Acer’s AMD-powered Chromebook Spin 514 aims to revolutionize Chromebooks

Acer Chromebook Spin 514
(Image credit: Acer)

At this year’s virtual CES 2021 event, Acer has announced the new Acer Chromebook Spin 514, which is the company’s first Chromebook to come with AMD Ryzen 3000 mobile processors, along with AMD Radeon graphics.

Chromebooks are usually low-powered yet affordable laptops designed for fairly basic tasks, but the new Chromebook Spin 514 looks like it could challenge that assumption, with some impressive power that Acer promises will offer improved performance for anyone who's working or studying from home.

With the global Covid pandemic still sadly with us (which is why this year’s CES event is online-only), a huge number of people are now working and studying from home, and Acer seems to be targeting them with its new release.

That means making a Chromebook that's capable of handling more demanding tasks, such as multitasking apps and steaming media, without compromising what makes Chromebooks so popular – namely low prices and long battery lives.

Powered by AMD

The new Chromebook Spin 514 is the first Chromebook from Acer to use AMD’s Ryzen CPUs, specifically the quad-core Ryzen 7 3700C Processor, which comes with an integrated AMD Radeon GPU which Acer claims is “the best graphics available in an AMD-powered Chromebook”.

With more people working from home, and demanding more from their Chromebooks, it looks like Acer is trying to win over new customers with a more powerful Chromebook than we're used to, and to that end the Spin 514 comes with up to 16GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB storage.

However, it still promises 10 hours of battery life, and weighs just 1.55kg (3.42 pounds). It has a military-grade durable metal chassis to keep it protected from knocks and drops (from up to 122cm/48 inches), so you shouldn’t have any concerns about tossing it in a bag and carrying it around with you.

As with all of Acer’s Spin devices, the Chromebook Spin 514 is a convertible device, which means its 14-inch 1080p screen can be folded back, turning it into a tablet-like device.

Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514

Acer has also unveiled an enterprise version of the new Chromebook aimed at business users, which comes with advanced security, productivity and admin features, and which can be administered remotely thanks to web-based tools.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 will launch in February in the US priced at $479.99, and in the UK in March priced at £499. The Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514 will launch in the US and UK in March, priced at $749.99 / £599 – we've yet to get confirmation of Australian pricing and launch dates.

We’ll hopefully be getting the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 in for review soon, so we'll be able to see just how revolutionary this new device is.

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Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.