Acer is including a Chromebook to its Vero lineup, which it says is supposed to supply laptop computer consumers an “eco-conscious” possibility. Just like the (moderately 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 p.c recyclable, and is available in packaging that’s 90 p.c recycled paper, in response to the corporate. Acer’s press launch even means that a part of the Chromebook’s packaging may be “remodeled right 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 shortly undergo the specs — it weighs in at only a hair over 3 kilos, which is affordable for a laptop computer with a 14-inch display, 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 remainder 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 have been in search of a laptop computer I’d most likely go along with both the i3 or i5 and keep away from the Pentium totally.

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

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

In the case of 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% 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 straightforward to restore and improve, with customary screws letting you entry the reminiscence and storage (which you’ll must 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 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 very nice worth at that value level, in response to my co-worker Monica Chin’s evaluate from final yr. The 514 can be operating ChromeOS, which is extensively thought of to be much less demanding than Home windows — that might assist the 514 keep out of the landfill for longer, which is nothing however excellent news from an environmental perspective.

Total it looks as if Acer’s addressed fairly a number of of the issues we had with the unique Vero laptop computer. Nonetheless, I’d prefer to echo a observe that Monica hit on in her evaluate of that pc: it’s laborious 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 put in ChromeOS Flex on an outdated 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 would like one thing with a bit extra fashionable {hardware}, together with creature comforts like a fingerprint reader, Acer says the Vero 514 can be accessible at Greatest Purchase beginning in “mid-October.”



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