Acer Chromebook Spin 713 2021 review: A supremely fast Chromebook


The stability of high-end Chromebooks continues to grow, and you might not be able to differentiate one from its Windows counterpart at first glance.

The latest is the convertible 2-in-1 Acer Chromebook Spin 713, which was updated for 2021 with new internal components and some Chromebooks earlier. Namely, the Chromebook Spin 713 is now the first Intel Evo-certified Chromebook and the first Chromebook to offer full Thunderbolt 4 support.

Acer sent me a midrange version of the Chromebook Spin 713, priced at $700 for an 11th-generation Intel Core i5-1035G7 CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD), and a tall 13.5-inch display. With 3:2 aspect ratio and 2K (2256 x 1504) resolution. It’s not cheap for a Chromebook, but the price is components friendly. Note that you may end up spending more if you opt for the Core i7 and 16GB of RAM.

Does the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 have what it takes to compete with the latest and greatest Chromebooks?

design

Showing open screen on Acer Chromebook Spin 713.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 sports a light gray (or dark silver depending on the light) chassis that’s conservative but attractive. Its chamfered edges give it a little extra panache, but it’s not designed to stand out. For example, it’s not a brilliant red like its close competitor, the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, nor does it have the rounded edges of the Google Pixelbook Go (if you’re into that kind of look). Think of Acer as a contemporary sedan and Samsung as a sports car and you get the picture. The Asus Chromebook Flip C436 is pretty close to the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 in its aesthetics, and no one will go wrong with the machine.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 would have a more modern look if its bezels were thinner. The side bezels are quite thin, but the top bezel is relatively thick and the chin at the bottom is huge. With a 3:2 aspect ratio, those bezels not only detract from the look, but also create a laptop that’s much darker than that. The Asus Chromebook Flip C436 sports a 14-inch display in a 16:9 aspect ratio with smaller bezels – we prefer 3:2, but there’s no doubt that the Asus looks a bit wider.

Apply a little extra pressure, and the lid will bend.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is 3.02 pounds and 0.67 inches thick, which is significantly heavier and thicker than both the Asus Chromebook Flip C436 (2.5 pounds and 0.54 inches) and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 (2.71 pounds and 0.55 inches). ) Each of these machines is a convertible 2-in-1, so Acer can’t use a more complicated hinge to excuse the theft of a laptop.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has an all-aluminum chassis that approximately Reaches premium laptop level in terms of its build quality. Apply a little extra pressure and the lid will bend a little more than I’d like, and the keyboard deck has some flex. That’s fine for $700, but it becomes a little less acceptable for a pricey configuration, at around $1,000. The Asus Chromebook Flip C436 feels like a sturdy laptop, and it’s around the same price as the Acer.

Note that Acer has subjected the laptop to the MIL-STD-810g series of durability and reliability tests, and so there’s some reason for confidence beyond my own subjective experience. Furthermore, the display of the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is Corning Gorilla Glass with an antimicrobial coating to reduce the growth of certain microorganisms. The touchpad uses the same glass and offers similar protection.

Acer stocks the Chromebook Spin 713 with a solid selection of ports. On the left, you’ll find a USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port with Thunderbolt 4 support (again, a Chromebook first), a full-size HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. On the right is a USB-A 3.2 port and a microSD card reader. It beats all the Chromebooks out there, none of which can support Thunderbolt 4. The Chromebook Spin 713’s wireless connectivity is completely up to date with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.

Display

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 with its lid open.

It’s still difficult to measure the actual performance of a Chromebook relative to other devices. However, I can refer to Geekbench 5 (the Android app on the Chromebook), where the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 with its quad-core Core i5 scored 1,237 in the single-core test and 5,114 in the multi-core test. This beats the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 (in multi-core, anyway) at 1,003 and 2,179 with its dual-core Core i3 and the Asus Chromebook Flip C436, with the same processor, at 938 and 1,653.

Interestingly, Acer even beat the Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook with AMD’s Chrome OS-specific CPU, the AMD Ryzen 5 3500C. That laptop scored 907 and 2,739. In fact, the Chromebook Spin 713 was competitive with some Windows 10 11th-gen Intel Core machines, which is pretty unusual for a Chromebook.

But despite the lack of objective measures, I can say that the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a fast Chrome OS laptop that keeps up with any others I’ve reviewed. I used the laptop with a handful of Android apps and a ton of Google tabs open, and the laptop didn’t miss a beat. This is likely due to the 8GB of RAM, which is plenty for Chrome OS, as well as the faster SSD.

I also started some games, including Asphalt 9: Legends, And the Chromebook Spin 713 with its Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics ran smoothly. It was a bit heavy in tablet mode, but I still managed to run a few races and experienced zero lag or agony. It’s a huge improvement over the ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook’s AMD Radeon graphics, which turned the game into something close to a slideshow.

As I mentioned earlier, you can upgrade the Chromebook Spin 713 to a Core i7 and 16GB of RAM, but I see no reason to do so. It’s a fast laptop in my configuration, and one of the faster options you’ll get for only $700. I’ll also point out here that the Chromebook Spin 713 is Intel Evo-certified, as I’ve said for a Chromebook before, and so it promises the same quick response from sleep, longer battery life (though see the battery section for that). ), improved performance, and Thunderbolt 4 support.

Display

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 screen.

One of the more exciting trends in laptops is the move to taller displays. 16:10 and 3:2 aspect ratios show more vertical information, which is important for web browsing and document creation and viewing. The Chromebook Spin 713 quickly joined that trend, with its 3:2 display being one of the first on a Chromebook. The 2,256 x 1,504 resolution is also welcome, which provides sharp text and images.

I couldn’t subject performance to my colorimeter, so, unfortunately, even with performance, I don’t have much in the way of objective metrics. Actually, I don’t have any. However, subjectively, I found the display to be bright enough to work comfortably even with plenty of ambient light – though working outside under a bright sun wouldn’t be a great experience. I’ve used brighter displays—Dell’s XPS 13 and HP’s Specter x360 14 OLED are both brighter—but I’m not complaining.

The combination of quality and 3:2 aspect ratio made it a delightful display.

The contrast was enough to make black text pop on a white background. In the end, the colors looked natural and weren’t oversaturated, though I can’t confirm the accuracy. Gamma may have also been spot on as Netflix videos didn’t seem too bright or too dark.

The combination of quality and 3:2 aspect ratio made this a delightful display, which is more than enough for most Chromebook users. If you need a wide color gamut and sheer accuracy, I can’t attest to how well the display will work for you. I haven’t seen the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 in person, so I can’t say whether its QLED display is better – but I love it given the QLED’s ability to show off lovely colors.

Audio quality was a different story. The sound wasn’t very loud, and I noticed a hint of distortion at 100%. Highs were a bit choppy, and the midrange was muddy—and of course, bass was lacking, as always with most laptops. Sound quality was fine for the occasional YouTube video, but I recommend a pair of headphones or Bluetooth speakers for Netflix binging and music.

keyboard and touchpad

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 keyboard.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713’s keyboard is fairly typical island style, with nice but not great key spacing. I found the mechanism to be a bit mushy, with lots of travel and a soft bottom action, but not as crisp as I’d like. The Asus Chromebook Flip C436 enjoyed more precise responsiveness that I found more comfortable over longer periods, and Acer’s keyboard really didn’t come close to my favourites, HP’s Specter Keyboard and Apple’s Magic Keyboard on the latest MacBooks.

The touchpad was larger than usual due to the additional keyboard deck space provided by the taller display. As mentioned earlier, it has a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass with an antimicrobial coating. I found it quite comfortable to swipe and make precise use of Google’s multitouch gestures. The touch display was responsive too, but while the laptop supports the optional Active Pen, one doesn’t ship with this configuration.

Acer also didn’t include any biometric login with the Chromebook Spin 713, which is disappointing. A fingerprint reader would have been welcomed.

battery life

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 in Tent Mode.

Acer packs 48 watt-hours of battery life into the Chromebook Spin 713’s chassis, and that’s a decent amount for a lightweight and efficient Chrome OS. For example, the Chromebook Spin 713 lasted 8.5 hours in our web browsing test, which is an hour less than the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2. Plus, the Samsung lasted about 13 hours while looping our Full HD. avengers The trailer, which is about five hours long from the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. Samsung’s QLED display has contributed here, as it is slightly less power-hungry than an IPS display.

The Asus Chromebook Flip C436 lasted about 1o.5 hours on our web browsing test and…

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