Acer Chromebook Spin 513 review: A solid 2-in-1 Chromebook

Top-down view of the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 showing the display and keyboard deck.

Acer Chromebook Spin 513

MSRP $616.00

“The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 beats all the tabs as a premium Chromebook with all the bells and whistles.”

Positives

  • Strong production performance

  • Strong battery life

  • Excellent IPS 3: 2 screen

  • Comfortable touchpad

  • Affordable, Affordable, Affordable

Negatives

  • The keyboard was behind the curve

  • Display edges are large

Chromebook The 2-in-1 convertible has perfectly caught up with its Windows competitor. Active stylus support, taller 16:10 and 3:2 screens, higher resolution screens – they’re finally coming to an end.

Acer’s updated Chromebook Spin 513 is a classic example, offering a fast and efficient MediaTek ARM processor and a bright, sharp 3:2 display. Acer wanted us to mention the model number of the review unit, the CP513-2H, indicating that it is the second generation of the model.

My review unit costs $615 and includes an 8-core MediaTek Kompanio 1380 CPU and a 13.5-inch 3:2 2K (2256 x 1504) IPS screen. I found the 2-in-1 to be a quick contender in the Chromebook space, with enough battery life to stand out. It’s a solid offering for Chrome OS fans who want the option to flip the screen in tablet mode and write or draw on the screen.

design

Rear view of the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 showing the cover and logos.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

A combination of sandblasted anodized aluminum, aluminum in the top and bottom casings of the chassis, and plastic in the keyboard deck creates a laptop that’s meant to be tough on the outside yet lightweight. I found the cover to be slightly bendable, the keyboard deck to show some flexibility, and the undercarriage sturdy.

It wasn’t terrible, and the overall build quality was pretty solid for a $600 laptop. It equals similarly priced Chromebooks like the slightly bigger Acer Chromebook Spin 514while being slightly less powerful than the more expensive HP Chromebook x360 14c. The hinge was loose, allowing the lid to be opened with one hand but was slightly wobbling in two of its four positions: clamshell, tent, media, and tablet.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 media mode shows the display.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

Aesthetically, the Chromebook Spin 513 is a bit simple, with a dark gray monochrome chassis with no embellishments and straight lines. The back bezel is sloping, and there’s a slant on the front sides, but other than that, this is a typical laptop design. The Chromebook Spin 514 is sharper in its silver color, but it’s also minimalistic. This seems to be the trend with Chrome OS laptops (and laptops in general, frankly), as the HP Chromebook x360 14c is another minimalist in its aesthetic.

The Chromebook Spin 513 doesn’t have minimal bezels, particularly on the bottom, where the chin is massive by contemporary standards. Due to the larger 13.5-inch 3:2 screen, it’s a bit deeper and a bit wider than other 13-inch laptops. At 0.64 inches thick and 2.83 pounds, it’s thin and light enough for easy portability.

ports

Connectivity is strong, with two USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a microSD card reader. Wireless a little behind the curve Wifi 6 and bluetooth 5.1.

performance

Top-down view of the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 showing the display and keyboard deck.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 is built around an eight-core MediaTek Kompanio 1380 CPU, paired with a five-core Arm-Mali G57 MC45 GPU. The CPU is meant to be fast enough for the lightweight Chrome OS while still providing long battery life. My review unit was also configured with 8GB of RAM, a generous amount of memory in a Chromebook, and 128GB of slow eMMC storage.

We can’t run many of our benchmarks in Chrome OS, but I was able to test the Chromebook Spin 513 in the Android version of Geekbench 5 and the Speedometer 2.0 web benchmark. In Geekbench 5, the MediaTek CPU achieved 936 in single core and 3,438 in multi core. This is quite competitive with other ARM-based Chromebooks like HP Chromebook x2 11 With Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c that scored 599 and 1718.

I found the Chromebook Spin 513 to be extremely fast on everything I threw at it.

Of course, Chrome OS laptops with Intel Core processors were faster, including Asus Chromebook Flip CX5 With a Core i5-1135G7 that scored 1,190 and 4,151. However, the Chromebook Spin 513 wasn’t far behind, and it’s a solid offering. In Speedometer 2.0, the Acer hit 76, well above the Chromebook x2 11’s 45 and lower than the Chromebook Clip CX5’s 163.

Personally, I found the Chromebook Spin 513 to be very fast on everything I threw at it. I can open many Chrome tabs and run some Android apps without slowing things down, largely due to the large amount of RAM. Even Android games were fast, with titles like asphalt 9 Playing without noticeable stutter.

jeepbench
(single / multi)
2.0 . speedometer
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
(Media Tech Companio 1380)
936 / 3,438 76
HP Chromebook x360 14c
(Core i3-1125G4)
898/2866 Unavailable
HP Chromebook x2 11
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c)
590/1689 45
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
(Core i5-1135G7)
1,190 / 4,151 163

Display and sound

Front view of the Acer Chromebook Spin 513.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

One of the laptop’s most impressive features was the 13.5-inch 3:2 2K (2256 x 1504) IPS display. The longer aspect ratio is great for productivity, and the panel was sharp enough that I had to hunt down the pixels. My colorimeter is not supported on Chrome OS, so the following are my personal impressions.

First, I found the screen to be brighter enough for all of my work environments, where only outside in direct sunlight is unusable. Acer offers 360 nits quotes, and I think it hits that number, if not higher. After that, the colors were plentiful and looked natural, with no oversaturation. Finally, the contrast looked high enough that blacks looked black rather than gray, and text stood out against a white background.

Tablet mode works great thanks to the 3:2 aspect ratio.

The screen was comfortable in tablet mode thanks to the 3:2 aspect ratio closest to the paper. The screen is touchscreen and works fine, and there is optional USI stylus support.

Audio is delivered via two loudspeakers in the lower front part of the chassis. It was medium volume with a clear and clear medium and high sound. You will need headphones or external speakers to enjoy watching Netflix and listening to music.

Keyboard, touchpad and webcam

Top-down view of the Acer Chromebook Spin 513 showing the keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

The Chromebook Spin 513 keyboard is a good size, with large enough keycaps and plenty of spacing between the keys. The keys feature a strong click and require more pressure to intervene than most. There is comfortable bottom movement and plenty of travel. Overall, it’s a serviceable keyboard that might not be among the best you’ll find in premium laptops, but it’s on par with most laptops I’ve tried that are under $1,000.

The touchpad is a decent size for a 13-inch laptop, although there is room for a larger version. It’s covered in Corning Gorilla Glass, which is a nice touch at this price point, and it’s smooth and comfortable with precise support for full Chrome OS multi-touch gestures integration. The buttons have a responsive touch that is very loud.

As the laptop industry moves toward high-resolution webcams, you don’t necessarily expect that from a low-cost laptop. Accordingly, the Chromebook Spin 513’s webcam is 720p, although it still delivers clear and bright images.

Battery life

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 rear corner view displays the ports and hinges.
Mark Kubock / Digital Trends

Chrome OS is an efficient operating system and MediaTek CPU is more efficient. This should result in solid battery life even considering the relatively small capacity of 36Wh.

In our web benchmark spanning a series of popular and complex websites, the Chromebook Spin 513 came in at just over 11 hours, a solid showing behind the HP Chromebook x2 11 with Qualcomm’s slower CPU. It’s a lot longer than the Intel-based Chromebooks in our comparison group can manage. Next, in our video test running Full HD local episodes Avengers Trailer, the Chromebook Spin 513 lasted for about 12.75 hours, another solid result that drove the pack.

Battery life was the real strength of the Chromebook Spin 513.

Browse the web video
Acer Chromebook Spin 513
(Media Tech Companio 1380)
11 hours and 7 minutes 12 hours 42 minutes
HP Chromebook x360 14c
(Core i3-1125G4)
7 hours and 44 minutes 8 hours, 2 minutes
HP Chromebook x2 11
(Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c)
12 hours 42 minutes 10 hours 59 minutes
Asus Chromebook Flip CX5
(Core i5-1135G7)
9 hours 25 minutes 8 hours and 50 minutes

we took

The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 offers a great balance between performance and battery life. It’s neither the fastest Chromebook you can buy nor the longest-lived, but it’s Chrome OS 2-in-1 that doesn’t force you to compromise.

The laptop had a few downright weaknesses, with build quality that was good enough given the $616 price tag, a really great screen, and attractive albeit somewhat minimalist aesthetics. It’s a great choice for anyone in the market for Chrome OS 2-in-1.

Are there alternatives?

I’m not aware of any Chromebook 2-in-1 in the same price range and the same 3:2 HD screen. left Chromebook Spin 713 It is one option, although a bit older, more expensive, yet stuck with a 1oth-gen CPU from Intel.

The HP Chromebook x360 14c is another option, coming in about the same price with decent performance but less battery life, and still working with a 16:9 HD display.

Finally, if you want to go the detachable tablet route, consider the HP Chromebook x2 11. It’s less expensive, has a smaller, sharper 11-inch 3:2 2K display, as well as good battery life. However, her performance can’t quite keep up with that.

How long will it last?

The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 was powerful enough to last for years of typical use, and its components should keep pace with Chrome OS. The one-year warranty is typical and great for a laptop in this price range.

Should you buy it?

yes. The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 offers an attractive combination of speed, longevity and value.

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