Acer have changed their tactic on laptop a few times. Their recent strategy is probably their best. Instead of focusing on the medium spec, the average device, they are being bold and willing to put some beef into their laptops. The result is the Acer Spin 7, which is a thin 2-in-1 featuring an i7 (more on that later), 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD hard drive. When I first saw the device at an Acer event, I pretty much thought this would be my next laptop. Sadly, it was still a few months away from the market, so I had to ‘settle’ on a MacBook Pro instead. While it isn’t the power horse the MacBook Pro is, with its thin and sexy physique and decent ultrabook specs, this does sit in nicely against Apple’s MacBook. Heck, it even doubles the ports on it with 2 USB C ports instead of one!
Acer Spin 7 – Specs
- Windows 10 Home
- Intel i7 Processor (i7-7Y75 – 1.30GHz, 4MB Cache)
- 14″, 1920×1080 FHD Touch Screen
- Corning Glas to give full protection
- Thin bezels
- 8 GB RAM
- 256 GB SSD hard drive
- 4 modes: laptop, tablet, display or tent
- Wifi/Bluetooth Connectivity
- Dolby Audio Premium Speaker
- 2 x USB C (1 to charge)
- 1 x headphone socket
- Up to 8 hours of battery life
- Size: 324.6mm x 229.6mm x 10.98mm, 1.60kg
Look and feel
Quite a lot impresses about this device in the look department. The overall build has this nice smooth finish, which is soft to touch but gives off a strong persona. It may not be a rigid laptop, but you don’t feel like you’ll break it in two by mistake. Once you go beyond the overall feel, you notice how thin it is. At just under 11mm, this is incredibly easy to slide into envelopes! Rounded edges, smooth finishes, thin bezels. You name it, they have it.
A metallic finish shows off the outside casing, while the inside has a softer feel. The screen has a thinner bezel than most, and also acts as a touch screen.
The keyboard supports a full sized QWERTY layout, and a reasonably wide touchpad sits below.
Hidden there somewhere are the Dolby powered speakers.
The left side has the power and the volume keys, while the right sides show off the two USB C ports along with the headphone socket.
In case you were wondering, they do pack in a USB C to USB A converter in the box, so you don’t have to go and spend a lot of money buying an adaptor. A nice but thoughtful touch!
When open, the laptop is reasonably steady and stable. The hinge lets you rotate the screen up to 360 degrees, and the motion is smooth and seamless. To be fair, there isn’t much to complain.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keys themselves are nice to type on. This review has been written on the laptop, along with other work I have been doing, and it really doesn’t disappoint. There is plenty of travel and good friction. Sadly, the keyboard is not backlit, something which is a bit of a surprise for a laptop in this price range.
The touchpad itself is great to use and is perfectly responsive. Being precision touchpad means that it supports Windows gestures, which try to bring it in line with MacBooks own OS.
The (lack of) ports
I get it, I really do. If Apple can do it, why can’t others? Also, if you have to keep it really thin, you definitely have to get rid of the extra port. So USB C will have to do. However, no micro SD port does kind of disappoint.
The USB C ports are also used to charge, much like the MacBook, so it may mean that you will have to give up a port in case you are charging. You can always buy an adapter though.
Acer does make up for some of this by throwing in a free USB C to USB A Adapter.
So, you have an i7 with 8GB of RAM. Should be pretty decent, right? See, the i7 sticker on the laptop is a bit misleading. The i7 featured in this device is a special type of i7 (with a Y in the name). It is essentially a newer version of the Intel Core M Processors. So, for example, you get 1.3GHz instead of the typical 3ish. The advantage is that it is designed to run specifically cooler.
What does this mean to the end user? Well, documents, browsing, portability; all of these work a charm.
Throw in a few games, video editing and some rendering and you start to struggle. Photo editing is a bit of a sweet spot in the middle.
Display & Speaker
I found the colour and the brightness to be perfectly adequate. The laptop may be thin, but the speakers do have enough of a punch to make this device perfectly good for watching films or listening to a bit of music on the side.
The battery life comes with a promise of up to 8 hours. During our runs, we found that 6 hours was a fairly good estimate during our daily use. This included word processing, Excel, as well as a huge number of Chrome tabs open.
Since it charges via a USB C port, you can use any USB C charger that is capable of delivering 20V. This means the charger for your MacBook is as good as the one that came with your Dell Latitude laptop.
More information on the Acer Spi 7 can be found on the Acer’s website.
It retails for around £1200 and can be bought directly via their website.
At £1200, the Acer Spin 7 is not the cheapest device out there. However, with the specs combined with the looks, you have yourself a pretty decent package. A worthy MacBook competitor!