A increasing amount of Chromebook devices -- laptops that use Google's Chrome OS -- have been established within the previous 24 months with a transparent focus on the enterprise market.
Starting from the instruction vertical in which their fair cost, simplicity of rollout, very low maintenance prices and virtually non-existent learning curve enabled Chromebooks to steal market share from Mac and Windows, Google now needs businesses to follow suit.
Plus it's relying on products like the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 (and its Google Pixelbook) to perform the trick. It's worth noting that the Chromebook Spin 13 (CP713) sits at Acer's professional portfolio rather than its user range.
The Spin 13 model that we obtained sells for just over $855 (roughly £670) straight from Google. A less costly model, powered by a Core i3 CPU (rather than some Core i5) can be available with the specific same configuration otherwise.
Acer decided to follow Google's lead and embrace a 3:2 aspect ratio to the display, which then has an influence on the general form factor, particularly when the big bezels are factored in. It's a comparatively major laptop at 1.5kg, with a footprint of 310 x 246mm plus a depth of 18mm.
Each of the design features you'd expect from a high-end product are here: Gorilla Glass such as the touchscreen and the touchpad, diamond-cut borders, an anodized aluminum chassis that gives it a superior end and assists with power dissipation.
We weren't so excited, however, on four facets of the Chromebook: the display -- that is connected to the body through two hinges -- isn't 100% oleophobic (meaning it will accumulate fingerprints), and there are four little rubber strips found around the four corners of the bottom unit, and there's a little'lip' to help open the cap rather than the tried-and-trusted top notch. Acer had to get three (yes, three) decals on the Spin 13.
Alright, these are just tiny niggles, however they issue.
There's a volume rocker on the right border of the laptop together with the power button, a standing light plus also a USB Type-C connector. On the left you will discover an audio jack, a microSD card slot, also a full size USB 3.0 port and another Type-C connector.
Flip the device over and you'll see two speaker grilles, four rubber feet plus a massive air vent to cool the Intel processor. The battery-less Wacom pen is tucked away from the lid itself, beneath the right side of the palm rest.
The Spin 13 gets the hardware of a mid sized laptop using a small percent of the storage, which is not surprising because one of the peculiarities of Chrome OS is its dependence on cloud storage -- most of Chromebooks get 100GB of Google Drive storage for a couple of years.
It's powered by a quad-core Intel Core i5-8250U CPU clocked at 1.6GHz (having an UHD Graphics 620 GPU) and 8GB of LPDDR3 memory and 64GB eMMC storage. The less costly Core i3 (i3-8130U) model has just two cores however they are clocked at a higher rate (2.2GHz).
The IPS screen is a highlight, with a QHD resolution spread over 13.5-inches which translates into a pixel density of 200 ppi (for a entire pixel count of 3.39 million). Bear in mind that this is more than a 3:2 aspect ratio.
As anticipated this notebook does have 802.11ac wireless connectivity courtesy of a Intel part. There's also a 3-cell, 4.67Ah battery that has a rated 10 hour battery life using a 45W (20v, 2.25A) electricity supply unit. Acer might have spent a few more bucks to provide that anonymous PSU a somewhat more upmarket look (like what Xiaomi did using its Mi Laptop Air 13.3).
As previously mentioned, the display would be the highlight of the Spin 13 regardless of the warmth introduced from the glass overlay. The colour reproduction, touch response, overall comparison, sharpness and brightness more than compensate for any glare problems.
Regrettably, there's no HDMI port, which means that you can't connect this laptop to an external computer out of the box, though you need to be able to accomplish this through a Google Chromecast. It's very likely that it'll be restricted to Full HD rather than 4K, however. Note that you need to also have the ability to connect through an optional HDMI dongle accessible from Acer.
You can not switch off the backlight on the keyboard. Talking of the keyboard, it is sturdy, with practically no flex, fantastic traveling and a good quantity of spring. The chiclet design is a tried-and-trusted one, therefore any Chromebook user will probably be in your home on this device.
The touchpad was equally gratifying to use and supports multi-touch expressions; certainly no complaints . The Wacom EMR stylus was a true pleasure to use -- a pop-up menu appears whenever the stylus is removed from its holder. Bear in mind that this is really a fundamental pencil: there aren't any secondary buttons without a eraser.
We did not experience any noticeable lag while using the pencil (or really the Chromebook). Not that people used it to do some hard work, mind you. The laptop lasted a more-than-respectable 7 hours at our YouTube battery evaluation together with the brightness set to max. As a reminder, we played with a 10-hour count-up YouTube video before the Spin 13 switched off because of running out of battery .
Could it be the very best Chromebook available on the marketplace for businesses? We would tend to say yes, it's indeed. The Spin 13 is built using the type of material and complete we would expect on a top device.
The pencil is a bonus and thus is the gorgeous display. Insert in Android compatibility along with the whole-day battery lifetime (simply reduce the screen brightness) and you've got a magnificent product that deserves to be considered.
Compared to Windows devices, this Chromebook retains its own ground, although the many relative merits of every operating system will probably have to be discussed individually. Should Acer produce a Windows version of the laptop? Sure. Can Acer create a version using the two operating systems? Why not ?
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