Acer debuted a trio of affordable Chromebooks on the eve of CES 2022, pairing them with an intriguing National Geographic-branded laptop that won’t be available to North American consumers, unfortunately.
Of the three Google-powered laptops, the Acer Chromebook 315 (the CB315-4H/T) appears to offer the best value. At $299.99, it offers a large 15.6-inch 1080p display paired with the “Jasper Lake” Celeron N-series and Pentium Silver processors Intel launched last January. With up to 8GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of eMMC storage, there’s ample memory and local storage for most needs, too.
The Acer Chromebook 314 appears to offer a bit less for its identical $299.99 price tag, with a 14-inch 1080p screen instead. Though slightly lighter (3.2 pounds versus 3.5 pounds) the Chromebook 314’s specifications are otherwise identical, with the same processor, memory, and storage options as the Chromebook 315. The 314 will also be available earlier than the 315, with a January release date. The Chromebook 315 will ship in June, Acer said.
Acer has, however, offered a more robust Chromebook option for those who need it: the Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H), available this June for $599.99. Here, Acer chose the little-known MediaTek Kompanio 1380 CPU, which appears to be a member of Mediatek’s Kompanio 1300T family of Chromebook processors. Mediatek’s Kompanio 1300T is a high-end Arm processor, sporting four Cortex A78 performance cores and four Cortex-A55 efficiency cores; Mediatek boasted that they could be up to 46 percent faster than Intel’s Jasper Lake cores. Whether or not that’s literally true, Acer’s betting on the Spin 513 offering flagship Chromebook performance for what appears to be an affordable price.
The Spin 513 offers a smaller 13.5-inch screen, however, though with more resolution than expected: 2256×1504. Inside you’ll find up to 8GB LPDDR4X memory, plus options for 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of memory.
Acer Aspire Vero National Geographic Edition
Finally, Acer announced the Aspire Vero National Geographic Edition, a member of the eco-friendly Aspire Vero lineup that earned a decent PCWorld review. Acer’s using the same emphasis on post-recycled plastic (30 percent, in this case) and combining with prominent National Geographic branding that uses pigment dots, not paint. Acer even designed the inner packaging as a multipurpose box, and the inner partition can be used as a laptop stand.
Perhaps more importantly, Acer designed the new National Geographic laptop to be explicitly upgradable, with Philips screws in the bottom to allow consumers to upgrade the memory and SSD. The laptop offers Intel’s 11th-gen Core processors and Windows 11. Unfortunately, the National Geographic laptop will only be offered in France and China, for 899 euros and 5,499 RMB, respectively.
As PCWorld’s senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.