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Acer just released two new Chromebooks with AI, but they’re not for everyone

AI is taking over, now in Chromebooks
Last Updated on May 29, 2024
Acer just released two new Chromebooks with AI, but they're not for everyone
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AI is taking over Chromebooks as Acer, one of the world’s leading computer hardware manufacturers, recently launched new Plus variants for two of their popular models: the Chromebook Plus Spin 714 and Chromebook Plus 516 GE. The main purpose of these upgrades is not to improve the aesthetics of the laptops but to introduce AI to Chromebooks to boost productivity, especially for the Spin 714 model.

Two new models from Acer are now available to buy

The Chromebook Plus Spin 714 comes with an Intel Core Ultra 5 or 7 processor. What makes these processors special is the Intel AI Boost technology. What this means is that there’s a dedicated NPU (Neural Processing Unit) designed to handle tasks related to AI. Think of a specialized team within your company that focuses solely on AI requests. The AI Boost feature works exactly like that. Whenever you’ll use AI-powered features like Chrome extensions, web apps, software, or anything else, the AI Boost will kick in to improve the processing speeds and deliver a smoother experience. Aside from this, the laptop comes with dedicated AI tools like generative AI wallpapers, Google Photos Magic Editor, Google Gemini, and the Help Me Write app.

Two modern Acer Chromebooks are shown. One is open in laptop mode, and the other in tablet mode with a 360-degree hinge. Both screens display a serene, foggy mountain scene. The new Chromebooks feature black keyboards and enhanced AI features for better performance.
The Acer Chromebook Plus Spin 714 (Image source: Acer)

The Chromebook Plus 516 GE on the other hand comes with either an Intel Core 5 120U or an Intel Core 7 150U. While these processors don’t feature the Intel AI Boost technology, the laptop still comes with the dedicated AI features and tools that are present in the Plus Spin 714. This specific Chromebook is designed for cloud gaming, as it comes with 256GB of storage paired with 8GB of RAM. You can upgrade the storage to a 2TB SSD, but 256GB will be more than enough for those who mainly utilize the cloud.

Chromebook Plus Spin 714Chromebook Plus 516 GE
Screen size14″16″
Resolution1920 x 12002560 x 1600
Touch screen?YesNo
ProcessorIntel Core Ultra 5 processor 115UIntel Core 5 processor 120U
Storage256GB SSD256GB SSD
RAM8GB8GB
Display connectivity2x Thunderbolt 4 / 1x HDMI 2.01x HDMI 2.1
Battery lifeUp to 10 hoursUp to 10 hours
Price$699.00$649.00
Chromebook Plus Spin 714 vs Chromebook Plus 516 GE comparison table

Are the dedicated AI features worth it?

The Chromebook Plus Spin 714 comes with a price tag of $699.99, while the Plus 516 GE will cost you $649.99. But is it worth upgrading to the Plus model if you already own the base one? Well, that depends on your usage. If your daily tasks involve frequent interaction with AI-powered tools like photo-editing, text-to-speech, video conferencing, or anything similar, then you’ll surely see a significant boost in productivity thanks to the AI Boost technology and the dedicated AI features. You can remove background objects from images quickly, improve clarity and lighting during video calls, and get the most out of content creation tools like Adobe Firefly. It might make everything run smoother and save you a bunch of time in the long run.

However, if you’re only dealing with basic tasks like document creation or email management, then these AI benefits may not prove to be a game changer for you. Sure, you will see some improvements, but nothing major. If that sounds like you, then there’s actually no need for you to upgrade to the Plus model.

Abdul is a tech writer and Editor for PC Guide, specializing in all things tech, gaming, and hardware.

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