It has been a while since I reviewed a Chromebook. The last time it was a cheap device plastic device; this time is the Acer Spin 13, which is anything but cheap. The Acer Spin 13 has an aluminium case, touch screen, tablet mode and supports an active pen.
The Acer Spin 13 run Chrome OS, which is Google’s browser based operating system. This is means a simple browser based user interface that is easy to maintain and easy to use, or you could say its an operating system that can’t run any of the apps you need. I am not going to get into Chrome OS v Windows, which works best for you is down to what you want to do on a laptop, for my quick review I am going to talk about the hardware.
This is not a budget Chromebook, the i3 version costs £599.99 and the i5 version codes £797.77. The i3 version has a 64GB drive with 4GB RAM and the i5 has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The design of the Spin 13 is a premium laptop with an aluminium case and a screen that can folder back on itself. This means you can use the Spin 13 as tablet. The laptop is very well made and feels solid, the aluminium case make is feel like an expensive device, which it is.
The screen is clear bright and sharp and supports touch. It also supports an active pen so you draw on the screen. I tried my pen from a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 which works perfectly, it didn’t work with my Surface Pro pen.
The keyboard also has a premium feel with a short amount of travel, the trackpad is also impressive and supports multi-touch gestures. The keyboard / trackpad combination is as good as most premium Windows device.
Acer say the battery life is around 10 hours, which I found to be about right, and the charge connects via USB C. Other ports on the device are an additional USB C port, USB 3.0 port, Micro-SD card slot on a headphone port.
Performance is hard to judge, running Chrome with multiple tabs open doesn’t see to slow down the device.
If you want a Chromebook with touch, tablet mode and pen support then this is one to look at. It isn’t cheap and for the same price you could get Windows 10 device like the Acer Swift 5 so whether this is the device for you depends very much on your needs. Personally I prefer a the flexibility of Windows 10 but I understand for some people a browser based Chrome OS is just what they need.
In this video I try out the Acer Spin 13, I look at the build, the spec and see how it performs.