Acer Chromebook Spin 714 review: worse than its predecessor

Acer Chromebook Spin 713 was at the top of our Best Chromebooks list for a few consecutive years now. It’s one of the best-loved Chromebooks of recent years, and it had a to-do list: blazing-fast Intel processors, a crisp, high-resolution 3:2 display, a generous port selection with Thunderbolt 4 , all day battery life, and one of the best keyboards you’ll find in the Chromebook space. I had very high hopes for its sequel, the Chromebook Spin 714.

So it gives me no pleasure to point out that the Chromebook Spin 714 is worse than the 713. That doesn’t make it a terrible computer – and at my Core i5/8GB/256GB unit’s MSRP of $729.99, many of these flaws are more forgivable than they would be at a price of, say, $1,000. But I see it, unfortunately, as a step backwards. Here’s why.

The main area where this device has improved over the 713 is speed. The 714 is one of the few Chromebooks with 12th Gen Intel processors. He is flash quick. It handled my heavy multitasking workload very well, and I can’t imagine it would have a problem running things on Linux either. Nothing I threw at it – even when jumping between 20 and 25 tabs and apps – generated any heat or spun the fans. As I tested the Spin 713 last year, the fans were raging all the time. So it’s a welcome improvement.

It’s also, in my opinion, a slightly better-looking computer than the 713. I won’t go so far as to call it a beautiful device – the design is still a bit boring and drab, and a “Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Le “Glass” logo etched into the top bezel is particularly unattractive. Still, there are some nice accents around the touchpad that make everything look more professional. And the finish is high quality – this device beat in my backpack without a scratch Visually and physically, this device is a step up from the 713. (But, I can’t stress enough, it still looks boring.)

A user holds the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 in tablet mode.  The screen displays Launcher on a purple background.

The ports located on the right side of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714.

The ports located on the left side of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714.

And finally, there’s a parked stylus. It lives in a small slot in the bottom right corner of the device, and it’s very easy to slide in and out. Writing with it was a mixed bag – the texture was smooth, but the hinge isn’t strong enough to hold the screen firmly in place while I was writing in laptop or tablet mode. I didn’t like the gift he had either way.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white md:text-40 lg:-ml-100″>Accept to continue: Acer Chromebook Spin 714

To start using the Acer Chromebook Spin 714, you must agree to the following terms:

  • Google Terms of Service
  • Sync your Chromebook apps and settings and Chrome Browser bookmarks, passwords, and history. (This can be reviewed after configuration.)
  • Google Play Terms of Service

You can also say yes or no to the following:

  • Send Chrome OS diagnostic and usage data to Google
  • Google Drive backup
  • Allow apps and services with location permission to use your device’s location
  • Allow Assistant to access a screenshot of what’s on your screen to provide personalized responses
  • Google Assistant Voice Match

In total, that’s three mandatory agreements and five optional agreements to use the Acer Chromebook Spin 714.

Alright, time to talk about some of the more confusing changes Acer has made. First, the display. So, yes, the Spin 714’s screen is slightly larger. However, the Spin 713 had one of the most exceptional screens ever installed on a Chromebook. It was 3:2 with a resolution of 2256 x 1504. It was so spacious, there was no glare, the colors were vivid, and it was all a huge part of the reason Chromebook 713 topped the best Chromebook pages all over the internet. I’m imagining this screen right now, and I miss it so much. Please come back to me.

Anyway, that’s not the screen of the 714. This device sports a 1920 x 1200, 16:10 panel. It reaches 340 nits of brightness, while the 713 easily passed 400. Look, this screen is fine, but like… meh. Its good.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 half open on a wooden table seen from above.

Second, one of the ports is missing. Acer has removed the microSD slot from the Spin 713. The other ports here work fine (you get two USB-Cs with Thunderbolt 4, one USB 3.2 Gen 1, one HDMI, and a headphone jack). It’s just that the 713 had all that too, plus a microSD slot.

And then we come to battery life. Once again Intel 12th Gen shows shorter battery life than Intel 11th Gen. I spent an average of seven and a half hours on the 11th-gen device (which, keep in mind, had a brighter, higher-resolution screen). I used an average of four hours and 56 minutes of continuous work, at 50% brightness, on this one. And while you might get higher numbers than me here depending on your workload, it seems very likely that most people will get considerably shorter times from the Spin 714 than they would from its predecessor. (Charging time was quick, at least — the 714 hit an hour in just 46 minutes, an improvement over last year.)

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 open on a conference room table.  The screen displays the ChromeOS launcher.

An Acer Chromebook Spin 714, open in stand mode, on a dark wood table.

There are some other minor things too – the 714’s touchpad is smaller, its chassis is thicker and heavier, and there’s no fingerprint sensor. And then, all that aside, there’s the fact that they’ve made the device more expensive. This unit, remember, is $729.99 – a Core i5/8GB/256GB model of the 713 was $699. My model is the cheapest I could find online — I also see a Core i5 / 16 GB unit and one Core i7 / 16 GB unit both listed for just over $1,000.

Of course, perhaps the included stylus and slightly larger screen would justify that price increase in a vacuum. But then I look at the long list of missing things in the 714, how it’s a step backwards, and I’m just not convinced.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white md:text-30″>Acer Chromebook Spin 714 Specifications (as reviewed)

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-1235U
  • Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X SDRAM
  • Storage: 256 GB PCIe Gen 3, 8 GB/s, NVME
  • Weight: 3.09 lbs (1.4 kg)
  • Dimensions: 12.31 x 8.82 x 0.71 inches (312.6 x 224 x 18.05mm)
  • Battery: 56 Wh 3-cell Li-ion battery
  • Display: 14-inch multi-touch display with IPS, WUXGA 1920 x 1200, 16:10, 340 nits
  • Camera: FHD MIPI (1920 x 1080) webcam supporting 1080 HD video at 60 fps
  • Wi-Fi: Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6E AX211, dual-stream Wi-Fi in 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz bands, including 2×2 MU-MIMO
  • Bluetooth: 5.2

I don’t want to forget the extra power of the Spin 714. The quiet fans and cool plastic were a noticeable improvement. It’s still probably one of the most powerful – if not the most powerful – Chromebooks you can buy for $729.99.

But what makes me sad is that the Spin 713 was that. The Spin 713 blew its competitors out of the water with benchmark scores. But it was too awesome in so many other ways. It had a big screen. It had great battery life. There was a great selection of ports. Really, the only thing to complain about was the subpar audio (which remains subpar on the 714). The Spin 714, on the other hand, mostly has the powerful features to go with it. And while that power certainly keeps it in the conversation, it’s not at all the slam-dunk purchase that the 713 was.

a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin [&>a]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-highlight-franklin dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-white md:text-40 lg:-ml-100″>Acer Chromebook Spin 714 Accessibility

  • The alphabet keys measure 1.6 x 1.6 centimeters with 0.4 centimeters between them. The keyboard is backlit but has no indicator lights. The power button requires little force to press. The volume keys measure 2 x 0.8 centimeters. The keys are dark blue with white text and require quite a firm force to press.
  • The speakers averaged 70 decibels in my testing, which is noticeably quieter than a standard external speaker.
  • The laptop can be opened with one hand. It can be rotated around 360 degrees.
  • The touchpad measures 10.4 x 6.2 centimeters and requires a fairly firm force to press down.
  • The Chromebook does not support fingerprint or facial logins.

  • ChromeOS includes an integrated screen reader (ChromeVox).
  • ChromeOS supports dictation, accessible in Settings.
  • High contrast mode can be activated with Ctrl + Search + H.
  • Captions appear at the bottom center of the screen. The following caption features are adjustable: size, font, color, opacity, shadow, background color, and background opacity.
  • The following keyboard keys can be remapped: Search, Ctrl, Alt, Esc, Backspace, Wizard, and Caps Lock. The top row can be remapped to serve as function keys.
  • The following keyboard features can be enabled: Sticky Keys, On-Screen Keyboard, Highlight Object with Keyboard Focus, Highlight Text Cursor When It Appears or Moves, Scroll Pages with Text Cursor and change access.
  • The following cursor settings can be adjusted: color, size, speed, click force and haptic feedback. The following items can be enabled: mouse acceleration, reverse scrolling, touch drag, touch to click, touchpad acceleration, and auto-click.
  • ChromeOS includes a Snap Layout feature, accessed by pressing and holding the Maximize button in an open window.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *