The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a laptop with a 16 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel IPS LCD display featuring a 120 Hz refresh rate, a backlit keyboard with 4-zone RGB lighting effects, and support for up to a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 processor.
In other words, it has many of the things you’d expect from a gaming laptop. But there are two things that make it different from most notebooks designed for gaming. First, there’s no discrete graphics card. And second? It’s a Chromebook.
Google has been working to make ChromeOS a more game-friendly operating system in recent years. What was once best described as a browser-based operating system can now run Android and Linux games and apps. There’s even experimental support for Steam gaming on Chromebooks.
Meanwhile, game streaming has become a thing in recent years, which means that maybe all you really do need is a browser-based operating system and a decent keyboard, display and internet connection for gaming.
So it’s unsurprising that Acer’s press release focuses squarely on cloud gaming from services like NVIDIA GeForce Now, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and Amazon Luna. But theoretically you should also be able to play some native games using Android, Linux, and/or Steam. The compute does feature a 12th-gen Intel Core processor with Iris Xe graphics, which should be good enough for less demanding titles.
Acer says Chromebook 516 GE is available from Best Buy starting today. The first model to arrive sells for $650 and features an Intel Core i5-1240P processor, 8GB of dual-channel LPDDR4x memory and a 256GB PCIe Gen 3 NVMe SSD.
The company also plans to offer models with up to a Core i7-1260P processor, 16GB of RAM and as little as 128GB of storage.
All models feature a 1920 x 1080 pixel webcam, dual microphones, quad speakers with DTS Audio, a 65 Wh battery.
The laptop has two USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C ports (with speeds up to 10 Gbps), one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, an HDMI 2.1 port, 3.5mm audio jack, and 2.5 Gbps Ethernet port. Wireless features include support for WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.
The Acer Chromebook 516 GE measures 14″ x 9.8″ x 0.8″ and weighs about 3.8 pounds.
Acer isn’t the only company with a gaming laptop – we recently learned that a Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook is on the way. That model has a similar display, but less powerful processor options (Core i3-1215U or Core i5-1235U) and more storage (up to 512GB). Like the Acer Chromebook 516 GE, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook lacks a discrete GPU.