As the Chromebook market continues to evolve and mature, we’re going to keep having videos like this more and more often. You see, sometimes the intrigue in a device is less about what’s on the outside, and far more about what’s on the inside. Such is the case with the new Acer Chromebook 514. On the outside, there’s not much that sets this Chromebook apart from the pack. But dig under the surface and you’ll find the world’s first taste of the new, mid-range, Kompanio 828 SoC from MediaTek, and that – at this point in 2022, anyway – is definitely worth your attention.
We had our hands on an early build of a high-end MediaTek Kompanio 1380-powered Chromebook in the upcoming Acer Chromebook Spin 513 earlier in the year, and that SoC was very, very impressive. While we still can’t share benchmarks on it, the Kompanio 1380 was clearly a very fast ARM processor that has us all very excited for the future of ARM-based Chromebooks as we move into the heart of 2022.
This Kompanio 828, on the other hand, is an SoC meant to compete more with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2 that we find in devices like the excellent Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5. What we’ve been most interested in checking out is what sort of performance the 828 would be capable of. With the Snapdragon 7c Gen 2, we’ve all been happy with the crazy-long battery life paired with pretty solid, usable performance in very slim devices. So how does this competitor from MediaTek do?
Performance good enough for most
The good news is, the Kompanio 828 is fast enough for most users for most tasks. With an Octane score of roughly 26,000, the Kompanio 828 isn’t going to break any speed records, but it also isn’t going to get in its own way, either. Specifically in the Acer Chromebook 514 we’re testing, this processor gets paired with 8GB of RAM and up to 64GB of internal storage, making it a very reasonable option for students, professionals and everyone in between. Since unboxing this Chromebook, I’ve been using it at home for the past few days and performance hasn’t been an issue in the least.
What’s on the outside matters, too
Though the standout feature on this Chromebook is the processor, there are some other niceties on board that make it a compelling package. The thin/light body is great (7.1mm thin and just under 3 pounds), the 14-inch IPS display (touch and non-touch variations) is solid, and the backlit keyboard is really nice to type on. Sure, bottom half of this Chromebook is plastic, but it feels well made and isn’t super flimsy in the hand with its aluminum lid. Oh, and the all-glass trackpad is smooth with a very satisfying click mechanism.
Port selection is good, too, with a USB Type C on each side, a USB Type A port and headphone/mic jack. Wireless connectivity looks solid as well with the MediaTek Kompanio 828 supporting Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6. And then there are the battery stats that, as we expect, are pretty wild. Acer touts 15 hours of battery and their internal benchmarks show 19.5 hours on a video playback test and roughly 15 hours of use when doing tasks like web browsing.
Clearly, we need to fully review this device to see how the processor actually holds up in real life use, but what I’ve seen so far is impressive. While this isn’t the most impressive Chromebook on the outside, the main needs for most users are met and if the battery life and performance can measure up to what we’re expecting, this could be a great device for a lot of users. We’ll know more when the review process wraps up soon.