The $399.99 Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (currently listed at $349) is one of the very first Snapdragon-powered Chromebooks to hit the market. Specifically, it’s powered by the Snapdragon 7c Compute SC7180, the type of chip you’d generally expect to see in a tablet or phone. Just from seeing that name, some readers can probably predict exactly what this device is going to be: a lightweight, mediocre performer with excellent battery life.
That’s pretty much what it is — but you get some other nice bonuses, too. The display is much nicer than those I’ve seen on other Chromebooks at this price. It’s portable at 2.65 pounds, its speakers and microphones are serviceable, and it has a really smooth Gorilla Glass touchpad.
If performance is your priority, there are Chromebooks with better processors you can get for this price. But if it’s not, the Chromebook Spin 513 outshines even more-expensive competitors in a few other areas.
Look through the Chromebooks available at the $300-$400 price point, and you’ll see a whole lot of clunkers. Take a look at Lenovo’s $349 Flex 3 Chromebook, for example, or its $309 Chromebook C340. They’re thicker than the Spin 513, with big bezels, and they both look like they were built in 2014.
But the Spin 513 looks and feels like it belongs in a higher price category. Acer’s model is thinner than both of these devices at 0.61 inches, and has a much more modern look. The lid is made of aluminum, and the reflective Acer logo adds some flair. The bezels on the sides and top are reasonably small, while still leaving plenty of room to hold as a tablet. It’s also quite portable at 2.65 pounds — easy to carry with one hand, and to slip into a backpack or briefcase…Read more>>