Review: Acer Chromebook 14 for Work aims at corporate IT

Acer's new enterprise-focused Chromebook gives a strong first impression and doesn’t disappoint.

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The Acer Chromebook 14 for Work is part of a new generation of Chromebooks. This isn't a low-end laptop aimed at budget shoppers, nor is it Google's Chromebook Pixel, which originally sold for $1,299 and was designed for people who work in the cloud and want hardware as good as anything Apple produces.

This Chromebook is designed for business. It's proof that Chromebooks have survived and are ready for the adult world. After five years of playing at the margins of corporate IT, hardware vendors like Acer are betting that IT managers are ready to buy Chromebooks in bulk.

The model sent for review by Acer is its best version, equipped with an Intel Core i5-6200U processor, 8GB of RAM, 32GB of SSD storage and a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display. It sells for $729 to $750 via a variety of commercial and retail sources. There are several other models, starting with a Celeron-based system with HD (1366 x 768), 4GB of RAM and 16GB of SSD storage for $362 (Amazon price).

Strong and fast

What do these specs mean for performance? We couldn’t run our usual Windows-based laptop benchmarks on this Chrome OS system, but the review unit felt very zippy when I used it. It booted in about six seconds, and shut down in just under three seconds by my stopwatch. The system still snapped even with 25 browser windows open. Pages resolved swiftly.

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