This is one of the devices we’ve been very, very eagerly awaiting. Powered by a previously-unknown MediaTek Kompanio 1380 SoC, this device is ready to be the first MediaTek Kompanio-powered Chromebook that sits closer to the higher-end of the market. In case you weren’t up to speed, MediaTek has three tiers of SoCs for Chromebooks – Kompanio 500, 800 and 1000 series – and we’ve not had hands on anything above the 500 series that comes in devices like the original Lenovo Chromebook Duet.
Acer did announce a Kompanio 800 series Chromebook at their last press event, but we’ve yet to actually have hands on with that device. Though we aren’t in Las Vegas this week thanks to the Omicron variant, we’ll get our hands on this latest Acer Chromebook by the end of the week so we can give you all some real impressions of what this new, higher-powered chipset is capable of.
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
The Chromebook housing these new internals will be called the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 and will look very much unlike the last Spin 513 that came with the Snapdragon 7c processor inside. This year’s Spin 513 will be far more upscale and come with some great features like the same 13.5-inch 3:2 1156×1504 screen we see on the excellent Spin 713. Along with that processor and high-res screen, Acer is stating that the convertible will feature MIL-STD 810H durability, have upward-firing speakers with DTS Audio, and top-firing microphones for solid video calls as well.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 will start at $599, but that looks to come with 4GB of RAM and likely 32GB of storage. We are hopeful that the model with 8GB of RAM and the ‘up to 128GB of storage’ won’t balloon the price too much, but we don’t know those details right now. This one won’t be hitting shelves until June, though, so there is plenty of time for those numbers to get ironed out before then.
Acer Chromebook 315/314
Along with this device, Acer has also announced a new, affordable 15-inch and 14-inch Chromebooks to add to their portfolio in the Acer Chromebook 315 and 314 respectively. These are both simple clamshell Chromebooks that will come with the latest small-core Intel processors (Celeron N4500, N5100, or N6000), 15.6-inch or 14-inch IPS displays (touch and non-touch options), and a dedicated numeric keypad on the 315.
Also notable is the addition of a wide-angle HDR webcam for both models that should make for far better video calls for students and employees as well. With DTS audio on board and Acer’s eco-friendly ‘Ocean Glass’ trackpads that are made of recycled ocean plastic and feel like glass, these devices should be outfitted quite well for the standard Chromebook experience. With the starting price of $299/€399 for the 315 and $299/€369 for the 314, look for the Acer Chromebook 315 to land in the US in January and the EMEA in April. The Chromebook 314 won’t arrive in the US until June and will hit the EMEA in April as well.
Overall, I think all three of these Chromebooks will add some great options from Acer in 2022 along with the other 3 Chromebooks they announced back in October at their global press event. Obviously, the one we’re most excited for is the Spin 513 with the Kompanio 1380 inside. This Chromebook and others like it that arrive in 2022 could be game-changing devices with high-performance ARM chips inside. It goes without saying that we are very, very eager to get one in the office later this week for some initial impressions. Stay tuned for more from CES 2022.