CPU: Intel Pentium Silver N5030
GPU: UHD Graphics 600
Display: 14-inch, 1080p
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5
Size: 12.8 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches
Weight: 3 pounds
Acer is the top seller of Chromebooks worldwide, and with systems like the Chromebook C933T-P8SM, it’s easy to see why. The C933T doesn’t skimp on performance, screen quality and battery life. In fact, at $390, it is the value leader in Chromebooks today.
Chromebook C933T design and ports
At 12.8 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches, the C933T is rather large for a 14-inch Chromebook. Still, the C933T easily slipped into a student’s backpack and only weighs 3 pounds, making it a few ounces heavier than the Asus Chromebook C423NA and significantly lighter than the HP Chromebook x360 14C.
The chassis is made from a fingerprint-resistant black plastic. Or you can get the similar CB314 model in silver. The system has a bit of flex to the screen lid, but it has built-in rugged features that will help it survive the dangers of school and home. Its corners are reinforced, there are shock-absorbing bumpers, and the system’s keyboard and touchpad can stand up to small spills.
The laptop supports both Bluetooth 5 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but there’s no optional module for connecting with the LTE 4G mobile data network. The system also has a Trusted Platform module (TPM) to help make it easier to log onto a school’s digital resources. There’s a good assortment of ports as well, including two USB Type-C ports, a pair of USB 3.1 Type-A ports and a headphone jack.
The laptop also has a microSD card slot that can work with cards of up to 512GB to inexpensively turn the C423NA into a bottomless pit for data.
Chromebook C933T display and webcam
The C933T’s 14-inch, 1080p display is bright with the ability to pump out 255 nits. That’s 50% brighter than the C423NA’s display and better than systems that cost much more. It’s touch sensitive but doesn’t come with a stylus for sketching, doodling and handwriting notes; a generic dome stylus worked fine instead.
For Zoom classes, the C933T’s webcam can capture 1280 x 720 images and video. It, however, lacks a cover or the video switch that’s included on the HP Chromebook x360 14C. The system has a single microphone next to the webcam which is more than adequate for video learning.
Chromebook C933T keyboard, touchpad and speakers
The keyboard’s keys are nice and comfortable. They have a comfortable 1.5mm of travel but lack the backlighting that can make typing by the dim light of a classroom projector or bedroom night table lamp more tolerable. Its 5.1-inch touchpad is dwarfed by the 5.4-inch surface on the x360 14C.
The bottom-mounted speakers are better for spoken word programming, like audio books and lectures, than music or movies.
Chromebook C933T performance
The C933T-P8SM comes remarkably well equipped for its price tag with a 1.1-GHz Intel Pentium Silver N5030 processor with 8GB and 64GB of storage space.
That adds up to a moderately powerful Chromebook that never let me down over a week of daily use. It scored 528 and 1,517 on the Geekbench 5 array of single- and multi-processor tests. Those are roughly double the results of the Asus Chromebook C423NA, but well short of the Core i3-powered x360 14C. Add to that results of 65.8 and 113 on the online Jetstream 2 and WebXPRT 3 benchmarks that were middle of the pack.
Beyond the synthetic benchmarks, the laptop easily handled work with a Zoom classroom, Desmos graphing calculator, and the University of Colorado PhET science simulations. The notebook also quickly connected with a Chromecast receiver, allowing the system to pair with a classroom’s projector or the living room TV. In other words, it easily fit into a traditional classroom as a home learning environment.
Chromebook C933T battery life
With a 48-watt-hour battery pack, the C933T lasted for 10 hours and 10 minutes of continuously playing YouTube videos. That’s better than the 7:35 the Chromebook Plus delivered but well behind the Pixelbook Go’s 13:05.
While it has a retail price of $430, you can find it at a more reasonable $390, making Acer’s Chromebook C933T-P8SM the Goldilocks Chromebook for the 2021 academic year. It’s right in the middle in terms of performance, connection possibilities and weight, and able to help any aspiring student. It is our choice for the best Chromebook value today.