It’s reassuring to know that you don’t need to deal with low-cost, underpowered Windows laptops or PCs to get genuine work done, especially in light of the growth of Chrome OS over the past 18 to 20 months and the expansion of at-home working in a manner like to never before. The outstanding Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a prime example.
Although this update over the late 2020 model offers various adjustments and fine-tuning, it looks exactly like the previous version, making it difficult to tell apart at first sight. In essence, Acer has chosen to keep the design that has made the Spin 713 such a reliable Chromebook while tweaking the lineup with a few somewhat more powerful and power-efficient internals.
A more important question is if the upgrades were useful, but in this comprehensive review, we’ll find out after spending some time with the Chromebook.
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I’ll be the first to say that I don’t use high-quality Chromebooks or Chrome OS all that frequently. I was fascinated by the hardware and the possibility that we would see some real desktop-level editing and software programs back when the Pixel Slate was still a thing. I had thought that this would make Chrome OS an attractive alternative for those of us who are heavily reliant on video editing tools or who wish to go beyond the basic web browsing capabilities.
Although I’m still looking for a quality video editing program to support Chrome OS, I can simply state that I am satisfied with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 in all other respects. This means that even if it doesn’t have what one could consider high-end specifications, the experience this laptop offers is almost universally highly convincing.
Hardware and design
Because it is composed of aluminum, the design and form factor are strong selling points for a workhorse machine that can withstand daily abuse. The display hinge makes sure that the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is fully flat when closed, and it is also deceptively slim.
There is a slight amount of body flex but not the noticeable wobbling that I sometimes associate with dirt-cheap Chromebooks and Chrome OS hardware because the entire body is made of a combination of plastic and aluminum. This is significant because the Acer Chromebook Spin 713’s 360-degree hinge effectively transforms the device into a convertible laptop-tablet hybrid. You may use the Spin 713 in tablet or conventional laptop mode with no actual chassic flex.
While it is fantastic, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is undeniably a tad boring. Plain is ideal since it is strong, practical, and discrete. I genuinely believe that more laptops and Chromebooks may benefit from learning from this.
The stunning 13.5-inch QHD display is without a doubt the most striking element of the complete Spin 713 package. It has a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is a little unusual, but it works great in tablet mode because you get a little extra width or vertical space. When using this laptop hybrid, things simply feel a little less crowded than they would with a 16:9 screen. However, due to that slight aspect ratio change, running two browser windows side by side in laptop mode can seem constrained and cluttered.
I’m trying not to oversell the display on this laptop, but it is sharp, precise, and fantastic for everything I use on a daily basis, even though the color accuracy isn’t quite ideal. The fact that it has a shiny surface is one drawback. Once you’ve touched the on-screen UI elements with a touchscreen, you’ll need to wipe off a lot of oil and fingerprints off the panel.
Along with the dual USB-C, HDMI, USB-A, 3.5mm headphone jack, and microSD card readers, I would have liked a couple more ports. Personally, I would have liked just one additional USB-A port and a full-sized SD card reader. Despite the complaints, given that many computers today need a dongle to access core ports, this is still a respectable assortment.
Even a volume rocker, which is designed to assist while using the Spin 713 in tablet mode, can be seen on the right side. Only when using the Spin 713 in laptop mode is the fingerprint scanner, which is situated directly beneath the right side of the keyboard. I found it to be quick and precise, and it saved me a lot of time when I frequently had to re-enter passwords or passcodes.
DAILY EXPERIENCE AND PERFORMANCE
I have been using an Intel 11th Generation i3-1115G4 processor model of the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 that has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB NVMe SSD for storage for the duration of my time with it. Although this gadget is considered to be entry-level, I have never felt the need for additional horsepower. For lifespan, it would be wonderful to have a bit extra RAM, but programs like The Great Suspender make sure that any extra memory isn’t being consumed by a ton of open tabs.
You only need to run a web browser and a few reasonably lightweight Android apps to keep everything working smoothly. I can play games like FIFA 22 at 1080p quality and 60 frames per second on a device like this thanks to cloud gaming services like GeForce Now and Google Stadia. Even with such little technology in PC terms, an integrated Intel UHD graphics card, and no dedicated GPU, it still seems great.
When using a laptop or PC, I spend about 95% of my time in Chrome or the Adobe Creative Suite. The only other thing is straightforward file management. The majority of the software that I require for work purposes is contained within those restricted boundaries. As a result, being able to sync all of my favorite extensions and Chrome add-ons is excellent since it makes me feel less constrained and allows me to more fully experience Chrome OS. Additionally, there hasn’t been any obvious speed degradation with more than 15 extensions online, active, and in use.
Even with a rather basic Intel i3 CPU, I haven’t seen any noticeable slowdowns during my time using the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. The laptop ran cool 99% of the time, thus overheating was also never an issue. I noticed an odd behavior with the device fans. They would periodically start up for less than a second for no apparent reason, which was startling at first but quickly became into somewhat of a joke because I doubt it affected the internal temperatures. Perhaps there is a bug or an error, but it doesn’t happen often enough to be bothersome.
Anecdotally, I did observe that this occurred more frequently when the keyboard lighting was turned on. Although the keyboard is decent and each key has ample of movement, I’m not fully sold on this essential component. Although they work well and the backlighting for each key appears to be solid, even though there is some light bleed, I found that they had a very spongey feel to them.
I also like the trackpad, but it took me some time to get used to the floaty cursor, which is less precise than the touchpad on my Macbook. Having saying that, once you understand how to navigate the complexities, it’s a pleasant experience. The glass texture is a terrific alternative and is lovely to use with a little tweaking in the settings panels.
I didn’t expect to adore being able to simply swipe down with your finger or interact with on-screen items the same way you would with a smartphone, but I believe it will be difficult for me to return to using only a mouse and keyboard. Not only is it precise, but it also enables natural interaction with some internet user interfaces or just a quick grab and selection without fiddling with the touchpad. The touchscreen’s accuracy and speed are helpful.
However, I abhor the speaker quality here. I often thought I needed to put on headphones in order to enjoy watching any video content. The speaker’s location at the bottom of the chassis is a significant factor in this. Audio can be readily muffled, whether it’s by your lap or a desk. The built-in webcam comes next. It’s yet another flaw in this outstanding hardware bundle. Although grainy, it’s dim enough to get you through conference calls with little fuss.
I have found the 56Wh cell inside the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 to be amazing. The i3 CPU probably contributed some to that, but I anticipated the QHD display to really drain the internal battery. I was astounded by the Spin 713’s daily effectiveness. Without having to worry about finding the charger, I can easily get 8–10 hours of continuous use.
When I did need to charge the laptop overnight, I chose to use a OnePlus 65W charger instead of the bulky USB-C charger that came in the package. One of the main advantages of using USB-C charging as opposed to the terrible proprietary connector found on many Acer Windows laptops is that it is more convenient. My charging practices have therefore altered to reflect those of my smartphone; I now simply top them off sometimes or leave them plugged in overnight to be ready to go the following day. I’ll be returning to an Intel MacBook Pro, which is unable to achieve such great lifespans and frequently spends the most of the day plugged into a wall outlet, with a heavy heart.
LAST THOUGHTS The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a fantastic two-in-one that would be great as most people’s daily workhorse, despite not necessarily being the most economical Chromebook. Even if there are more powerful machines available, the fantastic QHD touchscreen alone makes it worth the asking price, and the additional features make it a great companion for anyone looking for a new Chrome OS-powered gadget with a little more than one use-case.
By the time you could be ready to upgrade in 2029, updates are also guaranteed, but for the time being, I don’t think I could recommend a Chrome OS laptop as highly as the Spin 713. The i3 model is a fantastic choice if it’s offered in your area, despite the fact that it’s not cheap in the conventional sense. You might want to increase your budget for the i5 model for a little bit more power, but the performance advantages might be insignificant.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 might be the ideal substitute for another Made by Google Chromebook in 2021 even though we might not receive a Pixelbook. If you’re wanting to purchase one, the i5 version of the most recent model is currently offered by internet merchants like Best Buy . However, the 11th Gen i3 model is regrettably a little more difficult to locate.