Acer Vero 514: ‘Eco-Conscious’ Concept for a Chromebook

Acer is attaching a Chromebook to its Vero lineup, which it says is implied to offer laptop buyers an “eco-conscious” option. Like the (somewhat disappointing) Windows laptop that came before it, the Chromebook Vero 514 is made utilizing recycled plastics, includes a chassis that’s 99 percent recyclable, and arrives in packaging that’s 90 percent recycled paper, according to the company.

Acer’s press release even implies that part of the Chromebook’s packaging can be “transformed into a multi-purpose triangular laptop stand” if you despise throwing anything away.

Before we run over the recyclability, though, let’s fast go through the specs — it mulls in at merely a hair over 3 pounds, which is valid for a laptop with a 14-inch display and is powered by a 12th-gen Intel processor with Xe graphics.

In addition, you can spec it out with myriad processors, including the five-core Pentium Gold 8505 (don’t let the core count trick you, only one is for execution while the rest are efficiency cores), the Core i5-1235U, the Core i3-1215U, and a Core i7-1255U. Those are all reasonably low-power chips, suitable for an eco-minded computer.

The 1080p screen is blanketed in Gorilla Glass, making it look lovely if you opt for the touchscreen model. Of course, its 300 nits of brightness won’t be adequate if you’re constantly working in bright sunlight, but it’s still a grade up from the 227-nit panel on its Windows companion. The 514 should also enhance the original Vero’s color rendering; while the Windows model can only show 66 percent of the sRGB gamut, Acer’s favorable 100 percent range for its Chromebook.

Regarding ports, the 514 has a beneficial selection — two USB-C ports, which can be employed to lift the battery to 50 percent in 30 minutes, an HDMI port, one USB-A port, and a headphone jack. The computer also arrives with a “flare-reducing” 1080p webcam.

As for the laptop’s ecological imprint, Acer expresses that the trackpad’s surface incorporates 100 percent “ocean-bound plastics,” while the keycaps are constructed of 50 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.

Thirty percent of the chassis’ plastic is recycled. While that’s not necessarily as amazing as, say, a $1,200 MacBook Air with a 100 percent recycled chassis, it’s pleasant to notice Acer furnishing relatively granular components like Apple. Likewise, its Chromebook Flip CX5 has an “eco-friendly design” due to its “recycled materials built-in.”

Acer also contends that the Chromebook is uncomplicated to repair and upgrade, with standard screws allowing you access to the memory and storage (which you may require), given that the biggest SSD you can earn with the 514 is 256GB). While that’s not on the status of what Framework’s doing with its almost entirely repairable and upgradeable laptop, that computer is nearly double the price; the base model 514 comes with 8GB of RAM, the Core i3, and a 128GB SSD, commences at $499.99.

That’s another advancement versus the Windows version, which begins at $700 and doesn’t deliver a particularly great value at that cost point. The 514 is also operating ChromeOS, which is broadly considered less challenging than Windows — that could support the 514 to stay out of the landfill for longer, which is nothing but exemplary news from an environmental standpoint.

Overall it seems like Acer’s managed quite a few of the issues we had with the original Vero laptop. One alternative for those looking to acquire a computer that’s a little eco-friendlier is to install ChromeOS Flex on an aging Windows laptop bought from a local accustomed computer store or scooped out of a closet (enforcing the “reuse” step of reducing, reuse, recycle).

But suppose you enjoy something with a bit more modern hardware, including creature comforts like a fingerprint reader. In that case, Acer expresses that the Vero 514 will be available at Best Buy in “mid-October.”