Acer Spin three 2020 hands-on overview: Extra for the cash

Strong construct high quality

Pretty 16:10 QHD+ show

Skinny and comparatively gentle

Docked rechargeable pen included

Tiger Lake guarantees good efficiency

Keyboard keycaps had been a bit slick

Giant prime and backside bezels look old-school

Acer’s Spin three is the corporate’s midrange entry within the 360-degree convertible 2-in-1 market. Its earlier iteration was well-received as a 2-in-1 with some attention-grabbing options, corresponding to a pen that recharged whereas docked in a handy slot alongside the aspect, together with strong efficiency and construct high quality.

That wasn’t adequate for Acer, nonetheless, as a result of it introduced an up to date model that alters the laptop computer’s design whereas promising to keep up what was greatest in regards to the earlier model. I went hands-on with a pre-release unit of the Acer Spin three. Listed here are my preliminary impressions.

Design

Essentially the most important replace to the Spin three is its change to a show with a 16:10 side ratio somewhat than the same old 16:9. That makes the show taller, becoming in additional data and decreasing the necessity to scroll. A 16:9 side ratio is turning into extra frequent, as laptops just like the Dell XPS 13 have led the cost, however Acer’s strategy is completely different.

Whereas Dell used near the identical show chassis dimension and easily stuffed all of it with a 16:10 panel, abandoning some tiny bezels and a 90% screen-to-body ratio, the Spin three has a big bezel on prime and a surprisingly massive chin on the underside. The screen-to-body ratio is simply 79%, that means the Spin is just not solely much less trendy trying than the XPS 13, nevertheless it’s additionally bigger than it may very well be. One advantage of Acer’s strategy is that the wrist relaxation stays massive and comfy, not like some tiny-bezel laptops the place there’s barely sufficient room.

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The Spin three feels way more strong than its value would counsel. Its lid resists any twisting, the keyboard deck has zero flex, and the underside of the chassis doesn’t budge with tough dealing with. It’s an all-aluminum design this time round, the place the earlier model integrated some plastic components, and I can inform. I really like the best way the Spin three feels.

Talking of the way it feels, the Spin three weighs about three.08 kilos and is zero.62 inches skinny. That makes it heavy, but additionally skinny, in comparison with the HP Spectre x360 13 at zero.67 inches and a pair of.88 kilos. Nonetheless, I discovered the Spin three comfy to hold and use in all of its completely different modes. Pill mode was a bit chunky, however that’s true of all non-tablet 2-in-1s (together with the Spectre x360 13).

Mark Coppock / Digital Developments

The Spin three is a gorgeous if unsurprising 2-in-1. My unit got here within the traditional semi-gloss silver discovered on so many laptops, and had only some chrome items, together with the Acer brand on the lid and hinge.

The hinge is well-tuned, permitting the lid to be opened with one hand whereas holding the show in place by means of all 4 modes — clamshell, tent, media, and laptop computer. That’s an attribute sometimes discovered on costlier machines.

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Connectivity is one other power. There are two USB-C with Thunderbolt four ports alongside the left-hand aspect, to go together with a full-size HDMI port, a USB-A three.2 port, and a miniSD card reader. Alongside the right-hand aspect, you’ll discover one other USB-A three.2 port, a three.5mm audio jack, and a Kensington lock port. Wi-fi connectivity is supplied by Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

Efficiency

The Spin three seems good on paper. It gives as much as an 11th-generation quad-core Intel Core i7-1165G7 with Intel Iris Xe graphics, as much as 16GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and twin PCIe SSDs of both 512GB or 1TB. For example, the machine I’m taking a look at is supplied with a Core i5-1135G7, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD.

Mark Coppock / Digital Developments

We haven’t examined sufficient Tiger Lake machines to attract any agency conclusions, however what we’ve seen from Intel’s reference machine provides us hope for some strong efficiency. On the very least, Tiger Lake ought to assist shut the gap with AMD’s Ryzen 4000 collection, which to date has confirmed to be significantly quicker than Intel’s 15-watt CPUs.

Show

The Spin three’s show is a magnificence. The 16:10 show is available in both FHD+ (1920 x 1200) or QHD+ (2560 x 1600) decision, and my unit included the latter.

I discovered it loads sharp (although I want 4K shows) with a great deal of distinction. Colours had been pure and shiny, and I assumed the show did a beautiful job throughout all duties I threw at it.

Mark Coppock / Digital Developments

The 16:10 side ratio is nice, too. It gives extra vertical area, which is helpful since paperwork and internet pages are constructed to scroll vertically. You may merely see extra on a 16:10 show than a 16:9 show.

The audio was competent, offering loads of quantity because of upward-firing audio system with zero distortion. Highs and mids had been outstanding and, as traditional, the bass was at a minimal. I can see utilizing the audio system for the occasional YouTube video and solo Netflix present, however for music and motion films I’d advocate a pair of headphones.

Keyboard and touchpad

The Spin three makes use of the same old island keyboard with black keycaps and white lettering. I don’t know if the keyboard is backlit — I couldn’t discover a button to show it on. I assumed the keycaps themselves had been a bit small and that impacted the spacing, and so they had been additionally a contact slippery. The mechanism was comfy, although, with a light-weight contact and a gentle bottoming motion that’s not as crisp as I like however nonetheless allowed me to sort at practically full velocity.

Mark Coppock / Digital Developments

The touchpad was reasonably sized and plastic-coated. It’s a Microsoft Precision touchpad and so it was responsive in swiping and utilizing multitouch gestures. The show is touch-enabled, after all, and the included Wacom AES 1.zero pen labored nicely for Home windows inking.

Curiously, my unit didn’t have Home windows 10 Hey help, neither a fingerprint reader nor an infrared digicam for facial recognition. I perceive that whereas that can stay true with the bottom mannequin, upgraded machines will include a fingerprint reader.

Battery life

I couldn’t run our traditional battery exams and so I can’t report on longevity. The Spin three homes 56 watt-hours of battery, which is common for a machine with this dimension of show. I think about that the Core i5 and FHD+ model will get superb battery life, whereas the Core i7 and QHD+ will endure because of the additional energy and better decision.

Pricing and availability

The Acer Spin three will begin at $850 for an 11th-gen Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD). Different pricing and availability will likely be introduced quickly.

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