[Reviewed] Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-30EU, the Ultimate Budget Convertible
Getting the right convertible at the right price can be somewhat of a challenge. Most budget convertibles offer the very basic features you'd expect from a base $300-350 laptop, and if you really want high end specs you end up spending quite a bit more. However, Acer has come to the rescue and to help us deal with this issue it has introduced a very price friendly convertible that packs high end specs into a mid range price point.
In this review of the Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-30EU we're going to talk about everything from its high end Full HD display to its 10 hour battery life as well as its 6th generation CPU and what this means for the end user. Without further delay, let's get on with it!
It's all about portability and the display
Starting out this review, we've gotta say that the design of the Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-30EU is damn near flawless. It boosts a very solid build and it's 13.3 inch IPS LED display make the whole thing very portable. Obviously, for a tablet it's actually big but as a laptop it fulfills my every need.
The weight of this machine is incredibly light, weighing just 3.5 pounds, making it very easy to carry it around everywhere we go. The display, which is touch sensitive (up to 10 fingers), packs an impressive Full HD resolution which makes watching movies and editing pictures a very pleasant experience.
On the other hand, we also appreciate the inclusion of Acer's BlueLight Shield technology which means we don't get eye fatigue when we stare at the screen during prolonged periods of time. It's not a perfect technology but all in all you come to notice the effect at the end of the day.
Finally, the keyboard is a chiclet styles keyboard which features a good enough key travel distance to make typing a comfortable experience, add to that the fact that its backlit and you can go for hours on this thing.
As we mentioned previously, as a tablet it's on the higher end when it comes to the size but if you're mainly going to use it at home or in the office that's not something that you're likely to notice much after a while.
High end components make it ideal for powerusers
Powerusers - such as myself- need a laptop that's up to the challenge, a laptop that can deal with intensive multitasking and has enough processor power to deal with stuff like coding, editing images and so forth. The Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-30EU provides this thanks to the inclusion of a 6th generation Intel Core i3 6100U processor that works at a base speed of 2.3GHz and reaches a great performance thanks to its dynamic 3MB of cache.
That said, a solid CPU can only do so much if the rest of the components aren't up to the task. That's why we fully appreciate the inclusion of an 8GB DDR4 RAM module which offers higher speeds than your standard DDR3 RAM while also providing a more efficient use of energy.
The last component that makes a big difference in the overall performance of the Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-30EU is the storage which in this case is a 128GB SSD module. This means that you'll be able to open apps quicker, boot your system faster and in general it's much speedier than its HDD counterpart.
This whole set of specs is what makes the SP513-51-30EU a well prepared machine to tackle all sorts of tasks with ease. Stuff like browsing the web, editing home videos and writing up spreadsheets are all very easy tasks and if you're more demanding and need a laptop that can also stream Full HD movies, launch virtual machines and have a couple of IDE's running on the background, you'll be happy to know that Acer's got you covered.
Battery life and graphics performance
Battery life is, without a doubt, one of our favorite features on this machine. Here you've got a laptop/tablet that can deliver up to 10 hours of battery life thanks to its 4 cell 3220 mAh battery. Acer's always been pretty good at offering great battery life on its laptops but this puts it well above what other similarly priced laptops offer with this set of specs.
Finally, as with all convertibles, this device was not thought out as a gaming machine, Therefore, the graphics chip inside is an Intel HD Graphics 520. This is a good graphics controller for streaming and editing video but it's not really equipped to deal with the resource-intensive AAA games many of us know and love. Therefore, no, we don't recommend this machine as a gaming laptop, you'll be much better off doing that with a laptop that featured a dedicated graphics chip and a high end one at that.
What can I plug in? What's connectivity like?
Unlike the latest MacBook Pros which feature non of the standard connectivity options, the Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-30EU features everything you'd need except for a dedicated ethernet port. In that regard we've got 1 USB 3 port, a couple of USB 2.0 ports, an SD card reader and you've even got an HDMI output. For obvious reasons there's no DVD tray but honestly that's becoming more and more a thing of the past lately.
There's also an HD webcam, certified by Skype for business which means you'll be able to videochat with friends and colleagues easily and without the dreaded videochat freezes. Also, you'll be happy to know that this convertible also packs the latest in WiFi connectivity, supporting both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands as well as MU-MIMO technology. Not only that but the WiFi antenna is placed strategically to provide you with the strongest internet signal no matter where you're at.
Finishing statements; Should I buy it?
It's never easy to give a yes or no answer to a question like that. Laptops and in particular convertibles don't really offer a "one size fits all" solution and computing needs vary from one person to another.
That said, if you're looking for a good convertible with a snappy performance that will help you get your job done quickly and swiftly as well as serve as a nice multimedia center for watching movies and talking to friends then- as our review of the Acer Spin 5 SP513-51-30EU points out- this is an excellent choice that will most certainly meet your needs, whilst also boasting a competitive price point.
By José Ferrari