Home Tech Acer’s Chromebook Plus Spin 714 is a premium laptop at a reasonable price

Acer’s Chromebook Plus Spin 714 is a premium laptop at a reasonable price

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Two close-up views of the gold hinges of a laptop that can be folded back into a tablet position

Google Chrome working The system has officially jumped on the AI ​​bandwagon and Chromebook makers marked the occasion with a new batch of laptops. One of the latest is the Acer Chromebook Plus Spin 714, which aims for a premium laptop experience without a premium price (by laptop standards). But at $699, it’s still well above the budget niche that Chromebooks have traditionally occupied.

The Chromebook Plus Spin 714 is an update to Acer’s previous non-Plus Spin 714 model (which is still available) and inherits a lot from its predecessor. The overall look of the laptop is the same, which is good. The biggest difference from the Chromebook Plus Spin 714 (CP714-1H-54UB) model that Acer provided for this review is the upgrade to the new Intel Core Ultra 5 115U processor, which is as fast as the Core i5-1335U chip found in the previous generation.

You get 8GB of RAM to handle your tasks and the storage is backed by a 256GB NVMe solid state drive, which is fast enough that you never have to worry about the laptop slowing down when transferring files. Together, this creates a combination of hardware that easily handles the lightweight ChromeOS operating system, although you may find the storage a little claustrophobic if you work with a lot of photos and videos.

Where this hardware shines is with the new artificial intelligence tools built into ChromeOS. The Chromebook Plus Spin 714 easily handled Google Photos’ Magic Editor, allowing me to delete, resize, and move objects in photos in a matter of seconds. The same goes for the new generative AI features for wallpapers and video call backgrounds. Simply enter a message with a few predefined parameters and ChromeOS will create a high-resolution image for you to use in any situation. I don’t know how useful video backgrounds are beyond the initial novelty, but I find myself using the wallpaper generator frequently.

None of these functions work very quickly on this Spin 714, but you only have to wait a few seconds; It’s not painful. We’re still a long way from instant gratification with AI processing, especially on a $699 laptop, but I never felt like the Chromebook Plus Spin 714 struggled to keep up.

Photography: Daniel Thorp-Lancaster

In terms of style, this Acer looks better than its price suggests, with the sleek aluminum exterior and gold accents adding an air of luxury to the overall presentation. It’s well built and the screen hinges are noticeably stiff (in a good way). Acer’s attention to detail with the keyboard also stands out. The keys are located in a slight recess to place them at the same height as the surrounding chassis, preventing them from touching the screen and leaving fingerprints when the lid is closed. It’s a nice touch that eliminates one of the biggest drawbacks of a glossy touchscreen.

As for the keyboard itself, it is pleasant to type on for hours on end. The keys have good travel and feel agile with each press. They’re also backlit, so you won’t have a hard time touch typing in the dark. The trackpad is a little smaller than I would like, but it is responsive.

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