The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is a fully loaded 2-in-1 convertible with an aluminum build and unmatched performance. However, its expensive price might chase potential buyers away.
- 1. Hinges can rotate 360 degrees
- 2. Vivid display
- 3. Strong performance
- 4. Sturdy build quality
- 5. Attractive design
- 1. Pricey
Have you been thinking of switching from a Windows laptop to a Chromebook? If so, read this Acer Chromebook Spin 13 review to know if it’s the right Chromebook for you.
This review will go through the specifications and features of the Acer Chromebook Spin 13. I’ll also analyze the laptop’s CPU, RAM, storage, and GPU performances.
Additionally, I will run a variety of benchmark tests to see how well the laptop can handle tasks. In addition to that, I’ll compare the laptop with some of its closest competitors.
After reading this review, you’ll know whether or not to buy the Acer Chromebook Spin 13.
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Review: My Initial Thoughts
By Chromebook standards, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is pretty pricey. It starts at a price of $569.99 – accurate as of September 2021 when I published this article.
However, coming at such an expensive price, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 has a lot to live up to. Fortunately, it doesn’t disappoint.
This laptop features a sturdy build quality, attractive design, and on top of that, a powerful Core i5 processor. However, would that be enough to entice customers?
Read on to find out!
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Design, Dimension & Weight Review
Unlike most Chromebooks, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is made up of aluminum. From the keyboard deck to the shiny 360-degree hinges and solid chassis, the all-aluminum build screams “luxury design”.
Furthermore, the aluminum is dark gray, similar to the Space Gray found on MacBooks. However, due to its display, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 cannot be considered compact and sleek, despite its aluminum design.
It has a 13.5-inch touchscreen display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, giving it a slightly taller appearance. This Chromebook is an unusually tall laptop.
Most modern laptops feature a 16:9 aspect ratio screen. However, a 3:2 screen has its own advantages.
For example, the 3:2 screen’s added vertical space means less scrolling when going through long web pages or documents.
Furthermore, when using the laptop in tablet mode, it makes it feel more natural – tablets have taller displays. On the contrary, using a laptop in tablet mode with a 16:9 screen may feel awkward.
Although a 3:2 aspect ratio has some benefits, it reduces the laptop’s portability.
The display’s aspect ratio isn’t the only cause for the laptop’s lack of compactness. In particular, thick screen bezels, especially at the top and bottom, surrounds the display.
The top bezel measures 15 mm, while the bottom bezel measures 25 mm, making the already tall display much taller. Aside from that, there’s a lot of free space above the keyboard on the keyboard deck.
Moving on from its display, this Chromebook has some other things going for it.
For example, the touchscreen display features Gorilla Glass for protection against scratches. Additionally, the display is an In-Plane Switching (IPS) display with an uncommon 2K QHD (2256 x 1504) resolution.
In addition to its unusually high resolution for a Chromebook, the contents on the display are very colorful and bright.
Furthermore, it also offers wide viewing angles. Acer says that the display’s viewing angles can get up to 178 degrees, and I agree.
To find any color distortion or considerable brightness loss, I had to move the display to various unusual angles. Additionally, the display can rotate 360 degrees thanks to its two robust hinges
Therefore, allowing you to use the laptop in four different modes. The modes include stand mode, laptop mode, tent mode, and tablet mode.
Moreover, the hinges are sturdy, preventing the display from moving out of place and flexing only a little when pushed. Interestingly, Acer included an Active Pen stylus for the laptop’s touchscreen.
This Active Pen has its own slot on the laptop’s front edge where it can be kept. It also has an excellent pressure sensitivity*, which makes it useful for navigating Windows when using the laptop in tablet mode.
Moving on, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 comes with a Chiclet-style keyboard. Additionally, the keyboard is well-spaced and quite comfortable to type on.
Furthermore, the keys have a reasonable amount of travel. Even when the keys hit their lowest point, they bounce back as if nothing happened.
Additionally, the keyboard is also backlit. Moreover, the lighting levels can be adjusted by pressing Alt + the Brightness keys.
Also, unlike on other laptops, the lighting is always on and does not switch off after a while. As a result, you’ll have to manually switch off the lighting when it’s not in use.
Below the keyboard is a trackpad that is reasonably big and snappy for regular use. Moreover, the trackpad also has Gorilla Glass protection and responds to swipes, touches, and gestures swiftly and precisely.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 comes with Chrome OS, as one would expect from a Chromebook. Chrome OS is so light that it takes less than five seconds to boot up from a cold start.
Furthermore, Chrome OS includes Play Store, which contains over a million Android apps and allows Chromebooks to be more productive. However, not every Android app ran smoothly on the Acer Chromebook Spin 13.
Moving on to ports, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 comes with a modest but well-chosen port selection.
The left side houses a USB Type-C port, a Type-A USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack, and a MicroSD card slot. On the right side, adjacent to a volume button and power button, is a second USB Type-C port.
For size and weight, the Acer Chromebook Spin measures 309.8 x 246.3 x 17 mm and weighs 1501.3 g.
Comparatively, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is taller and heavier than Samsung’s Chromebook 3. Specifically, the Samsung Chromebook 3 measures 288.8 x 204.2 x 17.78 mm and weighs 1152.13g.
In conclusion, the design and aluminum build quality of the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is quite impressive. Also, it features two sturdy hinges that make the screen rotate 360 degrees.
Therefore, my review rating for the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is a nine out of ten for its impressive design.
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Processor (CPU) Performance Review
As I hinted earlier, the quality of the processor is one reason this Chromebook is pricey. Most Chromebooks feature the low-end Intel Celeron processor.
However, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 comes with a quad-core Intel Core i5-8250U processor.
Intel Core i5-8250U processor features a 6 MB cache and a base frequency of 1.60GHz. Moreover, you can push the processor to a maximum frequency of 3.40GHz.
Additionally, the Intel Core i5-8250U processor is a power-efficient and decently fast processor based on the Kaby Lake generation.
As a result, performing basic computing tasks with the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 was very easy. With this processor, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 was able to handle word processing and even multitask with ease.
Speaking of multitasking, I was able to launch multiple applications including MS Word, Google Chrome, and Netflix simultaneously. Launching the applications was very swift.
In addition to launching applications swiftly, the laptop ran the applications smoothly without lagging while running them simultaneously.
Moving on, as a means to further determine the laptop’s performance, I performed a Geekbench 5 test. Geekbench 5 is a cross-platform processor benchmark test for measuring the overall performance of a computer.
On this test, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 delivered a score of 3534 points. This score crushes the Lenovo Chromebook C330’s score.
Lenovo Chromebook C330, powered by a quad-core MediaTek MT8173c processor, scored 2934 points on the Geekbench 5 test.
Finally, I will be rating the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 a nine out of ten in this processor review. This rating is based on the laptop’s impressive real-life performance and outstanding benchmark results.
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Memory (RAM) Performance Review
The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 features a single LPDDR3 RAM slot with a standard memory of 8 GB. Unfortunately, the memory can’t be upgraded because it is soldered to the motherboard.
Fortunately, you can buy the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 with 16 GB memory, which is the maximum memory supported. Moreover, even most Windows laptop doesn’t come with a maximum memory of 16 GB.
Moving from the memory’s specifications, I conducted a multitasking test to test the laptop’s multitasking abilities. On this test, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 seamlessly handled 20 Chrome tabs while editing a document on MS Word.
It is worth noting that about 3 of the Chrome tabs were downloading movies, while 2 were streaming live videos. The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 handled these tasks impressively without slowing down.
For the benchmark test, I conducted a CrXPRT 2 test. CrXPRT measures how fast a Chromebook handles tasks like playing video games, streaming movies, web browsing, and word processing.
On this test, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 performed better than all the Chromebooks in its category. Specifically, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 scored 268 points, double the 120 points scored by the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2.
Finally, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 proves to be great at multitasking. Asides from that, it outperforms all the Chromebooks in its category on the CrXPRT 2 test I performed.
With all these facts, I believe the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is deserving of nine out of ten ratings.
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Storage Options & Performance Review
The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 features an eMMC drive. eMMC is a type of flash storage.
It’s worth noting that this type of storage drive usually offers a smaller storage size compared to an SSD or HDD.
Furthermore, the storage is soldered directly to the motherboard, just like the laptop’s memory. This implies that you won’t be able to increase the storage capacity.
The maximum storage supported on this laptop is 128 GB. However, my review laptop came with 64 GB, which I believe won’t be sufficient for most users.
Fortunately, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 comes with 100GB cloud storage on Google Drive, free for two years. Moreover, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 also offers a microSD card reader for additional storage.
In conclusion, even though the laptop’s local storage is limited, featuring a free 100 GB Google drive is pretty impressive. For this reason, I will be rating the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 an eight out of ten in this storage review.
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Graphics Card Performance Review
For graphics, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 features an Intel UHD Graphics 620. This graphics card is an integrated graphics card.
Since the graphics card is integrated, it isn’t strong enough for running graphic-demanding apps or games.
This is because, unlike discrete graphics cards, it doesn’t feature dedicated VRAM, so it shared memory with the CPU. Furthermore, this graphics card features a 300 MHz base GPU frequency and boost GPU frequency of 1100 MHz.
However, despite not featuring a discrete GPU, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 delivered an excellent benchmark result. For example, on a 3DMark Ice Storm test, it scored 4516 points, surpassing the category average of 3350 points.
When compared to the HP Chromebook 14, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 performed significantly better. The HP Chromebook 14 which uses an Intel HD Graphics 500 scored 3941 points on the 3DMark Ice Storm test.
In terms of gaming performance, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is able to run most Android games from Play Store. For instance, I was able to play games like Shadow Hunter and Pac-Man 2 smoothly without experiencing any lag.
Also, the laptop is capable of running casual games such a league of legends. Specifically, while playing league of legends on the laptop, it achieved an impressive frame rate of 58 fps.
However, high-end games such as GTA IV won’t even run on the laptop.
Finally, in this graphics review section, I will rate the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 an eight out of ten. This is because it performed better than its competitor on a benchmark test.
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Battery Life & Performance Review
The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 comes with a 3-cell Lithium-ion 4670 mAh battery. Acer claims that with this battery, the Chromebook Spin 13 should last up to 10 hours.
However, I could never trust any manufacturer’s claim about their laptop’s battery. For this reason, I conducted a video playback test to determine the actual battery life of the Chromebook Spin 13.
On this video playback test, I looped an HD video on YouTube until the laptop’s battery went dry. At the end of this test, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 lasted 8 hours and 15 minutes.
Comparatively, the Google PixalBook lasted longer, lasting 10 hours and 5 minutes. Regardless, the Acer Chromebook Spin 13’s battery runtime is still impressive.
Therefore, in this battery review section, I will rate the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 an eight.
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Review: Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely YES. The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is one of the most versatile Chromebooks available on the market. It features a colorful display, powerful processor, and its screen can rotate 360 degrees.
Yes. The Acer Chromebook spin 13 features an Active Pen stylus, which can be kept in a slot on the front edge of the laptop.
The Acer Chromebook 13 was released in September 2018.
Yes, it does. As a 2-in-1 convertible laptop, the Acer Chromebook spin 13 definitely feature a touchscreen.
Chromebooks do not support the Windows operating system. Instead, it makes use of Google’s Chrome OS.
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Review: My Final Thoughts
Chromebooks are still attempting to earn a place in this Windows-dominated computing world. However, it’s difficult to ignore Acer’s pure brilliance in creating the Chromebook Spin 13.
There’s nothing about the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 that I don’t like. This laptop has a great design, a beautiful display, a comfortable keyboard, powerful hardware, and long battery life.
However, starting at a price of $569.99 in September 2021, this laptop is quite expensive for a Chromebook. With its remarkable features and quality, though, I can assure you that it is well worth the money.
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References And Further Reading
- stuff.tv – Acer Chromebook Spin 13 review
- pcmag.com – Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Review
- zdnet.com – Acer Chromebook Spin 13 review: A versatile and affordable Chromebook with impressive battery life
- forbes.com – Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Review
- expertreviews.co.uk – Acer Chromebook Spin 13 review: Enough to make you ditch Windows?
- techradar.com – Acer Chromebook Spin 13 convertible review
- androidauthority.com – Acer Chromebook Spin 13 review: The best Chromebook, but at what cost?
- gadgetreview.com – Acer Chromebook Spin 13 Review_
- ultrabookreview.com – Acer Chromebook Spin 13 review (i3-8130U, 8 GB RAM, 64 GB eMMC)