To be honest, Acer’s Spin 2-in-1 laptop left a deep impression on me. They are okay, but against Lenovo’s Yoga, HP’s Envy or Spectre x360, and Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1, they simply can’t compete.
Then, the new Spin 5 came out earlier this year, and because it really stood out from the competition, it was hard not to attract attention.
As part of the Athena project plan, Acer collaborated with Intel to design, update the design and features to improve its mobility, while also adding a bright 2,256×1,504 pixel resolution, 13.5-inch touch screen.
The 3:2 screen ratio provides you with more vertical space, and because its size is about the size of a piece of paper, it will be more comfortable to use the attached active pen for notes and sketching.
Spin 5’s initial price started at $899, but that was before the pandemic. You can buy a computer with a tenth-generation Intel Core i5 directly from Acer for US$999 or a Core i7 for US$1,099.
In the UK, it is priced at 1,099 pounds, and in Australia, it is priced at 2,162 Australian dollars. All in all, although the transaction is not ideal, Spin 5 can still price everything you get.
Acer Spin 5 Like a piece of digital paper
The extra vertical space is great for two-in-one work in the laptop position, but it’s also great in tablet mode. The ratio of 3:2 and the size of 13.5 inches make the size of the display roughly equivalent to A4 size paper.
Add in the light weight and you can use Spin 5 comfortably while writing on the screen-which is a bit awkward compared to larger 14-inch models such as Yoga C940. Like yoga, Acer includes a small activity pen that can be stored and charged in the garage on the right.
The pen tip feels good on the Gorilla Glass display. It’s kind of like a crayon written on glass. With enough friction, you will not feel like you are writing on the glass, but the movement is still smooth.
I use it frequently in Microsoft’s OneNote and Whiteboard apps, and even if it is still a bit thin for me using it for a long time, it still works perfectly. Generally, the hinge design is similar to most other 2-in-1 designs.
Acer did design them to slightly lift the rear when using them as a laptop, which is good. I did notice that the hinges occasionally misaligned when opened, but I needed to close and open again to get them aligned.
Connection categories worth mentioning
Spin 5 has two USB-A and two USB-C ports. The latter is Thunderbolt 3, which can also be used for charging. However, it also has a barrel connector charger, so you can use the two USB-C ports for other purposes.
However, all three batteries are on the left, so you can only charge from that side. Nevertheless, in addition to the full-size HDMI output and microSD card slot, this laptop has more connections than most laptops.
The rest of Spin 5 is what you expect to find in an advanced 2-in-1. The comfortable backlit keyboard is paired with a sleek precision touchpad and has a built-in responsive fingerprint reader.
The speaker is on the back of the laptop, and you can hear it no matter which mode the Spin 5 is in. They are nothing special, and sound better to me when you turn off the included DTS audio processing.
The webcam and microphone are both good, although in low-light conditions, the video must be heavy and can reduce the noise to the point where I look like a painting.
Few Chromebooks, Windows laptops or MacBooks have decent Full HD or better webcams, which is a shame because everyone uses them non-stop. Moreover, there is no webcam privacy shutter or microphone off switch on the keyboard, which is the price of competitors.
Less scrolling, more work
Compared to a typical 13.3-inch 16:9 laptop, the slightly taller display does not seem to be much, but it does provide you with more working space without significantly increasing its size.
For example, Spin 5 has the same width as the ultra-compact Asus ZenBook 13 UX325JA, but its screen height is roughly the same as a 15.6-inch laptop.
Therefore, without significantly increasing the size of your laptop, you can keep more of the content you are working on on the screen. And the large display of only 2.7 pounds (1.2 kg) will never affect its weight.
Performance comparable to leader
Despite its slim body, the Acer Spin 5 still has all the performance of its competitors. This will allow you to cover office tasks, school assignments, and basic photo and video editing, so with the help of Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics.
you can easily create some relaxing content. It maintains or exceeds similarly configured models such as Yoga C940 and Spectre x360 13.
As for battery life, in our streaming video test, it reached a stable 8 hours and 51 minutes, with display brightness and volume set to 50%. This is a bit shy of what Acer wants you to get, so it should be possible to get longer battery life with more power management.
I can say that I will not write, browse the web and stream music during the entire 8 hours of workday, but it is estimated that the battery still has 30% (1 hour 50 minutes) remaining power.
Acer Spin 5 finally becomes special. With its higher screen, compact and lightweight metal body, outstanding performance and overall excellent feature set, it has almost everything you can find in competing premium 2-in-1 products. There is still room for improvement, but there is no real deal breaker.