Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) review: heavy, but a decent all-rounder

A solid choice, save for an iffy display

Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) test model
(Image: © Future / Reece Bithrey)

TechRadar Verdict

The Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) is a solid mid-range laptop with the powers of a 2-in-1. It looks good and offers up some excellent power under hood and some good endurance to boot. The display is fine for everyday work, although it offers middling brightness and colour accuracy. It is also quite heavy for a laptop of its size.

Pros

  • +

    Solid-feeling chassis

  • +

    Excellent keyboard

  • +

    Packs in a fair bit of power for the price

Cons

  • -

    Heavy frame for a laptop of its size

  • -

    Meagre port selection

  • -

    Middling display

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Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023): Two-minute review

The Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) isn’t a laptop that’s meant to be exciting, but it is designed more to be functional and succeeds in offering a package that is more than fine for what most people will need. The convertible design is handy and what sets itself apart from other laptops at this price, perhaps allowing it to sneak into our rankings of the best 2-in-1 laptops out there, as opposed to offering beefier internals or a better overall display.

Nonetheless, it’s a good looking laptop, except it’s a little heavy for a 14-inch unit at 1.6kg (3.5 lbs). The port selection on offer is fine but missing a couple of important things in 2023 - namely a second USB-C and a Micro SD reader. On the plus side, the more compact keyboard feels excellent to type on and offers even backlighting for after-dark working. Meanwhile, the trackpad is tactile and offers a fingerprint reader for more secure entry.

The internals of the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) also impress, blitzing our benchmark tests and providing plenty of power for the productivity tasks it’s designed for. The fan noise can get a little high under load, but otherwise, it’s a quiet performer that offers some responsive performance in day to day tasks, making it a candidate for one of the best student laptops in its price category. Battery life here is also excellent, with more than enough endurance to get you through a working day.

The big thing here is the display. While it offers decent detail, and the fact it’s a touchscreen is solid, its colour accuracy and brightness are middling. Paying a little bit extra can get you something a lot better without sacrificing anything in terms of internal power, such as with an higher-res OLED screen, for instance. Those options will make for some of the best laptops out there, but the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) is a more than serviceable choice for the price.

That isn’t to say that the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) is a bad laptop, because it most definitely isn’t. For most people, it’s a good choice, although if you are a creative who will be using that touchscreen, you may want to spend a little more to get exactly what you want.

Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023): Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? Starting at $749.99 / AU$1,399 (about £615)
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it?  Available in the US, UK and Australia, depending on the model. 

At £899 / $749.99 for my mid-range model sample, the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) perhaps typifies a mid-range laptop. Its spec sheet is decent enough for the price, packing in a capable deca-core Intel Core i5-1355U processor, as well as 16GB of DDR5 RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an okay 16-inch 1920x1200 touchscreen display. This is available in the UK and USA, although pricing varies by quite a lot across the regions. 

There is also a slightly more powerful config available, at £1199.99 / $849.99 that offers the next step up in terms of CPU with a Intel Core i7-1355U and a 1TB SSD, but apart from that, it’s identical. That means the same display, RAM and port selection. I should also say there is a base model that isn’t available in the UK but is available in Australia and the USA at AU$1399 and $749.99, respectively. 

The easiest and most logical comparison here is to the base model Acer Swift Go 14, which features a pretty much identical spec-sheet to the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023), with the same processor and display. With this Aspire model, though, you are getting a convertible chassis and double the RAM for less money.

Then there’s the Acer Aspire Vero 15 (2023), which does away with the touchscreen completely, bumps up the display size to 15-inches, and offers a more eye-catching design. That’s priced at $849.99 / AU$1,699 (about £672.72), but if you want a more conventional and vanilla laptop experience, it’s a convenient competitor to the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023). 

  • Value: 3.5 / 5

Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) test model

(Image credit: Future / Reece Bithrey)

Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023): Specs

The Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) comes in three configurations, with this review unit being in the middle. The slightly more powerful model offers a beefier processor, and more RAM compared to the base model.  

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These are the specs for the Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023)
ComponentBase modelReview unitTop configuration
Price$749.99 / AU$1399 (not available in the UK) $749.99 / £899 (not available in AU)$849.99 / £1199.99
CPUIntel Core i5-1335U (10 core)Intel Core i5-1335U (10 core)Intel Core i7-1355U (10 core)
GPUIntel Iris Xe Integrated GraphicsIntel Iris Xe Integrated GraphicsIntel Iris Xe Integrated Graphics
RAM8GB LPDDR516GB LPDDR516GB LPDDR5
Storage512GB SSD512GB SSD1TB SSD
Screen14" WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 16:10 60 Hz Touchscreen14" WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 16:10 60 Hz Touchscreen14" WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 16:10 60 Hz Touchscreen
Ports1x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI, 2.1, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2x USB 3.2 Gen Type A1x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI, 2.1, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2x USB 3.2 Gen Type A1x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI, 2.1, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2x USB 3.2 Gen Type A
WirelessIEEE 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1IEEE 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1IEEE 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1
Camera1080p HD webcam1080p HD webcam1080p HD webcam
Weight3.5 lbs (1.6kg)3.5 lbs (1.6kg)3.5 lbs (1.6kg)
Dimensions12.5 x 8.9 x 0.71 inches (317.5 x 226.06 x 18mm)12.5 x 8.9 x 0.71 inches (317.5 x 226.06 x 18mm)12.5 x 8.9 x 0.71 inches (317.5 x 226.06 x 18mm)

 The configurations listed above come as they are, and apart from choosing between RAM, processor, and SSD capacity by picking an individual model, that’s it. 

Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023): Design

  • Compact frame, but a weighty chassis
  • Solid keyboard with clever backlighting
  • Okay port selection

In keeping with some of Acer’s more recent laptop releases, the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) is a modern-looking laptop, complete with a solid chassis that features a nice textured finish to it. With a weight of 1.6kg (3.5 lbs), it makes for quite a hefty laptop for its screen size. Nonetheless, with its compact 14-inch screen size, the overall chassis is at least quite small, making it easy to fit into the best laptop bags for safe-keeping.

Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) test model

(Image credit: Future / Reece Bithrey)

Bezels around the screen are reasonably thin while there’s enough space on the tray for a 65% layout keyboard and okay-sized trackpad. The keyboard offers some solid tactility with a snappy keypress and continues Acer’s trend of supplying decent keyboards with their laptops. The white backlighting present is also relatively even and provides a nice underglow for after-dark working. After a period of inactivity, the backlight turns off and returns when you begin working again. This is a handy quality of life feature and is comparable to the wake featured on Logitech’s latest run of MX peripherals.

By comparison, the trackpad feels a little small, and its buttons feel a little on the cheaper side. Compared to other laptops of a similar screen size I’ve tested, it is a little dinky, but there is enough real estate for your fingers. Returning to the idea of quality of life features, the trackpad features a fingerprint sensor, which is just big enough to house your fingertip. It’s responsive, and works well with Windows Hello.

The port selection isn’t bad for a laptop of its size and thickness, with an HDMI 2.1 port, a pair of USB-A ports, a headphone jack, and a USB-C port. The pair of USB-As is a nice touch, given these seem to be getting rarer on laptops as time passes, although on the contrary, a second USB-C would have been nice to potentially offer another display output.

The right hand side is also home to a stylus, which can be used with the Aspire 5 Spin 14. It fits neatly inside, without any protrusions, and its small bump on the end almost gives it a look comparable to a larger version of the stylus that shipped with Nintendo’s DS handhelds - the nostalgia certainly hit me then.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023): Performance

  • Decent performance for day-to-day workloads
  • Display offers good detail, but sub-par colours
  • Speakers are quite thin-sounding
Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023): Benchmarks

Here's how the Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 14,553; Fire Strike: 4,253; Time Spy: 1,452
GeekBench 6: 2266 (single-core); 9017 (multi-core)
25GB File Copy:
761.42 MBps
Handbrake 1.6: 3 minutes 45 seconds
CrossMark: Overall: 1494 Productivity: 1477 Creativity: 1495 Responsiveness: 1546
Sid Meier's Civilization VI (1080p): 35.2fps (low settings)  23.5fps (high settings)
PCMark 10 Battery Life: 10 hours and 38 minute

Being a mid-range laptop designed for productivity, I wasn’t necessarily expecting anything spectacular with regards to the performance of the Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023). Its Intel Core i5-1335U packed inside offers some excellent power for both day to day tasks and a hint of more intense workloads, with results in synthetic tests that rival laptops a lot more expensive, including Acer’s own Swift Edge 16 (2023)

Otherwise, the spec sheet with its 16GB of RAM and lack of a discrete graphics card means that more intensive workloads such as playing demanding AAA titles or heavy video editing workloads are off limits, but more day to day work is perfectly alright. WIth this in mind, the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) still offered some solid performance in daily tasks when having tens of Chrome tabs open, even when I had video streaming on one and Spotify running in playing my usual playlist. A quick run of Civilisation 6 revealed some okay results at lower settings. Turning things up to the max left navigation feeling slow and laggy at times, proving that the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) is okay for some lighter gaming. Under load, it also didn’t get too warm, although the fan noise was quite loud. 

Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) test model

(Image credit: Future / Reece Bithrey)

For general use, the 1920x1200 display is decent enough, although it offered somewhat disappointing results when measured with my trusty colorimeter. The 64% sRGB result means it displays the mainstream colours used for general working reasonably accurately, while its 48% DCI-P3 rating seems especially low and proves the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) isn’t necessarily meant for colour sensitive workloads. Its 233.6 nits of peak brightness is okay for indoor use, as is its 1040:1 contrast ratio, although you won’t necessarily want to take this laptop outside.

The downwards-firing speakers sound okay, although they don’t necessarily offer much in the way of bass. For general listening, they’re perfectly acceptable, but they are a little thin and crispy. On the plus side, the 1080p webcam bundled into the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023)  served up some decent results, with good colours and reasonable detail, proving it’s pretty capable for video conferencing tasks.

  • Performance score: 3.5 / 5

Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023): Battery

  • Lasted 10 hours and 38 minutes in our battery life benchmark
  • Capable of lasting for between 1 and 2 working days.

As much as the performance of the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) may well be a mixed bag, its battery life impressed me. A run of the PCMark 10 benchmark revealed it to last for 10 and a half hours on a single charge. In the 1080p video loop test, it lasted for five and a half hours when draining the battery from 50% to nothing and for nine hours from fully charged to empty.

Acer says the battery should last for up to 14 hours, so while the results aren’t exactly on par with their claims, it still provides solid endurance. In day to day use, it largely matched the benchmarks, with it lasting for a working day before needing to charge the laptop back up again. To charge it from empty to full takes a couple of hours, which is reasonable.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Should you buy the Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023)?

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[Product name]
AttributesNotesRating
PriceYou are paying a lot, but you’re getting a fair amount of functionality and power for the price.3.5 / 5
DesignThis is a well-made laptop, although majorly comprised of plastic. It is heavy, but offers an excellent keyboard, decent trackpad, and an okay port selection.4 / 5
PerformanceThere’s a lot of internal power with that 13th Gen Intel Core i5 processor, but a sub-par display makes it a real shame.3.5 / 5
BatteryLasting 10 and a half hours gives you enough juice for a working day, and charging back up to full won’t take too long, either.4 / 5
Average ratingThe Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) is a solid laptop for those who want good build quality and decent power, and don’t mind something a little heavier.4 / 5

Buy it if...

You want the convenience of a 2-in-1 laptop
The Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) offers the convenience of a 2-in-1 laptop with good execution, thanks to a responsive touchscreen, as well as solid power for modest workloads.

You want a fair amount of power
In both day to day use and in a range of synthetic benchmarks, the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) impresses, making it a handy laptop for productivity workloads.

You want plenty of endurance
The battery life here is also solid, meaning you’ll be able to get through a working day without needing to charge the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) for too long, if at all.

Don't buy it if...

You need a vast port selection
While the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023)’s port selection is okay, it doesn’t offer that much outside of USB-A and HDMI out. For anything else, such as a second USB-C or a Micro SD reader, you will be left looking elsewhere.

You want an incredible display
The 14-inch 1920x1200 panel on the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) is okay for day to day workloads, although misses the target completely for any more colour-sensitive tasks.

You’re on a tighter budget
This is also quite a dear laptop for what you’re getting, and if you’re on a tighter budget, then you can get options that are better all-rounders for a bit less.

Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023): Also consider

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Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023)Acer Swift Go 14Acer Aspire Vero 15 (2023)
Price:From $749.99 / AU$1399 (not available in the UK) From $799.99$849.99 / AU$1,699 (about £672.72)
CPUFrom Intel Core i5-1335U (10 core)From Intel Core i5-1335U13th-Gen Intel Core i7-1355U
GPUIntel Iris Xe Integrated Graphics Intel Iris Xe Integrated Graphics Intel UMA Graphics
RAMFrom 8GB LPDDR5 From 8GB LPDDR5 16GB LPDDR5
Screen14" WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 16:10 60 Hz Touchscreen 14" WUXGA 1920 x 1200 60Hz IPS Touchscreen (16:10 )15-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080) Display
StorageFrom 512GB SSD From 512GB SSD 512TB SSD
Ports1x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), HDMI, 2.1, 3.5mm headphone jack, 2x USB 3.2 Gen Type A 2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x HDMI, 1x microSD card reader1x HDMI, 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A, 1x 3.5mm audio
WirelessIEEE 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1 Wi-Fi 6E (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth 5.2Wi-Fi 6E & Bluetooth 5.0
Camera1080p HD webcam 1440p webcamQHD webcam
Weight3.5 lbs (1.6kg) 2.76 lbs (1.25kg)3.97 lb (1.8\kg)
Dimensions12.5 x 8.9 x 0.71 inches (317.5 x 226.06 x 18mm)12.32 x 8.58 x 0.59 inches (312.9 x 217.9 x 14.9 mm)0.70 x 14.2 x 9.3 inches (17.78 x 360.68 x 236.22 mm)

If the Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) has you considering other options, here are two more laptops to consider...

Image

Acer Swift Go 14
The Swift Go 14 misses out on the convertible design of the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023), but packs in a largely similar spec sheet, although pay a little more and you get an OLED screen and a little more power.

Read our full Acer Swift Go 14 review

Image

Acer Aspire Vero 15 (2023)
The Aspire Vero 15 (2023) provides a more eye-catching design and a slightly larger screen for similar money to the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023), as well as offering a better port selection.

Read our full Acer Aspire Vero 15 (2023) review 

How I tested the Acer Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023)

  • Tested the laptop for about two weeks
  • Used it as my main work laptop, as well as for photo editing, and streaming video
  • Also stress-tested using our suite of benchmarks

During my couple of weeks with the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023), I used it as my main work laptop, swapping out my trusty 16-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro. I used it for writing articles, as well as for streaming content on Disney+ and photo editing using Photoshop. I also used it for video calls with friends and ran it through our suite of benchmarks

This is a laptop designed more for productivity workloads, but with the internal power it packs in, the Aspire 5 Spin 14 (2023) is also suitable for some lighter forms of more intense workloads such as photo editing.

As someone who has a few years’ experience writing reviews and testing laptops, I’ve got the right tools to help you through the minefield of whether a laptop is actually any good or not. You can trust me to take everything into account to help you make the right buying decision.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed September 2023

Reece Bithrey
Freelance contributor

Reece Bithrey is a freelance journalist with credits in Trusted Reviews, Digital Foundry, PC Gamer, TechRadar, PCGamesN, and Custom PC magazine reviewing all sorts of computing gubbins, including keyboards, mice, laptops, and more. He also has his own blog, UNTITLED, has bylines for WatchGecko's online magazine, and graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in International History and Politics in 2023. When not writing, you'll usually find him bellowing at virtual footballers on Football Manager or tinkering with mechanical keyboards.