Acer Spin three SP314-52 assessment – the reasonably priced convertible in 2019
We’ve spent a while with the Acer Spin three SP314-52, the late-2018 replace of the earlier Spin three SP314-51 era, within the final weeks and gathered our impressions down beneath, with the positives and the quirks.
That is an entry-level convertible laptop computer, with a beginning worth of round 650 EUR in Europe (and round $600 within the US, when obtainable). This type of cash will get you a 14-inch laptop computer with an IPS touchscreen, newest era Whiskey Lake , an enormous battery that can maintain this working for hours, in addition to all the usual ports, however you’ll must accept a reasonably chunky all-plastic construct and a non-backlit keyboard, amongst others.
In different phrases, that is the form of laptop computer you need to be curious about should you’re searching for good bang on your buck and undoubtedly desire a touchscreen, with out caring for the premium seems to be, craftsmanship or fancy options you’d get with the higher-tier, and naturally costlier, choices.
However is it ok, and is such a laptop computer really value shopping for in 2019? You’ll discover out from the rows down beneath.
Specs as reviewed
|Acer Spin three SP314-52
|Display||14.zero inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, contact, shiny|
|Processor||Intel Whiskey Lake Core i3-8145U CPU|
|Video||Intel UHD 620|
|Reminiscence||Eight GB DDR4 (soldered, twin channel)|
|Storage||128 M.2 PCIe SSD (80 mm – Kinston RBU-SN8154P3) + 500 GB 2.5″ 5400 rpm HDD (Toshiba MQ1ABF050)|
|Connectivity||Wi-fi AC (Intel AC 9560), Bluetooth 5.zero|
|Ports||2x USB-A three.zero, 1x USB-A 2.zero, HDMI, SD card reader, mic/headphone, Kensington lock|
|Battery||60 Wh, 45W charger|
|Dimension||335 mm or 13.2” (w) x 231 mm or 9.1” (d) x 20 mm or zero.Eight” (h)|
|Weight||three.75 lbs (1.7 kg)+ .53 lbs (.24 kg) charger and cables|
|Extras||non-backlit keyboard, HD webcam, stereo audio system|
Acer presents the Spin three SP314-52 in a number of completely different configurations, with both Core i3 or i5 processors and varied quantities of RAM and kinds of storage. Take into accout there’s normally only a 1 TB HDD within the entry-level fashions, and also you’ll wish to improve that with an SSD in an effort to enhance the on a regular basis expertise. I’d additionally intention for one thing with Eight GB of RAM, four GB are simply too little for immediately’s necessities, even when coping with primary shopping or motion pictures.
Design and exterior
The Spin three is Acer’s entry-level collection of convertible laptops, thus plastic is used for your complete development and the machine is bigger and heavier than among the higher-tier hybrids obtainable lately.
On the similar time, although, that is pretty nicely made, and the textured plastic feels good and will deal with the each day trouble fairly nicely. There’s a good bit fo flex within the keyboard-deck, however the display screen and the underside are sturdily made, and the silver ending does a superb job at repelling smudges and scratches.
This laptop computer can be pretty sensible. You’ll want each palms to raise up the display screen, however then the hinges maintain it snuggly in place, the rubber ft on the underside present good grip on a desk and the palm-rest is spacious sufficient to supply good arm help with each day use. There are additionally no sharp edges or corners, and no annoying lights which may hassle you when utilizing the pc at evening.
You’ll additionally get an honest collection of ports with this laptop computer, with a number of full-size USB slots, HDMI for video output, and a card reader. There are not any USB-C and no Lan port although.
The hybrid form-factor and the power to make use of the Spin three each as a daily laptop computer and as a pill is perhaps one of many principal causes you’ll be curious about one in all these. Having a display screen that leans again to 180 levels is unquestionably helpful on a transportable laptop that you simply may typically use on the lap or when touring, however the pill mode shouldn’t be going to be as sensible as you may suppose, as holding a big three.75 lbs machine in your palms for quite a lot of seconds is unquestionably not that comfy, and Home windows in tablet-mode can be not as clean as Android/iOS and even ChromeOS.
What I’m principally saying is that entry-level convertibles generally is a little deceptive, and it is best to ensure you’re shopping for into them with the best expectations. I’d primarily get one for the touchscreen, but when that’s not a should, you’ll really discover higher worth in among the cheaper and extra compact clamshell notebooks. If a touchscreen is a should although and should you plan to make use of the machine in tablet-mode typically, I’d additionally look into one of many easier, and far snappier as tablets, Chromebooks on the market.
Keyboard and trackpad
This will get a typical chiclet keyboard, with a daily format and nicely sized/spaced keys. My solely nit is with the small arrow keys, additional cramped up by the inclusion of PgUp and PgDn keys inside the similar block, one thing traits to Acer laptops on this phase.
The typing expertise leaves some to be desired, because the keys are reasonably mushy and have a brief stroke, thus don’t supply very correct suggestions. That is, nevertheless, a quick typer, and should you’re already used to this type of shallower keyboards which might be normally plastered on ultraportable laptops lately, I’d reckon you’re additionally going to get your accuracy in examine over time.
Sadly, the Spin three lacks backlighting, which goes to be tough to just accept even in its class, and the keyboard can be pretty chattery and may appeal to raised eyebrows in quiet faculty and work environments.
For mouse, Acer went with a plastic clickpad with Precision drivers. It’s averagely sized and works alright, dealing with swiped, gestures, faucets, and palm-rejection nicely sufficient. The bodily clicks are clunky and loud, although, and your complete floor rattles when tapped a little bit firmer.
This laptop computer will get a 14-inch touchscreen. Contact works positive, however the construct isn’t nice and also you’ll discover some ripples within the panel when urgent across the edges.
This panel can be dim and also you’ll undoubtedly wrestle should you plan to make use of the Spin open air or in different shiny environments, particularly since glare from the glass on prime of the panel can be a part of the equation. That apart although, it ought to do for each day use, because the blacks and contrast-level are pretty good, and the viewing angles are beneficiant. Coloration copy is, nevertheless, yet one more space the place this falls quick, however at the least the gray-levels and White=level are nearly wonderful out of the field. You need to use this calibrated colour profile to deal with among the tiny imbalances, nevertheless it’s not a should.
- Panel HardwareID: BOE BOE0779 (NV140FHM-N41);
- Protection: 66% sRGB, 49% NTSC, 51% AdobeRGB;
- Measured gamma: 2.2;
- Max brightness in the course of the display screen: 191 cd/m2 on energy;
- Distinction at max brightness: 730:1;
- White level: 6400 Ok;
- Black on max brightness: zero.26 cd/m2;
- PWM: Sure, flicker at 1000 Hz.
Acer makes use of PWM for brightness adjustment with this panel, with a reasonably low refresh-rate of 1000 Hz, which is able to hassle these amongst you delicate to flickering. On prime of that, we additionally seen some gentle bleeding on our pattern, in addition to poor brightness distribution at decrease brightness ranges, with the underside half being as much as 20% dimmer than the highest.
Our pattern is a mid-range configuration of the Spin three SP314-52 mannequin, with merely a Core i3-8145U processor, however Eight GB of RAM, a 128 GB PCIe SSD and a 2.5″ 5400 rpm mechanical HDD for mass storage.
Increased finish variations ship with the Core i5-8265U processor and bigger SSDs, whereas lower-end fashions solely get four GB of RAM. I’d advise towards getting a laptop computer with solely four GB of RAM this present day although.
The Core i3-8145U is a dual-core quad-thread processor and whereas it’s not as succesful because the quad-core i5s and i7s, it’s really a ok choice for on a regular basis use, motion pictures and a good bit of multitasking.
The CPU, GPU, and RAM are soldered on the motherboard, however the storage shouldn’t be. The PCIe SSD Acer placed on our test-sample is nicely fitted to each day use, with quick read-speeds and common write talents. You possibly can improve it should you completely wish to, and for that, you’ll must take away the again panel in an effort to get entry to the internals. It’s a easy process, because it’s held in place by a handful of Philips screws, all seen on the edges.
So far as efficiency goes, I discussed earlier that the i3 powered Swift three is completely able to dealing with on a regular basis duties and shopping. The logs beneath will present you what to anticipate by way of efficiency and temperatures in these instances.
Nevertheless, take into account there’s a good bit of preinstalled bloatware on this laptop computer, together with the Norton antivirus and a bunch of Acer and third-party purposes, which it is best to uninstall to get the perfect efficiency out of this type of .
The Whiskey Lake processor shouldn’t be essentially meant for demanding masses, however should you’re curious about benchmark outcomes, right here’s what we bought on our pattern:
- PCMark 10: 3327;
- PassMark: Ranking: 30894, CPU mark: 5447, 3D Graphics Mark: 1097;
- GeekBench three.four.2 32-bit: Single-Core: 3713, Multi-core: 7112;
- GeekBench four.1.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 4717, Multi-core: 8501;
- CineBench R15: OpenGL 77.19 fps, CPU 318 cb, CPU Single Core 147 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark four.zero 32-bit: Move 1 – 107.89 fps, Move 2 – 19.894 fps.
The i3-8145U on this unit has a TDP threshold on 15 W, which suggests its Turbo Velocity frequency adjusts robotically when working demanding masses for an extended time, in an effort to keep inside the boundaries of this TDP and maintain temperatures at bay. Working Cinebench R15 in a loop is an ideal manner of showcasing the CPU’s most potential efficiency in taxing masses.
Undervolting the CPU lowers voltage and temperatures, and in consequence, the CPU is ready to run at increased frequencies inside the similar TDP threshold. We undervolted this check unit at -100 mV (this text explains what undervolting means and the way you are able to do it too) and this translated in a slight 10% enhance in Cinebench frequencies and marginally improved benchmarks ends in some assessments.
Counting on Intel HD 620 graphics solely, the Spin three shouldn’t be a pc for gaming. For that, it is best to reasonably get one thing with at the least Nvidia MX150 graphics, if not increased, like one in all Acer’s 14-inch Swift three fashions.
Emissions (noise, warmth), Connectivity and audio system
The late-2018 Spin three SP514-52 implements a easy cooling resolution, with a single fan and single heat-pipe on prime of the CPU, complimented by consumption grills on the underbelly, again and to a point on the within, on the prime of the keyboard. Scorching air is pushed out by the exhaust grill on the again.
The fan is lively on a regular basis with each day use and spins fairly loudly, at about 38-40 dB more often than not, with peaks as much as 43-44 dB with multitasking, which is unimaginable to disregard except there’s music coming from the audio system, are these are loud sufficient to cowl it up. I didn’t discover any digital noise or coil whine on our check unit, although.
The Spin does, nevertheless, run cool with each day use and multitasking, so there’s loads of headroom for a extra tamed down fan profile and even passive cooling with gentle use. Hopefully, Acer will tweak the conduct in a future BIOS replace, however I wouldn’t maintain my breath for it, as software program help is normally uncared for on this lower-tier phase.
*Every day Use – shopping in EDGE for 30 minutes
The Spin three will get an Intel AC 9560 wi-fi module, nevertheless it didn’t carry out in addition to different implementations with our setup, solely hitting switch speeds of round 200 Mbps proper subsequent to our router, and decrease at 30+ ft with obstacles in between. Nevertheless, you’re not going to note this with common use, and I’ll additionally add that we didn’t encounter any drops or another points throughout our time with this laptop.
This laptop computer will get front-firing audio system hidden behind the grill on the prime of the keyboard they usually’re really an enchancment over the earlier era, with a most quantity of round 74 dB and first rate audio high quality, for this class.
The digital camera shouldn’t be unhealthy both. It’s grainy, however takes clear and first rate high quality photographs, is positioned on the prime of the display screen and is flanked by a set of near-field microphones that work with Cortana and Alexa.
There’s a 60 Wh battery contained in the Spin three, bigger than what you’ll get with different laptops on this class. Paired with the environment friendly and low-brightness display screen, you possibly can count on 5-7 hours of each day multitasking and Eight-10 hours of video.
Right here’s what we bought in our assessments, with the display screen set at 50% brightness, roughly 120 nits.
- 6.5 W (~9 h of use) – very gentle shopping and textual content enhancing in Google Drive, Higher Battery Mode, display screen at 50%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 6 W (~10 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display screen at 50%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 5.5 W (~11 h of use) – 1080p fullscreen Netflix video in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display screen at 50%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 10 W (~6 h of use) – heavy shopping in Edge, Higher Efficiency Mode, display screen at 50%, Wi-Fi ON.
It’s value including that the efficiency will get sluggish on the Higher Battery energy mode, so that you’ll in all probability wish to follow Higher Efficiency more often than not, which is able to take a small toll on the battery life.
The laptop computer comes with a compact 45 Wh energy brick and no quick-charging, that’s why it prices slowly and a full recharge from 10 to 100% takes greater than three hours.
Worth and availability
The 14-inch Acer Spin SP314-52 is on the market in some areas of the world, however principally in Europe.
Costs begin at 650 EUR in Germany and 650 GBP within the UK for the Core i3-8145U mannequin with Eight GB of RAM and both 256 GB SSD/ 1 TB HDD. Decrease finish fashions with simply four GB of RAM are additionally obtainable, however I’d advise staying away from any machine with simply four GB of non-upgradeable reminiscence.
Within the US you’ll nonetheless principally discover the earlier Spin three SP314-51 model, which is just about similar, however will get KabyLake-R and a smaller 52 Wh battery. It begins at round $600 for a Core i5 / Eight GB / 256 GB SSD configuration.
Observe this hyperlink for up to date costs and configurations and the time you’re studying this put up.
Acer normally delivers wonderful worth within the entry-level segments, however the Spin three, even in its up to date SP314-52 variant that addresses among the problems with the earlier SP314-51 era, nonetheless stays a unusual product.
On the positives aspect, that is pretty nicely constructed, performs alright with each day use even within the base-level configurations (simply ensure that to get one thing with Eight GB of RAM and do away with the bloatware) and lasts for a really long-time on every cost. It additionally will get first rate audio system, an honest keyboard if you may get used to its shallow suggestions, in addition to good, but primary, IO.
Nevertheless, the keyboard continues to be not backlit, the display screen is dim and solely alright for indoor use, the followers are lively on a regular basis (with none motive) and the battery takes a very long time to cost. On prime of that, the convertible form-factor won’t be really that helpful with each day use, as a big and heavy three.75 lbs pill is unquestionably not going to be comfy to carry in hand, so for me, the one actual profit right here is within the adjustable touchscreen.
Now, it’s not just like the competitors presents lots higher on this class, and that features units just like the Asus VivoBook Flip TP402, Dell Inspiron 14 5000 2-in-1, HP Pavillion x360 and the Lenovo Yoga 530. Some are a bit smaller and use nicer supplies, most get barely brighter shows and a few embody some kind of low-tier devoted graphics, however on the similar time these additionally get smaller batteries and are normally costlier than the Acer Spin three strains.
In different phrases, regardless of its flaws, the Spin three is aggressive in its class of entry to mid-range 2-in-1 laptops, however that’s as a result of your complete phase hasn’t seen a lot progress in the previous couple of years, and all the prevailing choices are quirky and/or overpriced, to some extent. That’s why, should you completely should have a touchscreen in your laptop computer, I’d counsel going with an older era mannequin of one of many extra premium convertibles as an alternative, whereas should you’re searching for worth on your cash and might reside with out a convertible touchscreen, get one of many nicer polished and much more reasonably priced clamshell notebooks as an alternative.
That wraps up our assessment of the Acer Spin three SP314-52, however I’m searching for your suggestions and questions down beneath within the feedback part, so don’t hesitate to come back in contact.