Acer Chromebook Spin 513 Review: Snapdragon 2-in-1 Laptop

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 Body

The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 is a sleek and inexpensive 2-in-1 laptop designed to appeal to a wide range of potential buyers. Marketed under 475 USD, it is one of the first Chromebooks under Qualcomm Snapdragon processor on the market and puts forward some attractive arguments. Because cheap, here, does not mean “cheap.” But is it the perfect Chromebook?

PROSCONS
Super-light and portable designNo keyboard backlight
Long battery lifeWeak speakers
Solid and comfortable keyboardLimited ports
Solid 2-in-1 design

General Info

Acer Chromebook Spin 513
BrandASUS
ModelChromebook Spin 513
Release DateFebruary 2021
ProcessorARM Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 (2.1 GHz, 8 cores)
OSChrome OS
Weight1.2 Kg
Display13.3 “Full HD LED IPS 10-point multi-touch Corning Gorilla Glass
Dimensions310 x 209.35 x 15.55 mm
TypeLaptop

For a Chromebook, the Spin 513 is indeed surrounded by quite a bit of chrome. A beveled border surrounds the cover and touchpad, while the “Acer” branding has a discreet textured shiny effect. Overall, the Spin is a far cry from the image we have of a 475 USD laptop when you get started. Acer has made the back of the cover, and the surround of the metal keyboard and the whole case opts for a flattering silver color and worked in the details. Everything is well adjusted and inspires confidence under the fingers.

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 Body

The Acer CB Spin 513 is a slim and light Chromebook. The 13.3-inch screen allowed Acer to reduce the overall footprint and total a thickness of 15.55 mm for 1.2 kg, measurements that lend themselves easily to mobility.

When opening, we notice the touch screen covered with a glass surface (Gorilla Glass), which hugs the entire facade. Shiny without being too much (yes, it’s touch), the screen is surrounded by a black frame rather present, especially at the lower border. A 16:10 (FHD +) format, rather than the traditional 16: 9, would have been better. Another point to note, the appearance of the keyboard indicates a little, the keys covering a grained plastic not very nice.

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 360 Degree

Let’s talk about the “Spin” side of the Chromebook now. Its design convertible into a tablet offers a range of convenient manipulations according to the uses. Flip-up the screen, and you get a traditional laptop for working, flip it flat and share your display with those around you or prop it up comfortably in your lap. Or, push a little further and switch to presentation mode, the disabled keyboard and touchpad placed on a surface and the screen towards you, and finally, fold the screen completely against the base to transform it into a tablet and take full advantage of it. Touch.

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In short, it is not device-specific to our Acer Chromebook, far from it. Still, the system is sufficiently ingenious and practical. We devote a few lines to it, especially since it is enjoyable to use on the Acer thanks to the hinges, which inspire confidence by imposing the right dose of resistance in all positions.

Display

Display TypeIPS LED
Display Size13.3 inches
Display Resolution1920×1080
Dimension 310 x 209.35 x 15.55 mm
Acer Chromebook Spin 513 Screen

The market being what it is, we are used to seeing fairly mediocre screens (768p) on laptops under 475 USD, Chromebook or not. Our Chromebook Spin 513 can’t say the same since it inherits Full HD (1920 x 1080 px) definition behind a layer of Gorilla Glass. The result is an obvious display and well-defined and easy-to-read elements on the screen (icons, texts, etc.).

The second advantage of this screen, we are dealing with an IPS panel that ensures the display’s readability, whatever the angle of approach and the brightness, is satisfactory. Gorilla Glass is reflective, and the light can’t fight all those reflections if the sun is shining through.

Overall, if you are looking for a cheap laptop to watch Netflix, this is the perfect candidate with its 16: 9 aspect ratio. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 Camera

The HD webcam (720p) does not work miracles, as it does on far too many modern PCs today. Note, however, its wide angle of view is practical for family video, which will have to be done in bright light; otherwise, you will see a noticeable noise appear. At least, you can console yourself by telling yourself that your interlocutors will hear you well, thanks to the two long-range microphones arranged on either side of the camera. These are also used to interact with the Google Assistant using the “Ok Google” voice command at a good distance.

Performance

ProcessorARM Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 (2.1 GHz, 8 cores)
GraphicsQualcomm Adreno 618 GPU
RAM4 GB LPDDR4X-2400 (soldered)
Storage64 GB eMMC

The Acer Spin 513 is equipped with a Soc Snapdragon 7c from Qualcomm (4 Kryo 468 cores at 2.4 GHz engraved in 8 nm). We are more used to seeing Intel or MediaTek SoCs onboard Chromebooks. Still, with the Snapdragon 7c, Qualcomm has a modern and perfect chip for this type of system that goes to the essentials time when limitations persist. With Windows.

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 Rear open

Onboard the Acer Chromebook Spin 513, the ARM chip dominates its subject and carries out all office tasks. As for the game, here again, the Chromebook keeps pace even if some lags and delays in the display of textures can be observed on Asphalt 8. On the other hand, no problem with the Call of Duty mobile game.

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In recent years, it has been possible to install all Android applications from the Google Play Store on Chromebooks (Netflix, social networks, Spotify, VLC, and even Adobe Lightroom), which considerably extends their possibilities. Thanks to the Spin 513’s touchscreen, you will be able to use the vast majority of them without any problem, although some applications not developed for a screen of this size could malfunction. Likewise, piloting them with a keyboard and a mouse is not always pleasant.

With 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB eMMC storage, common specs for a Chromebook and which are not detrimental even if we would still like to see more storage space available (Call of Duty occupies 3 GB on its own), especially since there is no card reader to expand the internal storage.

Multimedia

ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5
Webcam Above the display
Webcam resolution1280 x 720 resolution
720p HD audio/video recording
Super high dynamic range imaging SHDR
Speakers2.0
NetworkWi-Fi ac (2×2)
BluetoothBluetooth 5.0
PortsPorts: 2x USB-C (3.2 Gen 1), 1x USB-A
Keyboard NumpadNo

Acer slips a connector on each side of the Chromebook, which is essential but still thinks of the USB 3.2 Type-A port (standard size) for our peripherals that are not very recent. Two other USB 3.2 ports in Type-C format are present on either side of the PC and are also used to recharge the PC.

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 Power button
Acer Chromebook Spin 513 Ports

A microphone/headset port completes the list of interfaces, and that’s it. We are therefore not entitled to the card reader or the Kensington lock. The right edge also receives the “power” button and the volume button, practical in tablet mode.

When it comes to wireless connectivity, the Acer Chromebook can count on Wifi 5 (802.11 ac) and Bluetooth 5.0.

Audio is rarely an area of ​​concern for manufacturers under $ 700-800 (and even above). It is, therefore, no great surprise that we see the very average restitution of the Acer Chromebook Spin 513. The speakers are often positioned under the base – here behind the front pads – and therefore project the sound in an indirect.

If the volume is decent and enough to fill a room, the sound is poor in percussion and bass, especially if the listening occurs in presentation or tablet mode, when the PC is not placed on a flat surface, which echoes the sound.

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Acer Chromebook Spin 513 360

Basically, watching a streaming series that does not include too much action still passes, but we can not advise you enough to plug in headphones for any music listening. The return of the jack is pretty good.

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 Keyboard

We have already touched two words on the very plastic aspect of the keyboard. Still, after this unflattering first impression and after the first keystrokes, we are pleasantly surprised by the silent contact of the keys and by their precision. We are obviously not on short strokes and the efficiency of more upscale keyboards, but the spacing, size, and stability of the keys manage to compensate for the feeling a little soft that predominates.

The keyboard is not backlit, and we forget the fingerprint reader on this range, amenities reserved for higher budgets. The glass touchpad (Gorilla Glass) is smooth and pleasant to use with decent dimensions (105 x 65 mm). The advantage of this surface is its resistance to humidity. 

Battery

ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5
Battery Type Li-ion 2 cells
Battery capacity36 Whr
Battery Life14 hours
Fast chargingYes

Acer equips its Chromebook Spin 13 with a modest 2-cell 36Whr 4670mAh Li-ion battery and gives it 14 hours of battery life. If you reduce the brightness a little, your use is limited to tasks like Netflix, Twitter, Google Doc. and you take a few breaks while taking advantage of the very efficient sleep mode of Chrome OS; you should last several days without having to plug it into a power outlet.

On the go, the two-part 45W USB-C power adapter is a bit cumbersome compared to a “block” charger (like that of a smartphone), but its weight is passable (270g), and it provides 2.5m of cable to maintain a range of motion. Better yet, thanks to charging via USB-C, you can take an external battery with you and thus enjoy extended autonomy without having to search for a power outlet.

Conclusion!

In essence, the Chromebook is a portable PC that is not intended for all audiences due to the intrinsic limitations of Chrome OS and the light components that compose it. So if you ever need the power to edit photos or videos, such as playing games or even running professional software, this is not the machine for you.

On the other hand, anyone who is seriously considering buying a Chromebook with its essentials in mind has every interest in looking at the Acer Chromebook Spin 513.

Its elegant metal-based design is the first element working in its favor, to which we add its 2-in-1 configuration and its hinges which allow the screen to be rotated with the right dose of support and resistance. Then, the Full HD glass screen is another asset both in terms of aesthetics and material (robustness of the glass). The keyboard and touchpad are pleasant to use, and the battery life is generous.

On the other hand, we have mid-rendering speakers and small storage space, but these are points that apply to almost all Chromebooks. The only pitfall of our Acer would be not to provide a card reader to increase internal storage if needed, perhaps its keyboard looking a little crass and a processor that is not a rocket.

The question with this Acer sold under 475 USD is to know if you can live with these small inconveniences. For us, in any case, the answer is yes. The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 brings together enough rewarding elements to stand out from the crowd, among Chromebooks and Windows PCs at the same price.