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Acer Spin 5 Review: Things You Need to Know

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While the Acer Spin 5 isn’t the most potent 2-in-1 we’ve tested, it’s certainly among the top contenders. The latest iteration of the best-selling 2-in-1 laptop from the Taiwanese manufacturer doesn’t let us down; it’s equipped with the latest Intel Ice Lake CPU, which allows it to pump out solid performance despite its slim frame, and it has Intel Iris Plus graphics, which create a vivid colour palette and perform respectably on our GPU benchmarks.

But that’s not all. The 2,256 x 1,504 IPS display and 360-degree hinge of the Acer Spin 5 transform it from a conventional laptop into something very similar to a physical notebook. Thus, this 2-in-1 laptop’s many uses demonstrate its great adaptability.

The Acer Spin 5 is a strong machine in its own right, even if it isn’t suitable for gaming or other tasks that place heavy demands on graphics and the processor. It is among the finest laptops for students because of its fantastic performance, adaptable form factor, and outstanding display.

The Spin 5’s 3:2 aspect ratio touchscreen display is ideal for taking notes with the included stylus. Writing notes on a 16:9 2-in-1 laptop can be uncomfortable due to the device’s disproportionately large size.

The supplied stylus is small and may feel flimsy, but it’s considerably less likely to get misplaced or broken than those shipped with other 2-in-1s because it has its own charging and housing port on the side of the laptop.

If the stylus on your Acer Spin 5 ever runs out of juice, you may recharge it in the laptop for around 20 seconds. The ultra-fast charging method provides enough power for the stylus to last for roughly 90 minutes.

Price and Availability

acer spin 5 review 

Starting at $999 (£899, around AU$1,400), the Acer Spin 5 can be purchased right now. It has a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), an Intel Core i5-1035G4 processor, and 16GB of RAM, while the base model in the United Kingdom only has 8GB of RAM.

The $1,099 (about £845/AU$1,540) model we tested is the mid-range configuration and is very comparable to the base model. Upgrade to a Core i7-1065G7 processor is the only significant change.

The only difference between the most costly model, which retails for $1,299 (about £1,000/AU$1,825), and the cheaper models is the inclusion of Windows 10 Professional.

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Design 

acer spin 5 review

First impressions of the Acer Spin 5 are favourable. To begin with, the laptop’s magnesium-aluminium alloy chassis has a more traditional appearance, making it appear more like a gadget designed to serve a specific function.

The switch to magnesium has helped Acer shed significant pounds, resulting in a more slender body. While slimmer and lighter than its predecessors, the aluminium chassis ensures that it feels just as sturdy as ever. They did a good job with the keyboard and mouse. Although the chicklet keys are responsive, they are compacted due to the keyboard’s smaller footprint, thus it may take some time for users accustomed to a standard keyboard to acclimate.

Type with ease and speed thanks to the responsive trackpad, which also provides light feedback. The fingerprint scanner, a welcome security feature that is as fast as it gets to open the laptop, is built into the trackpad.

Performance

acer spin 5 review

Despite its name, the Spin 5 isn’t nearly as potent as its appearance might lead you to believe. Intel’s new Iris Plus integrated GPU, which does a good job for integrated graphics, is packed into its slim chassis alongside Intel’s latest Ice Lake mobile processors.

The Spin 5 holds its own against the Asus Vivobook Flip 14 (which uses an AMD Ryzen 7-4700U processor and Radeon Graphics). When pitted against the Vivobook Flip 14, the Spin 5’s single-core CPU score of 1,224 is nearly double that of the Vivobook Flip’s score of 674 on our GeekBench 5 benchmark testing.

The Vivobook’s multi-core performance was better than the Spin’s, with a score of 3,842 compared to the Spin’s still-respectable 3,798 in GeekBench5’s multi-core test. The Spin 5’s GPU is substantially slower than the Flip 14’s, which is to be expected.

It’s true that Intel’s Iris Plus graphics are impressive for an integrated GPU, but AMD’s Radeon graphics are capable of competing with and sometimes surpassing even discrete mid-range graphics cards. The Spin’s continued competitiveness in our 3DMark benchmarks is a major plus. Even when it loses the fight, you can’t deny the power of its blows.

The Spin 5 excels at juggling multiple tasks at once. Up to and including the most resource-intensive programmes, modern Ice Lake processors devour them without a second’s hesitation. Further, the 16GB of RAM will make it much easier to use memory-intensive programmes like Google Chrome and Adobe Photoshop.

However, that is not to imply that it is without limitations. For fun, we put the Spin 5 through its paces on a few of our gaming laptop benchmarks to see how it would fare when its hardware was stressed.

Our Total War: Three Kingdoms battle benchmark ran at regular 1080p with low settings, and the Spin 5 managed about 34 frames per second, making the game hardly watchable. Most AAA games are probably out of reach for the Spin 5, especially when you consider that you’ll be pushing the hardware even harder during actual play.

We didn’t even attempt Metro: Exodus, and you shouldn’t try it either. However, the Spin will satisfy fans of visual novels, indie games, and other similarly low-lift products; just don’t walk in expecting any heroics.

Battery Life  

acer spin 5 review

In our tests, the Acer Spin 5’s 56WHr, 4-cell battery outperformed many of its competitors, lasting a respectable 11 hours and seven minutes on a full charge in our PCMark10 Home benchmark. It took the Spin 5 about the same amount of time to drain a full battery while playing our HD video benchmark: 11 hours and 19 minutes.

When we ran the PCMark10 and HD Video benchmarks, the Asus Vivobook Flip 14 lasted an average of 8 hours and 40 minutes and 6 hours and 17 minutes, respectively. Despite this, the Flip 14 only has a 43WHr, 3-cell battery, thus it was obvious from the specifications that the Spin 5 would be able to last throughout the day.

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Software

acer spin 5 review

Because of their low prices and wide appeal, many developers target Acer laptops as a host for their invasive and unnecessary software. Even Acer’s own bloated software that nobody uses is worse than useless third-party programmes like Candy Crush when it comes to eating up system resources.

Since the first thing most people do after purchasing a new computer is to remove unnecessary programmes, this is usually not a problem. However, not all bloatware is so easily spotted, and in the instance of the Spin 5, one managed to get past our initial purge and begin showing advertisements in the area of the taskbar near the notification centre.

Since the offending adware originated from Acer and isn’t the easiest software to track down and uninstall, the sight of a pop-up ad for a lousy mobile game on the user’s desktop, a location that has long been deemed sacrosanct, is too shocking to ignore.

Once discovered, it’s easy to remove, although there are certainly less intrusive ways to reduce hardware costs than turning a laptop’s desktop into a billboard. We’re crossing our fingers that this isn’t a harbinger of things to come, but we suspect it is.

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