Acer is a very popular name in the PC world and I, in particular, am a fan of the Predator lineup of gaming laptops. However, it is prudent to know that the company has gained a lot of reputation by selling affordable, everyday utility machines to professionals and college goers. The Acer Swift and Aspire series are particularly recognizable for this, but for over a week now, I’m been using the company’s latest Spin 5 laptop, which also works as a tablet. The device has some nifty features, at least not the included stylus (since the screen is touch-enabled). The device is one of the first laptops in the country with the new Intel 11th-gen CPUs that are part of the new Evo platform. In this review, let’s take a look at how Spin 5 charges as a daily driver.
Which is good
- Spin 5 is very lightweight. In fact, it’s one of the lightest laptops I’ve used, 2-in-1 or. At 1.2kg, the Spin 5 is super portable and I can carry the device around my house with very little effort. The magnesium-aluminum unibody chassis holds the weight distributed evenly across the laptop so you can balance Spin 5 on the tip of your finger.
- Spin 5 has a 360-degree keys that allow the panel to rotate completely and fold flat on top of the keyboard. The physical keyboard is disabled when the display enters tablet mode. Acer has designed the hinges well and the rotational movement is very smooth. Spin 5 can be attributed to the rigidity of the joints at any angle.
- The display has razor-thin bezels around it and comes with a 3: 2 aspect ratio with FHD + (2,256 x 1,504) resolution. The display quality is good, with great punch colors and great viewing angles. The touchscreen functionality on the device works very well and has very little delay. Acer used antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass on the panel, and you also get a stylus, which is placed inside the side frame. The latter can be used for about 90 minutes with just 15 seconds of charging.
- In terms of performance, the laptop packs on the latest Intel Evo platform that uses 11th generation Intel CPUs. In the case of Spin 5, I received an octa-core i5-1135G7 version with a base frequency of 2.4GHz. You have the option to upgrade from the current 512GB in my review unit to the Intel i7 CPU and upgrade to a 1TB NVMe SSD. However, RAM is stable at 16GB and cannot be upgraded. Some eye-catching features towards performance are excellent waking times that range from 1-2 seconds. I ran a series of benchmark exams and was very impressed with the scores. Integrated Intel Iris Graphics allows you to do a certain amount of GPU-intensive work, such as light photo editing in Photoshop.
- Other than that, the Evo also allows Thunderbolt 4 connectivity to be almost 4 times faster than your regular USB 3.2. Spin 5 has these two Thunderbolt 4 ports, which allow you to connect two external 4K monitors. You also get two USB 3.2 ports, an HDMI port, a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
- The Rivet Networks Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 modem provides wireless connectivity. Although I could not find any way to test this claim, it could theoretically provide a speed of 2.4GBps. You also have Bluetooth 5.0 support.
- The front facing speakers work with DTS audio and are supported by Acer True Harmony. They are very loud considering the thin frame and actually have a much louder bass.
- Battery life on Spin 5 is also great, though if you expect M1 MacBook levels, you will be a bit disappointed. However, expect at least 15 hours of battery life at full charge if the brightness is not cranked to the maximum. I’m been typing on this machine for about a day and a half, streaming some spotify and I’m still left with 40 percent juice.
Not so good
- Although the keys are very sturdy, Acer made it so that the lid could not be opened with one hand. I had to use almost both hands as the indentation between the frame and the lid was of no practical use.
- The 3: 2 aspect ratio adds a lot of black bars at the bottom and top when viewing any standard 16: 9 video content, thereby minimizing the effect of minimalistic bezels.
- At just 350 nits, the screen brightness is not great for outdoor use. This negates the portability of the device to some extent if you cannot use it in bright sunlight in a public park.
- Even at 720p the webcam quality is not as great, though it is for some laptops in the price range. However, in this age of zoom calls, I like the special priority given to the camera, especially the device that can be used as a tablet.
- The keys on the keyboard are unreasonably small, which interferes with the typing experience. On top of that, the keys need a tight press given that travel is not the best. The placement of the page up and page down buttons on the arrow keys is very inconvenient.
- Although performance is initially optimal, constant pressure on the processor heats up the device. Fans only thrive when the metal unibody becomes too hot. Apparently, this is not a machine intended to perform graphical-intensive tasks, despite claims to include copper pipes to dissipate heat.
The Acer Spin 5 is priced at Rs 84,999, which is very reasonable given the packing specs. Its 2-in-1 functionality and included stylus is a very interesting proposition for creators on the go. I was particularly impressed with the amazing touch response on the screen and the vivid colors it displays. The new Intel 11th-gen CPUs give you short-term performance, while the Evo architecture allows for better Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. Battery life is excellent and the speakers are reasonably good. Problems with webcam quality and keyboard ergonomics are some of the factors that affect Spin 5, but it is difficult to find a better performance for the overall price.
Editor Rating: 4/5
- The touch response and display quality are very good
- Efficient performance and battery life
- Good speakers
- Connectivity options are plentiful
- The keyboard economics were great
- Poor webcam quality
- Faults under constant load