Acer Chromebook Vero 514 hands-on: A welcome change from the norm

I’ve lamented the boring design that many Chromebooks have been released with over the past couple of years. It’s not that those designs aren’t bad, as they obviously work well, or the companies wouldn’t continue to use them. But when a Chromebook (or any device for that matter) comes along that bucks the trend and offers something different, I tend to get pretty excited.

The Chromebook Vero 514 sparks a lot of excitement

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick/Android Central)

As soon as I opened the box for the Chromebook Vero 514, I was immediately impressed with the unique design and color choice. Gone was the dark gray metal lid in favor of a light gray one that is speckled with a myriad of different colors. And because Acer decided to go with PCR materials for the build, this basically means that no two Vero 514s will look the same. If you put two of these side-by-side, the differences might be more apparent, but the speckled patterns would likely be different. It’s nothing major from an overall design perspective, but it’s just something that I thought was pretty cool to think about.

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 embossed logos

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick/Android Central)

Plus, the little accents you’ll find around the chassis help push the uniqueness of this Chromebook even further from the competition. For example, the “E + R” keys on the keyboard are the same yellowish color as the feet found on the bottom of the casing. The trackpad has a little “recycled” logo in the bottom right corner to go along with the embossed “Post Consumer Recycled” logo in the bottom right corner of the keyboard deck. You’ll find another embossed logo on the front lip, this time with the “Chromebook Vero” name itself. It’s little touches like this that we really like to see when a brand-new type of Chromebook hits the market.

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 highlighted E and R keys

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick/Android Central)

Acer also went so far as to integrate a fingerprint scanner on the keyboard deck, just below the arrow keys on the right side. We can only assume this uses the same OceanGlass material as the trackpad, but it’s been an excellent addition in the time we’ve spent with it. We’re also excited to see that it seems that Acer will include this on the final retail versions, regardless of what configuration you end up grabbing.

Fingerprint scanner on Acer Chromebook Vero 514

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick/Android Central)

When you look at the “features” of a Chromebook and see a bunch of plastic listed everywhere, you might be turned off, as it doesn’t looks as premium as others. It kind of feels like that’s the point since this is meant to stand out from the crowd. Acer’s use of PCR materials across the board also brings something unexpected: the MIL-STD-810H military-grade durability rating. That instantly puts the Vero 514 in the running for the best Chromebook for students, especially with a starting price tag of around $500.

Weird ‘nits’ flex, but okay

Acer Chromebook Vero 514 in direct sunlight

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick/Android Central)

During Acer’s official announcement, the company made it a point to call out the 300 nits of brightness offered by the Chromebook Vero 514. That might not have been something that you caught or paid attention to, but we were left scratching our heads a bit. It’s not to say that the 300 nits of brightness isn’t more than capable of being bright enough to use in a well-lit room, but it’s really not something to write home about.

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