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Acer Spin 5 review: A solid 2-in-1 laptop packed with features and value

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The Good The Acer Spin 5 has a useful convertible design with a modern and sturdy build. Solid keyboard and stylus support. Healthy variety of ports. Surprisingly loud speakers. Long battery life.

The Bad It's a bit heavy.

The Bottom Line The Acer Spin 5 is a capable convertible that's attractively priced for its features.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

8.0 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Battery 8.0

Review Sections

The Acer Spin 5 is an excellent laptop for its price. Starting at $700, the convertible 2-in-1 notebook overflows with useful features including a modern build, stylus pen, HD touchscreen, long-lasting battery and healthy range of ports.

For everything that it offers, if it were any cheaper, it'd be a no-brainer. As is, it's a great option for anyone interested in a solid middle-of-the-road laptop, but it's also not likely to catch anyone's eye or inspire great works of creativity.

acer-spin-5-3293-014

360-degree hinges makes it a versatile device.

Josh Miller/CNET

New and improved

The new Acer Spin 5 models comes in 13- and 15-inch versions. New features include its all-metal build, the latest 8th-gen Intel Core processors, a sharper screen, improved stylus support and better keyboard. The 13-inch unit we reviewed (SP513-52N-58WW) costs $700.

Australian pricing starts at AU$999. In the UK the price starts at £799.

A well-rounded convertible

The Acer Spin 5 is stylishly modern. Its metal build is sleek and feels solid as a rock. On the downside, it more than a little heavy, weighing 3.31 pounds. New 13-inch convertibles from Samsung and HP each weigh under 2.5 pounds, so that's a significant difference.

It comes with an active stylus that works well for taking notes and casual drawing. Unfortunately, there's no place to store the stylus on the laptop.

Though it wasn't made specifically for watching video, the Spin 5 made for a surprisingly satisfying TV alternative. Its sharp and bright screen displayed life-like colors with wide viewing angles, and the speakers, located above the keyboard, are satisfyingly loud. Audio quality suffers at maximum volume with shrill highs, but lowering the volume helps avoid the distortion.

Tent mode is perfect for watching video.

Josh Miller/CNET

Screen specs

  • 13.3-inch IPS screen
  • 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution
  • 16:9 screen ratio

The tent mode was especially useful for watching video in a tight space. The laptop's hinges were sturdy and held position firmly. However, the speakers face the opposite direction of the screen when positioned this way, directing sound away from the viewer. A small but noticeable nuisance.

Thick bezels slightly take away from the Acer's otherwise slick trimmings. Bezels can really make a laptop feel cheap, but everything else on the laptop tends to make up for it.

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