Acer is including a Chromebook to its Vero lineup, which it says is supposed to supply laptop computer patrons an “eco-conscious” choice. Just like the (rather disappointing) Windows laptop that got here earlier than it, the Chromebook Vero 514 is made utilizing recycled plastics, has a chassis that’s 99 p.c recyclable, and is available in packaging that’s 90 p.c recycled paper, in line with the corporate. Acer’s press launch even means that a part of the Chromebook’s packaging could be “reworked right into a multi-purpose triangular laptop computer stand,” if you happen to’re detest to throw something away.

Earlier than we go over the recyclability, although, let’s shortly undergo the specs — it weighs in at only a hair over 3 kilos, which is cheap for a laptop computer with a 14-inch display screen, and is powered by a Twelfth-gen Intel processor with Xe graphics. You may spec it out with quite a lot of processors, together with the five-core Pentium Gold 8505 (don’t let the core depend idiot you, just one is for efficiency whereas the remaining are effectivity cores), the Core i3-1215U, the Core i5-1235U, and a Core i7-1255U. These are all comparatively low-power chips, applicable for an eco-minded pc, but when I have been on the lookout for a laptop computer I’d in all probability go along with both the i3 or i5 and keep away from the Pentium completely.

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

The 1080p display screen is roofed in Gorilla Glass, which ought to make it really feel fairly good if you happen to go for the touchscreen mannequin. Its 300 nits of brightness gained’t be sufficient if you happen to’re always working in shiny daylight, but it surely’s nonetheless a step up from the 227-nit panel discovered on its Home windows counterpart. The 514 must also enhance on the unique Vero’s colour rendering; whereas the Home windows mannequin can solely show 66 p.c of the sRGB gamut, Acer’s promising 100% protection for its Chromebook.

With regards to ports, the 514 has a wholesome choice — two USB-C ports, which can be utilized to quick cost the battery as much as 50 p.c in half-hour, one USB-A port, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. The pc additionally comes with a “flare-reducing” 1080p webcam.

As for the laptop computer’s ecological footprint, Acer says that the trackpad’s floor is made up of 100% “ocean-bound plastics,” whereas the keycaps are made of fifty p.c post-consumer recycled plastic. 30 p.c of the chassis’ plastic is recycled. Whereas that’s not essentially as spectacular as, say, a $1,200 MacBook Air which has a 100 percent recycled chassis, it’s good to see Acer offering comparatively granular particulars like Apple. I wasn’t capable of finding any numbers backing up Asus’ claims that its Chromebook Flip CX5 has an “eco-friendly design” due to its “recycled supplies built-in.”

Acer additionally claims that the Chromebook is simple to restore and improve, with normal screws letting you entry the reminiscence and storage (which you will have to do, on condition that the most important SSD you may get with the 514 is 256GB). Whereas that’s not on the extent of what Framework’s doing with its nearly fully repairable and upgradeable laptop computer, that pc is sort of double the value; the bottom mannequin 514, comes with the Core i3, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD, begins at $499.99.

That’s one other enchancment versus the Home windows model, which starts at $700, and doesn’t present a very nice worth at that worth level, in line with my co-worker Monica Chin’s review from last year. The 514 can also be operating ChromeOS, which is extensively thought of to be much less demanding than Home windows — that would assist the 514 keep out of the landfill for longer, which is nothing however excellent news from an environmental perspective.

General it looks as if Acer’s addressed fairly just a few of the issues we had with the unique Vero laptop computer. Nonetheless, I’d wish to echo a notice that Monica hit on in her assessment of that pc: it’s onerous to devour your technique to ecological accountability, and if you happen to do have to purchase one thing it ought to final a very long time. One choice for these trying to get a pc that’s a bit eco-friendlier is to put in ChromeOS Flex on an previous Home windows laptop computer bought from an area used pc retailer or dug out of a closet (implementing the “reuse” step of scale back, reuse, recycle). However if you’d like one thing with a bit extra fashionable {hardware}, together with creature comforts like a fingerprint reader, Acer says the Vero 514 might be obtainable at Greatest Purchase beginning in “mid-October.”

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