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HomeTechAcer's Chromebook Plus Spin 714 Is a Premium Laptop at a Reasonable...

Acer’s Chromebook Plus Spin 714 Is a Premium Laptop at a Reasonable Price

Daniel Thorp-Lancaster

Google’s Chrome operating system is officially on the AI bandwagon, and Chromebook manufacturers marked the occasion with a new batch of laptops. One of the latest is the Acer Chromebook Plus Spin 714, which aims for a premium laptop experience without a premium (by laptop standards) price. But at $699, it’s still well above the budget niche that Chromebooks have traditionally occupied.

The Chromebook Plus Spin 714 is an update to Acer’s previous non-Plus Spin 714 (which is still available) and inherits a lot from its predecessor. The overall look and feel of the laptop are the same, which is a good thing. The biggest difference with the Chromebook Plus Spin 714 (CP714-1H-54UB) model Acer provided for this review is the upgrade to the newer Intel Core Ultra 5 115U processor, which is just as zippy as the Core i5-1335U chip found in the previous generation.

You get 8 GB of RAM to handle your tasks, and storage is backed by a 256-GB NVMe solid-state drive, which is fast enough that you’ll never have to worry about the laptop slowing down when shuttling files around. Altogether, this makes for a combination of hardware that easily handles the lightweight ChromeOS operating system—though you may find the storage a little claustrophobic if you work with a lot of photos and videos.

Where this hardware shines is with the new artificial intelligence tools built into ChromeOS. The Chromebook Plus Spin 714 easily handled Google Photos’ Magic Editor, allowing me to erase, resize, and move objects in photos within seconds. The same goes for the new generative AI features for wallpaper and video call backgrounds. Just enter a prompt with some prebaked parameters and ChromeOS creates a high-resolution image for you to use in either situation. I don’t know how useful the video backgrounds are beyond the initial novelty, but I can see myself frequently using the wallpaper generator.

None of these features operate super quickly on this Spin 714, but you only have to wait a handful of seconds; it’s not painful. We’re still a ways off from instant gratification with AI processing, especially in a $699 laptop, but I never felt like the Chromebook Plus Spin 714 was struggling to keep up.

Two closeup views of the gold hinges for a laptop that can fold backwards into a tablet position

Photograph: Daniel Thorp-Lancaster

In terms of styling, this Acer looks nicer than its price suggests, with the sleek aluminum exterior and gold accents adding an air of luxury to the overall presentation. It’s well-built, and the display’s hinges are notably stiff (in a good way). Acer’s attention to detail with the keyboard deck stands out too. The keys sit in a slight recess to put them at the same height as the surrounding chassis, preventing them from touching the display and leaving prints when the lid is closed. It’s a nice touch that eliminates one of the biggest downsides of a glossy touch display.

As for the keyboard itself, it’s pleasant to type on for hours and hours. The keys have a nice bit of travel and feel snappy with each press. They’re also backlit, so you won’t find yourself struggling to touch-type in the dark. The trackpad is a little smaller than I would like, but it’s responsive.

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