Acer’s Chromebook Spin 513 is a solid, long-lasting 2-in-1 with a stunning, premium display.
Chromebooks are known for their low pricing, but a few bucks are on the trend. Acer’s new Chromebook Spin 513-2H-K627 is one such exception. It delivers some key upgrades over less expensive alternatives including a sharper screen and excellent battery life, but are these upgrades worth the high price? Let’s dive in and find out.
Acer Chromebook Spin 512 specifications and features
The Acer Chromebook Spin 513-2H-K627 has a MediaTek Kompanio 1380 SoC with Mali-G57 MC5 graphics. This is a recent MediaTek chip announced in January 2022 that specifically targets Chromebooks. It is paired with 8GB LPDDR4X memory and 128GB of eMMC storage.
CPU: MediaTek Companio 1380
Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X
Graphics/GPU: Mali-G57 MC5
Display: 2256 x 1504 IPS touch screen
Storage: 128GB eMMC
Web camera: 720p
Connectivity: 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 with Power Delivery and DisplayPort Alternate Mode, 1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 with Power Delivery, 1x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, MicroSD card, 3.5mm audio
Networking: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1
Battery capacity: 45 watt-hours
Dimensions: 11.81 x 9.25 x .64 inches
Priced at $599.99, the Chromebook Spin 513 is still affordable. However, its hardware specifications don’t seem to justify the price. A large number of Windows and ChromeOS devices pack AMD, Intel, and even Qualcomm processors, and often for less.
Design and build quality
GIR / Matthew Smith
Acer’s Chromebook Spin 513 relies on the simple, functional aesthetic found on many recent Acer Chromebook devices. It has a basic, albeit unattractive, gunmetal exterior with a metal cover and lower chassis.
The interior is slightly different in color, with more of a silver-charcoal look. I don’t think the color difference is intended but simply a result of Acer’s different use of materials. 2-in-1 seams do a good job of hiding this and I doubt most owners will notice.
This is a 2-in-1 device with a touchscreen and a 360-degree hinge. The display can rotate back until it touches the “bottom” of the laptop, making it a tablet. Tablet mode is useful for short bursts but not a serious iPad or Android tablet replacement. The Chromebook Spin 513 weighs 2.82 pounds and is .64 inches thick. Both specifications make it a bit unwieldy to handle.
Alternatively, the display can be partially rotated back, turning the keyboard into a stand for the display. This “tent method,” as it’s often called, is great for general use in a tight space (like a packed coffee shop or an airplane) and perfect for watching Netflix.
The 360-degree design puts a lot of stress on both hinges, and I’m not sure Acer’s build quality is up to the task. The metal display cover feels nice to the touch but allows for some flexes, and the hinges appear to be covered in plastic (although I’d bet the internals are metal). The keyboard also allows for a little flex when typing.
I’ve handled much smaller Chromebooks admirably, to be sure, but the Chromebook Spin 513 is a reasonably expensive model. A metal interior panel or additional display reinforcement would be appreciated at this price.
Keyboard and trackpad
GIR / Matthew Smith
Touch typists like the Chromebook Spin 513 keyboard. It has a spacious layout and large keys, each of which actuates with long key travel and some tactile feedback. I think the basic action is a little fuzzy, but this is a small thing: the keyboard is comfortable and familiar immediately under my finger.
The touchpad is not so great. It offers a decent amount of space, measuring about 3.5 inches wide and 3 inches deep. The surface is smooth and responds well to input. But the touchpad proves finicky when multitouch gestures are used. The scrolling is too sensitive and doesn’t stop completely when it wants to.
Of course, the touchpad can be bypassed by using the touchscreen, and the 2-in-1 design makes this convenient. The touchscreen is large, responsive and smooth, though no bigger than any other Windows or ChromeOS 2-in-1s.
GIR / Matthew Smith
The display quality is arguably the hallmark of the Acer Chromebook Spin 513. It comes with a 13.5-inch, 2,256 x 1,504 IPS touchscreen with a pixel density of around 200 pixels per inch. That’s not as high as a 4K display, to be sure, but frankly it’s close enough that it’ll be hard to tell the difference. Content is crystal-clear and small fonts appear crisp with no hint of aliasing around edges.
The display also offers a 3:2 aspect ratio, which is closer to square than the more common 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio. As a result, the 13.5-inch screen feels much taller than expected. The wealth of vertical display real estate makes it fantastic for use with websites, documents and spreadsheets. It’s not as good as streaming, as you’ll often see large black bars above and below content.
Brightness is reasonable at a maximum of 359 nits. That’s enough for general indoor use but can be a problem near a window on a sunny day. The glossy display doesn’t help, of course, as it allows for significant glare and reflection and shows fingerprints easily.
Image quality is otherwise great for the price. The Chromebook Spin 513 offers respectable color performance and good details. Contrast means it falls short: movies and games lack depth and dark scenes look blurry. Still, the display is sharper and more colorful than most comparable devices. A typical Windows alternative, like the Acer Spin 5 or Lenovo Yoga 6, will have a lower display resolution. Many also have a smaller 16:9 display aspect ratio.
The built-in speakers are a disappointment. Blame their volume. The front-facing speakers are quiet even at their best. The sound quality is fine but, given what’s available here, I’d expect that—there’s not enough oomph to create distortion or harshness. Most people will need to attach external speakers or headphones.
Web camera, microphone, biometrics
A simple 720p webcam with a microphone is packed into the thin upper bezel of the Chromebook Spin 513. It produces a usable image and handles mixed lighting fairly well, but the image quality is soft and grainy. The microphone is similar: it’s loud enough for a video call or meeting, but its presentation is distant and hollow.
The 2-in-1 does not offer biometrics.
A pair of USB-C ports provide most of the Chromebook Spin 513’s connectivity. Both offer power delivery, and the port on the right supports DisplayPort Alternate mode. One USB-A port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader are connected to the USB-C ports.
It’s an acceptable, though not outstanding, range of connectivity for a Chromebook. The only port I miss is HDMI. The Chromebook Spin 513 requires an adapter to connect to a monitor or TV over HDMI, which is annoying.
Wireless connectivity is typical with support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. The Chromebook Spin 513 lacks support for the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard, but that’s acceptable for a cheap laptop. I had no issues with wireless connectivity in my time with the device.
Acer’s Chromebook Spin 513 opts for an ARM-based MediaTek Kompanio 1380 SoC with eight cores and Mali-G57 graphics. This is somewhat unusual, as most ARM-based Chromebooks aim for a lower price point. The SoC supports 8GB of memory and 128GB of eMMC storage.
Here’s how the Chromebook Spin 513 performed in the ChromeOS benchmarks.
CrXPRT 2 performance score: 86
Speedometer 2.0: 45
Web Benchmark 3.0: 632.32
Jet Stream: 170.53
What these scores look like depends on perspective. When compared to other ARM-based Chromebooks like HP’s Chromebook x2 11, the Chromebook Spin 513 fares well. However, it still lags far behind the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5, which performs well outperforms all five benchmarks (and does so at a lower price).
Scores aside, the Chromebook Spin 513 feels fast in day-to-day use. It can handle a dozen open browser tabs with ease and moves quickly between windows. Video streaming is lag-free, even when connected to a 4K monitor.
The Chromebook Spin 513 handles Android games well. Call of duty mobile, Pokemon Uniteand Asphalt 8 it played well at default settings with no sign of dropped frames or lag. The games also loaded quickly, making it easy to jump in for a game. The same cannot be said about AMD and Intel based Chromebooks.
Battery life is often a perk of ChromeOS devices, and the Chromebook Spin 513 is no exception. It managed to deliver nearly 12 hours and 34 minutes of battery life in the CrXPRT 2 battery life benchmark. The Lenovo Chromebook survived Flex 5, powered by an Intel Pentium processor, eight hours and 22 minutes in the same benchmark.
Lenovo’s ThinkPad X13s, a Windows laptop with an ARM-based Qualcomm processor, lasted slightly longer at 12 hours and 53 minutes (but tested with a video loop, not CrXPRT 2). The ThinkPad X13s are more expensive, however, with a base MSRP around $1,000. Most Windows laptops and price-competitive 2-in-1s will deliver about six to eight hours of battery life.
In short, the Chromebook Spin 513 has great battery life and will outperform most devices available at a similar price. It can last a full eight-hour workday in most cases and will handle flying across the United States.
Acer’s Chromebook Spin 513 is defined by its display. The 13.5-inch display’s unusual 3:2 aspect ratio and sharp resolution add up to a surprising amount of usable screen space. It’s perfect for browsing the web or editing documents—those are the tasks Chromebooks are best suited for.
The excellent display is backed up by great battery life and a pleasant keyboard, but it’s not all good news. Sound quality is disappointing, the touchpad is average, and performance doesn’t stand out (although game performance is decent).
The Chromebook Spin 513 falls short of these issues, but it’s still a good choice for ChromeOS fans who want a large, attractive touchscreen with tons of usable space.