Acer Chromebook 314 (2020, CB314-1H-C34N) Review

Kenny Trinh Updated on October 7, 2020
Acer Chromebook 314 (2020, CB314-1H-C34N) Review

Editor’s Rating: 9 / 10

A great Chromebook with a solid 14-inch display, good performance, and a decent design.

Acer Chromebook 314
A Chromebook doesn’ always have to be ugly and clunky, and this is what the Acer Chromebook 314 delivers. It’s stylish and sleek design makes it more like a premium laptop than a typical Chromebook. It also provides decent specs, making it an ideal Chromebook for students looking to have a good-looking device that they can also rely on when it comes to performing school tasks and lasting for an entire day. But the stylish design comes at the cost of the usual compactness and durability of Chromebooks, making you question if it can withstand the typical bumps and bruises. Audio also needs a bit of improvement and, as typical of a budget laptop, it lacks the necessary bells and whistles like a backlit keyboard or fingerprint scanner.

The Good

A 14-inch Chromebook with a decent design. It also features a screen with crisp and bright images, good battery life, and a CPU that’s powerful enough for daily school or work activities.

The Bad

The stylish design has some drawbacks as this model is not the most durable Chromebook available. The device’s audio quality could also be improved and don’t expect a device with all the usual bells and whistles of a laptop.

Detailed Review of Acer Chromebook 314 (2020, CB314-1H-C34N)

Chromebooks are not usually known for having a stylish design.

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(Image Credit: Acer)

But that all changed with the Acer Chromebook 314. It’s a sleek-looking device that you would even mistake for a Windows laptop if it weren’t for the Chrome logo. But aside from a good design, this model also offers decent power, good features, and still maintains its affordable price tag.

Of course, there are still some issues with this great laptop, particularly its durability. The budget price tag also means that this device would lack the usual features a regular laptop on a higher price range would offer.

Acer Chromebook 314 Configuration In Review

Processor: Intel Celeron N4000 (up to 2.6GHz) | RAM: 4GB LPDDR4 | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Graphics: Intel UHD 600 | Display: 14” HD touch screen 1366 x 768 pixels resolution | Operating System: Chrome OS | Battery Life: 12 Hours | Weight: 3.75 lbs | Other Features: HD Webcam with Super High Dynamic Range

Sleek And Stylish Design

Let’s take a look at what the Acer Chromebook 314 has to offer, starting with its design.

Right off the bat, you will see this is no ordinary-looking Chromebook. The unit we reviewed is covered in a metallic silver matte finish which is elegant and makes this device look more like a small laptop than a Chromebook.

The lid has a simplistic design with the Acer logo placed on the middle left side of the device and the Chrome logo at the top left. It adds to the device’s overall sleek-looking appearance. Opening the lid and you will be greeted with the same metallic silver matte finish on the deck and black keyboards, making the device look more premium.

Behind the lid are the 14-inch display with thin black bezels on the side and a medium-sized bezel at the top that houses the HD webcam. The webcam is well-placed and it’s hardly visible on the bezel. At the bottom is a thick bezel at the bottom with the Acer logo.

…one of the best looking Chromebook that you can buy right now…

It’s one of the best looking Chromebook that you can buy right now. Of course, great design will also come at a price. Chromebooks are mostly known as durable devices because of how compact and well-built they look.

The Acer Chromebook 314 is well-built, but it lacks the compactness that you usually see in Chromebooks. The plastic chassis used also seems a little weak, which can make you question if this device can handle the daily wear and tear.

It’s not alarming, but it could make you think twice about getting this Chromebook, especially if it’s a laptop that you will give to kids.

A Feature-Rich Device With Great Display

Aside from a sleek-looking device, the Acer Chromebook 314 also has great features, including having a great display.

The device we reviewed features a 14-inch HD touch screen with 1366 x 768 resolution. There’s also a no-touch screen model, as well as a model that offers 1920 x 1080 resolution.

Despite the model offering a full HD display, the screen still produced sharp and crisp images with good color saturation. We were also surprised at how bright the screen is, making it a great device to watch movies and videos on.

The large screen also makes it easier to rearrange apps on the desktop for a more convenient way of accessing them later. The touch screen is also responsive and accurate and it didn’t encounter any issues when we were using multiple fingers.

The screen also has Acer’s ComfyView tech, which means it has an anti-glare. The lack of IPS on the display, though, makes it harder to view the screen at different angles.

The keyboards are also comfortable, providing great feedback with its clicky feel. It doesn’t feature backlit keyboards, though, so typing in the dark might be harder. The touchpad also functions well and we didn’t experience any problems when we performed various commands and gestures on it.

The Acer Chromebook 314 also features two-built in speakers that are located at the bottom panel. The sound quality is not good, as the bass is absent and it can sometimes sound echoey. Loudness is decent, but don’t expect it to fill a medium-sized room.

Overall you’re better off using external speakers if you want great sounds. The available ports are also decent, as this device has two USB3.1 Gen 1 Type-A and Type-Cs available (one on each side), a MicroSD reader and headphone jack on the right side, and a Kensington lock on the left.

The device also has a built-in microphone, as well as an HD Webcam that supports Super High Dynamic Range. Despite Acer’s HD claims, the images and video on the webcam do appear a bit grainy.

Don’t try using it in dark rooms as well as it can’t provide good images unless the room is well lit. At best, it’s a serviceable webcam.

Decent Power And Long-Lasting Battery Life

The Acer Chromebook 314 also offers decent power with excellent battery life.

It’s powered by the Intel Celeron N4000 that can clock in at up to 2.6GHz. It’s also equipped with 4 GB of LPDDR RAM and 64GB eMMC storage. It’s not the most powerful Chromebook available, but the specs can provide decent performance.

…get a day’s worth of work on this device plus plenty of battery left for other stuff after…

The Chromebook 314 easily handled most of the usual tasks that students or workers do. This includes writing and editing documents, browsing the net, working on spreadsheets, and more. 

Multitasking is also not an issue, as long as it isn’t intensive. The device was able to handle having 3 Chrome tabs open for research while working on a document. You can even stream Netflix while working, but you should decrease the number of tabs open to avoid lagging.

The 64GB storage is decent but Google also prefers that you store files on their cloud. Google offers 100GB of free Google Drive space where you can store all of your files in so you won’t use too much space on your device.

The device also features an Intel UHD 600 graphics card, which provides you with a decent card to run apps or programs that are a bit graphic-intensive. But don’t expect the device to play the latest game titles or even run programs that are demanding.

Where the Acer Chromebook 314 shines the most, though, is in its battery life. The device we reviewed lasted for about 12 hours and 5 minutes from a single charge. It fell 25 minutes short from the advertised 12.5-hour battery life, but it’s still good.

We tested the device with 50% brightness and 100% volume and performing various daily tasks like working on documents and even having several browser tabs open. It’s actually possible to even surpass the 12.5-hour battery life if you lower the settings a bit to optimize it more for battery performance.

Still, the battery life of the Acer Chromebook 314 is great. You will get a day’s worth of work on this device plus plenty of battery left for other stuff after.

Critic Reviews

TechRadar: Rating 4.5 / 5

The Acer Chromebook 314 offers excellent value for money given its price point, size, and performance. If you’re looking for a good size laptop-esque Chromebook in the 14-inch range that is easy to use, reliable, and has a wonderful screen and battery life combo, then this is it. The Acer Chromebook 314 is comfortable in its own skin, knows its limitations and capabilities, striking a great balance between design, usability, features, battery life, and performance. 

Tech Advisor: Rating 4 / 5

Chromebook prices have been creeping up recently, along with most tech, so it’s good to see the Acer Chromebook 314 return to the formula that initially made them so appealing: cheap and useful. There’s little in the way of bells and whistles on this device, the webcam is serviceable at best, plus the HD display and audio are perfunctory. But, performance is solid, the device itself is lightweight and comfortable to use, battery life is excellent and it’s a very capable platform if you’re happy to use Google apps.

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(Image Credit: Acer)

Buy It If…

This is a stylish looking Chromebook. But more than its sleek appearance, this great Chromebook also delivers on performance with decent CPU and solid specs, making it a great and affordable laptop that is perfect for students that need a device for most of their school tasks, while still having the juice to be used for entertainment after.

Don’t Buy It If…

The stylish design of this Chromebook comes at the price of durability and compactness. This might not be a good device to get if you prefer a model that can survive the daily bumps and bruises, especially if it’s a laptop for kids. You also might want to look elsewhere if you want a laptop with good built-in speakers.

Acer Chromebook 314 (2020, CB314-1H-C34N) Alternatives

The great thing about the Chromebook market is that there are plenty of options available in case this model is not what you’re looking for. Here are some of the devices we recommend as alternatives:

Verdict

Acer Chromebook 314
A Chromebook doesn’ always have to be ugly and clunky, and this is what the Acer Chromebook 314 delivers. It’s stylish and sleek design makes it more like a premium laptop than a typical Chromebook. It also provides decent specs, making it an ideal Chromebook for students looking to have a good-looking device that they can also rely on when it comes to performing school tasks and lasting for an entire day. But the stylish design comes at the cost of the usual compactness and durability of Chromebooks, making you question if it can withstand the typical bumps and bruises. Audio also needs a bit of improvement and, as typical of a budget laptop, it lacks the necessary bells and whistles like a backlit keyboard or fingerprint scanner.

If you are looking for a Windows laptop that’s also affordable, we researched and tested various models to come up with a list of the best budget laptops that are available right now.

Kenny Trinh
Article by:
Kenny Trinh
Editor @ Netbooknews. While he’s not editing articles on the latest tech trends, he likes to discuss business and entrepreneur tips and tricks which featured Forbes and other places.

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