Acer Spin 5 Review

Acer Spin 5 Convertible Laptop

Our Review
9.6/10 Our Rating

Ultraslim, ultralight, and ultra-powerful, the Acer Spin 5 has been optimized several times by its manufacturer, and this latest product is as close to perfection as possible. Extremely versatile, with two 360-degree hinges that allow it to morph seamlessly between tablet, laptop, and tent modes, this 2-in-1 laptop delivers excellent performance whatever shape it takes.

Boasting the latest Intel Ice Lake CPU and 16GB of RAM, the Spin 5 is powerful enough to make light work of most productive tasks and even some light gaming. Its most arresting features, however, are the series of design adaptations that give the Spin 5 the shape and feel of an authentic notebook.

Most striking of all its features is the 3:2 screen ratio that’s been modeled after a sheet of A4 paper, perfect for notetaking, along with the included stylus. The stylus itself is intuitive and smooth and can be stashed as well as charged in its specially designed garage at the side of the notebook. The stylus, known as the  Acer Active Pen, charges very rapidly. Once the pen runs out of juice, just put it in its stylus garage for 15 seconds, and you’ll have 90 minutes of unrestricted use. The stylus has a pressure sensitivity of 4,096 levels, which helps the Active Pen replicate a smooth pen-to-paper experience.

The Acer Spin 5 is a delight to look at. Sporting a vibrant 2,256×1,504 pixel, 13.5-inch touchscreen, along with the powerful integrated Iris Plus Graphics G7 supports for a colorful, vibrant experience.

Nevertheless, perfect laptops are extremely rare, and the Acer Spin 5 is not perfect. For one thing, Acer-branded bloatware that comes with the laptop finds a way to encroach into your personal space and become quite annoying. The speakers are also not much better than decent, although we’ve almost come to expect that as the norm now.

Pros
  • Extremely versatile
  • Superb Performance
  • 10hr Battery life
  • Rechargeable Stylus Pen included
  • Fingerprint scanner
Cons
  • Bundled with Bloatware some would rather remove before anything else
  • Speakers could be better

Design and Appearance

The Acer Spin 5 sports a gray aluminum finish that gives it a look of simple sophistication as well as makes it simultaneously more solid and lighter than others in its category. When you flip the screen, the deck is similarly gray, with an island-style, backlit keyboard featuring chicklet keys. 

The keys provide good tactile and auditory feedback, although they may take some getting used to if you’re more used to a real laptop. The keys are also illuminated to make typing in bad lighting conditions easier. A decent-sized trackpad is positioned conveniently under the spacebar. The trackpad works smoothly, is modestly responsive, and offers decent feedback, but all that is expected. What truly catches the eye in the Spin 5 trackpad is the laptop’s fingerprint scanner, located at the trackpad’s top left corner.

Acer Spin 5 Specs

BluetoothBluetooth 4.1
BrandAcer
CPUIntel Core i5-8250U
Company Websiteacer.com
Display Size13.3
Graphics CardIntel HD Graphics 620
Hard Drive Size256GB SSD
Hard Drive TypeSSD
Highest Available Resolution1920 x 1080
Native Resolution1920×1080
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
Ports (excluding USB)USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB Type-C, SD card slot, Headphone/Mic, Ethernet, HDMI
RAM8GB
Size12.77 x 8.9 x 0.63 inches
Touchpad Size4.1 x 2.5 inches
USB Ports4
Warranty/SupportOne year
Weight3.4 pounds
Wi-Fi802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Wi-Fi ModelDual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz

Ports

For an ultrathin device, the Spin 5 manages to offer a decent number of ports, offering users the chance to run the full gamut of charging, data storage, and other accessories options. The bulk of the Acer Spin 5’s ports are located on the left side of the laptop. In order of arrangement from the top of the panel, there’s a power jack, two USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) ports, one HDMI output port, one USB-A port, and a MicroSD slot.

There’s another USB-A port on the right, plus a Kensington lock slot for extra security, a headphone jack, and a garage for the stylus.

Display and Audio

This convertible’s display is one of its strong suits. The Spin 5’s 2k resolution of 2,256×1,504 lends itself very well to crystal clear images and its average brightness of 426 nits exceeds the category average of 379 nits. The convertible’s screen also proved to be extremely vivid, covering 111 percent of the sRGB color spectrum. However, that number falls slightly short of the category average (119 percent ).

While the Spin 5’s 3:2 display configuration makes it appear more authentically like a notebook, the design has an adverse effect on the movie-watching experience. Movies do not cover the full screen, instead occupying the middle of the screen, making the picture smaller and somewhat diminishing the quality of the experience. In this instance, entertainment took a hit in favor of productivity.

As for the Spin 5’s audio, let’s just say that Acer did not pull up any trees in this regard. The sound is decent, even if it’s a little low. Nothing extraordinary here, since most laptops seem not to have figured out how to deliver sound that ventures away from the barely acceptable standards.

Performance

Any laptop equipped with an Intel Core i7 – 1065G7 Ice Lake CPU, integrated Iris Plus Graphics G7, 16GB of RAM, and 1-TB SSD cannot be sniffed at and the Spin 5 is deceptively powerful, despite its looks. This convertible will breeze through all of your office and schoolwork, with enough left in its tank to do them again and again. It will even handle some of the heavier tasks such as video editing and image processing fairly comfortably.

The Spin 5 shines when it comes to multitasking, able to handle multiple tasks at once without even the hint of lag. 

However, while the Spin 5 packs formidable hardware, it is by no means a gaming laptop and you should expect a downturn in performance if you try to get it to run anything other than the least tasking games, even when you run it on low settings. The Spin 5’s Iris Plus Graphics is strong enough, but to run the most popular, graphics-intensive titles, you’ll need a dedicated GPU.

Heat and Noise Emission

The Spin 5 is remarkably quiet. It breezes through office work without even seeming to be making any effort. It remains similarly quiet when handling the more intense tasks, even when the fan gets engaged by the system. Rather than the full-pitched whine common with most laptop fans, the Spins 5’s fans just emit a quiet whir.

This convertible also never gets so hot that it becomes unbearable to hold, even under full load. If all it handles is office work, it never exceeds 85-degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s pushed to the limits of its abilities, it still manages to keep its temperature below 105-degrees Fahrenheit.

Battery Life 

The Spin 5’s battery life is pretty decent, allowing you to execute some of the less energy-intensive tasks such as surfing the internet, creating word files, and watching videos for more than 10 hours on a single charge. This is close enough to the category average, with only a few laptops in its category offering more.

Software

Bloatware has almost become part of the fabric of Acer’s laptops and it’s no different with the Spin 5. Apart from third-party games like Candy Crush, Simple Solitaire, and Hearts Deluxe, expect to also find Acer-branded software such as Acer Configuration and Acer Jumpstart, which shave off valuable space from your SSD. The Acer-branded software are more than just minor annoyances though; some of them clutter your notifications bar with ads. 

In a way, the need for bloatware is understandable. Acer needs to keep costs down somehow. However, it would be best if they were able to do it in a way that feels less intrusive to users.

Final Verdict

The Acer Spin 5 scores top marks for performance, display, and flexibility. It’s been the object of a series of fine-tuning efforts from Acer over time and this final offering feels very well-balanced as well as powerful. Content creators will relish the consummate notebook experience that the Spin 5 offers, although this same configuration coupled with very low speakers may make watching movies on this hybrid laptop less enjoyable than it could be.