Acer ChromeBook 314 LTE (933) - Most notable for LTE

Chromebooks are the image of dirt cheap laptops that you can't get over and there are more and more serious Chromebooks for sale. Acer's Chromebook 314 LTE is aimed at the business market and is equipped with an LTE modem.

Acer Chromebook LTE

Price € 649,-

Processor Intel Pentium Silver N5030

Memory 8GB (GDR 3)

Screen 14 inch IPS touchscreen (1920x1080p)

Storage 64GB eMMC

Dimensions 32.5 x 23.2 x 1.9 cm

Weight 1.7 kilos

Battery 48 Wh

Connections 2x usb-c, usb, 3.5mm jack, card reader

wireless Wi-Fi 5, LTE

Website www.acer.nl 7 Score 70

  • Pros
  • Built-in LTE modem
  • 8GB RAM
  • Battery life
  • Negatives
  • No key illumination
  • No fingerprint scanner

For this Acer Chromebook 314 LTE you pay about 649 euros in the tested version. For a Chomebook that is quite expensive. Unlike some other laptops in this price range, you don't get a light metal housing. The Chromebook 314 LTE is made of pleasant-to-the-touch plastic in a dark gray color. The sturdiness is okay, although the laptop does creak a bit when you open it. You can also twist it slightly and push it in if you apply some force. The laptop weighs 1.7 kilograms, nowadays on the heavy side for a 14-inch laptop.

With a USB port and two USB-C ports, this is a modern device in terms of connections. All USB ports operate at the USB 3.1Gen1 speed (USB 3.0). It is nice that both USB-c ports support both charging and video output, especially because both sides of the laptop are equipped with a USB-c port.

Hardware

Acer has equipped the Chromebook in the tested version (C933lt-p3g5) with an Intel Pentium Silver N5030, an energy-efficient quad-core processor. In terms of performance, this chip is slightly slower than, for example, Core m3-8100Y. The processor is paired with 8 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. There is also a version with a slower processor and 4 GB of ram (C933lt-c6l7) and a version with a slower processor, 4 GB of ram and 32 GB of storage (C933l-c5xn). We really do not recommend the version with 32 GB storage. While a Chromebook is designed for use in conjunction with the cloud, local storage capacity is becoming increasingly important. Not only for caching your files, but also for installing Android apps and Linux programs, for example. The version that combines 64 GB of storage with 4 GB of ram has a somewhat slower processor, but you could still consider it. Although 8 GB of ram also helps to keep the device running smoothly under the relatively light Chrome OS if you use multiple tabs at the same time. We would have liked to have seen more storage capacity in this top model.

Built-in LTE modem

The reason that this Chromebook, which can mainly be described as decent, costs 649 euros, is that it has an LTE modem built-in. You put a nano SIM card in the SIM tray, enter the PIN code and you are online. LTE works fine in practice. The speed of course depends on the mobile network, but in our house we achieved a maximum download speed of 275 and an upload of 37 Mbit/s via the Vodafone network. Incidentally, that did depend on the location in the house, but at a less optimal location the download speed was still 180 Mbit/s. With this Chromebook, you always have a fast data connection at your disposal without having to tether with a mobile phone. This convenience is probably especially important for business users, especially because the relatively high price is mainly explained by the LTE functionality. This Chromebook therefore falls under Acer's business offer, but is also easy to buy for consumers.

Comfort

The 14-inch screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The IPS panel has good viewing angles and high brightness. What is special is that, despite the anti-reflective finish, the screen is still a touch screen. Touching works great and the anti-glare still feels smooth when you run your finger over it. A touch screen is especially useful if you want to use Android apps.

The keyboard has a remarkably fine touch. Unfortunately, the laptop does not appear to be equipped with key lighting, something that we actually expected given the business approach. The touchpad is nice and spacious, but feels a bit stiff. Every now and then the cursor also seems to move a bit. It works, but I've also seen better touchpads on Chromebooks. What is also a shame given the business approach is the lack of a fingerprint scanner. If you have an Android smartphone, you can set it as a 'key' and use the fingerprint scanner of your smartphone to quickly unlock it.

Performance

The speed of a Chromebook is difficult to measure, but can be done with, for example, the benchmark CRXPRT. In this benchmark, the laptop scores 162 points. In comparison, in the same benchmark, ASUS' recent Chromebook Flip C436, which is equipped with a Core i5 processor, scores 244 points. This Chromebook 314 LTE is therefore not a powerhouse, but on the other hand, Chrome OS is a light operating system. In practice, the processor in combination with 8 GB of ram is fine. You can use multiple tabs at the same time without experiencing any delays.

Acer has equipped the Chromebook with a 48 Wh battery. According to Acer, this guarantees an impressive battery life and that turns out to be correct: you can work for almost 13 hours via WiFi. If you mainly use LTE, that impressive battery life drops to about 8 hours, something that is of course still neat.

Conclusion

Both externally and internally, the ChromeBook 314 LTE is not very striking. The housing is made of solid plastic and the processor is suitable for Chrome OS. The screen and keyboard are also fine to work on. It's all just decent, but it's not spectacular. The added value of this Chromebook 314 LTE and explanation for the relatively high price is really in the built-in LTE modem. This means that the Chromebook is always online without tethering it with a smartphone, which can be useful for all kinds of applications.

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