Yesterday, we sat down virtually with Acer’s team on the ground at CES 2020 and 90% of our time was spent asking questions about the new Acer Chromebook Spin 513 that was recently announced. Sure, Acer announced 3 Chromebooks in total this week, but the star of the show is clearly the one with the latest, greatest ARM SoC from MediaTek inside. The press release was a solid slice of info on this new Chromebook, but our meeting time with Acer answered many of the questions we had surrounding the device.
First up, we were a bit curious about the naming of this Chromebook. With Acer, we’ve seen the 300, 500, and 700 series basically act like what you see with car manufacturers like BMW. If the device model starts with a 3, it is an entry-level, affordable device. With a 5, it is a mid-tier, and with 7 it is the upper-class version. This makes sense in regard to devices like the Acer Spin 713 that employs an aluminum chassis, latest-gen Intel Core processors, and a high-res screen.
For the Spin 513 announced this year, we were a little confused. Last year, Acer debuted the Spin 513 with the Snapdragon 7c inside and while it was a nice Chromebook, it was clearly mid-tier with a plastic bottom, 1080p screen, and a relatively-slow processor. With this year’s iteration, I freely assumed the 513 model would mean much of the same. I assumed a lower-end build when compared with the 713 and less bells and whistles all around.
That isn’t the case, however. From what we were shown yesterday, the Acer Spin 513 has a legit, all-aluminum body, the same high-res 3:2 display, and what looks like the same frame as the higher-end model 713. Acer even pointed out that the new Spin 513 has a sandblasted finish that makes it a bit more grippy and less prone to fingerprints. From what we can tell so far, the looks and feel of this Spin 513 might outdo that of the Spin 713, not satisfied to simply match it.
Specs and Pricing
Additionally, the initial spec sheet for the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 showed options for a model that could have as little as 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. Unfortunately, the routine with most Chromebooks is to give out the starting price and append it to the lowest possible spec configuration. So, that meant all of us assuming the $599 price tag on the Spin 513 applied only to this very-low-spec version of the device with the better versions coming in at higher, yet-unannounced price points.
Thankfully, that is not the situation at all! Instead, Acer confirmed with us that the $599 model will ship with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, making it a very, very interesting configuration for the money when it arrives in June. Sure, we have to figure out how good this top-tier Kompanio chip is, but assuming we see solid performance out of it, this combo of build quality, screen, fanless design, and specs makes the $599 asking price a great starting point.
Let’s also not forget that Acer Chromebooks go on sale with great regularity, so I could see situations where this device is on sale for $450-$500 and, again, assuming the performance and battery life are solid, this could be an absolute home run for Acer’s Chromebook portfolio.
We have a early review unit on the way in the next couple of days, so we’ll be able to answer more questions for sure once we have our hands on it. For the first Kompanio 1000 series Chromebook, however, I’m very impressed and excited to see what this thing is capable of. Between general performance, battery and Android apps, we’re all incredibly eager to find out how MediaTek’s Kompanio chips stack up in real world use. Stay tuned. We’ll know soon enough.