- Acer launched a trio of new Chromebooks at CES 2022, with updated CPU options from Mediatek and Intel.
- The flagship model is a premium 13.5-inch convertible, powered by Mediatek’s Kompanio 1380 computer chip.
- Prices for the new Chromebooks start from $299.
Acer unveiled three new Chromebooks at CES 2022, updating its existing mid-range and premium portfolio with the latest chips from Intel and Mediatek. Notably, the most powerful model of the trio is powered by Mediatek’s Kompanio 1380 processor.
While we’ve seen several Chromebooks with Mediatek processors so far, they’ve all traded performance for a lower price — mostly targeting the market below $400. The updated Acer Chromebook Spin 513 seems to be an exception and is one of those. the first to use Mediatek’s performance processors.
Related: The best Acer Chromebook for your needs
Acer Chromebook Spin 513: a premium Mediatek offering
As the name suggests, the Spin 513 is Acer’s convertible Chromebook offering. At just 1.29kg (~2.8lbs), it’s a fairly lightweight machine – probably helped by the aluminum body that Acer also says is MIL-STD 810H rated.
In our review of last year’s Spin 513, we lamented Acer’s decision to include a 16:9 display rather than a larger aspect ratio that would be better suited to productivity. This time we get a larger 13.5-inch, 3:2 display with a resolution of 2,256 x 1,504. That’s about 18% more vertical real estate compared to a standard 16:9 screen, according to Acer.
As we mentioned earlier, the star of the show is the processor of the Spin 513. Given its position in the 1000 series, the Mediatek Kompanio 1380 should be a significant step forward over the Kompanio 828 and 500 that can be found. are in older Chromebooks. Until recently, the latter was mostly common in budget models, including the ever-popular Lenovo Chromebook Duet.
read more: The best Chromebooks money can buy
Notably, this is the first time we’re hearing of the Kompanio 1380. Mediatek launched the Kompanio 1200 and 1300T as premium processors last year, but we haven’t seen any devices using these chips. Assuming the Kompanio 1380 has the same heritage, it could have Cortex-A78 performance cores and provide enough performance to compete with similarly priced Intel and Qualcomm-powered Chromebooks. On the downside, the Spin 513 comes with a paltry 32GB of eMMC storage on the base model and tops out at 128GB.
As for the price, the Spin 513 isn’t exactly budget-friendly, probably due to its improved build and internals. It will go on sale in the US in June 2022, starting at $599. European availability will start earlier in April, but expect a minimum of €649 (~$735).
Acer Chromebook 315: Doing Business Cheap
Acer’s updates to the business Chromebook 315 aren’t quite as groundbreaking, but they still help keep it up to modern standards. The screen resolution is now 1,920 x 1,080 across the board and the storage starts at 64GB instead of 32GB. There are also newer Intel Jasper Lake Celeron and Pentium chips to choose from — a welcome upgrade over the 2018-era Gemini Lake processors found in previous-generation models.
The Chromebook 315 also features a wide-angle, “flare-reducing” webcam and two microphones. The company says those microphones should come in handy for video conferencing. In terms of connectivity, you get two USB-C Gen 2 ports, a microSD card slot and Wi-Fi 6. Again, it comes in at just 128GB of eMMC storage and 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM. It’s a little heavy at 1.6kg (~3.5lbs), but packs everything you’d want from a business laptop, including a dedicated numeric keypad and a large 15.6-inch display.
Also see: The Best Chromebook Accessories
Acer has priced the Chromebook 315 fairly competitively. In the US, it starts at $299 and goes on sale later this month. European customers will have to wait until the end of Q1 2022, when it will go on sale starting at €399 (~$452).
Acer Chromebook 314: a portable clamshell for students
Acer says the Chromebook 314 is aimed entirely at students. On paper, it looks identical to the Chromebook 315. The two main exceptions are the smaller 14-inch screen and a keyboard without a numeric keypad. On the plus side, the smaller form factor means it’s lighter than the Chromebook 315 at 1.45kg (~3.2lbs). It also includes a pair of upward-firing, DTS-tuned speakers.
The Chromebook 314 offers the same trio of Intel Jasper Lake processors as the 315, ranging from the dual-core Celeron N4500 to the quad-core Pentium Silver N6000 at the top end. Storage and memory options also look identical, with up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 64 or 128GB of eMMC storage. It also retains the dual microphones, flare-reducing webcam, and microSD slot.
Also see: The best Chromebooks for students
The Chromebook 314 will go on sale in North America from June 2022 with a starting price of $299. European pricing starts at €369 (~$418), with availability slated for April.