Steam gaming could be a game-changer, once Chromebook hardware catches up

In 2022, I was exposed to the concept of a gaming Chromebook, which immediately piqued my interest. When you think of a Chromebook, reliable, affordable, and portable come to mind, but certainly not a ‘gaming machine’. And that concept had naturally been met with suspicion and even outright derision from my peers.

However, after test driving the Acer Chromebook 516 GE in early 2023, I was mostly convinced that this was a worthwhile sub-category of Chromebook thanks to its excellent display and battery life (especially compared to even some of the best gaming laptops), as well as a level of portability that easily matched the best thin and light gaming laptops. I was hungry for more but for nearly a year, there was very little news concerning any more gaming Chromebooks, including on the Steam Borealis that would open up native gaming to Chrome OS.
Imagine my surprise when Google announced the Chromebook Plus line of laptops, which not only standardized specs including a 1080p resolution display and a certain level of CPU and GPU, but also fully supported Steam Borealis. Even taking the Acer Chromebook Plus 515 for a spin, which is technically not a gaming Chromebook (though a Google rep assured me that the tech giant is working on more in that sub-genre), it performed quite well with smooth gameplay and the lovely display and audio system enhancing the visuals and sound even more.


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