Acer’s Chromebook 14 CB3-431 is a reliable laptop with plenty of storage and a nice Full HD display. It also has good battery life and an easy-to-use trackpad. And if you’re an Android user, this laptop can access all the millions of apps available on Google Play. It’s a great value for someone who wants a basic computer for word processing, web surfing and streaming TV.
The Chromebook 14 is a slim, well-built notebook that’s encased in aluminum alloy. It weighs 3.42 pounds when fully loaded, and the brushed metal finish looks premium. The keyboard and touchpad have a satisfying feel, although they’re not backlit. The keys have a shallow amount of key travel, but they’re firm and responsive. They’re also comfortable for typing, and the trackpad has a wide surface that feels smooth.
Ports are a little sparse, as they are on most thin laptops, but the Acer has two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port. The only thing missing is a microSD card reader, which would have been helpful to expand the 32GB of internal storage. The laptop’s large touchpad reacted quickly to multitouch commands, such as swiping two fingers left or right for moving back and forth between Web pages and swiping three fingers up to see open windows.
The Acer’s screen is an IPS panel with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and 54% sRGB color accuracy. The panel gets fairly bright, at up to 215 nits in our tests, but it’s still dimmer than the Dell Chromebook 13 (270 nits) and the category average (251 nits). The 720p webcam is located above the display and can produce video chats that look decent.