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Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N Andrei Girbea Rating: 4 out of 5

Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N review – KabyLake-R Core i5-8250U hardware in a modern convertible

15 Comments

  1. A.

    August 30, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I have just read about the Acer Switch 7 presented at the IFA:

    notebookcheck.net/The-Acer-Switch-7-is-the-first-fanless-2-in-1-with-an-MX150-dGPU.245838.0.html

    It has an 8th generation Core i7 CPU and an Nvidia MX150 GPU, yet it is only passively cooled, having no fans. I find this delicious, and I'd love to read about it on your blog if you ever get your hands on it and have the time to share your impressions with us.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 31, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      Will happen, but this product is scheduled for the end of the year, so it will be a while.

  2. Kyle

    August 31, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    "large battery"
    No, I don't think so. 54 WHr is absolutely unacceptable for a 13" laptop with a ULV processor. Especially now since they've raised the core no. and reduced the base clock. Which means more power draw while performing everyday load and multitasking, as also confirmed by numbers in this review.
    For reference, my 2015 MBP13 had a much bigger 75 WHr battery and I only got 8 hours at most when browsing the web at 150 nits. And my current Lenovo Yoga 910 (14"FHD) that has a bigger 78 WHr battery and a much less powerful 15 watt CPU also gets the same 8 hours, doing the same job on the more poorly optimized Windows 10.
    To get 8 hours of full work/school day battery life on these new 13/14" quad-core U series laptops, OEMs need to put in at least 75 WHr capacity cells and maybe more with optional >FHD screen resolutions and dGPUs.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 31, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      Yes but this Spin is a mid-tier laptop and most devices in this range have 48-52 Wh batteries or even smaller. Those you are mentioning are higher tier devices with a higher price. so although I'm with you on laptops with a big battery, I'd expect most buyers would prefer well balanced products that get a big-enough battery, the right weight, the right construction and a price that's not prohibitive. And this Spin 5 is fairly well balanced in its class and segment.

      • Kyle

        September 4, 2017 at 11:36 am

        I know. Forgive me for sounding harsh, it's just that Acer has poor track record when it comes to laptop engineering. Bad power management on top of already small batteries, weak chassis, QC, and little regard for many other minor details. Yes they've gotten much better, but so have Dell Inspirons, Lenovo Yoga/Miix/Ideapads, HP Envy/Pavillions, Asus, and other mid-tier laptops that've been consistently better than Acer in my experience.
        And for its weight + price class, 54 WHr isn't really enough. I got my 12" Thinkpad X260 for US$700. Like this acer unit, it too was heavy for its size at 1.5 kg but lasted 18 hours on its good 95 WHr battery. Contrary to what people may argue, I never consider it higher tier due to its weight and other various issues. You could argue that they're different machines aimed at different market segments but at the end of the day, who's gonna care when simply one's better than the other for a similar cost?

        • Andrei Girbea

          September 5, 2017 at 3:24 pm

          Well, yes, you're mostly right, but Acer's products are also fairly affordable and somewhat compensate for the lacks by selling for less. Also, it's not really fair to generalize, they have some bad, some decent and some good series, but I wouldn't put all of them in the same basket.

          As for the X260, while it's a very nice laptop for what it is (I've been using 12-inch ThinkPads for a long while in the past too, btw), it's different from this Acer Spin: smaller and non-convertible screen, older CPU. So while the x260 might be the better pick for buyers like yourself and others, it's not going to be for someone who wants a bigger touchscreen or the KabyLake-R processor. I'm not saying this Acer is necessarily the answer for those needs, but it's one of the more affordable options. These days there are so many SKUs available that pretty much all needs and particularities should be met and even the pickier buyers would find something that would meet their requirements.

          BTW, I switched from the X200 line because I wanted a larger screen, lighter body and quieter fans. I found that in the XPS 13 and I've been using it for more than 2 years now. My next main-laptop would have to be light, long-lasting and fanless, plus have decent IO, excellent keyboard/trackpad, preferably a good 14-inch matte screen. There's no such thing yet :)

          • A.

            September 8, 2017 at 12:25 pm

            I'm looking for precisely the same qualities in a laptop, so as soon as you find it please post your review under the title "Found my ideal laptop!" and pin it on the home page of your site so that I see it at a glance.

            To your requirements I would add: camera in a "sane" position (not looking into my nostrils), equal and sufficiently large arrow keys (I use them a lot), decent speakers. The CPU and GPU power almost don't matter anymore since even the weakest of them are powerful enough for my needs.

          • Andrei Girbea

            September 11, 2017 at 5:02 pm

            Noted.

  3. Max

    September 4, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Hi, which spin 5 has louder fan? With core i5 8250u or 6200u?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 5, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      See both our reviews on the site. If I remember correctly, this newer spin is quieter.

  4. MOFO

    September 5, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Nice review, would love to see the 15'' model with gtx 1050 reviewed , pretty sure they make a nitro model that has red trim but also a non-gamer version with the same specs.

  5. Pavan

    October 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Hi,
    I am planning to buy a laptop with 8th gen i7 by mid October. My budget is below $1100. I was planning on buying Hp envy 13t or acer spin 5 or swift 5. It is better to avoid spin 5 after the review as it doesn't deliver much on performance.
    The new Hp envy 13t is offering 8th gen processors, fast charging ,4K display and fingerprint scanner. Only problem with envy 13 t is that it is coming with ddr3 ram. How much effect does it have on performance? Now it is currently available for $1050 after $150 discount. Will you be doing a review on it? Do u think It is better to wait till December and buy acer swift 5 which starts at $999?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 8, 2017 at 3:55 am

      HI, sry for the late reply. I don't think I'll get to review it, HP and Dell laptops are hard to get over here.

      I wouldn't worry that much about DDR3. Yes, the DDR4 is faster in certain apps, but the differences are pretty small with the kind of tasks you'd be running on such thin and light laptops.

      As for waiting for the Swift 5, I don't know, we'll have to see it in action first and later conclude if it's worth the attention or not.

  6. besweeet

    October 11, 2017 at 10:12 am

    I have some questions about the trackpad:
    1) How loud is the rattle?
    2) Can you hear the rattle with light taps?
    3) Is the top of the trackpad harder to press than the bottom half?
    4) Can you record a short audio sample of the trackpad noise?

    Trackpad noise really bothers me with all non-Apple laptops where those are very solid and make no tapping noises (even older models that relied on physical clicks).

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      I've returned the laptop and unfortunately I can't remember anything else besides what I noted in the article. I'd say it doesn't rattle with light taps, otherwise I wouldn't have mentioned it. I too am very sensible to this particular aspect. Also, yes, the upper part is harder to press as far as I remember.

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