Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 has topped our Best Chromebook list for a few years in a row. It’s one of the most popular Chromebooks of the last few years, and it had a laundry list of things going for it: blazing fast Intel processors, a crisp and high resolution 3:2 screen, a generous selection of ports with Thunderbolt 4, all of it. -battery life, and one of the better keyboards you could find in the Chromebook space. I had very high hopes for its sequel, the Chromebook Spin 714.
So it gives me no satisfaction to report that the Chromebook Spin 714 is worse than the 713. That’s not a terrible computer – and at the MSRP of my Core i5 / 8GB / 256GB unit of $729.99, the flaws are many this is more acceptable. than they would at a price of, say, $1,000. But I see it, unfortunately, as a step backwards. Here’s why.
Let’s start with the good stuff
The main area where this device is improved over the 713 is speed. The 714 is one of the few Chromebooks that comes with 12th Gen Intel processors. it is lightning fast. It handled my heavy multitasking workload just fine, and I can’t imagine it would have a problem running things in Linux, either. Nothing I threw at it – even when I was jumping between 20-25 tabs and apps – generated any heat or made the fan spin up at all. Even though I tested last year’s Spin 713, the fan was basically raging the entire time. So that improvement is welcome.
This is also, in my opinion, a better-looking computer than the 713. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a good-looking device – the design is still a bit boring and drab, and “Corilla Antimicrobial Corning Glass” logo etched into the top bezel is particularly unappealing. Still, there are some nice accents around the touchpad to make everything look more professional. And the finish is high quality – this device fit in my backpack without a scratch. Visually and materially, this device is a step up from the 713. (But, I can’t stress too much, it looks boring.)
And finally, there’s a garage stylus. It lives in a tiny slot in the bottom right corner of the device, and it’s very easy to slide in and out. Writing with it was a mixed bag – the texture was smooth, but the hinge isn’t firm enough to hold the screen in place when I’m writing in laptop or tablet mode. I didn’t like the gift in both cases.
Agree to Continue: Acer Chromebook Spin 714
To start using the Acer Chromebook Spin 714, you will need to agree to the following:
- Google terms of service
- Sync your Chromebook apps and settings and Chrome browser bookmarks, passwords and history. (This can be reviewed after settlement.)
- Google Play terms of service
You can also say yes or no to the following:
- Send Chrome OS diagnostic and usage data to Google
- Google Drive Backup
- Allow apps and services with location permission to use your device’s location
- Let Assistant take a screenshot of what’s on your screen to provide custom responses
- Google Assistant voice matching
In total, that’s three mandatory agreements and five optional agreements to use the Acer Chromebook Spin 714.
But then there is everything else
Okay, time to talk about some of the more obscure changes Acer has made. First, the display. So, yes, the Spin 714’s screen is slightly larger. However, the Spin 713 had one of the most exceptional screens ever put on a Chromebook. It was 3:2 with a resolution of 2256 x 1504. It was so roomy, there was zero glare, there were vivid colors, and this all that huge part of the reason Chromebook 713 was at the top of Best Chromebook pages around the Internet. I’m taking a picture of that screen right now, and I miss it. Please come back to me.
Anyway, that’s not the screen of the 714. This device sports a 1920 x 1200, 16:10 panel. It reaches 340 nits of brightness, but the 713 easily managed 400. Look, this screen is fine, but like… meh. It is alright.
Second, one of the ports is gone. Acer removed the microSD slot from the Spin 713. The other ports here are fine (you get two USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, one USB 3.2 Gen 1, one HDMI, and one headphone jack). It’s just that the 713 had all that too, plus a microSD slot.
And then we get the battery life. Once again, Intel 12th Gen has a shorter battery life than Intel 11th Gen did. I averaged seven and a half hours on the 11th Gen device (which had a brighter, higher resolution screen, mind you). I averaged four hours and 56 minutes of continuous work use, at 50 percent brightness, from this one. And while you may get higher numbers than I did here depending on your workload, it seems like most people will be getting a lot shorter out of the Spin 714 than they would be. they from his predecessor. (The charging time was quick, at least – the 714 got up to an hour in just 46 minutes, an improvement over last year.)
There are other minor quirks too – the 714’s touchpad is smaller, its chassis is thicker and heavier, and there’s no fingerprint sensor. And then, all that aside, there is the fact that they made the device more expensive. This unit, remember, is $729.99 – the Core i5 / 8GB / 256GB model of the 713 was $699. My model is the cheapest I’ve been able to find online – both a Core i5 / 16GB unit and a Core i7 / 16GB unit are listed for just over $1,000.
Sure, the inclusion of the stylus and the slightly larger screen might justify that price hike in a vacuum. But then I look at the long list of things missing from the 714, the ways in which it’s a step backwards, and I’m not sure.
Acer Chromebook Spin 714 specifications (as reviewed)
- Processor: Intel Core i5-1235U
- Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X SDRAM
- Storage: 256GB PCIe Gen 3, 8Gb/s, NVME
- Weight: 3.09 lbs (1.4 kg)
- Dimensions: 12.31 x 8.82 x 0.71 inches (312.6 x 224 x 18.05 mm)
- Battery: 56Wh 3-cell Li-ion battery
- Display: 14-inch multi-touch display with IPS, WUXGA 1920 x 1200, 16:10, 340 nits
- Camera: FHD MIPI webcam (1920 x 1080) supporting 1080 HD video at 60fps
- Wi-Fi: Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6E AX211, dual-stream Wi-Fi in 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz bands, including 2 × 2 MU-MIMO
- Bluetooth: 5.2
I don’t want to go over how much extra power the Spin 714 has. The quiet fan and cool plastic was a significant improvement. This is probably still one of the most powerful Chromebooks – if not the most powerful devices – you can buy for $729.99.
But what makes me sad is that the Spin 713 used to be the same. The Spin 713 blew its competitors out of the water with benchmark scores. But it was too wonderful in many other ways. It had a great screen. It had great battery life. There was a great selection of ports. Really, the only thing to complain about was the subpar sound (which is still subject to the 714). In contrast, the Spin 714 has powerful specs. And while that power certainly keeps it in the conversation, the 713 was by no means a slam-dunk buy.
Acer Chromebook Spin 714 Accessibility
- The letter keys are 1.6 x 1.6 centimeters and 0.4 centimeters apart. The keyboard is backlit but there are no indicator lights. The power button requires very little force to press. The volume keys are 2 x 0.8 centimeters. The keys are dark blue with white text and take a slightly firm force to depress.
- The speakers averaged 70 decibels in my testing, which is significantly quieter than a standard external speaker.
- The laptop can be opened with one hand. It can be rotated around 360 degrees.
- The touchpad is 10.4 x 6.2 centimeters and takes a little firm force to depress.
- The Chromebook does not support fingerprint or face logging.
- ChromeOS includes a built-in screen reader (ChromeVox).
- ChromeOS supports dictation, access it in Settings.
- High contrast mode can be toggled with Ctrl + Search + H.
- Subtitles appear in the center of the screen at the bottom. The following subtitle features are adjustable: size, font, color, opacity, shadow, background color, and background opacity.
- The following keyboard keys can be remapped: Search, Ctrl, Alt, Escape, Backspace, Assistant, and Caps Lock. The top row can be reshaped to function as function keys.
- The following keyboard features can be toggled: sticky keys, on-screen keyboard, highlight the object with keyboard focus, highlight the text caret when it appears or moves, navigate pages with a text cursor, and change access.
- The following cursor settings can be adjusted: color, size, speed, click strength, and haptic feedback. The following can be toggled: mouse acceleration, backscroll, tap drag, tap-to-click, touchpad acceleration, and auto-click.
- ChromeOS includes a Snap Layout feature, which is accessed by pressing and holding the Maximize button on an open window.