OhOne of the best things Google’s Chromebook PixelIts screen was first introduced in 2013. In the era when most laptops use 16:9 aspect ratio, Pixel bucked the trend with a 3:2 high display. I fell in love with the extra vertical screen space. Although a few Chromebooks have also adopted a 3:2 screen over the years, most of them insist on using a wider ratio, which is very useful for watching movies, but not for scrolling through long documents.
Because of my strange screen fixation, Acer Chromebook Spin 713 It has been in my attention since its release in 2020-it is currently one of the few Chromebooks with a 3:2 display. Although I did not have the opportunity to view the first model, I have been using Acer’s updated Spin 713 Announced a few weeks agoAt $699, it’s not cheap, but in many ways, it’s the ideal Chromebook for anyone who wants to upgrade to more basic options.
Gallery: Acer Chromebook Spin 713 comment photos | 13 photos
Gallery: Acer Chromebook Spin 713 comment photos | 13 photos
My first impression of Spin 713 is that it is very practical. It is a large gray board of a laptop, there is almost no decoration to separate it, and there are many fan slots on the back and sides. (However, I do like the reflective trim around the lid and trackpad). The design may be purely functional, but the Spin 713 is definitely a sturdy, well-structured laptop without bending or squeaking; the 360-degree hinge is also very sturdy and works smoothly. Of course, considering that this computer is not a cheap low-end Chromebook, this level of build quality is to be expected.
In keeping with its practical design, Spin 713 is not currently the thinnest or lightest notebook computer-it weighs more than 3 pounds and is two-thirds of an inch thick. This is bigger and heavier than Google’s Pixelbook Go and Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2, just to name a few slimmer options. At least Acer is not stingy with the ports here: you will find two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left, as well as HDMI and headphone jacks. On the right side is a traditional USB-A port and a microSD card slot, next to it is a volume rocker and power button.
So far, this is the standard notebook computer field, but the Spin 713’s display makes it unique. This is a 13.5-inch touch screen with a resolution of 2,256 x 1,504, which is a bit strange. Thanks to the 3:2 aspect ratio, Acer said it provides 18% of the vertical screen space compared to the more common 1080p display. Its pixel density is also relatively high, at 200 pixels per inch, which is a big improvement over the 166 PPI on a standard 13.3-inch 1080p monitor.
Jargon aside, the screen of the Spin 713 is my favorite place. It is bright and sharp, and the increased vertical space makes many of my daily tasks easier. It’s best to read more drafts I wrote in Google Docs, or read more long articles in Chrome. Given how much the Internet is designed for vertical scrolling, I am always surprised that a widescreen display is standard-of course, it is perfect for movies, but almost everything else that people do benefits from more vertical space.
The keyboard and trackpad are very similar to those on other recent Acer Chromebooks-they are good, but not the best I have used. The backlit keys have enough travel, but they feel more unstable than the keys on the Galaxy Chromebook 2 or Pixelbook Go. It just doesn’t feel as high-quality or sturdy as other computers. However, I can still type quickly and accurately. Thanks to the Spin 713’s higher display, there is room on the keyboard panel to accommodate a larger touchpad, which is smooth and responsive. Given that the trackpad on a Chromebook usually feels quite cramped, this is a pleasant and unexpected benefit of the extra height of the Spin 713.
As the name suggests, Spin 713 has a 360-degree hinge that allows you to flip the screen to tablet mode. I have written many articles about this technique that have little value to me, and this time it hasn’t changed. The design actually introduces a compromise-in this case, it is the speaker. The Spin 713’s speakers are located on the bottom of the laptop, so you can still hear the audio when you are in tablet mode. These two small speakers are not impressive-the volume is good, but there is not even a hint of bass. I would rather have better speakers and standard laptop hinges on the keyboard panel.
Acer will provide Spin 713 in a variety of hardware configurations; the $700 model I tested is equipped with Intel’s 11th generation Core i5 processor (clocked at 2.4GHz, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz), 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space . These are some very reliable specifications for Chromebooks. The applications I use often include multiple Chrome windows, each with 10-15 tabs, and web applications for Hangouts, Slack, Trello, Tweetdeck, Keep, and YouTube Music. I also run some Android applications, including Telegram, Todoist, Facebook Messenger, Spotify, and Adobe Lightroom, although most of them are not running all the time.
The main things I hope to avoid in the Chrome OS experience include tabs that need to be reloaded frequently, slow Android app experience, and skipping music playback. Not surprisingly, I did not encounter these problems when using Spin 713; it has enough RAM and processor horsepower to meet my fairly modest needs. This also indicates the longevity of Spin 713, because these specifications should be sufficient to support Chrome OS for many years without any problems.
Unfortunately, like many recent Chromebooks I have tried, the battery life of the Spin 713 is decent. When looping the video with the display brightness set to 66%, Spin 713 lasted more than 8 hours, nearly two hours less than the 10 hours claimed by Acer. Under normal use, the laptop lasted six to seven hours. Considering the Core i5 processor and relatively high-resolution screen, this is not shocking, but I still hope to spend another hour or two.
There are plenty of other Chromebooks on the market, but the Spin 713 is quite unique due to its higher screen. But there are some Chromebooks with similar specifications and prices that are worth considering.The main one is Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2, Launched earlier this year. It is thinner and lighter than Spin 713 and definitely has a better quality feel. The trade-off is that it uses a Core i3 processor (rather than i5) and has a 1080p screen. But it uses Samsung’s QLED technology, which is one of the best displays I have seen on a laptop in some time, except for the narrow aspect ratio.
If you want to save some money, Lenovo’s Flex 5 Chromebook is a good choiceYes, it is from 2020, and the specifications are slightly lower than Spin 713 and Galaxy Chromebook 2. We are talking about last year’s Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space. However, it now sells for just over $400 on Amazon, and it performed well when I checked it. Acer also has a relatively new and more affordable option, the Spin 514. It costs $600 and includes a quad-core AMD Ryzen 5 3500C processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space. Similarly, you will miss the higher screen on the Spin 713, but other than that, it is a good laptop.
Even if Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 does not have an excellent screen, it is easy to recommend. The build quality is good, the performance is very good, and it should be fast enough to serve you in the next few years. Adding a 3:2 display makes it one of the best Chromebooks on the market. I want the battery life to be longer and it feels a little more advanced, but everything else is correct. If the price doesn’t scare you, and you don’t need top-notch battery life, the Spin 713 is a Chromebook that can satisfy almost everyone.
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