We were as bummed out as anyone with the rise in the Omicron variant that forced us to forego this year’s in-person CES event. We knew a few great Chromebooks would be at the show and that made us all even more upset that we’d likely not get our hands on them until a later date. With HP’s new Elite Dragonfly Chromebook and this Acer Spin 513 (that is the world’s first Chromebook with the MediaTek Kompanio 1380 inside), there were some very, very notable announcements from this year’s show.
We were beyond excited to be able to get our hands on the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook and just as pumped to now have the new Acer Chromebook Spin 513 in the office as well. Even better, this all works out for you as a reader/viewer, too, since we have a more-extended time with these devices than we would just at the physical CES location. With all that in mind, here are some early thoughts on the Acer Chromebook Spin 513.
500-level model number, 700-level fit and finish
Despite the 500-level branding, the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 punches above its weight class in a few very-tangible ways. First, the build quality is nearly identical to the Spin 713. The materials are the same, the frame is nearly the exact same size, and I actually prefer the darker gray and slightly-rougher treatment on the aluminum with the Spin 513. If you’ve ever handled the Spin 713, you know exactly what to expect with this one.
The same goes for the screen. This is the same 2256×1504 3:2 400-nit screen from the Spin 713 and it looks just as great as it always has. I love this screen size, aspect ratio and pixel density and, again, this doesn’t feel like standard mid-range Chromebook fare at all.
We get similar ports here, too, with a USB Type C on both sides, one USB Type A, a headphone/mic jack and microSD card slot. I’d love to see the full-sized HDMI port from the Spin 713, but that’s not a deal-breaker in any way shape or form. Add all this to the solid keyboard (the model coming later in the year should be backlit even though this early version isn’t) and all-glass trackpad, and you really don’t feel like you are using a mid-range Chromebook at all.
Fanless MediaTeak Kompanio 1380 power
I can’t benchmark this processor yet, but what I can tell you is this device is capable of running my normal, everyday tasks without breaking a sweat. The Kompanio 1380 inside feels more than powerful enough for anything I need to do, it runs Android games very well, and with the included 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, this processor is going to be the real deal. Even when pushing its own, internal QHD screen along with my extended QHD monitor, I can move through the OS with ease and not feel the slightest difference between it and an Intel Core processor.
Keep in mind this device isn’t due out until June, so there’s even more tweaking that will be done between now and then to really hone in the performance of this Chromebook. Starting out at $599, I’d say we have an incredible deal on our hands when this Chromebook becomes available. Knowing how often Chromebooks go on sale, I can imagine a time later in 2022 when you’ll be able to grab this device for less than $500, and that is quite simply a steal.
Acer has done a great job introducing the world to the MediaTek Kompanio 1380 with the Spin 513 and it makes me very excited to see what these new processors will be capable of in 2022. Regardless of what devices we do or don’t get in the coming months, I think it is safe to say when it is all said and done, 2022 will be the year where ARM-powered Chromebooks finally arrived, and I’m here for it.