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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.

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  1. Really you can cloud stream on a potato, you’re paying a premium here for the RGB and the screen resolution / refresh rate.

    You could take an older 4th gen optiplex with no discrete card, any of the streaming services and go to town on gaming all day if you’re streaming…. nothing about that is ‘ gaming ‘

    1. My main beef with all the ‘gaming’ chromebooks announced today: they all have active cooling. But WHY?! That’s why I game in the cloud to begin with – to avoid fan noise!

      1. I kind of have a hard time believing that the lower up front cost didn’t have more to with that, than getting more angry than you probably should be at fan noise.

        1. That “lower upfront cost” is in the range of an entry level gaming laptop which would offer better performance overall, if maybe weighing a little more. Also being emotion police on the internet is an interesting decision. People can feel how they want about whatever they please.
          Anyhow, these gaming Chromebooks are mostly pointless in their current iteration. If you are looking for mobility in your game streaming, get a gaming handheld for cheaper (like an Steam Deck or an AYA Neo Air) or an entry level gaming laptop. There’s already the environment dilemma of Chromebooks and their impact on the environment, add that in with game streaming being no more than a supplement for people in areas with strong internet access , I see these products lines being discontinued in a year . The idea of these was concocted during a pandemic when access to GPUs was limited and prices for tech was way up. Now that the market is normalizing and PC sales are down year over year (along with Google themselves discontinuing it’s streaming service LOL) these will be a monumental flop.

          1. What I meant is, and I probably should have phrased it like this in the first place, is that if you really want fanless, you can use an Apple Silicon macbook air, or go out of your way to find passive cooling components for both your CPU and GPU. The thing is those cost a bit more than using whatever you’ve got lying around and paying for a month of whatever.
            I don’t care if someone doesn’t want to bother with the more expensive fanless computers to play games, but I am genuinely worried about being increasingly attacked for using “noisy” computers, which has occurred in some discussions surrounding Apple Silicon.