The race to be the “thinnest laptop” is a never-ending quest, but Acer’s $1,200 Spin 7 is definitely the slimmest of 2-in-1s. It boasts a gorgeous, fanless, black aluminum design, exclusively with USB Type-C ports. But the choice to go fanless and use a low-power CPU makes the Spin 7 less powerful than competitors. It also doesn’t last as long on a charge. That makes the Spin 7 a strong choice for those who care most about aesthetics, portability and the latest ports.
The Spin 7 is what a premium 2-in-1 device should feel like. It’s a thin, black block of aluminum with curved edges and clean lines. The lid is decorated solely with Acer’s logo in gray, and the hinges are silver, which helps break up the design a bit. When I opened the lid, I was greeted by a 14-inch, 1080p display with minimal bezels on the sides, an island-style keyboard, a massive glass touchpad and a deck made of the same solid, gorgeous material as the lid.
The laptop felt light in my hands, and I love its smooth texture and strong build quality. The only downside is that it’s a fingerprint magnet, and the computer was covered in smudges within minutes of my carrying it around and using it.
Acer touts the Spin 7 as the world’s slimmest convertible, and it’s certainly the leanest one we’ve ever tested. I barely even noticed how much room the 2.9 pound,12.8 x 9 x 0.4-inch Spin 7 took up in my bag when I took it home for the day. The Yoga 910 (3 pounds, 12.7 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches) and the Apple MacBook Pro (3 pounds, 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches) are heavier and thicker. The 13-inch HP Spectre x360 is equally light and a bit denser at 12.7 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches.
The 360-degree hinges on the Spin 7 allow for use in four modes: laptop, tablet (by folding the display all the way back), display (by placing the keyboard face down) and tent (an upside-down “V”).
Like Apple’s new MacBook Pro, the Acer Spin 7 is all about USB Type-C. On the right side of the notebook are two USB Type-C ports (both allow for data transfer and power, and you’ll need to use one for charging. Only one works with DisplayPort and a headphone jack. A security lock slot near the power button is all you’ll find along the left.
You won’t need to replace all of your existing peripherals immediately, though. Acer includes two dongle adapters in the box: a USB 3.0 port and an HDMI port.
The 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 Gorilla Glass display isn’t as bright as its competitors, but it produces sharp images with vivid, accurate colors. The lush green trees and bright teal water on either side of a beach serving as a battlefield in a 1080p “Wonder Woman” trailer just popped out. I could easily make out the shrapnel in some explosions during the battle.
Acer’s panel reproduces an excellent 102 percent of the sRGB color gamut, equal to the Spectre but behind the MacBook’s 113 percent. The Yoga 910 matched the ultraportable category average of 98 percent.
The Spin 7 has a Delta-E color accuracy score of 1.3 (0 is best), which falls below the average of 1.9. It’s precise, but not as good as its competitors. The MacBook (1), the Yoga 910 (0.76) and the Spectre x360 (0.74) had even lower scores.
The screen on the Spin 7 could be a tad more luminous. It registered 264 nits of brightness on our lab tests. It was usable, but fell below the ultraportable average (305 nits) as well as every competitor’s score. The Yoga 910 (292 nits), the Spectre x360 (318 nits) and the MacBook Pro (a whopping 495 nits) are definitely brighter.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Acer Spin 7 offers only 1.2 millimeters of travel and requires 51 grams of force to press, but the keys were responsive.
The 5.5 x 2.5-inch glass trackpad appears way too big initially, but it’s ultimately a great navigational tool. It’s smooth, comfortable and, most important, accurate. It instantly responded to gestures like swiping with three fingers to hide windows and scrolling with two-fingers.
The speakers on the Spin 7 are surprisingly clear for a laptop of this size, but leave something to be desired in terms of loudness. I could easily make out vocals, guitars, drums and even the bass when listening to music.
The Acer Spin 7, with a 1.3-GHz Intel Core i7-7Y75 mobile CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, makes for a decent multitasker. I tested 25 tabs open in Chrome, with one streaming a 1080p video, without any lag.
The Spin 7 took 41 seconds to transfer 4.97GB of mixed-media files. The category average is a faster speed at 176.9MBps, and the Spin’s competition outdid it.
The Acer Spin 7 doesn’t last nearly as long as its competition on a charge. It tested out with 6 hours and 53 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which browses the web continuously over Wi-Fi. The ultraportable average is 8:05, and all other laptops in this category again surpassed the Spin 7.
The 720p webcam is good enough for a Skype call with your buddies. The colors are a bit on the pale side and the picture can look a little grainy.
Despite the Slim 7’s fanless design, it has a great ability to maintain its temperature while running. After streaming 15 minutes of HD video, the bottom of the notebook measured 95 degrees Fahrenheit, meeting, which meets the maximium comfort threshold.
Software and Warranty
Acer includes only a few pieces of software with the Spin 7. Acer Quick Access makes it easy to turn on Blue Light Shield. Blue Light Shield is a great feature to help reduce eye-strain.
The Acer Spin 7 is arguably one of the most beautiful, and best designed 2-1 laptops this year. With the full-force utilization of USB Type-C , Acer’s choice to include adapters really help ease the transition. It is important to note that for the price, you’re getting less power and less battery life than other similar laptops on the market. If you’re willing to give up some power and battery life for a sleek 2-in-1, the Acer Spin 7 is a great choice.