The new line of convertible laptops from Acer, called the Spin 5, offer a competitive range of hardware components, features and build quality. I’ll have a look at the series’ flagship device, the Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-55ZR.
As I mentioned earlier, what we have here is a convertible 2-in-1 laptop. Essentially, the Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-55ZR model is a touchscreen notebook that’s been fitted with 360-degree dual-torque hinge. This hinge allows the screen to fully rotate around the main body of the device, meaning you’ll be able to use the Acer in four modes: laptop, presentation, tent and tablet.
Although Acer didn’t bring forward any new groundbreaking technology to the table, the Acer Spin 5 remains a solid, well rounded laptop.
So, the Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-55ZR is powered by an Intel Core i5-6200U processor. The 2.3GHz dual core CPU from Intel is both potent and versatile. This CPU has seen the light of day a year ago, meaning you won’t get the “fresh out of the oven” tech, but don’t worry. The differences between successive generations are small enough to go unnoticed by the average user.
This processor will handle with ease everyday tasks, such as browsing, streaming videos, editing documents, and so on. Also, more demanding actions will won’t pose any major difficulties to the CPU – think photo editing or running virtual machines – as performance ratings are close to a desktop Intel Core i3-4130 processor.
System memory is rated at 8 gigabytes of DDR4 SDRAM. This memory comes in a single channel configuration. If you want to upgrade the memory, you can double the amount to 16 gigs of RAM by replacing the existing memory stick with a bigger capacity module. I think the 8 gigabytes are adequate and you should check how your daily usage fits within the limits of RAM.
As for storage space, the Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-55ZR is fitted with a 256-gigabyte SATA3 SSD. Fast, reliable and energy efficient, this M.2 solid state drive will help the notebook to boot up Windows 10 in mere seconds, while programs will run more fluently, not to mention the general snappiness you’ll feel when buttoning the OS.
As expected from such a device, the display is quite impressive. The 13.3 inch FHD IPS LED-backlit touchscreen display is very bright, produces vivid colors and sharp images. You’ll be able to watch a movie with friends or collaborate with coworkers more easily thanks to IPS and its ultra wide viewing angle benefit. The screen will look just as good from any angle up to 178 degrees.
The graphics card is an integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 with shared memory. Games will prove difficult to play, save from some MMOs and older titles. However, streaming HD content from the Internet or the SSD won’t be an issue.
Interface and networking options
Sadly, the Acer SP513-51-55ZR doesn’t have any USB-C option available. Almost all ports are located on the left far side of the keyboard. There are, as follows:
- 1 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x COMBO audio jack
- 1 x microSD card reader
As for networking, it comes with a speedy 802.11ac wireless card and built-in Bluetooth 4.1. The dual band WiFi card features MU-MIMO technology, which means faster transfer speeds and improved signal quality when connected to a compatible router.
Portability and battery life
The Acer SP513-51-55ZR is a moderately portable device. This convertible laptop weighs 3.5 pounds, far from the clunky five lbs. traditional laptops, but also some distance away from the ultra portable 12″ and 13.3″ ultrabooks. Still, we must take into account the heavy touchscreen (basically every touch-enabled laptop will be heavier) and the price, since the Acer is also significantly cheaper than a Dell XPS, for instance.
Battery life is great for a touchscreen 2-in-1. The Acer’s 4-cell, 3220 mAh battery pack will hold a charge for up to 9-10 hours. This means a full day’s worth of work and then some. For most users, there won’t be any real need to also carry the charger while being away from home or the office.
As a conclusion, I want to emphasize that the Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-55ZR is a niche laptop. You’d have to compromise portability for the benefits of a touchscreen and a 360-degree rotating display. Having said that, the Acer will perform really well in real world situations, whether at home, on the road, at college or in the office. It’s a real workhorse and a balanced, fairly priced convertible laptop.
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