Hopefully you joined us virtually for Acer’s Global Press Conference and saw all the cool stuff that was announced and unveiled today. It was a jam-packed presentation, but you know what we were here for, right? The Chromebooks! This year, Acer released a couple new devices and one in particular was lent to us to get a bit of hands-on time with in lead-up to the event. The new Acer Spin 713 is refinement of the older version in nearly every way and so far, my impressions are extremely good.
The all-aluminum chassis is the first upgrade in my eyes. The last-gen version of this device felt a tad like a Frankenstein device that had a ton of high points, but wasn’t really crafted as a cohesive whole. This new Spin feels great in the hand, it looks great, and I really like how much Acer has crammed into the minimalist frame. Between the subtle, chamfered edges to the one-finger lift on the lid, this Chromebook feels way more thoughtfully considered than its predecessor.
The layout is familiar, especially if you ever handled the previous version. Around the outside there are vents for fans as this is powered by more-powerful Core i3, i5 and i7 10th-gen Intel processors like other flagships we’ve already reviewed this year. The other ports are quite interesting, though, as we have a USB Type-C on either side for data, display, and charging, but the left side adds a single USB Type-A port, mic/headphone jack, and microSD card slot. The right side brings back the long-missing full-sized HDMI port and, honestly, I don’t hate that inclusion. With the Type-A and HDMI port at your disposal, you’ll never be stuck without an adapter and without a way to hook up needed peripherals.
Inside, we’re met with an absolutely gorgeous 2256×1504 QHD display that is hands-down my favorite display in a Chromebook right now. First up, the colors are fantastic and the viewing angles are superb. The screen is 3:2 and for most tasks on a Chromebook, this is the best ratio. The bezels are small and the brightness is intense at well over 450 nits. Everything is vibrant, bright and sharp on this screen and at 13.5-inches, it just feels expansive. I was having a hard time figuring out why and then I sat it next to a 15.6-inch 16:9 display and realized that the 13.5-inch screen at the 3:2 ratio actually is just as physically tall as the 15.6-inch screen. Sure, you lose some pixels on the left and right side, but with most web content, the good stuff is down the middle. I’ll take this trade off all day as it makes working mobile on this very reasonably-sized Chromebook feel like working on a 15.6-inch device without all the heft.
If you can’t tell, I’m in love with the screen, but let’s move on. The keyboard and trackpad also feel improved this time around. The biggest improvement is in the trackpad. The last version of this device had a tiny one and it was offset from the bottom of the frame, leading me to attempt to click on the chassis while missing the trackpad frequently. This year, the trackpad is expanded, all-glass, and fantastic. The backlit keyboard also feels improved with good travel and click. One other note: while they ditched the garaged stylus from the previous model (sigh), Acer did include USI pen support. Once we finally start seeing these pens hit the market, we’ll be able to comment a bit more on how well that works.
Acer is set to offer this thing in a wide variety of configurations, but the one we have is the Core i5 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of NVMe storage. We’re told this exact model will be priced at $629 and will become available in July. There will be models that go down to the 10th-gen Pentium and all the way up to the Core i7 along with anywhere from 4GB of RAM to 16GB. Additionally, the storage capacities will range from 64GB of eMMC to 256GB of NVMe. We don’t have pricing or further info on other configurations just yet, but some of those upper-end ones will be pricey for sure.
Additionally, Acer will offer variants of this Chromebook for enterprise as well and it will come equipped with the necessary Chromebook Enterprise license for those managed device setups in the workplace. Acer has also shared that this Chromebook is MIL-STD 810G compliant, which means:
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713’s all-new streamlined aluminum chassis has a reinforced design that delivers military-grade durability, making it capable of resisting dents, dings and corrosion. The reinforced design and shock-absorbing bumper can survive drops from heights of up to 122 cm (48 inches) and withstand up to 60 kg (132 pounds) of downward force.
So, what we have is a sleek, impressive, fast Chromebook that is also very durable and well-priced. The device we have in the office is technically pre-production and we have a final version on the way, so I’ll hold off on any further comments about it for now. Just know that we feel very confident that Acer has a winner on its hands in the Spin 713 and at $629, there is basically no competition for it. From a spec and features standpoint, this device is comparable to the ASUS Flip C436 and Samsung Galaxy Chromebook at a far cheaper asking price. I honestly cannot wait to begin the full review process on this one!