Acer is including a Chromebook to its Vero lineup, which it says is supposed to provide laptop computer consumers an “eco-conscious” possibility. Just like the (slightly disappointing) Home windows laptop computer that got here earlier than it, the Chromebook Vero 514 is made utilizing recycled plastics, has a chassis that’s 99 % recyclable, and is available in packaging that’s 90 % recycled paper, in accordance to the corporate. Acer’s press launch even means that a part of the Chromebook’s packaging could be “remodeled into a multi-purpose triangular laptop computer stand,” should you’re detest to throw something away.

Earlier than we go over the recyclability, although, let’s rapidly undergo the specs — it weighs in at simply a hair over 3 kilos, which is affordable for a laptop computer with a 14-inch display screen, and is powered by a Twelfth-gen Intel processor with Xe graphics. You possibly can spec it out with a number 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, acceptable for an eco-minded pc, but when I had been searching for a laptop computer I’d most likely 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 should you go for the touchscreen mannequin. Its 300 nits of brightness gained’t be sufficient should you’re consistently working in vibrant daylight, however it’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 % of the sRGB gamut, Acer’s promising one hundred pc protection for its Chromebook.

When it comes to ports, the 514 has a wholesome choice — two USB-C ports, which can be utilized to quick cost the battery up to 50 % 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 one hundred pc “ocean-bound plastics,” whereas the keycaps are made of fifty % post-consumer recycled plastic. 30 % of the chassis’ plastic is recycled. Whereas that’s not essentially as spectacular as, say, a $1,200 MacBook Air which has a one hundred pc recycled chassis, it’s good to see Acer offering comparatively granular particulars like Apple. I wasn’t in a position to discover 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 customary screws letting you entry the reminiscence and storage (which you’ll want to do, provided that the largest SSD you may get with the 514 is 256GB). Whereas that’s not on the extent of what Framework’s doing with its virtually utterly repairable and upgradeable laptop computer, that pc is nearly 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 begins at $700, and doesn’t present a significantly nice worth at that worth level, in accordance to my co-worker Monica Chin’s evaluation from final 12 months. The 514 can also be working ChromeOS, which is extensively thought-about 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 a few of the issues we had with the unique Vero laptop computer. Nevertheless, I’d like to echo a be aware that Monica hit on in her evaluation of that pc: it’s arduous to eat your approach to ecological duty, and should you do have to purchase one thing it ought to final a very long time. One possibility for these trying to get a pc that’s a bit eco-friendlier is to set up ChromeOS Flex on an previous Home windows laptop computer bought from a native used pc retailer or dug out of a closet (implementing the “reuse” step of cut back, reuse, recycle). However if you would like one thing with a bit extra trendy {hardware}, together with creature comforts like a fingerprint reader, Acer says the Vero 514 shall be out there at Finest Purchase beginning in “mid-October.”

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