Review Acer Spin 5 Laptop 2020 / 2021 Two in One with 3:2 Display – SP513-54N-74V2

hey everybody it’s la inside and we’re taking a look today at a unique two in one from acer this is their spin five and what makes it kind of unique is its square three by two display this is of course a two in one which means that you can flip it around into display mode you can operate it in temp mode like this you can have it work as a tablet and there’s a built-in pen here as well lots to look at on this one now before we get into the review i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure this is on loan from acer so we’re done with this it goes back to them all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor has anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s get into it now and see what this two in one is all about now there are two versions of this laptop available there’s an i5 and an i7 and i would strongly suggest going with the i7 version it doesn’t cost all that much more and it will have much better graphics performance than the i5 version both models have the intel iris graphics but the i7 gets the faster of the two now the price point on this starts at a thousand dollars for the i5 and it’s only about 40 or 50 dollars more for the i7 so again go with the i7 you’ll get better performance now both versions of this laptop have a 13.5 inch display again it’s at a three by two aspect ratio and this works out really well for documents and other things because the screen isn’t as narrow here across but if you’re watching media you might see more letter boxing on screen so here’s a standard 16×9 video from my youtube channel and as you can see you’re going to have a lot of black bars above and below your content and this would include netflix and other media sources as well given that most media that you’ll consume will likely be 16 by nine so that’s the only real issue you might encounter with it but if you’re doing more work on this laptop versus media watching i think the square display does work out much better and the display is pretty bright as well about 425 nits

according to laptop mags review and i would agree with that it’s really bright we’re going to have to turn our camera exposure down a little bit when we start looking at some of the performance of the laptop here so all in a really nice display a touch screen of course and something that i think really is a nice standout feature of this device now inside of this one we’ve got that i7 processor it’s a 1065 g7 again that’s got the iris graphics it has 16 gigabytes of ram but it’s not upgradable but it does have an upgradable nvme ssd and this one came equipped with a 512 gigabyte drive so from a specification standpoint this is pretty good it’s checking all the boxes for me in ram and storage and there’s a few other things that i like about it which we’ll get to when we look at the ports it has wi-fi six built-in a 720p webcam nothing spectacular but it’s good enough for getting your zoom calls done and that sort of thing it’s very lightweight it weighs 2.65 pounds and in kilograms that is 1.2 kilograms and it’s really nice to have something that lightweight with this amount of performance on board it does have an aluminum magnesium alloy case so it’s got a nice metal feel to it once it gets heated up it feels a little bit like plastic but it is in fact a metal case and it feels pretty good actually the hinge isn’t bad on this as you saw earlier you can flip it all the way around as your screen tilts back a little bit it will tilt the keyboard up to you although i found that in most cases my keyboard is pretty much in the position you see here a little bit of a tilt but it is a tilt nonetheless the keyboard and trackpad are okay here i’ve never

been a big fan of the acer keyboards they’ve been getting better over the years which is good so it is a backlit keyboard although the keys still are a little smaller than what i typically see on competing laptops at around this price point it takes a little bit of getting used to uh once you start typing on it although if you are using other acer devices this will probably feel very familiar you’ve got a fingerprint reader here a decent enough trackpad again not as good as competing devices from dell or lenovo but it gets the job done and it is an improvement over prior acer laptops that we’ve looked at the speakers here are in the top area right here but it can also vent the sound out of these two little grills on the front but i found the sound quality here not to be spectacular on this laptop there are definitely better ones out there so for the best audio quality i would suggest attaching headphones or using a pair of bluetooth headphones for the best audio quality now it does have a lot of ports on here and i’m very pleased with the two thunderbolt 3 ports it has here these of course are compatible with usb type-c but also faster thunderbolt 3 devices so you could plug this into an external gpu if you wanted to now both of these ports are full service ports which means that you can get power into the device you can send video out through these ports and of course do data in and out and if you’ve got one of those thunderbolt 3 docks you can do all three at once with a single cable now it’s also nice though is that there’s a separate barrel connector for its included power supply so when you have it plugged in you have both of these ports free if you want to keep them available to you so that was nice to see you’ve got a full hdmi port here full size one a usb 3 port here a

micro sd card slot which will keep the cards flush to the side of the laptop if you want to augment some of its storage on the other side here you’ve got a really neat feature a pen that will garage itself inside and charge itself there as well so you don’t have to fuss around with batteries or anything else like that and it stays in pretty nicely it doesn’t move once it’s snapped into place and you can very easily take it out and do your writing with it it has two buttons on here so it supports all of the things that the microsoft pen standard supports on other machines and this is a wacom system so i found it to be very accurate and we’ll get into some of the pen performance in a little bit you have a charging indicator and a power indicator here you’ve got your power button right there another usb port there headphone microphone jack and a kensington lock for keeping it locked down on a table now on the bottom here you’ll see some vents this is not a fanless laptop of course so you’ll want to keep it clear down there but i didn’t find the fan all that noisy even when the computer was placed under constant load uh so altogether a pretty nicely constructed device here and we’re going to take a look now and see how it performs all right we’re going to kick things off with some web browsing we’ll keep it simple here so we’ll load up google chrome and visit the website now this does have wi-fi six built-in i only have wi-fi ac here at my house but you can see here things are very snappy and responsive as you would expect them to be and again with the square display you’ll fit a little bit more text on screen here so so far so good on this one and we also checked out some videos from my youtube channel running at 1080p at 60 frames per second we didn’t see any dropped frames everything played back smoothly here and i think your experience with netflix and youtube and other video providers should be just fine as you’re watching media and again just remember that the aspect ratio of those videos might result in some letterboxing on this 3×2 display

and on the speedometer test we got a score of 210 on version 1.0 of that test and 115 on version 2.0 that was right within the margin of error versus other i7 g7 laptops we’ve looked at including the dell xps 13 two in one you can also see how this stacks up against some recent ryzen based machines we’ve looked at as well that come in at or around this price point and i found the pen performance on this to be really good it has a good detection range on the pen so if you do happen to lift your pen up a lot while you’re writing notes you shouldn’t have too many inadvertent screen touches so you can see that once the pen gets in within range there it just stops moving everything else and focuses only on the pen it was a very good writing experience very low latency you’ve got 4096 levels of pressure that you can apply to it as well and altogether it was a very good pen experience on this one thanks i think to having that wacom technology on board now the battery life on this should get you about eight to nine hours provided you keep the screen brightness down and stick to the basics like word processing and web browsing and that sort of thing if you start straining the computer more with photo or video editing or games that of course will eat into the battery life a little faster and one of the downsides of having a laptop with a bright display is that when you’re using that display at its full brightness the battery will drain faster so it’s always a balancing act to get the most performance or aesthetics out of your machine versus the length of time that you’ll get in between charges but it does charge pretty quickly with the thunderbolt ports here or through its barrel connector and now we’re going to do some more strenuous activity with this laptop let’s take a look at a few games we played earlier all right we’re going to kick things off here with gta 5 and this is actually running at

1080p at the lowest settings and we were getting performance that we typically see out of other g7 based intel devices around 35-ish frames per second depending on what’s going on in the game but what we’re finding with gaming on this laptop is that the three by two display really throws off a lot of these devices that are kind of written for 16 by nine aspect ratios so here even though we were trying to tell gta 5 hey we’ve got a square aspect ratio display we were not able to find a mode to fit that aspect ratio and as a result i think it’s squishing the image a little bit we’d probably have to play with the settings a little bit on this game to get it to work properly with some letterboxing but there you go not bad on the performance side just going to be a little crazy on the configuration this is doom the 2016 version running at 1080p lowest settings and here we were getting about 30 frames per second give or take so not bad but of course if you want the game to run faster you might want to go down to 720p where we got up to about 60 frames per second but it was hovering mostly in the 50s for a good chunk of this session and of course you’ll have letterboxing and lower quality imagery at 720p we were able to get the game to run at the native resolution here but it was around 20-ish frames per second and not very playable we also took a look at rocket league this is actually highest settings at the native resolution of the display here looks pretty good we were getting about 25 to 30 frames per second so you’ll probably want to adjust those settings down or maybe go to a letterboxed 1080p or something to get closer to 60.

one thing to note with rocket league is that it really hates when you have windows screen scaling turned on so we had to turn that off before we were able to get everything to work properly with the display here so just be aware of that if you’re a rocket league fan and then we also checked out an indie game shovel knight uh this worked just fine running at 60 frames per second as expected but as you can see this is a game that is basically written for 16 by nine displays and you’ll have some letterboxing with the 3×2 aspect ratio display on this one and on the 3dmark cloudgate benchmark test we got a score of 13862 that puts it right in line with what we saw out of the dell xps 13 we looked at a few weeks ago so no problems there but also take a look at the amd ryzen based devices on this chart those perform better and cost less especially for graphically intensive apps and we saw the same results out of the 3d mark time spy test which of course is much more demanding but also shows that there is a bit of a

performance gap here between the current generation of intel chips and their amd competitors and as a result if you are doing graphically intensive work you might want to look at one of those ryzen devices to save yourself a little bit of money now i don’t believe there’s a ryzen version of this one available but acer does make a lot of ryzen based machines that are pretty affordable and perform really nice as you can see and it’s definitely worth considering ryzen laptops now if you are out shopping for a new one and on the 3d mark stress test which measures how well the computer does under constant load we got a passing grade of 98.1 percent you can also see the temperatures the machine was running at when that test concluded that tells me we’re not going to see too much variation in its performance when it’s under load and again i found the fan noise to be pretty minimal on this as well so i think they’ve got a decent cooling system built into this one all right one last thing to take a look at and that is its linux compatibility we always boot up ubuntu to see what we can get to work now the good news is that the display is detected properly the audio wi-fi and bluetooth are all good but the mouse the click pad here is not detected so i had to plug in an external one here also it does not detect the touch screen on this either so it looks like there are some drivers you might have to track down in order

for full linux compatibility but otherwise i think it’s a really nice little machine here i really like the weight on this especially given the performance it has inside i love that we’ve got two thunderbolt ports i like that they have a separate power connector so those ports are available to you even when the laptop is plugged in and all in it’s a very nicely designed machine and i would love to see what they could do with an amd processor in the same form factor now the one issue i think for some consumers will be the 3×2 display it is very different than other laptops that we’ve seen in this category but we’re starting to see now more manufacturers offering alternative aspect ratios beyond 16×9 so i think if you’re doing a lot of document or photo editing or web browsing even this square display is going to work better i think than one of the wider ones but if you’re more into media consumption then of course the wider display might be what you should be looking for and of course there’s a lot of laptops with that option available for you that’s going to do it for now until next time this is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by supporters including gold level supporters tom albrecht chris allegretta mike patterson and bill pomerantz if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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