Acer Chromebook 516 GE Review: A Powerful Device Beyond Cloud Gaming
April 14, 2023
The new Acer Chromebook 516 GE has a 16-inch, 2560 x 1600 display, a 120 Hz refresh rate (making it smoother to scroll through spreadsheets), and a 12th generation Intel Core i5 processor that gives it more power. The new chromebook is great for both cloud gaming and the day-to-day activities you do every day. For example, streaming and writing. The chromebook is now available on Amazon.
A power out of the ordinary for a chromebook
Compared to many Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is very powerful inside and out. The Intel Core i5-1240P is more powerful than the processors we have seen in other dedicated gaming Chromebooks. It is also larger than most Chromebooks. Typically, Chromebooks are thin devices, between 0.55 and 0.7 inches thick. Aesthetically, the 516 GE model is thick, with a thickness of 0.84 inches, but it does not appear to be heavier than the others. The only major difference is the overall size.
It is important to note that the 516 GE is a cloud gaming Chromebook, with a cloud emphasis. In other words, although the Chromebook’s processor is more powerful than the typical one, it does not have a discrete graphics card like a traditional gaming computer. As a result, to play games, you need to use an external server’s streaming service instead of running the game directly on your machine.
Acer has indulged itself with the 516 GE model. The back of the display is faux brushed metal, giving it a pleasing appearance even up close. There is also the standard for gaming laptops: a multi-zone RGB keyboard.
A new innovative screen
The screen is one of the most innovative elements of the Acer Chromebook 516 GE. Although it is no longer new to see a 16-inch display on a Chromebook, large screens have been a staple for gaming laptops. The 2560 x 1600 resolution offers nice, crisp pixel density.
Most Chromebooks and laptops achieve a maximum refresh rate of 60 Hz. This is good enough, but as phones, tablets and computers begin to offer panels with higher and higher refresh rates, smoothness of motion becomes more and more of an essential element.
Of course, the refresh rate is not the only aspect of the screen. It also offers good brightness and excellent color reproduction. While gaming, the colors stand out in a way you probably wouldn’t see on a low-end Chromebook.
High keyboard quality
Chromebooks are not known for keyboard quality. Surprisingly, the keyboard on the 516 GE, on the other hand, is of high quality. The feel is that of a standard laptop keyboard, and key pressure is pleasant.
Like most gaming laptops, Acer’s Chromebook 516 GE has an RGB backlit keyboard. However, the lighting options are scarce. Indeed, one can choose a single color for the keyboard, or opt for a rainbow effect. Either way, the keyboard’s overall illumination is dim, even when you turn it up to full brightness.
On the other hand, the WASD keys are highlighted in white, which makes them slightly easier to spot in a dark room. In addition, the keyboard also has an anti-ghosting system, which ensures that no key presses are missed when pressing several keys.
Multiple ports and options for connectivity
The 516 GE features a selection of ports that should not be underestimated. First, there are two USB-C ports, one on either side of the Chromebook. That is, the ports where you plug in the charger, which is a given for some computers. In fact, as we see every day, it is convenient to be able to choose which side you are on.
The right side of the 516 GE has a full-size HDMI port, which is useful if you want to connect the Chromebook to a TV for big-screen gaming. There is also a full-size USB-A 3.2 port for mice, controllers or other gaming peripherals to plug in. While on the left side is a 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones or gaming earphones and a 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port.
Long live the battery!
The battery life of the 516 GE is just over seven hours. A result that might not seem particularly surprising when you consider that other Chromebooks often have a lot to offer in terms of battery life. There is to keep in mind, however, that many of these Chromebooks have less powerful hardware and screens with half the refresh rate. Which means they don’t draw much from the battery.
Heavy gaming always reduces battery life, but many gaming laptops struggle to offer more than four or five hours of gaming. You can therefore always get more battery life if you don’t overdo the hardware. The included charger might look a bit bulky compared to the up look of the rest of the package. Despite this, it recharges the battery from fully discharged in about one hour and twenty minutes.
The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is perfect for anyone who wants a true gaming experience. In many ways, it’s just another Chromebook with a nicer screen and more powerful hardware, but Acer’s work on optimizing network speed for services like GeForce Now gives it a leg up over the competition.
The main problem with the Acer 516 GE is that the hardware might be perfect, but Acer cannot control the quality of cloud gaming platforms. This model works wonderfully with GeForce Now, but it does not work as well with Xbox Cloud Gaming.
If you are looking for a Chromebook to use for work or daily browsing, but also want to do some cloud gaming, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a perfect purchase.