Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Review: One of the Best You Can Buy
Acer's tall two-in-one Chromebook continues to be a standout with some help from Intel's Evo platform.
Joshua GoldmanManaging Editor / Advice
Managing Editor Josh Goldman is a laptop expert and has been writing about and reviewing them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers almost anything connected to a PC, including keyboards, mice, USB-C docks and PC gaming accessories. In addition, he writes about cameras, including action cams and drones. And while he doesn't consider himself a gamer, he spends entirely too much time playing them.
ExpertiseLaptops, desktops and computer and PC gaming accessories including keyboards, mice and controllers, cameras, action cameras and dronesCredentials
More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.
Although the new Chromebook Spin 713 looks almost exactly like its predecessor, Intel worked with Acer to make it the first Chromebook verified for Intel's Evo platform. What does that mean? An Evo-verified laptop must meet certain standards for performance, battery life, responsiveness, and wireless and wired connections, among other things. In other words, it's sort of a guarantee that your laptop will give you the best mobile experience, and now that experience is available on a Chromebook.
Just like the best Windows and MacOS laptops, the best Chromebooks have better components and better components cost more money. The $699 Chromebook Spin 713 I tested will cause sticker shock for those used to cheaper Chromebooks that'll handle much of what you can do with Chrome. But this is a premium Chromebook that delivers a great user experience and is worth the extra money for its performance and durability. Pricing for the UK and Australia wasn't immediately available, but the US price converts to roughly £495 or AU$900.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 uses one of Acer's bright VertiView displays, a 13.5-inch, 2,256x1,504-pixel touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. As the name implies, it gives you more vertical room to work, but it still has the width of a typical 13.3-inch laptop with a 16:9 ratio. If you don't like scrolling up and down all the time, this is perfect.
But if you want to attach a monitor or two, the Spin 713 is the first Chromebook with Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports -- it's now a requirement for Intel Evo Chromebook verification. The ports can be used for display output, fast data transfers, high-speed networking, rapid charging and docking stations. There's also an HDMI output on the Spin 713, so you can connect a display without any adapters or docks if necessary.
A safe design in more ways than one
Maybe it's because Samsung's Galaxy Chromebook 2 is still fresh in my mind, but the overall look of the Spin 713 doesn't stand out compared to the rest of the package. It's fine-looking and certainly a safe choice for school and work, but if you're looking for some personality, this falls short.
On the other hand, one thing this Chromebook can handle is a short fall. Along with Corning Gorilla Glass on the touchscreen (and the smooth touchpad, too), the Spin 713 has a reinforced aluminum body with Mil-Spec certification (MIL-STD-810H) for protection from minor drops, vibration, rain, dust, high and low temperatures and humidity. It's a welcomed extra for a Chromebook that's likely to get knocked around. However, at 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms) is slightly heavy for a premium Chromebook and it is somewhat thick, too, especially when folded over into a tablet.
Intel says Evo-verified laptops are engineered to help remove lag, distractions and dependency on battery chargers. There is certainly nothing laggy about this Chromebook. Lift the lid and the display instantly comes to life, the Wi-Fi connects and it's ready to go in seconds -- a lot like your phone when you wake it up. An Android phone can be paired with Chrome to unlock it and Chrome now allows you to add a PIN for faster access. Some models also feature a built-in fingerprint reader, and it was included on the model I tested. However, the final version being sold at Best Buy does not include the reader, which is disappointing, because it worked well.
The 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor handily outperformed last year's version of this Chromebook with the comparable 10th-gen chip on our benchmarks. It outlasted its predecessor's battery by 31 minutes, too, running for 12 hours, 42 minutes on our streaming video test. Plus, it charges fast.
Basically, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 lives up to Intel's Evo verification. It wakes instantly, it's just as responsive on battery power as it is plugged in, has a long battery life, charges quickly and, with Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6, it has fast wired and wireless connections.
The two-in-one design is useful to have, especially when using Android apps. It's a bit thick in tablet mode, but overall I find Chrome more enjoyable with a touchscreen. Even if you only plan to use it as a laptop, I'd still recommend it. The Spin 713 feels like the first glimpse of the next 10 years for Chromebooks.
Editor's note, June 14: The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 configuration tested for this review included a fingerprint reader. That feature is available as an option for the Spin 713, but is no longer available on the configuration reviewed here. This review has been updated accordingly. Also, the final version of the Spin 713 does support USI pens. An earlier version of this review stated that it did not.