Tech

Acer Spin 5 Review – Functional or Impractical?

The Spin 5 is Acer’s reply to the convertible laptop craze that’s taken off in the last year. The thin, sleek and fashionable laptop weighs in at only 1.6kgs and makes working on the go both simple and elegant.

Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, outside of a short lived gimmick or to play mobile games, I can’t fathom a valid reason for owning a convertible laptop. There are plenty of people that benefit from the functionality of a tablet, and an ever larger market that benefit from the functionality of a laptop, however I don’t believe there is a crossover between these two markets.

Having said all this and in defence of the Spin 5, the tablet function works perfectly and the transition from laptop mode to tablet mode is both automatic and seamless.

As far as it’s technical specifications, it stacks up quite well against some of the similarly priced (~$1500) convertible laptops;

Acer Spin 5 Microsoft Surface Laptop HP Pavilion x360 15
Price $1498 $1499 $1499
Processor 2.7 GHz i7 2.5 GHz i5 2.4 GHz i3
RAM (Memory) 16GB DDR4 4GB DDR3 8GB DDR4
Storage 128GB SSD 128GB SSD 128GB SSD
Screen Size 13.3” 13.5” 15.6” (very slim bezel)
Graphics Integrated Integrated 2GB Dedicated

If there’s one thing to draw from the comparison it’s that there’s give and take with each of these convertible laptops – the processor and memory of the Spin 5, the screen size and graphics of the Pavilion and the… the um… Microsoft logo on the Surface. The “best” of these is the one that best suits your individual needs.

The Spin 5 runs Windows 10, which means it has a sync functionality with both your microsoft account and mobile phone. I had trouble linking my phone directly to the laptop however that says less about the Spin and more about Windows. Beyond this, account set-up and sync was quick and simple as it has been in recent years for Windows-based machines.

My biggest criticism of the Spin 5 is the ergonomic oversight of an opening ridge/finger hold.  While the front of the laptop sure is stylish, it took me rather seriously over a minute to open it the first time around and everyone that I’ve handed it to has had one hell of a time figuring it out, which is just absurd.

A picture speaks a thousand words, so you don’t need me to tell you that this is a stunningly sleek piece of machinery. However the difference between the physical screen size and the actual IPS screen is pretty substantial, leaving a large and unsightly black bezel.

It took roughly 30 minutes of using the Spin 5 with the default touchpad sensitivity before I felt an incredibly strong urge to throw it through the nearest pane of glass. But both the high and ultra sensitivity settings made for a significantly more enjoyable experience.

Now for the most part this review speaks on the GK4SA.012 model of the Spin 5. For the different variations of the Spin 5 visit the Acer website

The Good:

  • The spin/transition from laptop to tablet is seamless
  • Weighing merely 1.6kg makes for easy travel
  • Fast and ergonomic fingerprint sensor
  • The 128GB SSD means the boot time is incredible

The Bad:

  • There is no hand/finger hold to open the screen – this is significantly more annoying than one would think
  • The bezel around the screen is rather thick and seems out of place in the same year Elon Musk is launching cars into space

The Tips:

  • The touchpad is significantly easier to use when changed to high sensitivity
  • Throw away the stylus – you won’t find a reason to use it

Studying Cyber Security and working for Macquarie Media Limited, John is a huge nerd with a passion for video games and computers.

You will often find him in the streets advocating for the benefits of gaming or just generally nerding out.

Feel free to email with any questions or comments: [email protected]

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