Acer Chromebook 514 

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A Chromebook can do a lot of the things that a Microsoft Windows Laptop can do however they normally cost less money. This is a ‘Touch’ version so assuming what you want is available in a Chrome App then this offering may suit your needs.

Acer Chromebook 14 CB514 1HT
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You will need a Gmail or Google account and very little more, early Chromebooks required Internet access to do most things as there was little internal memory this is no longer the case so if you are working on a series of document offline it’s OK.

So basically if your requirements are email, word processing and web access then this certainly ticks all the boxes.

It is 31.5x22.5x1.5cm and weighs 1356grams. The viewable screen is 30.5x17.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 14inches. Unlike most PC screens you decide the resolution – dependant on your eyesight – going from tiny to huge. Tiny is 2194x1234 through a range of pixel sizes to 665x1182. The default called 100% is 1536x864.

You get a Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage with around 21GB available, these figures are small by PC Notebook standards but external cards and hard drives can give you more.

The keyboard is 85 keys with the alpha and numeric ones being full size. Unlike a PC that shows alpha keys as upper case the Chromebook one shows them as lower case, there are no function keys.

There is 3.5cm clear behind the keyboard, 2.5cm clear either side and 9.5cm clear in front. There is 10.5cm clear to the left of the trackpad and 9.5cm clear to the right. The trackpad is 10.5x7.7cm.

The connections are on the left side a USB ‘C’ this is also the charging port for the lead supplied, USB3, Micro SD and 3.5mm headphone socket. The front is clear. The right side has USB3, USB ‘C’ and Kensington Lock port. The rear is clear as the back goes back to 185 degrees. The base has 1.5cm square feet in each corner and a pair of speaker with good sound output levels.

Open the lid and the Chromebook turns on you then either enter your Gmail/Google account or sign up for one.

The bar at the base of the screen has something called Launcher on the left, the four default icons in the centre these are Chrome, Gmail, YouTube and Documents. The right side has keyboard, Wi-Fi, battery state and Clock, this area also allows access to Settings.

Bootup is around 18 seconds and shutdown is around three seconds.

So if the Google Store has everything you need then I do not see why this should not be your work machine. However if you need things that are not in there then maybe not.

Brightness and Contrast are excellent, sound quality from the speakers in the base are better than that found in a lot of Notebooks.

Touch can be useful and on a PC Notebook carries a premium.

Gmail can collect emails from its own and other Email accounts, Chrome is one of the major web search engines and just as useable as on a PC. A lot of people spend a great deal of time on YouTube and having it as a default App means instant access.

The Acer Chromebook 514 is currently available from the Acer link below for £369.99 with a 15% discount. It's also available from Amazon, currently priced at £414.95.

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OverallAcer Chromebook 514 rated 84 out of 100

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