Acer unleashes world’s first gaming Chromebook

Acer Chromebook 516 GE on a desk
(Image credit: Acer)

Acer has revealed a gaming-focused Chromebook which uses the power of the cloud to provide on-the-go games playing.

The Acer Chromebook 516 GE packs an Intel Alder Lake processor – up to Core i7 models (P series) – and that’s backed with 16GB of RAM (LPDDR4X) and up to a 256GB PCIe SSD for storage.

Running games will be facilitated by cloud gaming services, and that includes support for Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, and the Xbox Cloud Gaming product (still in beta).

One of the crucial elements will be the display, and Acer has equipped this Chromebook with a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution IPS panel (boasting 100% coverage of the sRGB color gamut), plus it offers a 120Hz refresh rate (so can support frame rates of up to 120 fps).

Gamers also get the benefit of a backlit RGB keyboard that has anti-ghosting tech, and DTS audio is on-board too.

Acer claims a battery longevity of nine hours, but obviously take that with some caution, as battery life can vary considerably depending on a number of factors.

The Chromebook 516 GE is coming out in October in the US where pricing will start at $650. It’ll arrive in Europe in December at €999, with the gaming laptop hitting the UK in Q1 of next year (hopefully January) starting at £849.

Acer Chromebook 516 GE front-on

(Image credit: Acer)

Analysis: Trading one set of demands for another

Naturally, any Chromebook can be a gaming laptop leveraging the power of the cloud – as the whole point is that makes the hardware irrelevant, to a point – but of course, there are other elements to a good gaming notebook. Such as the quality of the screen, and the inclusion of an impressive backlit keyboard and so forth, as Acer has packed in here.

This could be an interesting option for some, then, in terms of a relatively affordable gaming laptop – though the UK price looks disappointing compared to the US, we have to say. And you are trading out the demands on the hardware (like the requirement for a powerful GPU) to rely on the strength of your internet connection instead, as ever with cloud gaming.

Also, don’t forget to factor in the cost of subscribing to a cloud gaming offering, too. Although the good news on that front is you do get a free 3-month trial of GeForce Now and Luna with the laptop, to give them both a whirl.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).