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Acer Spin 3 SP314-54N 2020 review – budget convertible with Wacom AES pen

Acer Spin Three SP314-54N 2020 evaluation – finances convertible with Wacom AES pen

Acer have up to date their Spin line-ups of convertible ultrabooks for the primary half of 2020, and on this article, we’re taking an in depth take a look at the extra budget-friendly Spin Three SP314-54N mannequin.

It’s a 14-inch 2-in-1 pocket book with a 360-degree convertible touchscreen, Intel IceLake , WiFi 6 wi-fi, a 48 Wh battery and up-firing audio system, all inside a sturdily made aluminum shell and with a aggressive price-tag.

Apart from the bump to Intel’s 10th gen platform, the opposite main updates are the improved panel with assist for a Wacom AES Lively Pen (included by default), an all-aluminum building, a Thunderbolt Three port, and sooner charging. These make the 2020 Spin Three a considerably extra polished product in comparison with the 2019 Spin Three we’ve reviewed final yr.

Nonetheless, it stays a budget-tier product, scheduled from $699 within the US and 649 EUR in Europe at launch, and its standing is usually seen from its form-factor and weight, in addition to the lackluster typing-experience. When you’re keen to spend a bit extra, Acer’s up to date Spin 5 P513-54N is unquestionably price a glance, with a Three:2 touchscreen and a smaller and lighter construct.

Again to our check unit, we’ve spent the final week with this Acer Spin Three SP314-54N pattern and gathered out ideas down under, with the robust elements and the quirks you have to be conscious of earlier than leaping on certainly one of these.

Specs as reviewed – Acer Spin Three SP314-54N

Acer Spin Three SP314-54N
Display screen 14 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, 16:9, IPS, shiny, contact, BOE NV140FHM-N48 panel
Processor Intel Ice Lake Core i5-1035G1 CPU, quad-core
Video Intel Iris Professional G1, Gen11 with 32 EUs (elective Nvidia MX graphics)
Reminiscence eight GB LPDDR4x (soldered, dual-channel)
Storage 2x 128 GB SSD (Kingston RBU-SN8154P3/128GJ1 – M.2 2280 PCIe x2)
Connectivity WiFi 6 Gig+ (Intel AX201), Bluetooth 5.zero
Ports 2x USB-A Three.1, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt Three, HDMI, microSD card reader, mic/headphone, Lock
Battery 48 Wh, 45W charger (barrel-plug), UBS-C charging additionally supported
Dimension 325 mm or 12.eight” (w) x 230 mm or 9.06” (d) x 16.9 mm or zero.67” (h)
Weight Three.33 lbs (1.51 kg)+ .53 lbs (.24 kg) charger, EU model
Extras elective white backlit keyboard, HD webcam, stereo up-firing audio system, included pen

Our mannequin is a mid-tier configuration, with the Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, eight GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 256 GB of SSD storage in Raid, which is completely fantastic for an on a regular basis college/work laptop computer. The convertible form-factor and succesful pen assist are this line’s main promoting factors, as in any other case one thing just like the 14-inch clamshell Acer Swift Three would get you a similar options for much less cash and in a smaller/lighter bundle.

Design and building

Acer upped the construct high quality of this 2020 Spin Three line, now out there with an entire metallic chassis and unibody building. That makes it a sturdier, nicer trying and extra premium-feeling product compared to the 2019 model we’ve examined final yr.

Nonetheless, the Spin Three stays pretty massive and heavy by at the moment’s requirements, and that’s seen from the bezels across the 14-inch show. This design does enable for the audio system to be positioned on the prime of the keyboard and for a long way between the hot-air exhaust and the show, however I might have additionally appreciated a extra ample arm-rest and bigger clickpad with such a footprint.

The laptop computer is in any other case pretty sensible. It’s a convertible, so the display goes again to 360-degrees on the again, permitting for pocket book, tent or pill use. Magnets maintain the display connected to the primary physique in pill mode, and the thicker bezels enable for a very good grip to seize this from. Nonetheless, that is heavy and hulking for a pill, so don’t anticipate to really feel like an iPad. On prime of that, Home windows 10 is nowhere close to iOS or Android and even ChromeOS when it comes to snappiness in pill mode.

Acer additionally made positive to blunt and spherical the sides and corners, so this Spin Three is a pleasant system in on a regular basis use. Additionally they put small, however grippy-enough rubber ft on the underside, and lined a wide selection of ports on the perimeters. The one factor lacking is a full-size card-reader, however in any other case, you’re not going to should depend on adapters. Oh, and a quantity rocker would have additionally been very helpful for the pill mode.

As a significant addition for this 2020 replace, a USB-C port with assist for Thunderbolt Three has additionally been included, and the pen sits inside its devoted silo, the place it additionally fees whereas holstered in.

General, this 2020 Acer Spin Three is a nicely constructed and good trying laptop computer in its class, however nonetheless a cumbersome pill, on account of its elevated weight and huge footprint.

Keyboard and trackpad

The keyboard hasn’t modified from the earlier Spin Three technology, and meaning it’s a normal Acer format with shallow strokes and with out backlighting on our check unit. From what I can inform, Acer will ship this with a backlit keyboard in most areas, however make certain to examine for it within the specs.

This apart, the typing expertise leaves some to be desired, because the keys are mushy and shallow. They lack correct suggestions, which makes it onerous to intuitively inform when a success has been correctly registered. On the similar time, although, this short-stroke implementation is quick and quiet.

For mouse, the Spin Three nonetheless goes with a plastic clickpad and Precision drivers. It’s averagely sized and works alright, dealing with swiped, gestures, faucets, and palm-rejection nicely. Moreover, in comparison with final yr’s mannequin, the clicks are smoother and quieter and the floor is sturdier and now not rattles when tapped.

Our check unit didn’t embrace a finger-sensor, however retail models will incorporate one throughout the clickpad, within the top-left nook.

Display screen

The Spin Three will get a 14-inch touchscreen, with a layer of protecting glass on prime.

The construct and panel high quality have been barely improved from the earlier technology. The display ensemble is extra inflexible now and the panel is brighter, however the glass nonetheless is available in contact with the panel, which interprets in seen ripples and artifacts when touching the display and urgent on the lid a bit more durable.

In fact, given its nature, Acer nonetheless solely places a lower-end panel on this pocket book in comparison with what you get on the extra premium convertibles, which interprets in sub-par coloration protection and max-brightness of solely round 250-nits. That’s fantastic for on a regular basis use so long as you retain the laptop computer indoors, however struggles in brighter gentle.

  • Panel HardwareID: BOE BOE0779 (NV140FHM-N48);
  • Protection: 61% sRGB, 42.Three% AdobeRGB, 43.5% DCI P3;
  • Measured gamma: 2.2;
  • Max brightness in the midst of the display: 235 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Distinction at max brightness: 814:1;
  • White level: 6500 Okay;
  • Black on max brightness: zero.29 cd/m2;
  • PWM: TBD.

screen brightness spin3 - Acer Spin 3 SP314-54N 2020 review – budget convertible with Wacom AES pen

The panel got here nicely calibrated out of the field and we haven’t observed unhealthy bleeding or uniformity points on this pattern.

It’s additionally vital to say that we lack the appropriate instruments to check for flickering and PWM use, in order that’s one thing to additional look into. The earlier Spin Three technology encountered flickering and decrease brightness ranges, so which may even be the case right here, even when we haven’t observed it with the bare eye throughout our time with the laptop computer.

Lastly, the improved digitizer with assist for a Wacom AES pen is an enormous replace of this technology, making the sketching/inking expertise a lot nicer than up to now.

The pen is responsive and reveals little lag in precise use, plus it’s compact and pretty comfy to carry and use. It’s an Lively pen, but it surely chargers shortly and mechanically whereas inserted inside its silo.

and efficiency

Our pattern is a mid-range configuration of the Spin Three SP314-54N mannequin, with an Intel Core i5-1035G1 IceLake processor, eight GB of RAM and two 128 GB PCIe SSD in Raid0 for storage.

It’s, nevertheless, an early-review pattern that was provided to us by Acer earlier than its official launch, thus it runs on early drivers and BIOS, which implies a few of our findings under may enhance on the ultimate mature variations.

Larger-end configurations ship with the Core i7-1065G7 processor, extra RAM and further cupboard space. In comparison with the earlier SP314-52, the 2020 replace now not will get a 2.5″ storage bay inside. The RAM can be soldered, so solely the wi-fi chip and SSDs are accessible for improve inside. Attending to them requires to take away the again panel, which is held in place by a number of Philips screws, all seen across the body.

The i7 is smart for some previous video games and different actions that might profit from the beefier graphics, however in any other case, the i5 model we now have right here is nicely suited to an allrounder or a pc for college. It handles on a regular basis duties easily, whereas working cool and quiet, and in addition almost certainly extra effectively than this check unit within the closing variations.

We additionally examined our pattern in additional demanding masses. The Cinebench loop check runs Cinebench R15 for 10+ loops, with 2-Three sec delay between every run, to check for efficiency in taxing longer-term situations. The i5-1035G1 did very nicely out of the field on the Greatest Efficiency Home windows energy mode, kicking in at 25W for the primary runs, however dropping in the direction of 20W afterward. That’s nonetheless higher efficiency than the usual 15W implementation we’ve seen on the Acer Swift Three.

We additional regarded to enhance the efficiency by undervolting the CPU, however voltages had been by some means locked on this check pattern, so this did nothing on this laptop computer, as you possibly can see under. We additionally ran the Cinebench loop check on battery.

cinebench1 spin3 - Acer Spin 3 SP314-54N 2020 review – budget convertible with Wacom AES pen

General, the i5-1035G1 carried out very nicely with out-of-the-box settings, on account of its increased energy allowance. On the similar time, we had been capable of obtain comparable outcomes on the undervolted 15W implementation of the identical CPU on the Swift Three. When you’re on this type of efficiency in demanding masses, I’d search for extra particulars on different evaluations, with a view to discover out if Acer follow the 25W energy allowance or restrict the CPU at 15W, as on their different 2020 fashions we’ve reviewed.

Moreover, to check the efficiency in mixed CPU+GPU masses that may simulate duties like video encoding or knowledge processing, we ran our 3DMark and Luxmark Three.1 stress assessments. The system handed the 3DMark stress check. In Luxmark, the CPU kicks in onerous at 25W after which step by step drops to 15W after some time, the place it holds regular. These outcomes are much like what we’ve encountered in our gaming assessments down under.

First although, right here’s a fast take a look at some benchmarks outcomes, on inventory settings:

  • 3DMark 11: P2825 (Graphics – 2566, Physics – 7309);
  • 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 1681 (Graphics – 1768, CPU – 9659);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 536 (Graphics – 467, CPU – 3322);
  • Uniengine Superposition – 720p Low: 3192;
  • Passmark: 3846 (CPU Mark – 9872, GPU Mark – 1704);
  • PCMark 10: 3911 (Necessities – 8354 , Productiveness – 6388 , Digital Content material Creation – 3042);
  • GeekBench Four.Four.2 64-bit: Single-Core: 5308, Multi-core: 14012;
  • GeekBench 5.zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1227, Multi-core: 3585;
  • CineBench R15 (finest run): CPU 591 cb, CPU Single Core 166 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (finest run): CPU 1329 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Move 1 – 147.25 fps, Move 2 –33.24 fps;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 97.28 s.

Since undervolting did nothing for this unit, we didn’t rerun the assessments on the UV profile on this case.

As for these video games, we ran a number of titles on our pattern. Right here’s what to anticipate when it comes to gaming on the i5-1035G1 powered Spin Three SP314-54N. We’ve additionally added our outcomes of the i5-1035G1 powered 14-inch Swift Three SF314-57, outcomes of a Ryzen 3500U platform (from our evaluation of the Lenovo IdeaPad S540) and an Intel i7 WhiskeyLake + devoted MX250 graphics configuration (from our evaluation of the Asus ZenBook 14), for comparability.

Spin Three – FHD Swift Three 14- FHD IdeaPad S540- FHD ZenBook UX434FL- FHD 
Bioshock Infinite (DX 11, Low Preset) 56 fps 34 fps 52 fps 77 fps
Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Low Preset, TAA) 13 fps 11 fps 18 fps 23 fps
NFS: Most Needed (DX 11, Lowest Preset) 34-40 fps 32-40 fps 46-54 fps – fps
Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Lowest Preset) 38 fps 30 fps 32 fps 50 fps
Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Low Preset, FXAA) 14 fps 14 fps 18 fps 32 fps
The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Low Preset, Hairworks Off) – fps – fps 17-21 fps 27-38 fps
  • The Witcher Three, NFS – recorded with Fraps in marketing campaign mode
  • Bioshock, Far Cry 5, Center Earth, Tomb Raider video games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities

The logs under additionally present you what to anticipate when it comes to temperatures and CPU/GPU efficiency whereas enjoying video games, on the default CPU profile and native decision.

They mimic our findings from the stress assessments, with the CPU kicking in onerous at 25W, however step by step dropping to 15W after about 10-12 minutes, which ends up in a lower of CPU/GPU frequencies, and thus, efficiency. Want for Pace runs at about 44-50 fps within the first minutes, however then drops and ultimately settles to round 34-40 fps, which is a major lower.

Sadly, we are able to’t conclude how the ultimate retail models on this Spin Three will carry out in demanding masses primarily based on this early evaluation unit. In a best-case situation, Acer may enable the CPU to run at 25W and enhance stability over time. Nonetheless, I’m extra inclined to consider that they’ll quite restrict the CPU to 15W from starters, a lot as we’ve skilled on the retail Swift Three 14 constructed on the identical platform. Search for extra particulars in future evaluations.

Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others

This 2020 Spin Three SP314-54N will get a really primary thermal module, with a single fan and a heatpipe between the CPU and radiator, one thing it has in frequent with the 2020 Swift Three updates. The heatpipe is shorter and thicker right here, and the design doesn’t enable for a dGPU, in contrast to on the Swift 3s.

cooling - Acer Spin 3 SP314-54N 2020 review – budget convertible with Wacom AES pen

The fan inside is energetic on a regular basis, even with primary use. Nonetheless, it was fully quiet on our pattern, to the purpose that we couldn’t inform it was on even in a silent room. We additionally haven’t observed coil whining or digital noises that may be audible at ear-level.

The fan kicks up with demanding masses and video games, however stays quiet, at about 37-38 dB max quantity at head-level.

On the similar time, the Spin Three on this i5-1035G1 configuration barely passes 40 levels Celsius on the underbelly with video games, so thermals are by no means going to be a priority. Core i7 variants shouldn’t run noisier or louder, as they’d nonetheless be constrained throughout the similar CPU TDP limits.

temperatures daily spin3 - Acer Spin 3 SP314-54N 2020 review – budget convertible with Wacom AES pentemperatures load spin3 - Acer Spin 3 SP314-54N 2020 review – budget convertible with Wacom AES pen

*Day by day – Netflix for 30 minutes in Edge,  followers 33-35 dB
*Load – enjoying Want for Pace: Most Needed for 30 minutes,  followers 37-38 dB

For connectivity, there’s latest-gen WiFi 6 with an Intel AX200 module on this laptop computer, however for some cause, it didn’t do in addition to different WiFi 6 laptops with our setup. The sign remained OK as soon as we stepped additional away from the router, and we haven’t observed any drops or inconsistencies.

Moreover, this laptop computer will get front-firing audio system hidden behind the grill on the prime of the keyboard. They’re fairly loud, with most volumes of 78-80 dB at head stage, however the audio high quality is poor, with little to no bass, with lows solely noticeable from 115 Hz in our assessments.

Lastly, there’s an HD digicam on the prime of this laptop computer’s display, flanked by 2 microphones. These are fantastic for infrequent calls, however the digicam high quality continues to be muddy and washed out.

Battery life

There’s a 48 Wh battery contained in the Acer Spin Three  SP314-54, averagely sized for this phase. Nonetheless, the Intel IceLake implementation nonetheless proved pretty power-hungry on our unit, which resulted in quite brief runtimes with primary use, equivalent to watching video content material.

Understand that our unit is pre-production and the conduct may enhance on closing variants with a better-tuned CPU profile. Nonetheless, the IceLake additionally proved much less environment friendly than Whiskey Lake on the Swift 3s we’ve reviewed lately, so I wouldn’t anticipate main variations with each day use, however I might anticipate improved runtimes with primary duties and video.

Right here’s what we bought on our evaluation unit, with the display’s brightness set at round 120 nits (~70 brightness).

  • 9.5 W (~5+ h of use) – textual content enhancing in Google Drive, Higher Battery Mode, display at 70%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • eight.5 W (~5+ h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • eight W (~6 h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display at 70%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 12.5 W (~Four- h of use) – searching in Edge, Higher Efficiency Mode, display at 70%, Wi-Fi ON.

The laptop computer comes with a 45W charger that plugs-in through a basic barrel plug. It’s a two-piece design with a small brick, and a full cost takes about 2 hours, however fast charging fills-up an enormous chunk of the capability in below one hour. UBS-C charging can be supported, and I’ve examined it on this pattern.

charger - Acer Spin 3 SP314-54N 2020 review – budget convertible with Wacom AES pen

Value and availability

The Acer Swift Three SF313-52 shouldn’t be extensively stocked in shops on the time of this text and is scheduled for Spring 2020, with a beginning worth of $699 within the US and 649 EUR in Europe.

We’ll maintain updating this part as soon as we all know extra about closing configurations and costs. Within the meantime, comply with this hyperlink for extra particulars.

Ultimate ideas

The 2020 Acer Spin Three is a aggressive product in its area of interest of mid-tier convertibles, however not with no bunch of quirks.

That’s why I’d advise you to be sure you really desire a finances 2-in-1 Home windows laptop computer within the first place, and that’s as a result of you may get smaller and total nicer clamshell notebooks, or extra reasonably priced and nicer 2-in-1 Chromebooks as an alternative.

Moreover, you need to perceive that this Spin Three is primarily a pocket book, and whereas it may be switched right into a pill, it’s massive and heavy that means. One thing like an older Floor Professional would make far more sense for pill use.

With all these in thoughts, the Spin Three has the construct high quality and the design on its aspect, the efficiency, the IO and the pretty massive battery. On the similar time, the typing expertise and total display high quality go away to be desired, however in all equity, for a greater display you’ll almost certainly have to leap as much as a extra premium convertible.

So far as the direct competitors goes, I’d keep watch over gadgets just like the HP Inspiron 14 5000 2-in-1, the HP Pavilion x360 or the Lenovo Yoga 530 and Flex 6 14, all with their share of professionals and cons.

General, whereas the Spin Three is a fantastic pocket book in its class, I feel your cash could be higher spent elsewhere. And never on any of the budget-friendly 2-in-1s talked about above, however quite on both a premium 2-in-1 Chromebook, if it meets your wants, or on a earlier technology higher-tier Home windows convertible just like the Asus ZenBook Flip or HP Spectre x360 or the Dell Inspiron 7000 2-in-1. Sure, these are usually dearer merchandise, but in addition nicely well worth the premium and very often on sale.

And for those who can’t afford to spend extra in your laptop computer, simply get an everyday clamshell as an alternative, there’s a lot better worth with these lately.

spin3 fin1 - Acer Spin 3 SP314-54N 2020 review – budget convertible with Wacom AES pen

Disclaimer: Our content material is reader-supported. When you purchase by way of among the hyperlinks on our website, we could earn an affiliate fee. Study extra.

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I have been protecting cellular computer systems because the 2000s and you may principally discover evaluations and thorough guides written by me right here on the positioning.

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