- Tall, high-res touch screen
- Snappy performance
- HDMI, Thunderbolt 4, and USB-A ports
- Roomy 256GB SSD instead of eMMC flash storage
- Rather costly for a Chromebook
- Half a pound overweight
- No stylus or fingerprint reader
ACER CHROMEBOOK SPIN 713 (2022) SPECS
|Laptop Class||Convertible 2-in-1, Chromebook|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-1135G7|
|Processor Speed||2.4 GHz|
Now With Thunderbolt 4
This year’s Chromebook Spin 713 (model CP713-3W-5102) has the same Steel Gray aluminum chassis that’s passed the same MIL-STD 810H tests for shock and vibration as its predecessor; there’s hardly any flex if you grasp the screen corners or press the keyboard deck. At 0.67 by 11.8 by 9.3 inches, it’s deeper than the 13.3-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (0.67 by 12.2 by 8.4 inches), but at 3.2 pounds it misses the cutoff to qualify as an ultraportable—the 14-inch Asus Chromebook CX9, for one, is noticeably trimmer at 2.31 pounds.
The Acer carries a quad-core, 2.4GHz Core i5-1135G7 processor with Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics, along with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB NVMe solid-state drive. It meets Intel Evo standards for connectivity and swift startup, and is one of the few Chromebooks to support Thunderbolt 4—the two USB Type-C ports on the left flank (either of which accommodates the compact AC adapter) follow the latest Thunderbolt spec.
Something else on the left edge that’s rare among Chromebooks is an HDMI video output, so you needn’t fuss with a USB-C adapter to use an external monitor. There’s an audio jack next to it. The right side holds a USB 3.2 Type-A port and a microSD card slot, as well as the power button and a volume rocker for use in tablet mode.
Against all those features, the Spin 713 lacks a few frills seen on some high-end Chromebooks. There’s no fingerprint reader (or face-recognition webcam, though we haven’t seen the latter on any Chromebook to date). The webcam has no privacy shutter. The keyboard follows the standard Chrome OS layout, meaning you’ll have to pair the menu and Alt keys with the cursor arrows in the absence of real Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys.
As Good as an IPS Screen Gets
Acer calls the squarish 3:2 aspect ratio panel a VertiView display because it shows more webpage or word processing content or spreadsheet rows without scrolling. Its native resolution is 2,256 by 1,504 pixels, which makes text and screen elements tiny albeit sharp enough to be legible; as with most Chromebooks, the Settings/Device tab offers a choice of faux or “looks like” resolutions (the default is 1,410 by 940 pixels) so you can find a size that suits your eyes.
Brightness is ample, though I was never tempted to turn it down from the maximum, and contrast is fine. Viewing angles are broad and white backgrounds are pristine, not dingy. Colors are rich and vivid both for still images and YouTube videos. Two hinges hold the screen with minimal wobble when tapped in laptop mode, and make it easy to fold back into tent or tablet mode. The convertible kept up with my swiping, swooping fingertip in Chrome Canvas, but my fingertip was all I had to work with—no stylus is provided.
The webcam has the usual scanty 720p resolution and captures soft-focus images with lots of static; it’s downright poor in low-light conditions. Bottom-mounted speakers produce reasonably loud but somewhat hollow or tinny sound. Still, there’s more bass than I expected, and you can make out overlapping tracks.
The keyboard is brightly backlit and has a comfortably snappy, if shallow, typing feel. The square, buttonless touchpad is nicely sized and glides and taps smoothly, requiring a light pressure for a quiet click. As with all Chromebooks, a two-finger tap equals a right click.
The Spin 713 does come with software that some may equate with the unwanted bloatware common on Windows PCs, but others may find useful. The Explore menu icon includes a variety of extras, led by one year of 100GB Google One cloud storage and YouTube Premium, SoundCloud Go+, Clipchamp, and DocuSign trial offers.
Testing the Spin 713: Leader-of-the-Pack Performance
Besides the Asus Chromebook CX9 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook, we compared the 13.5-inch Acer’s benchmark results with those of two 13.3-inch systems that combine deluxe displays—QLED for the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2, and OLED for the detachable Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook—with low-octane processors (an Intel Celeron and a Qualcomm Snapdragon, respectively). You can see their basic specs in the table below.
We test Chromebooks with three overall performance benchmark suites—one Chrome OS, one Android, and one online. The first, Principled Technologies’ CrXPRT 2, measures how quickly a system performs everyday tasks in six workloads such as applying photo effects, graphing a stock portfolio, analyzing DNA sequences, and generating 3D shapes using WebGL.