At CES 2022 back in January, Acer unveiled a new iteration of the popular Chromebook Spin 514 and this one was powered by the newly released AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors. The all-new 14″ convertible was supposed to launch back in march but Spring came and went with no sign of the Ryzen-powered 2-in-1. Nearly five months later, the Acer Chromebook Spin 514 has quietly appeared at Best Buy and it looks to be priced to sell.
Powered by an AMD Ryzen 3 from the 5000-series processor family, the Best Buy model comes bearing a 14-inch FullHD IPS touch display, 8GB of RAM, and a very respectable 128GB of eMMC storage. While not the zippy NVMe SSD we’re used to in more premium devices, the average consumer will never notice a difference in read/write speeds. What’s most interesting about this new Chromebook is the price. Best Buy has the Spin 514 listed for $549 and that’s a big deal. Here’s why.
AMD has been slow out of the gate in the ChromeOS arena and the company’s first two attempts at powering Chromebooks fell short of our expectations. Even the Ryzen 3000 series chips made specifically for Chromebooks were significantly underpowered when compared to their Intel counterparts. On top of lackluster performance, the Ryzen 3000 chips throttle themselves when off charge. This resulted in performance drops of nearly 40% for a chip that was already struggling to keep up with Intel’s Core CPUs.
A new day for AMD
While it is unclear whether or not the new 5000 series from AMD will experience the same throttling issues, early benchmarks show a processor that is on par with Intel’s 10th gen chipsets. Now, I know that we’re rapidly approaching the release of numerous 12th Gen Intel devices but the 10th Gen chips are still formidable processors that pack more than enough punch for the average user and beyond. This new model at Best Buy is powered by the Ryzen 3 5125C and some early benchmarks from Geekbench have it running neck and neck with the 10th Gen Intel Core i5 that’s found in devices like the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. If you’ve ever used that model of the Acer, you’re well aware that it is a powerful device.
This new chip from AMD may not be a direct competitor to the latest Intel devices but the sub-six hundred dollar price tag makes it an affordable alternative to the new generation of flagship Chromebooks that are quickly pushing price tags up to $800 or more. For reference, the 10th Gen Acer Chromebook Spin 713 retailed for $629 and its successors have crossed over the $700 mark. If you’re looking for a premium-powered device but don’t want to spend a ton of cash, the new AMD-powered Spin 514 looks like a solid option.
The Chromebook Spin 514 features an aluminum lid and bottom, backlit keys, and a FullHD webcam. You’ll get most of what you’d expect in a premium laptop without paying that premium MSRP. The Acer Chromebook Spin 514 is available from Best Buy now for only $549 and you can have one in hand by the weekend if you’re interested.
Chromebook 514 Specs
- Chrome OS
- 14″ IPS display, Touch panel, Full HD 1920 x 1080
- AMD Ryzen 3 5125C Accelerated Processing Unit (APU)
- 8GB of DDR4 system memory
- AMD Radeon Vega Mobile Graphics
- 128 GB eMMC
- 2 – USB Type-C ports supporting USB 3.2 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps)
- Display port over USB-C
- USB 3.2 Type A port
- 3.5 mm headphone/speaker jack, supporting headsets with built-in microphone
- Dimensions: 322.6 (W) x 225.5 (D) x 17.35/17.35 (H) mm (12.7 x 8.88 x 0.68/0.68 inches)
- Weight: 1.55 kg (3.42 lbs.)
- Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
- Wireless: Wi-Fi 5 2×2 MIMO Bluetooth 5
- Audio: Two built-in stereo speakers; Two built-in microphones
- Durability: U.S. MIL-STD 810 (Sand and Dust testing based on MIL-STD 810F.)