Probably the greatest issues in regards to the Chromebook market is that there’s all the time one thing to look ahead to. We’re continuously seeing new choices made accessible, even when they don’t significantly match our wants. And whereas the HP Elite Dragonfly opened the door for extra premium Chromebooks, there’s now a brand new phase of the market because of gaming Chromebooks.
This has been additional enhanced by the enlargement of Steam for ChromeOS, supplying you with the power to play your backlog of Steam video games on Chromebooks. Google has even expanded the record of suitable Chromebooks even additional, as they now embody most of the greatest Chromebooks powered by Intel’s Twelfth-Gen processors.
Whereas taking part in Steam video games on built-in graphics is sort of spectacular, there are nonetheless points and pitfalls with doing so. Nonetheless, because of the continued rise in recognition of cloud gaming providers resembling NVIDIA GeForce Now, Xbox Recreation Go, and Amazon Luna, we’re lastly getting gaming-focused Chromebooks.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE: Value and availability
The Acer Chromebook 516 GE was introduced in October 2022 alongside Google’s renewed dedication to bettering the cloud gaming expertise on Chromebooks. Though it was introduced that there could be totally different configurations, the one present choice accessible retails for $649 and contains 8GB of RAM and 256GB of NVMe storage. The Chromebook 516 GE is presently accessible from a number of retailers together with Amazon and Greatest Purchase.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE: What you’ll like
Earlier than you open the case lid on the Acer Chromebook 516 GE, it’s unlikely that you just’ll actually know that is being catered towards avid gamers. The general design isn’t all that thrilling, however it’s totally different from what we proceed to see with the likes of the Chromebook Spin 714 and Chromebook Spin 514.
The very first thing that you just’ll like proper off the bat is the huge 16-inch show. Acer packed a powerful 2560 x 1600 (16:10) panel into the Chromebook 516 GE, full with assist for as much as a 120Hz refresh charge. This falls a bit in need of what ASUS is doing with the Chromebook Vibe CX34 and its 144Hz refresh charge, however we doubt you’ll actually discover a distinction in observe.
|Header Cell – Column 0||Acer Chromebook 516 GE|
|Show||16-inches (2560 x 1600), 16:10, 350 nits, 120Hz refresh charge|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-1240P|
|Storage||256GB NVMe SSD|
|Battery||As much as 10 hours|
|Ports||2x USB-C, 1x USB-A, 1x 3.5mm audio combo jack, HDMI 2.1, 2.5G Ethernet, Kensington lock|
|Digital camera||1080p FHD|
|Dimensions||14.04 x 9.8 x 0.84-inches|
|Further options||Quad force-canceling audio system, RGB anti-ghosting keyboard, 360-degree design, Intel Iris Xe graphics|
|AUE Date||June 2030|
One of many the explanation why I’m a giant fan of Acer Chromebooks is the keyboard, and it doesn’t disappoint in terms of the typing expertise. It’s snug, and due to the sheer dimension of this beast, there’s loads of area to unfold out with out worrying about hitting one of many flawed keys.
However that is additionally the place you’ll discover the primary inspiration for the “GE” identify, as Acer has carried out an addressable RGB keyboard. Fortunately, you too can go as far as to customise it a bit, as ChromeOS has been up to date with a “Keyboard backlight” part within the Set wallpaper & model part. There are seven totally different stable shade choices, together with a “Rainbow” choice, and yet another that tries to match the backlighting to the colours present in your wallpaper.
Earlier than diving into the efficiency, it’s vital to level out that Acer spared little expense by way of the port choice. The Chromebook 516 GE is filled with twin USB-C ports, a 2.5G Ethernet jack, a full-size HDMI 2.1 port, a 3.5mm audio combo jack, and a Kensington Lock.
Together with each HDMI 2.1 and a more-performant Ethernet port are positively nice, particularly when you plan on pairing the 516 GE with a gaming monitor. However even when you don’t (or can’t) plug immediately into your router, the Chromebook 516 GE additionally contains assist for Wi-Fi 6E, so that you’ll nonetheless have the ability to stream your favourite video games with out a lot of a hiccup.
Pivoting over to efficiency, there’s just one configuration that’s presently accessible, and that’s powered by the Twelfth-Gen Intel Core i5-1240P, paired with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB NVMe M.2 SSD. This is similar chip powering the Framework Laptop computer Chromebook and affords loads of “oomph” for nearly something. Right here’s how the 516 GE stacks up by way of benchmarks:
|Wirple HTML5 3D Benchmark||8657|
The fact is that it doesn’t matter what you end up making an attempt to do, whether or not it’s working with a bunch of various desks and tabs open, or sitting again and taking part in some Steam video games, the Chromebook 516 GE is ideal for the job. That is additional compounded by the 16-inch show and its 120Hz refresh charge, as all the pieces simply appears to be like and feels easy and snappy.
Whereas the Chromebook market is already fierce, Acer’s gaming answer affords an unimaginable price-to-performance stability. The configuration that’s accessible at your native Greatest Purchase (and the one utilized in my evaluate) retails for simply $649 however has already been discovered on sale for as little as $449, which is simply bonkers.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE: A notice about gaming
A lot of the main focus in terms of these gaming Chromebooks is that you just’ll discover issues resembling sooner refresh charges and RGB backlighting. However the actuality is that you just don’t really need a “gaming” Chromebook to get an identical expertise. It’s an entire totally different can of worms for many who wish to fiddle with Steam for ChromeOS, however no less than for taking part in video games via Recreation Go or GeForce Now, you don’t want a devoted gadget.
That being mentioned, I spent
not sufficient an excessive amount of time taking part in too few too many video games throughout my evaluate of the Chromebook 516 GE. It began with simply messing round in Jedi Fallen Order on GeForce Now however pivoted to Hello-Fi Rush via Xbox Recreation Go. And I’ve gotta say that even simply on Wi-Fi the outcomes have been fairly rattling spectacular.
After all, you’ll have to have sufficient web speeds and a dependable connection, particularly when you’re making an attempt to play a rhythm-based sport like Hello-Fi Rush. However I used to be shocked to seek out that even when the picture high quality of Hello-Fi Rush was downgraded, I used to be nonetheless capable of time all of my hits as near good as attainable.
And yet another factor. It’s nonetheless wild to me that we now have entry to a basic sport like Goldeneye and an extremely resource-intensive one resembling Cyberpunk 2077 via the cloud.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE: What you gained’t like
Not all the pieces is ideal with the Chromebook 516 GE, even when it does get a whole lot of issues proper. For one, I want the RGB backlighting was a bit stronger, because it appears to be like fairly washed out a whole lot of the time, particularly if there’s any type of gentle supply on it. In some circumstances, I assumed I turned off the backlighting altogether, and it wasn’t till I checked out it from a distinct angle to truly see that it was on.
I’m additionally a giant fan of Acer utilizing a display screen with a 120Hz refresh charge, however I do want we had some choices to show it all the way down to 60Hz. After I’m simply writing in a Google Doc, I don’t want sooner refresh charges, and it finally eats into the battery a bit. That is an choice when related to exterior shows with variable refresh charges, however for one motive or one other, isn’t accessible when simply utilizing the Chromebook as a standalone gadget.
Talking of battery life, Acer claims that the Chromebook 516 GE can attain as much as 10 hours on a single cost, however I by no means even got here near that. On my greatest day, I used to be capable of get round 6 hours, which is actually nice, as there’s wiggle room by turning off the RGB backlighting and preserving the brightness decrease. However the place’s the enjoyable in together with an RGB keyboard if I’ve to show it off to get higher battery life?
Lastly, whereas the port number of the Chromebook 516 GE is sort of wonderful, I used to be a bit upset to see Acer go for conventional USB-C versus Thunderbolt. I’m certain this has extra to do with hitting the sub-$700 value level, as a 16-inch 120Hz show with an HDMI 2.1 port and RGB backlighting eats into the price a bit. However Thunderbolt 4 would’ve nonetheless been a significantly better alternative, particularly for file transfers and connectivity with varied docking stations.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE: The competitors
I alluded to it earlier within the evaluate, however the stiffest competitors for the Chromebook 516 GE is definitely the ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX34 Flip. Ignoring the odd naming conference, this additionally sports activities an Intel Core i5 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. It additionally makes use of a show with a 16:10 facet ratio, contains an RGB backlit keyboard, and Wi-Fi 6E assist. However ASUS’ choice is a convertible, full with a touchscreen, all for simply $20 greater than what the 516 GE retails at.
From there, the one different gaming Chromebook that sports activities a 16-inch show is the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook. However to not be confused with the IdeaPad 5i Chromebook, which additionally has a 16-inch display screen. However, it’s best to anticipate comparable efficiency to the Chromebook 516 GE, proper all the way down to the 120Hz refresh charges and RGB backlit keyboard. The one actual main distinction is that Lenovo slapped a full-size keyboard into its gaming Chromebook, full with a quantity pad.
Outdoors of the world of gaming, our choose for one of the best Chromebook to this point of the 12 months continues to be the Acer Chromebook Spin 714. It’s not solely fairly performant however can also be suitable with Steam for ChromeOS, together with all your favourite cloud sport streaming providers. Certain, you gained’t have a 120Hz refresh charge, however the Spin 714 is a convertible that features a built-in USI stylus.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE: Do you have to purchase it?
You can purchase this if…
- You desire a Chromebook good for gaming and productiveness.
- You need an RGB keyboard built-in.
- You desire a Chromebook with a giant display screen and quick refresh charge.
- You are aware about price-to-performance.
You shouldn’t purchase this if…
- You desire a Chromebook with a convertible design and/or a touchscreen.
- You need one of the best battery life.
In the event you’re trying solely for a gaming Chromebook, it’s robust to argue with what Acer has dropped at the market with this one. The Chromebook 516 GE packs a strong punch and has all the ports that you would need (save for Thunderbolt), and also you’ll in all probability have a tricky time going again to a 60Hz refresh charge after spending any time with the 120Hz panel right here.
There’s nonetheless slightly bit of labor to be accomplished, however I’d go as far as to say that it’s a great factor. Room for enchancment is nary a foul factor, and it’s not like there are any huge or obvious issues with the Chromebook 516 GE. The corporate simply loaded this up with among the greatest specs for a Chromebook, added an RGB backlit keyboard, gave us a much bigger show, and launched it onto the market.
It’s not going to be a battery life champ, however that’s form of to be anticipated with any 16-inch show utilizing something higher than an FHD decision. You additionally may get a number of odd appears to be like when you carry this to a espresso store and somebody notices that it’s a Chromebook with an RGB keyboard. However hey, it’s nonetheless an absolute beast, even when you by no means plan on taking part in any video games aside from what you’ll discover on the Play Retailer.
Not only for avid gamers
The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is perhaps positioned in the direction of ChromeOS gaming, however this affords much more than simply an RGB keyboard and a giant show.
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