Acer Spin 5
The 14in screen marks this convertible laptop out from the crowd, but some flaws prevent a recommendation
SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE £834 (£1,001 inc VAT) from saveonlaptops.co.uk
If you’re looking for maximum screen space on a thin-and-light laptop, Acer’s Spin 7 is an interesting proposition. It’s compact, with the sort of footprint you’d associate with a 13.3in laptop, and just 11mm thin, while the 1.6kg weight is perfectly manageable for a convertible design. Open the lid, though – or push it back so that it sits flat against the base for a tablet-style configuration – and you’ll see a narrow-bezel 14in screen. That’s a big plus when you’re working across multiple apps on your desktop, even if the 1,920 x 1,080 resolution seems a little lacking.
It’s still a bit too big and heavy to double as a tablet, but fine for watching video or standing screenoutwards in a tent configuration. As a hard-working laptop, meanwhile, the Acer is very practical, with a full-sized keyboard that’s let down only by a slightly flabby typing action and a small Enter key. The touchpad is big, smooth and responsive, and the touchscreen doesn’t lag behind either. The only real issue may be connectivity; two USB-C ports don’t give you a lot of options, although Acer thoughtfully supplies a USB-C to USB-A dongle.
This isn’t a laptop for artists or designers. Its screen can only reach a mediocre maximum brightness of just 275cd/m², and mediocre again applies to the average Delta E of 3.13. That’s not a problem when you’re watching HD video streams, but note the sound – despite Dolby Audio Premium speakers – gets brash at high volumes.
Battery life isn’t bad considering the screen size, with the Spin 7 lasting 7hrs 23mins in our video-rundown tests. Unfortunately, this comes at some cost to performance. To keep the batteries lasting longer, the chassis slimmer and the Spin 7 quieter – it’s very nearly silent – Acer has fitted its convertible with Intel’s Core i7-7Y75 CPU, running at 1.3GHz with a turbo speed of 3.6GHz. It’s power-efficient, but not as fast as mainstream Core i7 chips, even if you’ll only see it struggling with more demanding, multi-application workloads.
This is a classy, understated, practical laptop, but the overall package isn’t quite strong enough for any prizes.
LEFT There are only two USB-C ports, but Acer bundles a USB-C to USB-A dongle
ABOVE The Spin 7’s large 14in screen allows you to work across multiple apps at the same time