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Acer’s Vero 514 is a Chromebook with an “eco-friendly” design

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News Tech: Additionally, it appears to have gained some wisdom from its original Vero laptop. Acer is expanding its Vero range to include a Chromebook, which it claims would provide laptop shoppers a “eco-conscious” choice. The Chromebook Vero 514 is built of recycled plastic, has a chassis that is 99 percent recyclable, and is packaged with 90 percent recycled paper, just like the (very dismal) Windows laptop that came before it, claims the manufacturer. If you’re unwilling to toss anything out, Acer’s press release even proposes that a portion of the Chromebook’s box can be “converted into a multi-purpose triangle laptop stand.”

The 1080p screen is covered in Gorilla Glass, which should make it feel reasonably nice if you opt for the touchscreen model. Its 300 nits of brightness won’t be enough if you’re constantly working in bright sunlight, but it’s still a step up from the 227-nit panel found on its Windows counterpart. The 514 should also improve on the original Vero’s color rendering; while the Windows model can only display 66 percent of the sRGB gamut, Acer’s promising 100 percent coverage for its Chromebook.

Before we go over the recyclability, though, let’s quickly go through the specs — it weighs in at just a hair over 3 pounds, which is reasonable for a laptop with a 14-inch screen, and is powered by a 12th-gen Intel processor with Xe graphics. You can spec it out with a variety of processors, including the five-core Pentium Gold 8505 (don’t let the core count fool you, only one is for performance while the rest are efficiency cores), the Core i3-1215U, the Core i5-1235U, and a Core i7-1255U. Those are all relatively low-power chips, appropriate for an eco-minded computer, but if I were looking for a laptop I’d probably go with either the i3 or i5 and avoid the Pentium entirely.

THE DISPLAY IS, ON PAPER, A BIG STEP UP FROM ACER’S PREVIOUS VERO LAPTOP.
When it comes to ports, the 514 has a healthy selection — two USB-C ports, which can be used to fast charge the battery up to 50 percent in 30 minutes, one USB-A port, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. The computer also comes with a “flare-reducing” 1080p webcam.

Overall it seems like Acer’s addressed quite a few of the problems we had with the original Vero laptop. However, I’d like to echo a note that Monica hit on in her review of that computer: it’s hard to consume your way to ecological responsibility, and if you do have to buy something it should last a long time. One option for those looking to get a computer that’s a bit eco-friendlier is to install ChromeOS Flex on an old Windows laptop purchased from a local used computer store or dug out of a closet (implementing the “reuse” step of reduce, reuse, recycle). But if you want something with a bit more modern hardware, including creature comforts like a fingerprint reader, Acer says the Vero 514 will be available at Best Buy starting in “mid-October.”

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