Acer Chromebook 516 GE review: AAA gaming on ChromeOS is a reality

Yes, you can actually play AAA games on a Chromebook.

Acer Chromebook 516 GE review; a close up of a gaming laptop keyboard with an Xbox controller
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a high-spec ChromeOS laptop built for AAA gaming, and it works wonders (if your broadband is up to speed). Even if you're not a gamer the CPU and GPU spec, impressive build quality and lovely 16-inch, 120Hz display ensures this is one of the best Chromebooks around at the moment for everyday tasks and video streaming. For $649 / £849 the Acer Chromebook 516 GE also represents excellent value for money compared to similarly specced Windows laptops and other Chromebooks. Note: this is a cloud-based gaming laptop, so you will need a good WiFi speed to get the most from the Acer Chromebook 516 GE.

For

  • Wonderful 120Hz display
  • Fast and powerful spec
  • Good for gaming and everyday use

Against

  • Needs speedy broadband

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The Acer Chromebook 516 GE feels like it was green-lit back when Google Stadia was the future of gaming. As someone who lacks a high-spec gaming PC (but has a PS5 and Xbox Series X) the idea of cloud gaming and having access to high-end PC games anywhere is an enticing third-way for gaming. Stadia may have gone but Nvidia GeForce Now, Game Pass, Amazon Luna+ and more platforms exist. To have access to cloud gaming on a Chromebook is, frankly, witchcraft, but it works.

My time spent with the Acer Chromebook 516 GE has been fun, and I've played way too many games in the last two weeks while sat in the sofa and in a forest (yes really). This Chromebook is powered by Intel’s 12th-Gen i5 processor and is one of the few Chromebooks that can run the in-development Steam for ChromeOS. Steam support is coming in full, ideally this year, so the Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a forward-looking ChromeOS laptop.

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The Verdict
9

out of 10

Acer Chromebook 516 GE

The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is a high-spec ChromeOS laptop built for AAA gaming, and it works wonders (if your broadband is up to speed). Even if you're not a gamer the CPU and GPU spec, impressive build quality and lovely 16-inch, 120Hz display ensures this is one of the best Chromebooks around at the moment for everyday tasks and video streaming. For $649 / £849 the Acer Chromebook 516 GE also represents excellent value for money compared to similarly specced Windows laptops and other Chromebooks. Note: this is a cloud-based gaming laptop, so you will need a good WiFi speed to get the most from the Acer Chromebook 516 GE.

Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.