Acer Chromebook Spin 713 review: Next step in the evolution of Chromebooks

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 2021

Josh Goldman/CNET

Chromebooks turned 10 years old this year and Acer has made them from the start. In fact, if you want to see just how far Chromebooks have come, take a look at our 2012 review of the Acer Chromebook C7 and compare it to the new Chromebook Spin 713. Chrome OS is no longer just a browser, and the Spin 713 — announced at the PC-maker’s Next@Acer virtual event Thursday —  is much more than a netbook. It’s one of the best in the category and an excellent laptop in general.

Although the new Chromebook Spin 713 looks almost exactly like its predecessor, Intel worked with Acer to make it the first Chromebook verified for Intel’s Evo platform. What does that mean? An Evo-verified laptop must meet certain standards for performance, battery life, responsiveness, and wireless and wired connections, among other things. In other words, it’s sort of a guarantee that your laptop will give you the best mobile experience, and now that experience is available on a Chromebook. 

Like

  • Great performance, battery life
  • 3:2 display
  • Thunderbolt 4

Don’t Like

  • No pen support
  • Ordinary looks and a bit heavy for a Chromebook

Just like the best Windows and MacOS laptops, the best Chromebooks have better components and better components cost more money. The $699 Chromebook Spin 713 I tested will cause sticker shock for those used to cheaper Chromebooks that’ll handle much of what you can do with Chrome. But this is a premium Chromebook that delivers a great user experience and is worth the extra money for its performance and durability. Pricing for the UK and Australia wasn’t immediately available, but the US price converts to roughly £495 or AU$900.

Acer Chromebook Spin 713

Price as reviewed $699
Display size/resolution 13.5-inch 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen
CPU 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-1135G7
Memory 8GB 4267MHz LPDDR4X (onboard)
Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Storage 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Networking 802.11ax wireless, Bluetooth 5.0
Connections Thunderbolt 4 USB-C (x2), USB-A (3.2 Gen 1), HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot
Operating system Chrome OS/Android 9
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 2021

The Spin 713 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a full-size HDMI out.


Josh Goldman/CNET

A tall display and connections for more

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 uses one of Acer’s bright VertiView displays, a 13.5-inch, 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio. As the name implies, it gives you more vertical room to work, but it still has the width of a typical 13.3-inch laptop with a 16:9 ratio. If you don’t like scrolling up and down all the time, this is perfect. 

But if you want to attach a monitor or two, the Spin 713 is the first Chromebook with Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports — it’s now a requirement for Intel Evo Chromebook verification. The ports can be used for display output, fast data transfers, high-speed networking, rapid charging and docking stations. There’s also an HDMI output on the Spin 713, so you can connect a display without any adapters or docks if necessary. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 2021

The touchscreen is smooth but doesn’t support active pens — USI or others.


Josh Goldman/CNET

A safe design in more ways than one

Maybe it’s because Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2 is still fresh in my mind, but the overall look of the Spin 713 doesn’t stand out compared to the rest of the package. It’s fine-looking and certainly a safe choice for school and work, but if you’re looking for some personality, this falls short. 

On the other hand, one thing this Chromebook can handle is a short fall. Along with Corning Gorilla Glass on the touchscreen (and the smooth touchpad, too), the Spin 713 has a reinforced aluminum body with Mil-Spec certification (MIL-STD-810H) for protection from minor drops, vibration, rain, dust, high and low temperatures and humidity. It’s a welcomed extra for a Chromebook that’s likely to get knocked around. However, at 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms) is slightly heavy for a premium Chromebook and it is somewhat thick, too, especially when folded over into a tablet. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 2021

The backlit keyboard is spacious and comfortable. 


Josh Goldman/CNET

Simply snappy

Intel says Evo-verified laptops are engineered to help remove lag, distractions and dependency on battery chargers. There is certainly nothing laggy about this Chromebook. Lift the lid and the display instantly comes to life, the Wi-Fi connects and it’s ready to go in seconds — a lot like your phone when you wake it up. You can use the built-in fingerprint reader to quickly unlock it or an Android phone can be paired with Chrome to unlock it as well. 

The 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor handily outperformed last year’s version of this Chromebook with the comparable 10th-gen chip on our benchmarks. It outlasted its predecessor’s battery by 31 minutes, too, running for 12 hours, 42 minutes on our streaming video test. Plus, it charges fast. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 2021

Josh Goldman/CNET

Basically, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 lives up to Intel’s Evo verification. It wakes instantly, it’s just as responsive on battery power as it is plugged in, has a long battery life, charges quickly and, with Thunderbolt 4 and Wi-Fi 6, it has fast wired and wireless connections. 

The two-in-one design is useful to have, especially when using Android apps. There’s no pen support and it’s a bit thick in tablet mode, but overall I find Chrome more enjoyable with a touchscreen. Even if you only plan to use it as a laptop, I’d still recommend it. The Spin 713 feels like the first glimpse of the next 10 years for Chromebooks.

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