When Acer debuted the new Chromebook 514, I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation that the company would place in my hands a true and worthy successor to my beloved Chromebook 14 (Edgar). On paper, they did just that. Unfortunately, spec sheets do not the machine make. Apart from a few, minor nits about the build, the Acer Chromebook 514 failed to deliver in the area of performance thanks to the anemic nature of the Apollo Lake processors that powered it. Even the Pentium N4200 presented lack-luster benchmarks that failed to produce a smooth, useable workflow. Alas, in the words of the great philosopher Morpheus, “I dreamed a dream . . . but now that dream is gone from me”.
However, today is a new day and Acer is still pumping out new Chromebooks, and last year, the company launched the budget-centric Chromebook 314. While it wasn’t really on my radar as a replacement for my aging Chromebook 14, a recent refresh has presented a new model that could be a formidable device for even the power user. Upon release, the Acer 314 housed the first-gen Gemini Lake Celeron and Pentium processors. The CPUs boast significant performance boosts for the previous Apollo Lake chips and honestly, are powerful enough for most everyday users. Still, they aren’t in the realm of the Intel Core devices I’m accustomed to using and I wouldn’t want to drop my hard-earned cash on something that could struggle when I get deep into Linux applications or other resource-heavy projects.
Thankfully, Acer has refreshed the lineup with the second-gen Gemini Lake-R processors from Intel and the Pentium model could very well be a sleeping giant. When we benchmark devices, we still use Octane 2.0 as sort of a baseline. Despite being “retired”, the Octane benchmark still gives us a very good idea of how a device is going to perform in comparison to what we use on a daily basis. Any device that can push out an Octane score of 15,000 or higher should be able to handle tasks from moderate users and take on some serious tasks if it has the coveted 8GB of RAM. The new Gemini Lake-R Celeron models will post scores in the 16,000-17,000 range which is awesome considering just a few years ago, that was we expected for something like a Core i3.
Now, the Pentium chip for the Gemini Lake-R family has yet to be officially debuted in a device but Acer has quietly launched a version of the Chromebook 314 with that exact CPU and 8GB of RAM. It took some digging but I found some preliminary benchmarks on the Intel Pentium N5030 that report the Octane as 21,000. That makes this device a very beasty Chromebook considering its retail price is going to be $429. A quick search revealed that a few resellers have the new Acer listed and as of yesterday, CDW was reporting this model in stock. Not only that, but the online PC retailer also has the Chromebook listed for $392. For $400, here’s a look at what the Acer Chromebook 314 brings to the party:
- Chrome OS
- Intel Pentium N5030
- 8 GB RAM
- 64 GB eMMC
- 14″ IPS touchscreen 1920 x 1080 (Full HD)
- UHD Graphics 605
- 2 x USB-C
- 2 x USB-A
- Android and Linux app support
- AUE date June 2026
- Charcoal Black
All-in-all, the new Chromebook 314 looks like it has a lot to offer. If this model has a decent build quality and the price can stay around $35-$400, it’s likely going to be a great device for a lot of people. That said, devices such as the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 are looking to put the pressure on lesser Chromebooks and at $409, I’d like to see the Acer 314 settle in around $300. That would make it much easier to recommend for those wanting a really good Chromebook at that price point. You can check out the new Acer Chromebook 314 at CDW below.