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Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review

Powerful performance in a semi-brutalist package

Acer Chromebook Spin 713
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is absolutely one of the best Chromebooks out there right now with a combination of performance, design quality, and battery life, but the lack of an included stylus is downright strange for a 2-in-1 and the design takes few aesthetic risks.

For

  • Powerful performance
  • Gorgeous display
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Quality build

Against

  • Nothing bold about design
  • No stylus included
  • No physical privacy shutter for webcam

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 two minute review

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 takes all the best design features of its popular Spin series of Windows laptops, marries them to a lightweight Chromebook, and then ramps up the power and performance to achieve Intel Evo-certification for a Chromebook.

While some might consider this overkill, the Chromebook Spin 713 puts all that extra horsepower to good use, making it a highly-portable workhorse for work, school, or travel.

Available now in the US, UK, and Australia, the Chromebook Spin 713 sells for $699 / £599 / about AU$980. Acer's Australian Chromebook Spin 713 page shows the device as available in the region, but not actual models were on sale on the Australian site so your pricing may vary between retailers.

For the laptop itself, starting with the solid build quality, Acer did not cheap out on the Chromebook Spin 713. It built the device into an aluminum chassis with sturdy but flexible hinges, a comfortable keyboard deck and trackpad, and a beautiful 3:2, 2256 x 1504p touchscreen display. 

Unfortunately, there isn't any kind of visual interest with the Chromebook Spin 713, and in some ways you might even think it wasn't finished yet, but this device definitely trends more towards function over form.

The keyboard is comfortable to type on with a decent amount of travel and key spacing, while the trackpad is nice and responsive. The touchscreen, too, is responsive and when used with a stylus – which is not included with the laptop, unfortunately – note-taking is a breeze thanks to the 3:2 aspect ratio giving you plenty of real estate to scrawl over.

Spec Sheet

Here is the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 8GB
Screen: 13.5-inch, 2256 x 1504p (3:2) LCD Touchscreen
Storage: 256GB PCIe SSD
Ports: 2 x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4, 1 x USB 3.2 Gen Type-A, 1 x HDMI, 1 x microSD,
Connectivity:
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Camera: 720p webcam
Weight: 3.20 lbs (1.45kg)
Size (W x D x H): 11.8 x 9.3 x 0.67 inches (299.72 x 236.22 x 17.01mm)
Battery: 56WHr

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 also features the most up-to-date Wi-Fi 6 standard as well as Bluetooth 5.0, so connecting additional peripherals like a wireless headset is a snap (which is good because the speakers? Not the best).

For a thinner Chromebook, we were happy to see a decent number of ports, including a USB 3.2 Gen Type-A and a microSD slot, along with two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 4.

The webcam and microphone are the standard 720p webcam and microphone setup you'll find on most laptops out there. Hopefully we'll get better webcams one of these days, but probably not until we give up our obsession with razor-thin bezels. Unfortunately, there is no physical camera slide shutter on the webcam, which is always our preferred privacy solution.

Speaking of, the bezels on the Chromebook Spin 713 are present, but not horrendous, other than the standard chin on very roughly 99.9% laptop displays in existence (don't quote us on that) and the display was crisp and vibrant. 

Honestly, it took a 13.5-inch, 1504p display, to remind us that Chrome OS actually has a very beautiful and elegant UI interface and it really shines with the Chromebook Spin 713.

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Acer Chromebook Spin 713

(Image credit: Future)
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Acer Chromebook Spin 713

(Image credit: Future)
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Acer Chromebook Spin 713

(Image credit: Future)
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Acer Chromebook Spin 713

(Image credit: Future)
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Acer Chromebook Spin 713

(Image credit: Future)
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Acer Chromebook Spin 713

(Image credit: Future)
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Acer Chromebook Spin 713

(Image credit: Future)
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Acer Chromebook Spin 713

(Image credit: Future)

Performance

Benchmarks

Here is how the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Kraken JavaScript: 684ms
Octane 2.0 JavaScript: 59,918
Jetstream 2: 164
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 8 hours 24 minutes

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is Intel Evo-certified, so it must pass certain performance and UX standards set by Intel, like fast startup in about a second, at least a nine hour battery life, and additional security features. 

That's all well and good – and it is good – but the star of the show here is the Core i3 or Core i5 processor (depending on your model). 

Chrome OS can run very well on ARM-based chips, Intel Celeron processors, and other low-power hardware, but it absolutely flies on a full Core i5-1135G7 like the one in the unit we reviewed. 

What's more, the Chromebook Spin 713 has 8GB RAM and a 256GB PCIe SSD, not eMMC flash memory storage, so it all but pushes you to install and run local apps from the Google Play Store, which the Chromebook Spin 713 simply chews through without so much as a stutter.

As for battery life, we saw some mixed results with a couple of outliers that skew the average of eight hours and 24 minutes down a bit. The longest the battery lasted for us in our HD movie test was 10 hours 6 minutes, which isn't best-in-class battery life, but it's still a very respectable showing.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You want an affordable workhorse
While the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 isn't cheap per se, for the hardware on offer, you're getting an excellent value

You want a gorgeous display
The 3:2, 2256 x 1504p LCD touchscreen display on the Chromebook Spin 713 is absolutely one of its stand-out features.

You want serious performance
With an Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processor, the Chromebook Spin 713 brings some heavy hitters as far as Chromebooks go.

Don't buy it if...

You want an eye-catching design
The Chromebook Spin 713 is well-designed, don't get us wrong, but it's downright utilitarian.

You want a budget Chromebook
Again, while this isn't the most premium Chromebook we've seen in recent years, this also isn't the cheapest one either.

You don't own your own stylus
When you go to buy a 2-in-1 laptop, you expect certain things. A compatible stylus is one of them, but not with the Chromebook Spin 713, apparently.

John Loeffler

John (He / Him / His) is TechRadar's Computing Staff Writer and is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.


You can find him online on Twitter at @thisdotjohn


Currently playing: Valheim, Darkest Dungeon, Satisfactory