Acer Chromebook Spin 714 Review

Acer’s Spin line of Chromebooks has been a favorite of ours for a while now, with the last two iterations of the Spin 713 Chromebook winning Editors’ Choice awards. Acer has updated its 2-in-1 convertible Chromebook with the Chromebook Spin 714, which maintains the excellence of the line while making a few improvements. The biggest change is the move from a 13.5-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio to a 14-inch panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio. Acer also adds a garaged pen for use with the touchscreen, which addresses one of the few complaints we had with the previous model.

Inside the system, it gets an update to a 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor while also providing ample 8GB of memory and a roomy 256GB SSD. The Spin 714 completes Acer’s hat trick, earning our premium Chromebook editorial for the third year in a row. At a regular price of $729, it’s a good deal, and it would be an absolute steal if the $499 sale price we’ve seen it at occasionally returns for Black Friday 2022.

The new display, familiar design

The display may have changed significantly, but the design of the Chromebook Spin 714 remains largely the same. The Steel Gray aluminum chassis offers an understated, corporate look and feels solid and robust. This Chromebook has passed the same MIL-STD 810H shock and vibration tests as its predecessor.

At 3.2 pounds and 0.67 inches thick, it’s also the same weight and width as the previous Chromebook Spin 713. Thanks to a new 14-inch screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio, the system is wider and shallower than the previous 713 — the Spin 714 is 12.7 inches . wide and 8.9 inches deep, compared to the Spin 713’s 11.8 x 9.3 inches. It remains a compact and portable Chromebook, even if it weighs a bit more than expected.

But again, the display is the biggest change going from the Spin 713 to the 714. Gone is the more square, extra-tall 3:2 panel in favor of a 14-inch panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio. The 16:10 aspect ratio feels like it’s in the sweet spot between the productivity-focused 3:2 and the entertainment-focused 16:9.

On a 14-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, you have plenty of vertical space so windows aren’t squeezed to the point where you’re constantly scrolling, and movies and TV shows fit better on it than on a square 3:2 panel. It truly bridges the gap between work and play, making the Spin 714 a versatile machine that can do it all. That’s before you take advantage of its 2-in-1 capability and its potential use as a tablet.

As the name suggests, the Spin 714’s hinge can rotate 360 ​​degrees, so you can flip the display around into tablet mode. The 14-inch panel feels natural when used as a tablet – touch response is fast and accurate with and without the included stylus. The Spin 713 also lacked a stylus, so we’re excited to see one included in the Spin 714. (One should be standard equipment on any 2-in-1.) When not in use, it can be in the garage in the right front corner of the keyboard.

Along with the new display panel comes a new display resolution. Acer actually dropped the resolution on the Spin 714 to 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, down from 2,256 to 1,504 on the Spin 713. While higher resolution is generally better, the drop in sharpness isn’t a major negative here. The resolution is more than enough to produce a sharp image on a 14-inch panel. Also, as with most Chromebooks, the Settings/Devices tab offers a choice of reduced resolutions, and defaults to the large side of the 1536×960 slider. You have a lot of pixels to play with.

The brightness of this Chromebook’s display is adequate for indoor use, even when I set it to maximum, either in my sunny, south-facing breakfast nook or in my dimmer, north-facing home office. Colors in photos and videos look accurate and balanced. While the Spin 714’s display certainly doesn’t disappoint, it can’t match the OLED panel found on the cheaper Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook with a detachable design.

The Spin 714 webcam offers a few improvements over its predecessors. For starters, it’s downgraded from 720p to 1080p, resulting in a smoother, better-balanced picture that’s less grainy. Second, it features a physical privacy shutter so you can rest easy when you’re not using the camera.

The speakers moved, but unfortunately the sound remained the same. Instead of being mounted on the bottom, the speakers shoot up from the speaker grill above the keyboard. The improved placement can’t hide the fact that the speakers are undersized and produce an overwhelming, tinny sound. They’re good enough for YouTube and Netflix, but you’ll want an external speaker or headphones when listening to music — as many Chromebooks do, even at this price.

Acer Axes microSD card slot

Despite the added width, the keyboard on the Spin 714 is the same as the narrower Spin 713. The keys are well spaced and offer quick, if shallow, feedback, which is again normal for Chromebooks. There is also a keyboard backlight for dark environments.

To match the 16:10 aspect ratio, the touchpad is more rectangular than the nearly square Spin 713. It offers smooth gliding and a nice click response with the perfect amount of travel.

A pair of USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support highlight the Spin 714’s solid connectivity. Unlike the Spin 713, they are on both sides of the system, so you can conveniently charge the laptop regardless of which side of the system is closest to the nearest electrical outlet.

There’s also a USB Type-A port for connecting a mouse or any of your older peripherals without the need for an adapter. You also get a full-size HDMI output and a combo headphone/mic jack. The power button is located on the left edge, while the volume rocker is on the right side.

There’s one item missing from the Spin 714 that was included with the Spin 713, and we’re sad to see it: a microSD card slot. This may seem like a trivial omission, but having such a slot is important for Chromebooks, as internal storage is usually limited. The Spin 714 has a generous 256GB SSD, which is quite spacious for a Chromebook, but still less spacious than you’ll find on some Windows laptops in its price range. We lack the option to insert a microSD card for quick and easy expansion of the internal storage capacity.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 review: A highly competitive performer

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is based on the Intel Core i5-1235U, a processor from the 12th generation Intel Core mobile processor family with two powerful cores and eight efficient cores. It is a member of the 15-watt U series, which prioritizes efficiency over power.

We compared its performance to that of the Chromebook Spin 713, which we looked at earlier this year; it featured the 11th generation Core i5-1135G7. The Asus Chromebook CX9 also has the same Core i5-1135G7 part. Rounding out the rankings are a pair of Chromebooks – the HP Chromebook x2 and the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook – which are equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

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