Acer Spin 5 Review 2021

Acer Spin 5 Review

Acer Spin 5 Review 2021: A lot of performance and an excellent display

Acer presents a really interesting convertible with the Spin 5. An 11th generation Core i7, a lot of faster RAM, a large SSD and a good display. And all at a good price. The total package currently costs $1,070 *.

With the Spin models, you get a decent range of convertibles. There are smaller models with an Intel Pentium processor for occasional office use, Chromebooks and the Spin 3 and Spin 5 models that come with the latest Core i processors.

Acer Spin 5 Review

My test model has a Core i7, 16 GB RAM, a 1 TB SSD and a 3: 2 QHD touch display. This puts it at the upper end of the scale in terms of performance. As always, the exact specs can be found in the fold-out table.

Acer Spin 5 Review 2021 : Specs Sheet

Display34.4 cm (13.5 “) IPS touch display with LED backlight in 3: 2 format with Acer CineCrystal
resolution2256 x 1504 pixels (QHD), pixel density of approx. 200 PPI
processor11th generation Intel® Core ™ i7-1165G7 processor (Tiger Lake)
4x 2.80 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 4.70 GHz
12 MB cache
graphicIntel Iris Xe Graphics (integrated)
random access memory16 GB LPDDR4X (not expandable)
hard disk1000 GB NVMe SSD
networkBluetooth 5.0
Wireless LAN 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ax
connections2x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C)
1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 (USB-A)
1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB-A)
1x HDMI 2.0
1x 3.5mm audio combo
1x microSD card reader
battery packLi-Ion battery (4 cells / 56 Wh)
up to 14 hours running time
65W AC power supply
Input devicesbacklit keyboard
TrackPad
Acer Active Pen (4096 pressure levels )
SoundAudio system with two speakers
cameraHD webcam
operating systemWindows 10 Home
Dimensions30 x 23.5 x 1.49 cm (WxDxH)
Weight1.2 kilos
price$1,070

Restrained design, impeccable workmanship

When you have freed the Spin 5 from the many stickers, you get a classic notebook design.

Acer Spin 5 Review 2021

The display bezels are not the narrowest in the world. But they are perfectly fine and do not stand out negatively in any way on the 3: 2 display.

The keyboard sits in a small recess. In addition, there are four small spacers that are intended to ensure that the notebook does not lie on your table with its full surface. They are installed very close to the edge of the case and never interfere with everyday life.

Acer Spin 5 ports

Between the keyboard and the display you will find the speakers under a grid. The display hinges are pleasantly stiff so that the display always remains in the desired position.

Exception

you can use the Acer Active Pen in notebook mode but the display swings back and forth well. That is complaining at a high level, because only a few notebooks manage to keep the display steady.

You have to do without a number pad on the keyboard. But this is also standard for 13 ” notebooks. The keys themselves have a short travel and offer comparatively little resistance. It took me a while to adjust to the keyboard. Afterwards, longer texts weren’t a problem with the Spin 5. The keyboard lighting offers four different brightness levels so that you can type comfortably even in dark surroundings.

Acer Spin 5 keyboard

The trackpad is offset slightly to the left and is a good size. In the top left corner you will find the fingerprint reader, which does its job well. The notebook is unlocked quickly and reliably. Thanks to the Microsoft Precision drivers, the trackpad responds very well and precisely to your inputs.

Acer Spin 5 touchpad

As a left-hander, it was a bit strange that the touchpad was pushed out slightly to the side. I initially came across the trackpad with the heel of my hand while writing. So left-handers have to be a little careful. But that’s not something that a settling-in period cannot solve.

The display is in 3: 2 format and that also affects the design. The Spin 5 is more square than normal convertibles. That too is unusual at first. But the space gained on the display lets you quickly forget that. Anyone who has ever worked on a 3: 2 display does not want to go back to the 16: 9 format.

Acer Spin 5

The HD webcam is integrated in the upper display frame. There isn’t much to say about it. If there is sufficient light, it makes a usable picture for the ubiquitous Zoom and team conferences. But nothing more. In adverse lighting conditions, it produces – like most other webcams – pixel mud.

Acer uses an aluminum-magnesium alloy for the materials. It looks good and ensures that the Spin 5 is robust and can only be bent with a lot of force. The biggest advantage of the matte design is that it is largely insensitive to fingerprints. And should any show up, they can simply be wiped away.

The few gaps are all even and narrow. All parts fit together well and the Spin 5 doesn’t rattle or crunch in places where it shouldn’t crunch. In other words: the workmanship is flawless.

Acer Spin 5 folding laptop

The Spin 5 convertible is very portable. It weighs just 1.2 kilos and really fits in every backpack and pocket.

Related Article: Acer Aspire 7 Review 2021

Large selection of connections for every purpose

You have plenty of choice when it comes to connections: many modern connections. That’s how I like it.

On the left side you will find two USB-C ports that support Thunderbolt 4. This allows you to transfer your data at up to 40 Gbit / s.

You will also find an HDMI port and a USB-A connection. It runs with the 3.2 Gen 2 standard and offers offline charging. So you can charge a smartphone, for example, when the computer is in standby.

The end on the left is the microSD card reader. I fundamentally welcome its existence. But I would have preferred a full SD card reader.

The rest of the ports are on the right. 3.5mm jack and USB-A (3.2 Gen 1). A little further forward is the holder for the Acer Active Pen. According to Acer, a 15 second charge is enough for 90 minutes of work.

Acer Spin 5

Overall, there is nothing to complain about when it comes to the port selection on the Spin 5. You should be able to cover pretty much every current application with it.

Acer Spin usb port


Bright touch display with high color fidelity

The display is a feast for the eyes. It measures 13.5 inches diagonally and has a resolution of QHD (2504x1504px). This results in a PPI value of 200. Your content is presented in a very clear manner.

The number of pixels already gives it away. It’s not a conventional 16: 9 display, but a 3: 2 display. This gives you a big advantage: It’s higher and you can see more of what is on your screen. Websites, documents – everything is clearer and you don’t have to scroll as much.

The Acer Spin 5 is very mobile due to its small size and you can also work outdoors with it. The display is almost 400 nits bright. Unless you let the midday sun shine directly on the display, you will see everything well even in bright surroundings. The illumination is also pleasantly even. It falls somewhat towards the bottom, but at 13% it is still within the limits of what is good. The differences in brightness are not noticeable in everyday life.

Acer Spin 5 Review

The touch display reacts precisely and quickly to your inputs. Like all touch displays, it is reflective. But the reflections are limited here, so that in most cases you can work without any problems. Only direct light sources are noticeable. Other manufacturers are welcome to use this as a guide. The use of the Active Pen is also very well done. It glides well over the display and with 4096 pressure levels you can already use it for Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or other creative applications. It’s enough for simple notes anyway.

The color space coverage of the display can also withstand creative demands. The sRGB color space is covered 100%, the more complex AdobeRGB color space to 76%. The DCI-P3 color space, which is important for videos, is also covered to 76%. This means that nothing stands in the way of extensive image and video editing.

The display is really well calibrated at the factory. The color fidelity is very good, the average Delta-E value is 0.9. The only major deviations are blue tones.

The gamma curve of 2.2 is also hit very well.

The values ​​can only be slightly improved by calibrating with the Spyder 5. If you want to download the calibrated profile, you will find the zip file here .

A lot of power for almost all purposes

Current Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB RAM and a fast SSD. This ensures sufficient performance with good energy efficiency at the same time.

acer spin 5 intel evo certification

At no point during my test did I have the feeling that the hardware was really reaching its limits. Thanks to the really fixed SSD, even large data was loaded and processed very quickly. A 30 second 4K video rendered it in 2:21 minutes. The limitation here is likely to be due to the lack of a dedicated graphics card. The integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics are helpful, but in no way compete with real graphics cards. But that’s not surprising.

acer logo

In our Lightroom benchmark, the Spin 5 rendered the 20 RAW files, each 50 MB in size, in 48 seconds. This places it in the top third of our database with comparably equipped notebooks.

Gambling, on the other hand, is not the strength of the Acer Spin 5. Simulations or slow strategy games run and are also fun on the convertible. Fast FPS titles also work if you set the detail levels to low. With Fortnite, for example, 10-30 fps are possible at high detail levels. If you set the detail level “low”, then up to 100fps are possible.

The service is not only available for a short time, but is held over a longer period. We have developed a Cinebench test that switches between load and idle mode over several hours and thus simulates natural usage behavior to some extent. It shows that the results get worse towards the end, but the differences are small.

As always, you can find the exact benchmark results in the gallery.

acer spin 5 as ssd copy (2)
acer spin 5 photoshop
acer spin5 crystal disk
acer spin 5 as ssd (2)

And the volume? You will rarely hear the Spin 5 in normal office use. The fan turns on every now and then – that’s about it. Of course, it gets much louder under load. Photoshop and Co. demand a lot from the fan. But it is still within tolerable limits. If you gamble, you should put on a headset. When gaming, the Spin 5 is so loud that you have to turn up the volume very high to drown out the fan. Fortunately, the fan doesn’t whistle. The waste heat is led out of the device through a large grille on the back.

The fan has the temperatures well under control. In the stress test, they rose to a maximum of 81 ° Celsius, while the average was 59 ° Celsius. These are very good values.

In the factory state, 906 GB are still free on the SSD. There are a few pre-installed programs like Forge of Empires, but you can completely uninstall them without any problems. There is also Norton, which warns you of the dangers of the Internet with large and intrusive banners and wants to persuade you to buy a subscription. You can also uninstall that if necessary. The free Windows Defender is also doing a good job.

On the other hand, the Acer Care Center makes sense. It offers a tidy interface with which you can keep the system up-to-date and, if necessary, get uncomplicated contact to support.


A working day without a socket is easily feasible

To determine the battery life, I set the brightness to approx. 200 cd / m², which is achieved at 60% brightness. And then it started with a normal working day: Mails, Office, Photoshop, Lightroom, Resolve and Teams.

In normal office use, the battery consumed 8-12% charge per hour. This makes a working day without a socket possible. However, the 14 hours of battery life specified by Acer will not be possible.

However, if you accept the specified brightness level of 40% in the “balanced” energy profile, you could do it. The display is bright enough to work well indoors even at this brightness level.

If you use programs like Photoshop or Premiere Pro, then you definitely won’t be able to spend a working day without a power outlet. The power consumption averaged 25-30% when I used these creative programs.

Unfortunately, upgrading is only possible to a limited extent

Basically, the Acer Spin 5 is exemplary in terms of ease of maintenance. You have to loosen ten small screws and then you can simply pry open the base plate. It’s that easy.

Unfortunately, there are fewer options inside. The 16 GB RAM cannot be expanded because it is firmly soldered. However, if the SSD with its 1 TB becomes too small for you, you can swap it in a few simple steps. The same applies to the battery, which is also only screwed.

However, it is easy to get over the fact that the RAM cannot be upgraded. The 16 GB will be sufficient for the foreseeable future to handle demanding tasks properly.

Unfortunately only middle class in terms of sound

The smaller the notebook, the more treble-heavy the sound. This truism also applies to the Acer Spin 5.

Let’s start with the things you shouldn’t be doing. This includes use with the display folded down. The sound then produced is shrill and unpleasant even at half volume.

In notebook mode you have an acceptable sound at half volume. High altitude, but acceptable. At full volume, however, you have to expect that the highs rattle and are shrill in about 2/3 of the cases.

You get the best sound in tent mode. Then the speakers do not fire directly in your direction and you have a pleasant sound for films and music. For really good sound, it is advisable to connect external speakers.

Conclusion Acer Spin 5 : Good overall package with a great display

Should you buy the Acer Spin 5? If you are looking for a mobile convertible with a good and bright display and strong hardware, then you should definitely take a look.

The 3: 2 format makes working easier and thanks to the very good color fidelity and the good color space coverage, the Acer Spin 5 is also suitable for color-critical work. At just under 400 nits, it is also bright enough to be able to work outdoors.

Due to the modern connections, you can connect pretty much everything you need to peripherals. If you want to complain at a high level, you can complain that there is only a microSD instead of a full-fledged SD card reader.

What speaks against the Spin 5? Actually nothing. The sound is clearly expandable. But thanks to Bluetooth you can switch to sensible speakers.

The Acer Spin 5 currently * costs $1,070. In view of the overall package offered, this is a reasonable price.

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