As part of its first Acer Green Day event this week, Acer has announced the first Chromebook in its eco-conscious product line-up. The Acer Chromebook Vero 514 is easy to upgrade, repair, disassemble and recycle, and it’s built with recycled materials throughout: 30 percent post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in the chassis, 50 percent PCR plastic in the keycaps, and 100 percent ocean-bound plastics on its OceanGlass touchpad surface.
Even the packaging is 90 percent recycled paper.
The exterior of this Chromebook is … unique. It’s devoid of paint and instead takes on the natural color of its build materials, or what Acer calls cobblestone gray, and there are small flecks of yellow and dark gray throughout.
The product also meets MILSTD 810H durability standards, and it can withstand drops from as high as four feet.
And I gotta say, it’s delightful. Sure, the weight (3.09 pounds) and thickness (0.81 inches) are both on the high side of normal for a 14-inch device, but the Vero exudes a certain quality that more than kind of makes that OK. It’s more laptop than Ultrabook, I guess. But the look and feel of this thing are both terrific.
The 14-inch display—made from 99 percent recycled glass, by the way—can be had in touch- and non-touch versions, and it offers a single Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution which, yes, is sadly a 16:9 aspect ratio. (It would be easy to fit a 16:10 in the available space; maybe next year.) It has an anti-glare coating, offers a decent 88 percent screen-to-body ratio, and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.
Inside, you’ll find a choice of modern 12th Gen Intel Core parts—a Core i3-1215UI, Core i5-1235U or i7-1255U processor, each with Intel Iris Xe graphics—or a lower-end and thriftier Intel Pentium Gold 8505, and it can be had with up to 16 GB of LPDDR4 RAM and up to 256 GB of PCIe Gen 3 NVMe SSD storage.
AV seems reasonable for a nicely appointed Chromebook, with a Full HD webcam with a privacy switch, and DTS audio, and should meet your basic hybrid meeting needs. And connectivity is excellent, with Wi-Fi 6E.
Connectivity is minimal, with one USB-C port, one full-sized HDMI video out port, and a combo headphone/microphone jack on the left and a second USB-C port and USB-A 3.2 port on the right alongside a lock slot.
For security, there is a small and thin fingerprint reader on the right side of the wrist rest that seems to work quickly and accurately in early testing.
The keyboard is the standard Chromebook part we see everywhere, and the glass touchpad has a nice feel.
The initial retail configuration features a 14-inch non-touch display, an Intel Core i3 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of SSD storage. It’s expected to ship in the U.S. in October for $499.99 before heading to EMEA and other markets.