Chromebooks are known for being low-powered machines with good battery life. They’re affordable, easy to use, and largely virus-free. That’s why they’re popular for educational purposes or personal productivity. I use one for writing and editing, as it keeps me focused on the task at hand. I’ve been using my Chromebook for years and I’m fairly happy with it. Well, Acer is putting a new spin on the usual Chromebook narrative. The laptop manufacturer just unveiled its first-ever gaming Chromebook, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE. I never thought I’d see the day!
Chromebooks remain web-focused, natch, so the brand new Acer Chromebook 516 GE has been optimized for cloud gaming services like GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming. The top tier configuration features an Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage. The Intel Iris Xe graphics supports OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 3.0, Microsoft DirectX 12.1, and Intel Quick Sync Video—everything you need for a solid cloud gaming experience.
[ Further reading: The best Chromebooks ]
But it’s the screen that truly makes the Acer Chromebook 516 GE a gaming-centric laptop. Most Chromebooks feature cheap 1080p or even 720p displays running at a pedestrian 60Hz, but the Chromebook 516 GE’s 16-inch display has a resolution of 2560×1600, a 16:10 aspect ratio, and a game-ready 120Hz refresh rate. According to Acer, the 65 watt-hour battery can last for up to nine hours. Hopefully, that number holds true in real world use, as Chromebooks are renowned for their battery life. The 1080p webcam is a nice addition as well, especially if you plan on using this device for video conferencing.
The Acer Chromebook 516 GE will become available to U.S. buyers sometime this October. You’ll be able to purchase it from Best Buy for $649.99.