Acer Chromebook Spin 714 review: Worse than its predecessor | Techy Kings

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Acer’s Chromebook Spin 713 has been on our best Chromebook list for a few years now. It’s one of the most popular Chromebooks of the past several years, and it had a laundry list of things going for it: a fast Intel processor, a sharp and high-resolution 3:2 screen, a generous selection of ports with Thunderbolt 4, all-day battery life, and in the Chromebook space. One of the best keyboards you can find. I had very high hopes for the next Chromebook Spin 714.

So I’m not happy to report that the Chromebook Spin 714 is worse than the 713. That doesn’t make it a terrible computer – and with my Core i5/8GB/256GB unit MSRP of $729.99, many of these flaws are forgivable. than those that cost $1,000. But unfortunately, I see it as a step. This is the reason.

Let’s start with the good stuff

The main area where this device is improved over the 713 is the speed. The 714 is one of the few Chromebooks to come with an Intel 12th Gen processor. it is Lightning Fast. It handled my heavy workloads perfectly, and I don’t think it would have a problem running things in Linux. Nothing I threw at it – even when I was switching between 20-25 tabs and apps – generated any heat or caused the fans to spin at all. When I tried Spin 713 last year, the fans were basically mad the entire time. So it’s a good improvement.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 opened on a table showing a purple ribbon desktop background.

This is confirmed by Intel Evo.

This is a slightly better looking computer than the 713 in my opinion. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a good-looking device – the design is still somewhat dull and boring, and the “anti-aging Corning Gorilla Glass” logo engraved on the top edge is particularly unappealing. Still, there are some nice touches around the touchpad that make everything look more professional. There are accents. And the finish is of high quality – this device slipped into my bag without a scratch. Visually and materially, this device is better than the 713. (But I can’t exaggerate, it still looks boring.)

A user holds an Acer Chromebook Spin 714 in tablet mode.  The screen will show the launcher on a purple background.

See that little gap in tablet mode?

The ports on the right side of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714.

USB-C and USB-A on the right.

The ports on the left side of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714.

USB-C, HDMI, headphone jack on left side.

And finally, there’s the baked stylus. It lives in a small slot in the lower right corner of the device, and is very easy to get in and out of. Writing with it was a mixed bag – the texture was smooth, but the hinge isn’t too strong to keep the screen on the bow while I’m typing in laptop mode or tablet mode. I didn’t like the gift in either case.

Agree to continue: Acer Chromebook Spin 714

To start using Acer Chromebook Spin 714, you must agree to the following.

  • Google Terms of Service
  • Sync your Chromebook apps and settings and Chrome browser bookmarks, passwords, and history. (This can be reviewed following the setup.)
  • Google Play Terms of Service

You can also say yes or no to:

  • Send Chrome OS diagnostic and usage data to Google.
  • Google Drive backup
  • Allow apps and services with location permission to use your device’s location
  • Allow Assistant to access a screenshot of your screen to provide customized responses
  • Google Assistant voice matching

All in all, that’s three binding agreements and five optional agreements for using the Acer Chromebook Spin 714.

But then there is everything

Okay, time to talk about some of the mysterious changes Acer has made. First, display. So, yes, the Spin 714’s screen is a little bigger. However, the Spin 713 had one of the most unique screens ever put on a Chromebook. At 2256 x 1504 the resolution was 3:2. It was wide, there was zero glare, colors were vibrant, and it was all a Huge One of the reasons why the Chromebook 713 has topped the best Chromebook pages all over the internet. I’m describing that screen right now, and I miss it so much. Please get back to me.

Anyway, this is not the 714’s screen. This device has a 1920 x 1200, 16:10 panel. It reaches a brightness level of 340 nits while the 713 easily surpasses 400. Look, this screen is nice, but like… meh. that’s nice.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is half open on the wooden table shown above.

Screen is covered with anti-bacterial Corning Gorilla Glass.

Second, one of the ports is missing. Acer has removed the MicroSD slot from the Spin 713. The other ports here are good (you get two USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, one USB 3.2 Gen 1, one HDMI and one headphone jack). Just like the 713, they also had a microSD slot.

And then we go to the battery life. Still, Intel 12th Gen is showing less battery life than Intel 11th Gen. I averaged seven and a half hours out of the 11th Gen device (which, in my mind, had a brighter, higher-resolution screen.) Averaged four hours and 56 minutes of continuous use, at 50 percent brightness, out of that. And while you may get higher numbers than I did here depending on your workload, most people seem to get shorter times than the Spin 714’s predecessor. (Refueling times were quick, at least — the 714s took 46 minutes to an hour, better than last year.)

An Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is open on a conference room table.  The screen will show the ChromeOS launcher.

If you’re so inclined, you can put it in all the usual flexible laptop modes.

An Acer Chromebook Spin 714, opened in portrait mode, on a dark wooden table.

Even as a tent!

There are other minor quirks – the 714’s touchpad is small, the chassis is thick and heavy, and there’s no fingerprint sensor. And then, all this, there is the fact that they make the device more expensive. This unit, remember, is $729.99 — the Core i5/8GB/256GB model was $699. My model is the cheapest I could find online – I’m also seeing a Core i5/16GB unit and a Core i7/16GB unit both listed for over $1,000.

Sure, maybe the included stylus and slightly larger screen justify that price increase in a vacuum. But then I look at the long list of things missing from the 714, the ways they go back, and I don’t believe it.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 Specifications (as reviewed)

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1235U
  • Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X SDRAM
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe Gen 3, 8Gb/s, NVME
  • Weight: 3.09 lbs (1.4 kg)
  • Dimensions: 12.31 x 8.82 x 0.71 inches (312.6 x 224 x 18.05 mm)
  • Battery: 56 W 3-cell Li-ion battery
  • Display: 14-inch multi-touch display with IPS, WUXGA 1920 x 1200, 16:10, 340 nits
  • Camera: FHD MIPI webcam (1920 x 1080) supports 1080 HD video at 60fps
  • Wi-Fi: Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6E AX211, including dual-stream Wi-Fi in 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz band, 2×2 MU-MIMO
  • Bluetooth: 5.2

I don’t want to overstate how much extra power the Spin 714 has. Quieter fans and cooler plastic were a noticeable improvement. This remains perhaps one of the most powerful Chromebooks — if not the most powerful — you can buy for $729.99.

But what saddens me is that Spin 713 used to be like that. Spin 713 blows its competitors out of the water in benchmark results. But it was as well as Excellent in many other ways. It had a great screen. It had a very good battery life. It had an excellent selection of ports. Really, the only thing to complain about is the sub audio (it remains sub on the 714). The Spin 714, on the other hand, mostly has powerful specs going for it. And while that power certainly remains in the conversation, the 713 isn’t the slam-dunk purchase it was.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 Access

  • The letter keys are 1.6 x 1.6 centimeters with 0.4 centimeters between them. The keyboard is backlit but has no indicator lights. The power button requires little force to press. The volume keys are 2 x 0.8 centimeters. The keys are dark blue with white text and take a fairly firm force to press.
  • In my testing, the speakers averaged 70 decibels, which is quieter than a standard outdoor speaker.
  • The laptop can be opened with one hand. It can rotate around 360 degrees.
  • The touchpad is 10.4 x 6.2 centimeters and takes some firmness to press.
  • Chromebook does not support fingerprint or face login.

ChromeOS

  • ChromeOS includes a built-in screen reader (ChromeVox).
  • ChromeOS supports keywords in settings.
  • High contrast mode can be toggled with Ctrl + Search + H.
  • Captions appear at the bottom of the screen. The following caption properties are adjustable: size, font, color, opacity, shadow, background color, and background opacity.
  • The following keyboard keys can be remapped: Search, Ctrl, Alt, Escape, Backspace, Assistant, and Caps Lock. The top row can be reconfigured to serve as function keys.
  • The following keyboard features can be toggled: sticky keys, on-screen keyboard, highlight with keyboard focus, highlight when displaying or moving text caret, navigate pages with text cursor, and change access.
  • The following cursor settings can be adjusted: color, size, speed, click intensity, and haptic feedback. The following can be toggled: mouse acceleration, reverse scrolling, tap-drag, tap-to-tap, touchpad acceleration, and auto-click.
  • ChromeOS includes a Snap Layout feature that can be accessed by pressing and holding the top of an open window.

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