Acer Spin 5 (2022) Review | Media Pyro


Here’s something you don’t see every day: Not only is the 13.3-inch Acer Spin 5 convertible we reviewed in March 2018 still listed on, but its price appears to have gone up by $50. The newest Spin 5 is even more expensive at $1,379.99 but much more sophisticated, with a 12th Generation Intel Core i7 instead of an 8th Gen Core i5 chip and a 14-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It’s a capable 2-in-1 but sits awkwardly—about $400 above pretty affordable models like the Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 and $400 below elegant premium convertibles like the HP Specter x360 13.5. If your budget exceeds economy but won’t stretch to first class, it might be a smart solution.

Silver-grey narrow slabs

Our $1,379.99 review unit, model SP514-51N-70LZ, is the only Spin 5 with one of Intel’s latest processors, the Core i7-1260P (four Performance cores, eight Efficiency cores, 16 threads) . It has 16GB of RAM and a 1TB NVMe solid-state drive, as well as a 2,560-by-1,600-pixel IPS touchscreen. (No OLED model is offered.) The Windows 11 Home system offers Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth.

Acer Spin 5 (2022) rear view.

(Credit: Molly Flores)

The aluminum chassis measures 0.67 by 12.3 by 8.6 inches and limbos under the ultraportable weight line at 2.87 pounds, making it slightly trimmer than the Lenovo Yoga 7i (0.68 by 12.5 by 8.7 inches, 3.2 pounds). There’s almost no flex if you grasp the corners of the screen and only a little if you press the keyboard deck, although it’s difficult to open the lid with one hand.

The display bezels are thin (Acer claims an 88% screen-to-body ratio), with a speaker grill above the keyboard and a series of vents along the back edge. The webcam doesn’t have a privacy shutter or facial recognition for Windows Hello login, although there’s a tiny fingerprint reader built into the power button at the top right of the keyboard. The Spin 5 is Intel Evo certified, and its screen is designed for low blue light emissions.

Acer Spin 5 (2022) left ports

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports join HDMI and USB 3.2 Type-A ports and an audio jack on the left side of the laptop. (The power adapter uses a USB-C connector.) A second USB-A port, a microSD card slot, and a niche for storing the Acer Active Stylus are available on the right side. This edge is also excellent for security locking cables.

Acer Spin 5 (2022) right ports.

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Not 4K or OLED, but a Spiffy Screen Nevertheless

We favor the trend towards laptop displays with slightly higher aspect ratios of 16:10 rather than 16:9; they allow you to see a bit more of a document or web page without scrolling. (Screens with squarer 3:2 ratios, like the Specter x360 13.5’s, look even bigger, and some Acers have made good use of them in the past, but the Spin 5 doesn’t seem premium enough .) The IPS panel is surprisingly bright and vivid, with wide viewing angles. One quibble is that the touch glass exhibits reflections at extreme angles.

Acer Spin 5 (2022) tent mode.

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Colors are rich and well saturated, and the white background is pure without being dingy or grayish. Contrast is high, and detail is fine and sharp, with no visible pixelation around the edges of the letters. Acer includes a 5-inch stylus, one-button Wacom AES 2.0. It has tilt detection and 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity; It kept up with my quick scribbles and swoops and showed good palm rejection when my hand swept the screen.

The webcam is above average, with 1080p instead of 720p resolution for sharper selfies. It captures well-lit and colorful images with minimal static. The sound isn’t very loud even at maximum volume, but it’s clean and crisp instead of tinny or hollow, although bass is absent and it’s hard to distinguish between overlapping tracks. DTS Audio software offers music, movie and game presets and an equalizer.

Acer Spin 5 Keyboard (2022).

(Credit: Molly Flores)

The backlit keyboard offers two levels of brightness. The keys themselves have a responsive typing feel, but the layout has a few common sins: The keys in the top row (including Escape and Delete) are pointy, and the cursor arrow keys in the inverted T are not correct but off a clumsy, HP-style row with half-size up and down arrows stacked between full-size left and right. The petite up and down keys are hard to hit, which is especially unfortunate on laptops like the Spin 5 where the cursor arrows double with the Fn key for Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down. The buttonless touchpad isn’t the greatest, but it’s comfortable to use.

The installed Acer Care Center software is convenient for centralizing updates, tuning and recovery. On the flip side, some bloatline items include Aura Privacy, Dropbox, ExpressVPN, Photo Director, and Power Director trials, as well as annoying ads for Forge of Empires, although a full year of Norton Security is nice.

Testing Turn 5: The Five Way Clash of Conversions

In terms of price, the closest 14-inch convertible to the Spin 5 we’ve seen recently is the small-business-focused Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga Gen 2. The Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 Gen 7 and the Dell Inspiron 14 7415 2-in-1 cost less than the Acer, while the ritzy HP Specter x360 13.5 costs more. You can see their basic data in the table below.

Productivity Tests

The flagship PCMark 10 OL benchmark simulates a variety of real-world productivity and content creation workflows to measure overall performance for office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheet, web browsing and video conferencing. We also run the PCMark 10 Full Drive test to evaluate the load time and storage throughput of a laptop.

Three benchmarks focus on the CPU, using all available cores and threads, to rate a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 uses that company’s Cinema 4D engine to render complex scenes, while Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Pro simulates popular apps from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine learning. Finally, we use the open source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4 to convert a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p resolution (lower times are better).

Our final productivity test is Puget Systems’ PugetBench for Photoshop, which uses Creative Cloud version 22 of Adobe’s popular image editor to rate PC performance for content creation and multimedia applications. It’s an automated extension that performs a variety of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop tasks from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving an image to masks, gradient fills, and filters.

Acer’s 28-watt P-series processor outperformed the 15-watt U-series chips in the Lenovos and HPs, winning our CPU tests and easily pushing the 4,000 points in PCMark 10 that indicate excellent productivity for apps everyday tools such as Word and Excel. Its performance and display make it a fine Photoshop platform for moderate editing work, too.

Graphics tests

We’re testing Windows PC graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from 3DMark UL: Night Raid (more moderate, suitable for laptops with integrated graphics), and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs).

We also run two tests from the GFXBench 5 cross-platform GPU benchmark, which highlights low-level routines like coagulation and high-level image rendering like a game. The Aztec Ruins 1440p and 1080p Car Chase tests, rendered off-screen to accommodate different display resolutions, implement graphics and compute shaders using the OpenGL programming interface and hardware tessellation respectively. The more frames per second (fps), the better.

Even as the leader of this pack, the Intel Iris Xe Spin integrated graphics is 5 miles behind the dedicated GPUs of gaming laptops, but the 2-in-1 is perfectly suited for media streaming and casual gaming.

Battery and Display Tests

We test laptop battery life by playing a locally stored 720p video file (the open source movie Blenders Tears of Steel(Opens in a new window)) with display brightness at 50% and audio volume at 100%. We make sure the battery is fully charged before the test, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off.

We also use the Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Windows software to measure the color saturation of a laptop screen – what percentage of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 color gamuts or palettes the display can display – and a 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per square meter).

Acer’s battery life was near the back of the pack, but it still gives you plenty of stamina for a full day of work or school, plus an afternoon of Netflix. Don’t sweat it if you forget to slip the AC adapter into your briefcase. As for the display tests, the numbers show the conclusions reached by our eyes: the screen cannot match the sky-high contrast and color of the OLED Spectra, but it is as good as an IPS display gets, with color significant. excellent range and brightness.

Acer Spin 5 (2022) first look.

(Credit: Molly Flores)

Midpriced Convertible That’s Really a Bargain

Meanwhile, our quoted price keeps the new Acer Spin 5 at the top since replacing the Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 7 or HP Specter x360 13.5 as our Editors’ Choice among affordable mainstream or premium consumer laptops, respectively. But as Goldilocks can tell you, sometimes it’s a beautiful place to be in between. The Acer threads the needle to deliver a trim, winning 2-in-1.

The Bottom Line

The Acer Spin 5 is a handsome, 14-inch convertible trim with solid performance and a very good screen that will do well, if you can’t afford a deluxe OLED model.

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