8.0
Score

Pros

  • Chrome OS has come a long way
  • Overkill specification for an OS that's pretty light
  • Consistency is its middle name because performance is just that good
  • Beautiful display with Touch screen
  • The most solid Chromebook we've ever held and used
  • All in all, well put together in the keyboard and trackpad

Cons

  • The lack of caps lock key is a bit bothersome
  • A very First world kind of laptop

We have never reviewed nor played with a Chromebook ever in the past few years of being a tech site and for the very first time, Acer Malaysia asked us if we want to review. While it’s not entirely easy to review as the whole benchmarking aspect of a Chromebook falls noticeably short with not enough tools to test, we decided to take it in a much more practical way – that is putting it to test as our personal daily driver. So, in this Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Review, here’s what we have to say about this 2-in-1 laptop.

Solid Build and Well put together

When you immediately think of Acer, you think of the Swift series, Predator for gaming and ConceptD for creators and we all know how the build of those laptops are. Never have we seen a 2-in-1 laptop until this Acer Chromebook Spin 713. This has got to be one of the, if not the best and well put together laptop from Acer we have ever touched. And factoring in that it’s a Chromebook, leaves us in awe as the build is top notch for a Chromebook with robust hinge, nice foldability, and a solid metal construction.

Overkill Specification for a Chromebook

This is something I didn’t expect with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, because the specification we received from Acer Malaysia is pretty overkill in more ways than one. Not only does it run on an x86 platform, but it runs on Intel Core i5 – Evo Certified which makes it such a powerful processor under the hood. Coupled with that Intel processor is the Iris Xe Graphics, 8GB RAM and a 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD which can be expanded with an eMMC MicroSD Card slot located on the side.

Now, there’s a good reason why I say it’s overkill. Chrome OS has been a reigning champion in machines that has bare minimum specification which Windows OS takes a huge toll due to its heaviness. The Chrome OS backbone is on Linux, making it a lot more lightweight. That said, Chrome OS on an older 6th Gen Intel runs as smooth enough give a second life. In this case, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 surpasses those minimum criteria with such a great specification.

A Good step in the experience

The Chrome OS I knew then and the Chrome OS we are trying now are two worlds apart. Google has taken the initiative to improve the experience in so many ways that the clunky feeling OS is gone. Now comes with this dash of Android flavor alongside with the Chrome OS in a lighter build (which is ironic.)

Everything from the simple dock that holds all your essentials, with a swipe up that gives access to your android apps and PWAs, things are more well put together. On the right side, you have some quick panel settings that holds your notifications as well. If you are an Android user or even iPadOS user specifically, you might find the UI a little more intuitive and easier to familiarize yourself with.

That said the snappiness of the OS begins from the first boot and it’s been consistent ever since. So, if you are new to the whole Chrome OS, it doesn’t feel too alienated, in fact, it has the right kind of support going on. There are some learning curves to it but give it a day or two, you are good with it.

Perfect Harmony with Android Phone Users

This is a little feature that makes the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, a one-of-a-kind device. Given that both the Android and Chrome OS ecosystem is from the same parent company, they have added features to it to make it work synergistic. Like the moment you set up the phone and link it to the Chromebook, it gives you the option to use your smartphone as a data hotspot at times when you don’t have a wi-fi connectivity available at places where you choose to go.

In fact, it also synchronizes your notification from your phone over to the notification panel on your laptop, which is a neat trick on its own. Otherwise, for iOS users, they will miss out on the respectable number of features which is expected due to the restriction Apple devices have for Privacy reasons.

The 2-in-1 factor adds fantastic Versatility to the OS

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is not just a normal laptop, as it expands into a 2-in-1 laptop. Let me address some of the flaws we face with two of the popular OS in the market: one being Microsoft Windows and the other being Android. Starting off with Windows, Microsoft has failed to offer the best kind of touch experience for years. The closest thing that came to a touch-friendly interface is Windows 8 and it also happened to be the least favorite among users. Fast forward to 2022, with Windows 11 – things are back to square one – an OS best used with Mouse and a Keyboard but not as a touch screen device.

Android on the other hand is fine if your device is small. The moment you jump over to a tablet, things feel weird as everything feels like a void where nothing belongs. But that’s not the case with the Chrome OS here and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is a winner here, by combining two form factors where the device then could morph accordingly to give the better experience possible. The moment you fold and use it as a touch only device, it alters the interface for a more friendly space, with a dock and oddly behaves like an iPad.

Unfold it back and it switches seamlessly, giving the control back on the keyboard and trackpad. The 3:2 ratio display is a nice touch because keeping it in 16:9 loses a lot of the vertical real estate and in an OS like this, the 3:2 is much appreciated. So, set it up as a tent to watch shows or even to read some books or comics, it feels right at home in any mode.

Android Support is a work-in-progress

When Chrome OS opened the doors to Android to enter and bring its slew of application over for users to take more advantage of the device, it was a great move but not without its caveat. The thing is: while it does bring almost every application over, there are some that doesn’t work because it’s not available or the x86 architecture ruins the experience entirely as the app was meant to run on an ARM architecture like your Snapdragons and MediaTek processor.

That said, some of the apps that are not available, and the Play Store suggests using the web version is a bit absurd like for instance Office Mobile doesn’t work and it asks users to use the web version. You could download Google Docs, but it doesn’t give you the granularity as to what Microsoft Suite does. Another friend pointed out that some of the functions in his Chromebook is missing whereas his phone has the option to do so like the shuffle button on Tidal is missing. And then there are some apps that just refuse to work entirely due to the conflict in processor architecture.

No Internet, Mo Problems

This is the biggest downside with a Chromebook as it requires constant internet connectivity. Just like a laptop that heavily depends on Wi-Fi connectivity and lacks cellular connection, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 goes through the same, albeit different from Windows powered machine. Since most of the applications like Office are web based, there isn’t a PWA or an offline mode where the OS allows you to work or do what you have to do without an internet connection.

If this were in a Windows powered machine, you would still have the native application to sort through and even most of the full-fledged application allows you to do work or whatever it is you want to do offline. The thing is, internet is extremely crucial for a Chromebook and if you do have issues getting access to one, it can be a bit challenging.

But how about the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 then?

To be very honest, in the sea of Chromebooks we have seen with our very eyes, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 sets a benchmark on being the perfect Chromebook, ever. Yes, it may seem like a “biased” thing to say, given this is our first time reviewing a Chromebook, it doesn’t mean that we have not touched nor used one, we have and while a lot loses on the build or even the performance, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 puts up a good show through and through with a good keyboard, rather large trackpad, beautiful display, and a solid construction.

Conclusion

Which brings us to our conclusion. It is virtually and physically impossible to stumble upon a good spec laptop at the price tag of this Acer Chromebook Spin 713 because Windows laptops with a usable specification are just that expensive. And in that case the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 stands out as a delectable option. If you were to ask me if I would get one, perhaps – as long as I am in the urban areas with constant internet connectivity. It’s a very first world laptop after all. 😉


Special thanks to Acer Malaysia for loaning us the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 to make this long-term content happen.