Acer

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022) Short Review

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022) Short Review

When we reviewed it in August 2020, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 rose to the top of our Chromebook rankings for its peppy performance, plenty of ports, sleek and sturdy build, and 13.5-inch touchscreen with an eye-pleasing 3:2 aspect ratio. The recently refreshed Spin 713 is more expensive at $699.99, which is $70 more than before, though it brings an 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor instead of a 10th Gen and a 256GB SSD instead of 128GB, but it’s still a lovely convertible that easily wins an Editor’s Choice Award among high-end Chromebooks.


Now with Thunderbolt 4

This year’s Chromebook Spin 713 (model CP713-3W-5102) has the same gunmetal gray aluminum chassis that passed the same MIL-STD 810H tests for shock and vibration as its predecessor; there’s hardly any flex whether you’re gripping the corners of the screen or pressing down on the keyboard. 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 threshold to qualify as an ultraportable – the 14-inch Asus Chromebook CX9, for its part, is noticeably slimmer at 2.31 pounds.

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Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022) front view

(Photo: Molly Flores)

The Acer features a 2.4GHz quad-core Core i5-1135G7 processor with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, along with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB NVMe SSD. It meets Intel standards Evo in connectivity and fast boot-up, and is one of the few Chromebooks to support Thunderbolt 4 – the two USB Type-C ports on the left flank (either can accommodate the power adapter compact) follow the latest Thunderbolt specification.

Something else on the left edge that’s rare among Chromebooks is an HDMI video output, so you don’t need to fuss with a USB-C adapter to use an external monitor. There is an audio jack next to it. The right side houses a USB 3.2 Type-A port and a microSD card slot, along with the power button and a volume rocker for use in tablet mode.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022) left ports

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022) right ports

(Photo: Molly Flores)

Against all of these features, the Spin 713 lacks a few frills seen on some high-end Chromebooks. There’s no fingerprint reader (or facial recognition webcam, though we haven’t seen the latter on any Chromebooks yet). The webcam does not have a privacy shutter. The keyboard follows the standard Chrome OS layout, which means you’ll have to map the menu and Alt keys to cursor arrows in the absence of actual Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down keys.


As good as an IPS screen gets

Acer calls the square 3:2 aspect ratio panel a VertiView display because it displays more web page or word processing content or spreadsheet rows without scrolling. Its native resolution is 2,256 by 1,504 pixels, making text and screen elements tiny but crisp enough to read; As with most Chromebooks, the Settings/Device tab offers a choice of fake or “looks like” resolutions (the default is 1410 by 940 pixels) so you can find a size that suits your eyes.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022) tent mode

(Photo: Molly Flores)

The brightness is ample, even if I’ve never been tempted to lower it as much as possible, and the contrast is good. Viewing angles are wide and white backgrounds are pristine, not dull. Colors are rich and vivid in both stills and YouTube videos. Two hinges hold the screen with minimal wobble when typed in laptop mode and make it easy to fold up in tent or tablet mode. The convertible tracked my finger in Chrome Canvas, but my finger was all I had to work with – no stylus provided.

The webcam has the usual 720p resolution and captures blurry images with lots of static; it’s downright mediocre in low-light conditions. The bottom-mounted speakers produce reasonably loud but somewhat hollow or thin sound. Still, there’s more bass than I expected and you can make out the overlapping tracks.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022) Keyboard

(Photo: Molly Flores)

The keyboard is backlit and offers a comfortably fast, albeit shallow, typing feel. The square buttonless touchpad is well-sized and glides and taps smoothly, requiring light pressure for a quiet click. As with all Chromebooks, a two-finger tap is equivalent to a right-click.

The Spin 713 comes bundled with software that some may equate to unwanted bloatware common on Windows PCs, but others may find useful. The Explorer menu icon includes a variety of extras, led by a year of 100GB Google One cloud storage and YouTube Premium, SoundCloud Go+, Clipchamp and DocuSign trial offers.


Spin 713 review: peloton-leading performance

Besides the Asus Chromebook CX9 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook, we compared Acer’s 13.5-inch benchmark results with those of two 13.3-inch systems that combine luxury 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 specifications in the table below.

We test Chromebooks with three overall benchmark suites: one Chrome OS, one Android, and one online. The first, CrXPRT 2 from Principled Technologies, measures how quickly a system performs everyday tasks in six workloads such as applying photo effects, graphing a stock portfolio, analyzing DNA sequences and 3D shape generation using WebGL.

The second, UL’s PCMark for Android Work 3.0, performs various productivity operations in a smartphone-like window. Finally, Basemark Web 3.0 runs in a browser tab to combine low-level JavaScript calculations with CSS and WebGL content. All three give numerical scores; higher numbers are better.

The Acer battled with the Asus for benchmark supremacy, which isn’t surprising since they have the same CPU, while the Core i3 Lenovo Flex 5 did a great job of keeping up with Core systems. i5. All are excellent Google Workspace productivity partners. The Celeron-powered Samsung was a latecomer.

Two other Android benchmarks focus on CPU and GPU respectively. Primate Labs’ Geekbench uses all available cores and threads to simulate real-world applications ranging from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning, while GFXBench 5.0 tests both low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like image rendering that exercises graphics and computes shaders. Geekbench provides a numerical score, while GFXBench counts frames per second (fps).

Finally, to test a Chromebook’s battery, we loop a 720p video file with the screen brightness set to 50%, the volume set to 100%, and the Wi-Fi and keyboard backlight turned off until the system shuts down. Sometimes we need to play video from an external SSD plugged into a USB port, but the Acer had more than enough internal storage to hold the file.

The Spin 713 narrowly won the Geekbench CPU competition. And while we’ve never seen a Chromebook that we’d describe as a gaming laptop (though we suspect its Thunderbolt 4 support means you could theoretically hook the Acer up to an external GPU, if support driver load for this existed), it should suffice for casual Android gaming based on its top-notch GFXBench score. The IdeaPad Flex 5 dominated our battery drain, but the Acer will get you through a day of work or school plus a Netflix movie.


It’s hard to buy a better Chromebook

We considered downgrading the Chromebook Spin 713’s rating from its previous 4.5 stars to 4 stars due to its $70 price increase and light weight, but decided that its improved performance, storage to semi -Doubled drivers and Thunderbolt 4 support deserved to keep the half star.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022) rear view

(Photo: Molly Flores)

So does its status as the near-flawless Chromebook of choice – except for being a tad heavy, it’s a first-class convertible for productivity, creativity and media enjoyment, with a display at 3:2 aspect ratio which will spoil you for old-school 16:9 panels. The Acer isn’t cheap, but Chromebooks don’t get any better than that.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2022)

Advantages

  • Large high-resolution touch screen

  • Fast performance

  • HDMI, Thunderbolt 4 and USB-A ports

  • Spacious 256GB SSD instead of eMMC flash storage

See more

The essential

It’s pricey for a Chromebook, but Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 is still a world-class alternative to Windows convertibles.

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