses. I type alot! Thanks for the feedback.

  • Mike, I agree, great Chromebook for a great price tag, difficult to beat in today’s competition. Your review gives a real-life feedback which is very useful.

    My concerns with this Chromebook are two-fold.

    1) the screen for some reason does not feel to be bright and crisp. I am using Dell 13 and when I compare them side by side, you can tell the difference. What are your views from your experience?

    2) How is the processor coping up with day to day working ? Is it slick and responsive or does it get a mildly sluggish when a few tabs are opened?

    Any feedback welcome. Cheers.

    • Thanks for the comment. Glad you liked the post.

      I feel the screen is crisp and the colors look good. To me, I enjoy pulling up 4k videos on Youtube to show off the great panel on this Chromebook.
      I only have my HD TV and a HD computer monitor to compare it to. I also have an HD tablet and I like the Chromebook screen better. That’s just me.

      As far as the processor, I never notice any real slow downs even with 10-15 tabs open. I usually have email and Tweetdeck running in the background and I switch around to this blog and some others that I follow. Never notice needing to wait for something to load.

      I want to try it out against some other Chromebooks. The only other one I have in the house is my daughters HP Chromebook 14 G1. And my Acer is way better.

      • Great news Mike. It is a really attractive Chromebook with such a competitive price tag. I found the reason of why I didn’t like the screen, I actually looked at the 1366 x 768 model which is not a brilliant screen especially if you are going back from a full HD. Hence my comment. I am sure the 1080P will be a good screen as you said.

        Speed wise, again, great to hear that you found it to be fast and responsive. Thanks for your feedback.