Acer’s Vero 514 brings its “eco-conscious” concept to a Chromebook

Acer is adding a Chromebook to its Vero lineup, which it says is intended to give laptop buyers an “eco-conscious” option. As the (rather disappointing) Windows laptop before it, the Chromebook Vero 514 is made from recycled plastics, has a 99% recyclable chassis, and ships in packaging made from 90% recycled paper, according to the company. Acer’s press release even suggests that part of the Chromebook’s packaging can be “transformed into a versatile triangular laptop stand,” if you hate throwing anything away.

Before we go over the recyclability, though, let’s quickly run through the specs – it weighs just a hair over 3 pounds, which is reasonable for a laptop with a 14-inch screen and is processor-powered. 12th Generation Intel. with Xe graphics. You can spec it with a variety of processors, including the five-core Pentium Gold 8505 (don’t let the number of cores fool you, only one is for performance while the rest are efficiency cores), the Core i3-1215U, the Core i5-1235U and a Core i7-1255U. These are all relatively low power chips, appropriate for an environmentally conscious computer, but if I was looking for a laptop I’d probably go for the i3 or i5 and avoid the Pentium altogether .

I’ll admit I dig the recycled plastic look – and appreciate the inclusion of a 1080p webcam.
Picture: Acer

The 1080p display is covered in Gorilla Glass, which should make it reasonably pleasing if you opt for the touchscreen model. Its 300 nits of brightness won’t be enough if you’re constantly working in direct sunlight, but it’s still a step up from the 227-nit panel found on its Windows counterpart. The 514 should also improve the color rendition of the original Vero; while the Windows model can only display 66% of the sRGB gamut, Acer promises 100% coverage for its Chromebook.

When it comes to ports, the 514 offers a healthy selection – two USB-C ports, which can be used to quickly charge the battery up to 50% in 30 minutes, a USB-A port, an HDMI port, and an outlet. helmet. . The computer also comes with a 1080p “glare-reducing” webcam.

When it comes to the laptop’s ecological footprint, Acer claims that the trackpad’s surface is made from 100% “ocean-bound plastics,” while the keycaps are made from 50% recycled plastic. post-consumer. 30% of the chassis plastic is recycled. While that’s not necessarily as impressive as, say, a $1,200 MacBook Air that has a 100% recycled chassis, it’s nice to see Acer providing relatively granular details like Apple. I couldn’t find any numbers to support Asus’ claims that its Chromebook Flip CX5 has an “ecological design” because of its “integrated recycled materials”.

Acer also claims the Chromebook is easy to repair and upgrade, with standard screws giving you access to memory and storage (which you might need to do, given that the larger SSD you can get with the 514 is 256 GB). Although not at the level of what Framework does with its almost fully repairable and upgradable laptop, this computer costs almost double the price; the base 514 model, which comes with the Core i3, 8GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, starts at $499.99.

This is another improvement over the Windows version, which starts at $700and does not offer particularly high value at this price, according to my colleague Monica Chin review from last year. The 514 also runs ChromeOS, which is widely considered less demanding than Windows, which could help the 514 stay out of the landfill longer, which is just good news from an environmental standpoint.

Overall, it looks like Acer has solved many of the issues we had with the original Vero laptop. However, I’d like to echo a note Monica raised in her review of this computer: it’s hard to consume your way to eco-responsibility, and if you have to buy something, it should last a long time. One option for those looking to get a slightly greener computer is to install Chrome OS Flex on an old Windows laptop purchased from a local used computer store or taken from a closet (implementing the “reuse” step of reduce, reuse, recycle). But if you want something with slightly more modern hardware, including creature comforts like a fingerprint reader, Acer says the Vero 514 will be available at Best Buy starting “mid-October.”

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