Although it's a Chromebook that's a bit expensive, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is still a great alternative to Windows convertibles.
Acer Chromebook Spin713 (2022). Review
- High-resolution touch screens that are tall and high-resolution
- Perform well
- HDMI, Thunderbolt 4 and USB-A ports
- Large 256GB SSD storage instead of flash storage with eMMC
- A Chromebook is quite expensive
- A half pound more than you should be
- There is no stylus nor fingerprint reader
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Acer Chromebook spin 713 (2022). Specs
|Laptop Class||Convertible 2-in-1, Chromebook|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-1135G7|
|Processor Speed||2.4 GHz|
|RAM (as Tested)||8 GB|
|Boot Drive Type||SSD|
|Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)||256 GB|
|Screen Size||13.5 inches|
|Native Display Resolution||2,256 by 1,504|
|Variable Refresh Support||None|
|Screen Refresh Rate||60 Hz|
|Graphics Processor||Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Wireless Networking||802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)|
|Dimensions (HWD)||0.67 by 11.8 by 9.3 inches|
|Operating System||Google Chrome OS|
|Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)||11:10|
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 soared to the top in our Chromebook ranking when we reviewed it back in August 2020. Its smooth performance, numerous ports and a 13.5 inch touch screen, with a pleasing 3:2 aspect ratio, pushed it to the top. The newly refreshed Spin 713 is pricier at $699.99—that's $70 more than before, though it brings an 11th instead of 10th Generation Intel Core i5 CPU and a 256GB instead of 128GB solid-state drive—but it's still a charming convertible that easily earns an Editors' Choice award among premium Chromebooks.
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Thunderbolt 4 is now available
The Chromebook Spin 713 model CP713-3W-5102 has the same Steel Gray aluminum frame that passed all MIL-STD-810H shock and vibration tests. There's very little flex if the touch screen edges or the keyboard are touched. At 0.67 by 11.8 by 9.3 inches, it's deeper than the 13.3-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (0.67 by 12.2 by 8.4 inches), but at 3.2 pounds it misses the cutoff to qualify as an ultraportable—the 14-inch Asus Chromebook CX9, for one, is noticeably trimmer at 2.31 pounds.
The Acer carries a quad-core, 2.4GHz Core i5-1135G7 processor with Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, along with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB NVMe solid-state drive. It meets Intel Evo standards for connectivity and swift startup, and is one of the few Chromebooks to support Thunderbolt 4—the two USB Type-C ports on the left flank (either of which accommodates the compact AC adapter) follow the latest Thunderbolt spec.
An HDMI output is another feature that Chromebooks are rare to have. This allows you to connect external monitors with ease using a USB-C cable. It also has an audio jack. On the right is a USB Type-A port, a microSD slot and power button.
The Spin 713 is lacking some of the frills found on high-end Chromebooks despite all these features. The Spin 713 does not have a fingerprint reader or face-recognition camera, although we haven’t yet seen this feature on any Chromebook. There is no privacy shutter on the webcam. In the absence of any real Home, End or Page Up keys, the keyboard uses the Chrome OS standard layout. You will need to use the Alt and menu keys in conjunction with the cursor keys.
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As good as an IPS screen gets
Acer refers to the 3:2 panel with a square aspect ratio as a VertiView because it displays more web or word processing content and spreadsheet rows than scrolling. The native resolution of the panel is 2,256 by 1,054 pixels. This makes it small but legible. As with all Chromebooks, there are a variety of resolutions available in Settings/Device (the default resolution is 1,410x 940 pixels). You can choose a resolution that best suits you.
Brightness is ample, though I was never tempted to turn it down from the maximum, and contrast is fine. Viewing angles are broad and white backgrounds are pristine, not dingy. Colors are rich and vivid both for still images and YouTube videos. Two hinges hold the screen with minimal wobble when tapped in laptop mode, and make it easy to fold back into tent or tablet mode. The convertible kept up with my swiping, swooping fingertip in Chrome Canvas, but my fingertip was all I had to work with—no stylus is provided.
It has a mediocre 720p resolution. The camera captures lots of static and soft-focus images. In low light conditions, it is quite poor. The speakers mounted on the bottom of the speaker are quite loud, but produce a tinny or hollow sound. There's still more bass than I thought, but you can hear the overlapping tracks.
The keyboard is brightly backlit and has a comfortably snappy, if shallow, typing feel. The square, buttonless touchpad is nicely sized and glides and taps smoothly, requiring a light pressure for a quiet click. As with all Chromebooks, a two-finger tap equals a right click.
Some may think the Spin 713 comes with unwanted bloatware that is common on Windows computers. However, others might find it useful. You will find a number of additional features in the Explore icon, including 100GB of Google One cloud storage, YouTube Premium, SoundCloud Go+ and Clipchamp trial offers, as well as DocuSign trial offer.
Test the Spin 713 Leader-of-the Pack Performance
Besides the Asus Chromebook CX9 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook, we compared the 13.5-inch Acer's benchmark results with those of two 13.3-inch systems that combine deluxe displays—QLED for the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, and OLED for the detachable Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook—with low-octane processors (an Intel Celeron and a Qualcomm Snapdragon, respectively). The table below shows their main specs.
We test Chromebooks with three overall performance benchmark suites—one Chrome OS, one Android, and one online. First, the Principled Technologies CrXPRT 2 benchmark measures how fast a system can perform everyday tasks such as graphing stock portfolios, applying photo effects and creating 3D shapes with WebGL.
Acer and Asus fought it out for benchmark supremacy. This is not surprising considering they share the same CPU. However, the Core i3 Lenovo Flex 5 was able to keep up with Core i5 systems. They are all excellent Google Workspace productivity partners. Backmarker: The Celeron-powered Samsung
The CPU and GPU are also covered in two other Android benchmarks. Primate Labs Geekbench simulates real-world applications, including PDF rendering, speech recognition, and machine learning. GFXBench 5.0 stresses-tests low-level tasks like texturing, as well as high-level image rendering. It exercises graphics shaders and performs compute shading. Geekbench gives you a numerical score while GFXBench measures frames per second (fps).
To test the battery of a Chromebook, we run a looped 720p video file at 50% brightness, 100% volume, with Wi-Fi disabled and keyboard backlighting off until it quits. The video may need to be played from an external SSD connected via USB. However, the internal storage of the Acer was sufficient to store the file.
Geekbench's processor contest was won by the Spin 713. We haven't seen a Chromebook that we would describe as a gaming notebook. However, its Thunderbolt 4 capability means the Acer could connect to an external GPU if drivers were available. Based on the class-leading GFXBench score, it should be able to run Android games. Although the IdeaPad Flex 5 was our favorite battery, it will still get you through one day of school or work plus an occasional Netflix movie.
You can't buy a better Chromebook.
The Chromebook Spin 713 was given a rating of 4.5 stars. However, due to its slightly heavier weight and $70 increase in price, we decided that its improved performance, doubled solid state storage and Thunderbolt 4 support warrant keeping half the star.
So does its status as a nearly flawless Chromebook choice—except for being a smidge heavy, it's a first-class convertible for productivity, creativity, and media enjoyment, with a 3:2-aspect-ratio display that'll spoil you for old-school 16:9 panels. The Acer isn't cheap, but Chromebooks don't come any better than this.