Android Central Verdict
Bottom line: Balancing excellent performance and futureproofed fundamentals, Acer produces the most well-rounded Chromebook for those who need to get things done and get them done fast.
Great 2K screen
3:2 is an acquired taste
Speakers are average
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The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 was one of the best Chromebooks of the last three years, and now Acer has outdone itself again with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. It's a refinement of a good Chromebook into an absolutely great one, and when you bring it together with excellent pricing and updated internals, you get a slam dunk of a premium Chromebook.
If you're needing a more powerful Chromebook to get you through working from home amidst a flood of Zoom calls and split-screened windows, the Acer 713 won't let you down. The taller 3:2 screen can let you see more of your split-screened text documents at once and the 2-in-1 form factor lets it adapt to wherever and however you're working these days.
About this review
I write this review after spending six weeks with an Acer Chromebook Spin 713 with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor. I used the Acer 713 alongside the Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook, mostly on my couch, on my standing desk, and on some very rare afternoons at Walt Disney World.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Price and release date
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713's main configuration — the i5/8GB/128GB model — launched at $630 at Best Buy in the summer of 2020, $20 less than the two-year-old Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is still selling for at Amazon and a whopping $370 less than the Galaxy Chromebook and ASUS Chromebook Flip C436. To make things even more impressive, Best Buy has already knocked about $100 off in two separate sales since its summer debut.
This is phenomenal value, especially considering this a built-for-business Chromebook that will get Chrome OS updates until June 2028. That equates to about $50 a year for a powerful Chromebook, less than your Netflix subscription, which might explain why Best Buy's struggling to keep it in stock. With Black Friday and Prime Day on the horizon, expect to see more deals on the horizon, but I wouldn't expect to see it go below $500 during the 2020 holiday season.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Design
Much of Acer's design here centers around two choices: the choice to use a 13.5-inch 2K screen just like its predecessor the Acer Chromebook Spin 13 and the choice to emphasize function over luxury. Unlike the Acer Chromebook Spin 713's main competitors — and most premium Chromebooks of the last two years — Acer included ample ports on each side of the 713, with an HDMI port, USB-A port, a microSD slot, audio combo jack, and two USB-C ports. Finally, a premium Chromebook that doesn't make you immediately pull out a USB-C hub in order to plug in a flash drive or extra monitor!
Despite all the extra ports, the 713 is still pretty slim, and thanks to smaller bezels it's got a slightly smaller footprint than the Spin 13, as well as weighing half a pound less at 3.02 lbs. There's no included EMR stylus this generation, but the support for standard USI stylus opens things up more for those who liked to sketch and handwrite on the previous model. I'm fine with the 713 not coming with a stylus most users won't use one that often, and those who do will appreciate the ability to choose the most comfortable stylus they want instead of some super-slim stylus that tucks into the side of the chassis.
This is still a touchscreen 2-in-1, allowing me to fold it back almost flat when typing in bed or on the couch, or flipping over into Stand mode while the 713 is docked at my standing desk so that the screen is closer and easier to tap.
The speakers are downward-facing, and they sound fine if you're using the 713 on a nice flat surface like a lap desk or a table, but they can get a bit muffled if the laptop is just sitting in your lap on your bed. There are also fan vents on the bottom that will be blowing warm air onto your legs, which could be a plus in the chilly winter months but less so on warm mornings and sweltering afternoons.
Given the 3:2 aspect ratio, I really wish that the speakers could've been re-positioned as front-facing, maybe as a speaker bar above the keyboard. That would've also been nice for pushing the keyboard a little closer to the front of the laptop, as it sits a little further back than most laptops because of how tall the laptop's screen is. Some won't take issue with this, especially if you have longer palms, but my smaller hands aren't as fond of it.
The backlit keyboard here is comfortable enough for hours and hours of typing a day — I say as I cross 2,000 words for the day and counting. While ASUS and HP have taken to having see-through letting for the backlighting to shine through, I prefer Acer's approach of having opaque white-labeled keys that are easier to read when the backlit is dim or off. It's a small thing, but it's supremely useful for cave-dwellers like me who tend to work in dimly-lit spaces.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Power and performance
|Category||Acer Chromebook Spin 713|
2256 x 1504px • 3:2
|Processor||10th Gen Intel Core i3/i5/i7|
|Memory||8-16GB DDR4 SDRAM|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6 • BT 5.0|
|Ports||2x USB-C • 1x USB-A|
HDMI • microSD card
3.5mm Audio jack
|Peripheral features||Backlit keyboard|
USI stylus support
|Battery||Up to 10 hours|
|Dimensions||11.83 x 9.25 x 0.66in|
|MIL-STD 810G durability||High/Low temps|
Rain • Humidity
Vibration • Shock
|AUE Date||June 2028|
The Acer 713 is one of a handful of "Project Athena" Chromebooks to debut this year. Project Athena is an Intel program that certifies laptops and ensures that they are powerful enough and quick enough for power users, and that they have battery life to last you a work day. The combination of a 10th Gen i5 and 8GB of RAM is more than enough for my multi-window multi-tasking madness, even when juggling multiple apps and a Google Meet call.
There are 16GB configurations of the Acer 713 that will eventually hit the market, but 8GB should be more than enough for most folks for the next few years. All internal storage options here are SSDs, another boost to speed and stability that is most welcome in an era where most Chromebooks are still packing eMMC storage instead. It should take you months if not years to fill the SSD on the Acer 713 unless you're loading it up with offline movies and music.
Both the Gorilla Glass touchpad and touchscreen are near-perfectly responsive, and neither gave me issues with jittery scrolling, missed touches, or phantom touches. The screen got bright enough for me to use it outside in afternoon sunshine, though once you really get the brightness cranked up, you'll see battery life taper off much more quickly.
In regards to battery, the Acer 713 won't be breaking records for the longest lifespan, but you'll still get through an eight-hour workday with some juice to spare. Most days I was able to get it closer to 10 hours before I got the critically low battery warning, but if you're using it in a brighter room or are taking lover video calls on the 713, expect to get closer to 6-8 hours.
With the raw Intel 10th Gen power under the hood, the 713 is more than prepared for gaming, either through Stadia or through Steam's Linux app once support is added in the near future. You may prefer a wider screen for gaming, but since the 713 has an HDMI port sitting on the right side of the laptop, you can plug into a bigger monitor if desired.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Competition
The immediate competitors for the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 are two other Project Athena Chromebooks, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 and the Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, and the Acer 713 spanks the two of them on price, ports and durability. The Samsung Galaxy Chromebook gets too hot to handle because its fanless and thin, and battery life suffers for that thinness as well. Not to mention the Galaxy Chromebook is $1000.
The ASUS Chromebook Flip C436 is a pretty great Chromebook but it's $300 more expensive for the i3 model and $400 more expensive for the comparable i5 model. The C436 does have the benefits of a fingerprint sensor and a larger 14-inch screen with the 16:9 screen ratio that's more conducive to watching movies. While the C436 had initial battery bugs, they've been worked out, but the Acer 713 still beats it out by a small margin.
There's also an argument to be made for the Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook, which only has an i3 processor, but it also has a 13.5-inch screen, a backlit keyboard and ample ports for $410. It's a 16:9 screen and it's only 4GB of RAM, but if you want a similar Chromebook that's easier to budget for in 2020's chaotic economy.
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 Should you buy it?
Who it's for
- If you're in love with the 3:2 aspect ratio
- If you want a powerful Chromebook without going broke
- If you need a long-lasting battery
- If you like more stout laptops
- If you need durability without garish black rubber
Who it isn't for
- If you watch a lot of movies on your laptop
- If you need a more compact form factor
- If you want a fanless laptop
- If you prefer a minimalist design
The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is the Goldilocks of the Chromebook market: it's not too big, not too expensive, and not underpowered. It's got just the right blend of industrial durability, enterprise design, and everyday adaptability, and when you combine that with a starting price that's hundreds less than every other Project Athena Chromebook so far, you get something truly special.
5 out of 5
This is the more functional Pixelbook I wish Google had made this year to replace the aging OG Pixelbook. It's not as dainty, but it's a laptop that you can trust for the long haul, whether you're using it for coding and Linux applications or you just want to bang out some emails and fall down the Reddit hole for a few hours. In an age of work-from-home, it's powerful enough to keep a full productivity suite going while on a video call, but it's still got that Chrome OS simplicity and security we depend on.
The best Chromebook under $1000 by a mile.
Balancing excellent performance and futureproofed fundamentals, Acer produces the most well-rounded Chromebook for those who need to get things done and get them done fast.
Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.