This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.
Acer approaches CES 2021 with its first AMD-based Chromebook, the 14-inch $480 Chromebook Spin 514, and its twin spin-off, the $750 Chromebook Enterprise Spin 514. A variation on the clamshell Chromebook 514, the Spin model has a similar design, but with improved durability, tweaked keycaps and Google Assistant (currently only in the higher-end models). Plus, there’s Acer’s clever variable tension hinge that’s tight where you need it and looser where you don’t.
The Enterprise edition has the version of Chrome OS with remote manageability built in and a dedicated full-size HDMI connection. It also has higher base specifications than the standard model and comes bundled with a mouse and sleeve.
Both incorporate AMD’s latest Ryzen 3000C series of processors up to the Ryzen 7 3700C. The processors, which were announced in mid-2020, are identical to the 3000 U-series laptop processors launched in 2019, using the 12 and 14nm Zen Plus architecture rather than the more recent 7nm. It’s labeled “C” for marketing purposes, so that there’s no confusion about it being a Chromebook.
Notable changes over previous models include the use of Gorilla Glass 3 for improved screen durability — Acer claims the laptop is MIL-STD 810H1 compliant. The keyboard has also been tweaked to introduce a curve to the keycaps, a common design change these days, to make typing a little more comfortable. Acer claims a 10-hour battery life and says it weighs 3.4 points (1.6 kilograms).
You can configure them with up to 16GB memory, 256GB SSD storage. The Spin 514 ships in February, while the Enterprise model follows in March.