Oone of the best things about Google Pixel Chromebook, first introduced in 2013, was its display. In an era when the vast majority of laptops used a 16: 9 screen aspect ratio, the Pixel resisted the trend with a 3: 2 large screen. I fell in love with this extra vertical screen. And while a handful of Chromebooks over the years have also featured 3: 2 screens, most have stuck with wider ratios that are great for watching movies but not so much for scrolling through long documents.
Because of my weird screen fixation, Acer Chromebook Spin 713 has been on my radar since its release in 2020 – it’s one of the few Chromebooks currently available with a 3: 2 display. Although I didn’t get a chance to review the first model, I used the updated Spin 713 that Acer announced a few weeks ago. At $ 699, it’s not cheap, but in many ways it’s the perfect Chromebook for anyone who wants an upgrade from more basic options.
- Excellent display
- Solid keyboard and trackpad
- Good performance
- Average battery life
- Poor quality speakers
- A little expensive
Gallery: Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Review Photos | 13 photos
Gallery: Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Review Photos | 13 photos
My first impression of the Spin 713 is that it is extremely utilitarian. It’s a large gray slab of a laptop, with some flourishes to distinguish it and plenty of fan slots on the back and sides. (I like the reflective trim around the cover and trackpad, though). The design may be purely functional, but the Spin 713 is definitely a solid, well-built laptop with no flex or crackle; the 360 degree hinge is also sturdy and operates smoothly. Of course, given that this computer isn’t a cheap low-end Chromebook, that level of build quality is to be expected.
True to its utilitarian design, the Spin 713 isn’t the thinnest or lightest laptop on the market – it weighs over 3 pounds and is two-thirds of an inch thick. It’s bigger and heavier than Google’s Pixelbook Go and Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2, to name a few slimmer options. At least Acer hasn’t skimped on ports here: you’ll find two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports on the left side, along with HDMI and headphone jacks. The right side has a traditional USB-A port and a microSD card slot next to a volume rocker and power button.
So far, all of this is standard laptop territory, but the Spin 713’s screen sets it apart. It’s a 13.5-inch touchscreen with a somewhat odd resolution of 2,256 x 1,504. That’s thanks to the 3: 2 aspect ratio, which Acer says offers 18% of vertical screen space in addition to a more common 1080p screen. It’s also relatively pixel dense at 200 pixels per inch, a good increase from the 166 PPI count on a standard 13.3-inch, 1080p display.
Jargon aside, the Spin 713’s screen is my favorite. It’s crisp and clear, and the increased vertical space makes many of my daily tasks easier. It’s just better to see more than one draft I’m writing in Google Docs or more than one long post in Chrome. Considering how the internet is designed for vertical scrolling, I’m still surprised that widescreen display is the norm – sure, it’s great for movies, but almost everything else benefits from more space. vertical.
The keyboard and trackpad are pretty similar to other recent Acer Chromebooks – they’re good, but not the best I’ve ever used. The backlit keys have a lot of travel, but they feel a bit more wobbly than those on the Galaxy Chromebook 2 or Pixelbook Go. It just doesn’t feel as high-end or solid as these other computers. I was still able to type quickly and accurately. Thanks to the Spin 713’s larger screen, there’s room on the keyboard for a larger, smoother and more responsive trackpad. Considering that trackpads on Chromebooks can often feel rather cramped, this was a nice and unexpected perk of the Spin 713’s extra height.
As the name suggests, the Spin 713 features a 360-degree hinge that allows you to flip the screen into tablet mode. I have written many times about how this tip has very little value to me, and it hasn’t changed this time around. The design also introduces a tradeoff – in this case, it’s the speakers. The Spin 713’s speakers are located at the bottom of the laptop, so you can still hear sound when you’re in tablet mode. Those two little speakers aren’t impressive – the volume is okay, but there’s not even a hint of bass. I would much prefer to have better speakers on the keyboard and a standard laptop hinge.
Acer will offer the Spin 713 in a variety of hardware configurations; the $ 700 model I tested featured the 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor (clocked at 2.4GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz), 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. These are pretty solid specs for a Chromebook. My usual apps include multiple Chrome windows with 10-15 tabs each, as well as web apps for Hangouts, Slack, Trello, Tweetdeck, Keep, and YouTube Music. I also run a handful of Android apps, including Telegram, Todoist, Facebook Messenger, Spotify, and Adobe Lightroom, although most of them don’t always work.
The main things I try to avoid in the Chrome OS experience include tabs that need to be reloaded frequently, slow Android app experiences, and skipping music playback. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t encountered these issues with the Spin 713; it has more than enough RAM and processor power to meet my fairly modest needs. This also bodes well for the Spin 713’s longevity, as those specs should be enough to power Chrome OS for years without any issues.
Unfortunately, as with many recent Chromebooks I’ve tried, the Spin 713’s battery life is just fine. When looping a video with the display brightness set to 66%, the Spin 713 lasted just over eight hours, almost two hours less than the 10 hours that Acer advertised. Under normal use, the laptop lasted between six and seven hours. That’s no shock considering the Core i5 processor and relatively high-res display, but I still wish I had an hour or two.
There are a ton of other Chromebooks on the market, but the Spin 713 is quite unique thanks to its larger screen. But there are a few Chromebooks that have similar specs and price points that are worth considering. The leader among these is Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2, which launched earlier this year. It’s thinner and lighter than the Spin 713 and definitely has a more premium feel. The trade-off is that it uses a Core i3 processor (rather than an i5) and has a 1080p display. But it uses Samsung’s QLED technology and is one of the prettiest screens I’ve seen on a laptop in a while, aside from the cramped aspect ratio.
If you want to save money, Lenovo’s Chromebook Flex 5 is a great option. Yes, it is from 2020 and has slightly lower specs than the Spin 713 and Galaxy Chromebook 2. We’re talking about last year’s Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. But, it’s selling for just over $ 400 on Amazon right now and was a great all-around performer when I reviewed it. Acer also offers a relatively new and more affordable option, the Spin 514. It costs $ 600 and includes an AMD Ryzen 5 3500C quad-core processor paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Again, you’ll miss the larger screen found on the Spin 713, but otherwise it’s a good laptop.
Even if Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 didn’t have its remarkable display, it would be an easy device to recommend. The build quality is good, it performs great, and it should be fast enough to serve you for years to come. The addition of this 3: 2 screen makes it one of the best Chromebooks out there. I wish the battery life was longer and had a slightly more premium feel, but everything else is ok. If the price isn’t scary and you don’t need top-notch battery life, the Spin 713 is a Chromebook that should satisfy just about everyone.
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