Readers like you help support XDA Developers. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More.

Quick Links

Gaming is the last thing that I think of when I use a Chromebook. While I could fire up Xbox Cloud Gaming or Nvidia GeForce Now on any Chromebook through the web, I never had reason to try it before because the hardware isn't specialized for it. I think of Chromebooks as laptops with long battery life, great security, and efficiency. Cloud gaming is what I usually do on my Android phone or something like the incoming Logitech GCloud. But that all changed for me recently.

There's a new wave of cloud-gaming first Chromebooks coming from Google's partners, and the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is one of them. These new Chromebooks target cloud gamers, occasional gamers, and casual gamers just like me. It's even for people with Chromebooks who have always wanted to play games on their devices.

I was sent a pre-release version of this Chromebook for hands-on time, and it quickly became one of my favorites. From the amazing RGB keyboard, the impressive display, and the really great build quality, I've never been this excited about ChromeOS in a long time, and it's all thanks to the Acer Chromebook 516GE.

Note: The Acer Chromebook 516 GE sent to XDA Developers is an early pre-production model on loan for an early preview. The device's fit and finish may not be final. We also were not allowed to run benchmark tests. The pre-production unit may not reflect the performance of a production-level system.

The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a fantastic Chromebook for cloud gaming and beyond.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE
Acer Chromebook 516 GE

The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a fantastic Chromebook for cloud gaming and beyond.

Acer Chromebook 516 GE pricing and availability

  • The unit sent to us for preview is pre-production and isn't final.
  • The Acer Chromebook 516 GE line will be available in October and will start at $649.99.

This specific Chromebook sent to us for preview isn't the final device. However, the Acer Chromebook 516 GE will be available in the U.S. later this October. One of the Acer Chromebook 516 GE's first models will be the Acer Chromebook 516 GE CBG516-1H-53TY, which matches the specs of the device we checked out. It starts at $649.99, and you can pre-order now at Best Buy with the link at the top and bottom of this hands-on.

Acer Chromebook 516 GE specs


Additional information


  • Intel Core i5-1240P processor (12 MB Smart Cache, 1.7 GHz Performance-core with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 up to 4.4 GHz), supporting hybrid core architecture with Performance-core and Efficient-core


  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics


  • 16-inch display with IPS technology, WQXGA 2560 x 1600 resolution, 350 nits, Acer ComfyView, LED-backlit TFT LCD, 120 Hz, 16:10 aspect ratio, sRGB 100%, Wide viewing angle up to 170 degrees

Dimensions & weight

  • 14.04 x 9.83 x 0.84 inches/ 3.75 pounds


  • 8GB Dual-channel LPDDR4X SDRAM


  • 256GB, PCIe Gen3, 8 Gb/s up to 2 lanes, NVMe Solid state drive


  • 65 Wh 3-cell Li-ion battery
  • Battery life up to 9 hours


  • 1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port
  • 1x HDMI port
  • 1 x Ethernet (RJ-45) port
  • 1x 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • 2x USB C 3.2 Gen 2

Audio & microphones

  • DTA Audio featuring optimized bass/ treble response and micro speaker distortion prevention
  • Quad built-in force vibration cancellation stereo speakers
  • Two built-in microphones


  • Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6E AX211
  • 2.5G Ethernet
  • Bluetooth 6.2


  • FHD 1080p with temporal noise reduction. Blue glass lens.


  • Dual-tone lid


  • Top and bottom cover: Aluminum
  • Palmrest and display: Plastic


  • ChromeOS

Design: It's portable, stylish, and has a lot of ports

  • The lid has a dual-tone look
  • The Chromebook is portable for a 16-inch laptop
  • There are a lot of ports, and the speakers are amazing
Picture of the Acer Chromebook 516 GE's lid

Note: The device's fit and finish as reviewed may not be final. Acer wanted us to note that this is a pre-production unit.

One of my favorite things about the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is the design. Chromebooks come in all different form factors, but 16-inch Chromebooks are a newer thing for 2022. The only other non-gaming 16-inch Chromebook I can think of is from Asus, which has a 16-inch Chromebook Flip. Even so, that's a 2-in-1 convertible and not a clamshell. Lenovo also has a 16-inch gaming Chromebook coming too, called the IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook. Even so, the consensus that I have from years of using Windows gaming laptops is that this Acer Chromebook is definitely special just for the design alone. It's portable and compact — even if it is specialized just for cloud gaming and not gaming with a GPU.

Let's dive into the style first. I know that some Chromebooks can be boring, although Lenovo's original Chromebook Duet changed that up with a fancy dual-tone color on the rear of the tablet. I see some of that with the Acer Chromebook 516 GE. The bottom half of the display lid feels brushed, and the top part of the lid is smooth. You'd expect a Chromebook to feel cheap, but this is anything but. Both the lid and the bottom base are made of aluminum, so it feels solid. When I was typing and gaming, I didn't feel much flex when I bent it. Acer tells me that the palm rest is plastic, though.

Top-down view of the Acer Chromebook 516 GE's keyboard.

In another design aspect, Acer includes two massive speaker grills to the left and right of the keyboard deck. There are two upward-firing speakers and two downward-firing speakers paired with DTS audio. The speakers have force-canceling woofers that fire in opposite directions, which reminded me of the XPS 17. I was really surprised with the speakers on this Chromebook, I really enjoyed the sound experience. When I played Forza Horizon 5 through Xbox Cloud Gaming, the roar of my Chevrolet Corvette engine that was outputted through the speakers made it seem like I was in the driver's seat myself.

I do like the portability aspect of this Chromebook. 16-inch Windows gaming laptops are heavy since they have GPUs inside. The Dell G16, for example, is 5.38 pounds and measures 14.0 x 10.71 x 0.81 inches. Even the LG Gram 16 is 14.01 x 9.58 x 0.66 inches and 2.92 pounds. And the biggest 17-inch Chromebook? The Acer Chromebook 317 comes in at 15.8 x 10.52 x 0.89 inches and 4.85 pounds. This Acer Chromebook is 14.04 x 9.83 x 0.84 inches and 3.75 pounds. It's not too big or too small. It is just the right size for sitting on a lap or a desk for gaming and beyond.

The last part of the design that I want to mention is how Acer thought about the needs of gamers. This is one very well-connected machine, just like the very best Windows gaming laptops. It has all the latest ports; there's one USB-A port, an HDMI port, an Ethernet (RJ-45) port, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and two USB-C ports.

Unlike more powerful Windows gaming laptops, this machine charges via USB-C. This came in handy when I ran out of juice playing Fornite one night. I was able to charge the Acer Chromebook 516 GE back up with a USB-C power bank rather than a dedicated proprietary charger. And, thanks to that Ethernet port, I plugged it into my router so I could experience the very best connection when racing online in Forza Horizon 5. Even USB-A is nice, as I plugged my Xbox controller directly into the system for reduced latency.

Display: High refresh, colorful, 16:10, spacious and great for gaming

  • The 120Hz refresh rate display makes cloud games look and run buttery smooth
  • The display is very vibrant and colorful
  • 16:10 aspect ratio and the 2560 x 1600 resolution are perfect for productivity
Playing CS:GO on the Acer Chromebook 516 GE.

I'm used to a 120Hz display on my everyday computer, my Surface Laptop Studio, so seeing one on a Chromebook like the Acer Chromebook 516 GE really made me happy. I'm also used to 16:10 aspect ratio 16-inch displays on Windows laptops, as I am fresh off reviewing both the HP Envy 16, as well as a Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 3. Even Chromebooks have these 16:10 displays now, like the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2. That's why the Acer Chromebook 516 GE's display was absolutely perfect for me. I think the 16-inch, 2560 x 1600 resolution, 120Hz display has almost no faults.

There were a few things I did to test out that display. For productivity, I stacked my Chrome windows side by side. The 16-inch screen with slim bezels is definitely spacious, but I was also happy to see that I didn't need to adjust the display size setting in ChromeOS. By default, everything I wanted to stack and fit on the screen for my productivity tasks fit just right.

I also played around with ChromeOS' little animations, like opening the launcher. It felt so smooth, thanks to the high refresh-rate screen. I've never quite felt that way about ChromeOS before.

Since this is a cloud-gaming machine, I also went and played one of my favorite Steam games through the cloud with Nvidia GeForce Now — CS: GO. Right away, I felt the difference a 120Hz screen can make. Moving around the map felt like I was in the world myself; every little movement I made on the screen was as smooth as butter. I even managed to get more kills than I usually would. Other games like Assassin's Creed III felt the same way.

Those loud games looked pretty colorful, too. Everything was vibrant and alive on this display, from the shades of sand building up on my Corvette when racing in the deserts of Australia in Forza Horizon 4 to the reflection of lights in puddles of rain on the sidewalk in Cyberpunk 2077. It was all amazing and just as good as when I played these games on my Xbox Series X and dedicated gaming monitor.

Keyboard: RGB for the win

  • The keyboard is amazing
  • You can customize the RGB lights in ChromeOS' settings
Close-up of the Acer Chromebook 516 GE's RGB keyboard lit up in pink.

A cloud-gaming Chromebook wouldn't be complete without an RGB keyboard. Thankfully, this Acer Chromebook 516 GE has an RGB and anti-ghosting keyboard. The layout reminds me of a lot of the keyboard on my Surface Laptop Studio since it has chicklet-style keys. However, the difference with this Chromebook is that the keys have a much softer action when pressing into the chassis. The key presses are also much quieter. There's also a white outline on the W, A, S, and D keys, because, you know, gaming!

In regards to customization, you can choose preset the keyboard backlight modes through ChromeOS. There are seven different colors and the option to choose a rainbow. ChromeOS will even pick a color for the keyboard backlights based on your wallpaper, which is a neat feature. Most times, I kept it on this setting. You can change the lighting by clicking the Alt key and then the screen brightness up or down key, showing you a pop-up next to the slider to dive into ChromeOS to customize the backlights.

Performance: Great for cloud gaming

  • Intel's 12th-generation CPUs are onboard
  • The CPU performs well for my everyday tasks
  • Cloud gaming also works very well
Top-down view of the Acer Chromebook 516 GE.

Note: This is an early pre-production unit, and my experience with the system's performance may not reflect the performance of a production-level system.

The Acer Chromebook 516 GE I have here is powered by the 12th-generation Intel Core i5-1240P processor and has 8GB of RAM. I wasn't allowed to run benchmarks, so I'll have to speak about my day-to-day usage and my experience with cloud gaming instead. Note that this Chromebook is one of few with 12th-generation Intel CPUs. Some of the others I can think of are the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook or the Acer Chromebook Spin 714.

Generally speaking, I enjoyed using this Chromebook for work. Chrome itself performed great, and so did the many social media Android apps that I use (Snapchat, Instagram, Telegram, etc.) I even played GTA III as an offline Android game, and it worked fine, as did Asphalt 9.

This is an amazing Chromebook for cloud gaming. I installed Nvidia GeForce Now web app via Chrome, as well as Xbox Cloud Gaming, and got into the gaming action right away. Thanks to the work Google did in ChromeOS, I was able to find the GeForce Now and Google Play games I wanted to play natively by just searching using the Chromebook's Everything Button and looking at the results in the ChromeOS launcher. That's something Microsoft has yet to do in Windows 11 with Xbox Cloud Gaming.

What's even better is that games on GeForce Now all play at 1600p resolution and 120 FPS, taking full advantage of the 120Hz high-resolution display I mentioned earlier. You even can experience ray tracing on games, too, since the processing happens in Nvidia's servers and not on the device.

Xbox Cloud Gaming, though, only hits 1080p resolution, so it's not making the most out of the display. I still think it looks good when you account for the fact that Acer says the display can hit 100% sRGB color gamut.

Acer and Google also tell me that you can access over 1,400 games from Steam, EGS, EA Origin, Ubisoft Connect, and on this Chromebook with GeForce Now. Of course, I didn't play all of those and stuck to my library of titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Fornite, Apex Legends, and Assassins Creed. On my home network, which hits fiber optic download and upload speeds, all of these played without network issues or lag on both Wi-Fi and ethernet. It honestly was like playing on a console itself without the hassle of downloads, installs, or worrying about game updates.

Conclusion: I can't wait to buy one

An Xbox controller sitting on the Acer Chromebook 516 GE.

The Acer 516 GE Chromebook will hit stores later this month for relatively affordable prices, starting at $649.99. When it goes on sale, I'll most definitely be buying one for myself. I just really love the 120Hz 16-inch display, the keyboard, and the overall design of this Chromebook. As someone who uses a Windows laptop as a daily driver, I never thought I'd use a Chromebook so much, but this Acer changed that.

The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a fantastic Chromebook for cloud gaming and beyond.
Acer Chromebook 516 GE
Acer Chromebook 516 GE

The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a fantastic Chromebook for cloud gaming and beyond.