Acer Spin 5

The 14in screen marks this con­vert­ible lap­top out from the crowd, but some flaws pre­vent a rec­om­men­da­tion

PC Pro - - November 2017 Issue 277 -

SCORE ✪✪✪✪✪ PRICE £834 (£1,001 inc VAT) from saveon­lap­

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

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