Same screen, lower price

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-2W)

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Bringing the Thunder(bolt)

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-3W)

Acer Chromebook Spin

The best premium Chromebook of 2020 is still a darn good Chromebook today, and it gets sales regularly now that the new version is here. While this model "only" has the 10th Gen Intel Core i5, I actually prefer this generation of the Spin 713 because you get a USB-C port on both sides. Just don't pay 2021 prices for a 2020 Chromebook; wait for it to hit $550 or below.

$529 at Best Buy

Pros

  • Very bright 2K touchscreen
  • Plenty powerful
  • USB-C port on each side
  • Frequent sales

Cons

  • Discontinued
  • Don't pay list price

Acer didn't really upgrade much inside the Spin 713 (2021). It upped the processor, swapped from USB-C to Thunderbolt 4 — except there's not much to take advantage of with them — and put both of those ports on one side while keeping them just far enough apart to where Macbook-designed accessories won't fit it. The only reason to buy this one is if by some miracle it dips below the 2W's price with one of the weekly deals.

$700 at Best Buy

Pros

  • 11th Gen Intel Core processors
  • Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Slightly longer support life

Cons

  • Both TB4 ports on left side
  • More expensive

To be frank, I was quite surprised when Acer announced it was replacing the stellar Acer Chromebook Spin 713 with a 2021 model. After all, the Spin 713 is one of the best Chromebooks on the market — it certainly has the best screen under $1,000 — and the $629 price tag was quite reasonable for such a robust feature set and solid build quality. That said, after seeing and using both versions, I can say with 100% certainty that you do not need to upgrade.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2W) vs Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (3W): More like a sidegrade

Acer Spin 713 ChromebookSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

The specs on both the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2021) are the exact same except for three things: The processor is now an 11th Gen Intel Core i5, the USB-C ports are now Thunderbolt 4, and those ports are now both on the left side of the laptop. Everything else is exactly the same. They're each getting eight years of Chrome OS updates after their initial launch date, sport damn good screens, and are plenty powerful for you and your multi-monitor, multi-tasking needs. Just look at all the sameness in these spec sheets and let's play Spot the Difference.

Category Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2W) Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (3W)
Display 13.5-in IPS touchscreen
2256 x 1504 px (3:2)
450 nits, USI compatible
13.5-in IPS touchscreen
2256 x 1504 px (3:2)
450 nits, USI compatible
Processor 10th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7 11th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/ i7
Memory 8-16GB DDR4 SDRAM 8-16GB DDR4 SDRAM
Storage 64-256GB SSD 64-256GB SSD
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6 • BT 5.0 Wi-Fi 6 • BT 5.0
Ports 2x USB-C
1x USB-A
HDMI
microSD card
3.5mm Audio jack
2x Thunderbolt 4 Type-C
1x USB-A
HDMI
microSD slot
3.5mm Audio jack
Peripheral features Aluminum chassis
Backlit keyboard
MIL-STD 810G durability
Aluminum chassis
Backlit keyboard
MIL-STD 810H durability
Optional fingerprint sensor
Audio Stereo speakers Stereo Speakers with Smart Amplifier
DTS Audio
Battery Up to 10 hours Up to 10 hours
Dimensions 11.83 x 9.25 x 0.66in 11.83 x 9.25 x 0.67 inches
Weight 3.02 lbs 3.02 lbs
AUE Date June 2028 June 2029

Honestly, them being mostly the same makes sense. Acer had a winning formula with the Spin 713 (2W) and I wouldn't mess with it, either, but I also have to ask why the 2021 model even exists. The 10th Gen chipset is still plenty powerful, and while being able to have one of the first Thunderbolt 4 Chromebooks is a nice bragging point for Acer, it doesn't matter as much as you'd think.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 2021 Review Thunderbolt AlignmentSource: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Thunderbolt 4 could theoretically solve a lot of the Chromebook docking station woes, but we don't just need the support for TB4, we need docking stations that are Works with Chromebook certified. You'd also think that this configuration of dual Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left side of the laptop would allow it to use Macbook-designed multi-monitor docks and hubs, but nope, the ports are just far enough apart that they don't actually fit.

This means both the ports are on one side for no reason, rather than doing what every other premium Chromebook does — and most budget Chromebooks, too — and putting one port on each side for easy access. It seems poorly thought-out, and it's part of why even if you don't have the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2W) already, I'd tell you to get last year's version. It's a more complete thought overall and does a great job without breaking $700 the way the Spin 713 (3W) does.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

Even before the 3W's release, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (2W) was prone to sales that would drop it down to $529, and now that the 3W is on sale, those deals are getting more and more frequent. Considering these laptops are 85% the same, save $100 or more and grab the 2020 model on sale. You'll be perfectly happy and it'll last you for years and years to come.

If the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (3W) gets a discount that pulls it down to $600 or below, then and only then would it make sense to buy it over the Spin 713 (2W).

Same screen, lower price

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Grab the best screen under $1,000 for even less

This Chromebook was wonderful last year and it's still wonderful now, especially now that deals are coming fast and furious to the original Chromebook Spin 713 now that the new-fangled Thunderbolt 4 version is out stealing the spotlight. If it drops below $500, it's an insta-buy Chromebook for that 450-nit brightness screen alone.

Bringing the Thunder(bolt)

Acer Chromebook Spin

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-3W)

Not all upgrades are equal

Acer's newest rendition of the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is the first to sport Thunderbolt 4 support, but unless you already have tons of TB4 docks and accessories you want to use a Chromebook work, this version is an upgrade no one needs right now, especially at this higher price.

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