With the Next@Acer event in the books, it’s time we share a bit about the devices they sent us to take a look at. We have another post and video about the gigantic Acer Chromebook 317 and another that highlights all 4 Chromebooks announced at the event, but right now we’re talking about what could be one of the best Chromebooks of 2021 once the dust settles. As they did in 2020, Acer has put together a great combination of things in the new version of the Spin 713 that doesn’t try to reinvent the premium Chromebook. Instead, it iterates on all the good things they did last year and succeeds in besting the predecessor in nearly all sorts of ways.
First up, I need to be clear that this is an early impressions post/video. I’ve only been using this device for a few days at this point, so there are some definite honeymoon vibes going on, here. Once you see all that Acer did with this Chromebook, though, I think you’ll understand why I’m so over-the-moon about it right now. As I said up there in the open: this is an exercise in iteration, not reinvention, and it works so well!
From a sheer build quality standpoint, last year’s Spin 713 left a lot to be desired. With its lower price and fast internals, though, it was forgivable: but that doesn’t mean I didn’t notice it every time I picked that Chromebook. With this year’s iteration, Acer has really cleaned up the build and you can see and feel the difference. The lid and base are aluminum with a plastic keyboard deck. It keeps things light yet firm and everything just comes together with much tighter tolerances all around. Picking it up feels good, closing the lid feels good, and it still looks great on a desk.
The ports are similar with 2 USB Type C ports, a USB Type A port, full-sized HDMI port, microSD card slot, and headphone/mic jack all here for your I/O needs. Both USB Type C ports are on the left side and I don’t love that, but it’s not been a big deal at all so far. The hinges are one of my favorite upgrades, however, and this convertible Chromebook pulls off the one-finger lift with aplomb. I can’t say it enough: Acer really cleaned up the feel of this device versus last year’s model.
Inside, we get the same gorgeous, bright, 3:2 13.5-inch screen that is still my favorite Chromebook display on the market. It delivers great colors, fantastic sharpness, amazing viewing angles, and 400+ nits of brightness. There’s nothing more to ask for in a laptop display.
The keyboard feels largely unchanged, so if you like the Spin 713’s admittedly clicky keyboard, you’ll love the new version, too. I’m very accurate on it so far and the backlighting is always a nice touch. The trackpad is large, glass, smooth, and the click is perfect. It’s honestly one of the best trackpads I’ve used on a Chromebook to date. Just to the side of that keyboard and trackpad is the addition of a fingerprint scanner, delivering a very-appreciated feature to an already great formula.
Underneath the hood, we get an 11th-gen Intel Tiger Lake Core i5 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of NVMe SSD storage. So not only is this thing a big upgrade outside, it’s a massive upgrade inside, too. We’ll get into benchmarks and such in the full review, but let me go ahead and put your mind at ease: this Chromebook is insanely fast. Nothing I’ve thrown at it slows it down, and I doubt anything will. Compared with last year’s version, this is double the internal storage amount, too, and 256GB of storage should be plenty for just about any user out there.
Acer says it will be available in early June at Best Buy for $699 and with all the upgrades along for the ride with this one, this device is 100% worth the money. At $629, last year’s Spin 713 was a great value. At $699, this year’s version adds a fingerprint scanner, improves the trackpad, keeps the amazing screen, and totally Hulk’s out on the internals for only $70 more. For the money, I can already tell you it’s worth it. However, as we do, I’ll be spending more time with this device for a full review to let you know if any oddities arise that you should be aware of. As it stands, I think Acer has an absolute ace on its hands, and I’ve been loving my time with it so far. Be on the lookout for more.