• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-6100U
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 1TB HDD
  • Connectivity: Gigabit LAN, 802.11ac WiFi
  • Dimensions: 496.7 x 338.5 x 8 mm
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Pros:
  • Versatile use
  • Affordable
  • Cons:
  • Lacks RAM
  • Benchmark Results
  • PCMark Home: 2,380 points
  • PCMark Creative: 2,323 points
  • PCMark Work: 2,623 points

Surprise Twist

Hybrid notebooks are not just limited to the premium segment of the notebook market these days. There are people who want affordable ones and Acer’s Spin 5 might just be an ideal option.
Despite its name, the Acer Spin 5 isn’t going to turn heads with its design. But the pure black plastic body with neat brushed texture and glossy lid are by no means ugly. Under the lid of the 13.3-inch notebook is a standard keyboard without a numpad, a 1080p IPS display and a HD webcam. It’s not the smallest notebook around, but it’s lightweight thanks to its mostly plastic construction and it’s well-built. The Acer Spin has little flex to its main body or display, while its dual-torque hinge is rock solid with no signs of wobbling.

At the sides are a good number of ports, which premium hybrids tend to lose in favour of slimmer bodies. On the left is a HDMI port, along with three USB ports (one 3.0), and an audio-out/line-in audio jack. The other side houses the charging port, Kensington lock, power and volume buttons, as well as a microSD card slot. A microSD card slot instead of the more common SD card slot is unusual, but can be useful if you want to easily transfer files from a smartphone’s card without the need of an adapter.

Like all hybrids, the Spin 5 has a 360° hinge that enables the device to be used not only like a normal notebook. It can also be used in tent form for multimedia entertainment, laid flat like a tablet, or in a ‘presentation’ mode that is useful for video chat using the webcam.

In addition, the Spin 5’s IPS screen is decent for videos, since it at least looks sharp and vibrant enough. Coupled with an average-performing speaker, you could definitely use it for multimedia entertainment.

Overall, performance is on the lower-end as expected. While it can handle productivity software or multimedia playback, it’s mere 4GB of RAM means you’ll run into memory issues quickly. Even multi-tab browsing could cause slowdowns, with Google Chrome having to reload pages whenever you tab away for some time. However, this just means you can’t go all-in with multitasking and isn’t a deal breaker.

The keyboard here is basic, but the keys are spaced out well and have good key travel, so typing on it was comfortable enough. It does feel cramped where the arrow keys are, however, which caused us to accidentally press the Page Up or Page Down button too often.

CHIP CONCLUDE: An affordable option for those looking to get a hybrid device for basic computing needs.

(previously published in issue May 2017)

Acer Spin 5