The first Chromebooks were simple devices designed to provide a lightweight, low-cost laptop capable of basic web browsing, emailing, and a little Microsoft Office work. Today we are going to review Acer Chromebook 516 GE in depth. So let’s begin!
Chromebooks, on the other hand, have recently begun to spread out a bit.
Larger screens and more powerful processors have resulted, and some of them have even set their sights on the gaming scene.
That is certainly true of Acer’s Chromebook 516 GE – but rather a ‘gaming edition,’ which features a high-quality 16-inch display and a fast 12th-generation Intel processor – which we all know is the most powerful version of the Intel Processor Series.
However, there is a problem here because high-speed 3D graphics generally necessitate the use of a dedicated GPU as well as a powerful CPU.
And if Chromebooks simply replicate PC laptops by adding more powerful hardware, they will no longer be lightweight and affordable.
Within this, lies the problem.
Nowadays, Acer’s solution is to concentrate on streaming game services like Nvidia’s GeForce.
This relies on Nvidia’s online servers to provide the graphical horsepower required for gaming, allowing the Chromebook 516 GE to maintain a commendably sleek and lightweight design.
With a smart, slimline design and remarkable build quality for a laptop in this price range, the Chromebook 516 GE leaves a positive first impression.
The i5 processor ensures that the ChromeOS boots quickly and responds quickly. It will easily handle routine tasks like web browsing and running Microsoft Office.
The fairly modest 8GB of memory raises some concerns, but this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re primarily interested in streaming games online, which is clearly the case here. And it runs very smoothly with a strong internet connection.
If you already have a library of PC games that you can play through GeForce Now. The Chromebook 516 GE could save you a small fortune over the cost of a high-end PC gaming laptop.
Just keep in mind that you’ll need to pay a subscription fee to have a good time.
Pros Acer Chromebook 516 GE
- Processor: 12th-gen Intel i5 CPU
- Display: 16-inch/120Hz screen
- Ports: Slim and lightweight design
- User Experience: Good connectivity
Cons Acer Chromebook 516 GE
- GPU: No dedicated GPU
- RAM: Only 8GB of memory
- Heavily reliant on streaming game services
- Modest battery life
Pricing And Options
- Display: 16.0-inch display, 2560 x 1600 resolution @ 120Hz
- CPU: Intel i5-1240P; 4 performance cores (4.4GHz); 8 efficiency cores (3.3GHz)
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe (integrated, 1.3GHz)
- Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X
- Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe solid-state
Windows-based gaming laptops typically offer a wide range of customization options, allowing you to create the gaming rig of your dreams.
The Chromebook 516 GE, on the other hand, is more of a “take it or leave it” proposition.
The Chromebook, recently released in the United States, currently comes in a single configuration, priced at $649.99 with a 12th generation Intel i5-1240P, a modest 8GB memory, and a 256GB solid-state drive.
Its crowning glory, however, is its 16-inch display with a resolution of 2560×1600 and a refresh rate of 120Hz, which is just magnificent 😍.
It is designed to provide smooth, precise motion for high-speed action games.
Display, Design, and Speaker System
- Body: 21.3mm thick, 1.7kg weight
- Ports: 2 x USB-C (3.2), 1x USB-A (3.2), 1 x 3.5mm audio in/out, 1 x HDMI
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, 1x 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 5.2
- Display: 16-inch display, 2560 x 1600 resolution, 120Hz refresh, 100% RGB
There is no doubt that the Chromebook 516 GE is extremely well-designed.
It is only 21.3mm thick and weighs 1.7kg, which is impressive for a laptop with a large 16-inch display.
The plastic case could be a little tougher, but it feels solid enough to withstand a few bumps in a backpack while traveling.
The keyboard feels great – Literally
Especially for a mid-priced laptop, and the keys have a nice, smooth action when typing for work or pounding the keys during long gaming sessions.
Acer also pays attention to detail, with multiple color schemes for the keyboard backlight available.
It even highlights the WASD keys with a white border to enhance the look.
Of course, the 16-inch display is the main selling point for gamers.
It has a 2560 x 1600 resolution, a 16:10 aspect ratio, and a 120Hz refresh rate, which is designed to provide smooth, sharp movement when playing high-speed action games.
The image is certainly sharp, bright, and colourful, to the point where some of the colours appeared a little over-saturated at times.
According to Acer, the display supports 100% of the sRGB colour standard, making it suitable for basic photo or video editing, as well as gaming or watching online videos.
We also discovered that the Chromebook comes with a full HD (1920×1080) webcam.
Our only minor objection is that the quad-speaker system sounds a little thin. So for gaming or watching movies, you’ll probably want to use a good headset or external speakers.
A laptop designed to be online, most of the time requires good connectivity, and the Chromebook 516 GE is one of the first laptops to support the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology.
This adds a new 6.0GHz band to the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz bands used by Wi-Fi 5 and 6. So if you have a Wi-Fi 6E router, you could dedicate that high-speed 6.0GHz band to the Chromebook to ensure peak performance when streaming online games.
It also supports high-speed wired connections, with a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet port, a 3.5mm audio connector, and a USB-C (3.2) port on the left side of the laptop.
Battery and Performance
- Processor: i5 processor provides good performance
- GPU: Integrated Iris Xe graphics
- Battery: 6 hours battery life
Despite the lack of a dedicated GPU, the Chromebook’s i5-1240P processor delivers a very respectable performance.
When tested with GeekBench 5, it achieves a single-core score of 1,400 and a multi-core score of 8,100.
This is only marginally lower than Apple’s M2-powered MacBook Air’s multi-core score of 8,950.
The MacBook Air has better graphics, but it costs around $1200/£1200, so the Chromebook 516 GE offers good value for money and is more than capable of handling routine tasks like web browsing and Microsoft Office.
Its integrated Iris Xe GPU should be capable of handling some photo or video editing as well.
However, running the 3DMark Wildlife Extreme test reveals a modest score of 11.7fps, indicating that the Chromebook is not ideal for playing games stored directly on the laptop.
That’s why the Chromebook focuses on streaming services like GeForce. GeForce is pre-installed on the Chromebook and includes a three-month free trial of the top-tier GeForce subscription plan with RTX 3080 graphics and up to 120fps performance.
After that, it’ll cost you £17.99/$19.99 per month, or £8.99/$9.99 per month for the standard plan, with up to 60fps.
There is a free option, but its one-hour playing time and long log-in queues make it unsuitable for serious gaming.
Steam and Xbox Games Pass are also available for Chromebooks, but they are still in beta and lack the simplicity of GeForce, which also supports games purchased from multiple online stores, including Steam, GoG, and Epic.
It’s worth noting, however, that not all games currently run on GeForce, with notable exceptions including Skyrim and other Elder Scrolls games.
Casual gaming, on the other hand, is a little more difficult. Most Chromebooks, in concept, can run hundreds of Android games downloaded from the Google Play Store.
However, Android games are generally designed to work with the touch-screen controls of a smartphone or tablet, rather than the Chromebook 516 GE’s traditional keyboard and mouse controls.
This is unlikely to be a dealbreaker, but it’s worth noting.
The only real disappointment here is that Acer’s claim of 10 hours of battery life appears overly optimistic. Even with the screen brightness set to 50%, the Chromebook only lasts a few minutes longer than six hours.
However, annoyingly that is debatable.
Because of its reliance on online gaming services, you’ll mostly be using it indoors, where there’s always mains power and wi-fi.
Considered itself, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a surprisingly successful entry into the Chromebook market.
Its reliance on subscription-based streaming services for gaming will not appeal to everyone. After all, you’re paying a monthly subscription to play games you’ve already paid for.
However, if you have a library of games that can be used with GeForce Now and a fast internet connection. The low-cost Chromebook 516 GE could be a viable alternative to an expensive PC gaming rig.
And now, I would like to know that what is the main feature of a laptop you are looking for while buying one for yourself?
Is it a powerful processor? OR a Powerful Display that won’t hurt your eyes?
Let me know!