The Acer Spin 3 is an affordable 2-in-1 ultrabook suited to professionals and creatives.
The ultrabook can be used as either a laptop or a Windows tablet, making it a powerful tool for a wide variety of use-cases.
Upon first handling the 14-inch Spin 3 we received for review, the solid build quality was immediately evident.
The latest Spin 3’s chassis is made from aluminium, which not only feels robust but adds a premium and professional aesthetic.
Two metal hinges on either side allow the user to flip the screen up to 360 degrees towards the back of the laptop, with magnets holding the display in place when it is folded fully back.
It can also be rotated half-way to place the laptop in a “tent” position.
The keyboard deck is designed to be placed face down without pressing any of the keys, and when used as a tablet, the unintentional touching of keys is not a problem – as buttons are automatically deactivated when the screen is rotated beyond 180 degrees.
The 14-inch Full HD IPS LCD Touch display with narrow bezels is great to look at and work on.
In Windows 10, users have the option of activating a more touch-friendly interface called Tablet Mode. When the screen is rotated, Windows automatically prompts the user if they would prefer using this interface.
Using only touch input, we found that working through both desktop and tablet mode in Windows 10 was quite easy with the Spin 3’s highly-responsive touch capability.
For more precise navigation, taking notes, and drawing in design programmes, the Spin 3 comes with Acer’s rechargeable Active Stylus.
The pen works well with Windows 10’s text recognition and provided pin-point accuracy for general navigation. It also helps to easily sign documents digitally.
The touch pen is stored and charged in a slot on the right of the device, and features Wacom AES 1.01 technology. Acer claims that a 15-second charge of the stylus can provide over 90 minutes of usage.
For those who prefer a more traditional approach to laptop usage, the trackpad feels smooth and works well. It is well-sized relative to the laptop’s compact form-factor and comes with Windows Precision drivers.
The keyboard buttons have a texture that makes them easy to locate and distinguish by touch, and offer good travel distance for quick and accurate typing.
Our unit was fitted with a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor running at a base clock frequency of 1.0GHz. The Core i5-1035G1 comes with four cores and eight threads, providing more than enough power for work in Office 365 and creative suites from Adobe.
The laptop offers a number of ports for external storage devices, including two USB 3.1 ports located on either side of the laptop, one of which can deliver charging.
Additionally, for even faster transfer speeds, the left of the laptop sports a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3.0 support. Other ports on this side include an HDMI port and microSD card slot, while the right features an audio jack.
The Thunderbolt 3 port allows for the connection of multiple 4K displays, so you can easily show off your work or connect to multiple monitors for your optimal setup.
Additionally, the built-in microSD card slot will make it easy to transfer content like videos and photos from devices that typically use this storage type – such as phones and cameras.
The Spin 3 has another surprising component in its compact build – powerful sound.
While laptops often have their speakers placed at the bottom or along the sides of body, the Spin 3 has dual upward-facing speakers.
These employ Acer True Harmony and optimised DTS Audio for clear sound and loud volume, and they perform best when the screen is rotated at 270 degrees with the laptop’s keyboard deck facing downward.
This is ideal for when you have to play content like videos or sound, which needs to be audible in a room with multiple people.
Acer then promises the 48Wh Li-ion battery will provide up to 12 hours of operation, with 4 hours of use on a 30-minute charge.
|Acer Spin 3|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
|Display||14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 IPS LCD Touch Display|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-1035G1 at 1.0GHz|
|Storage||2 x 128GB PCIe NVMe SSDs|
|GPU||Intel 620 UHD|
|Ports||2 x USB 3.1, 1 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 3, 1 x HDMI 1x microSD card|
|Connectivity||802.11ax Wi-Fi Gig+, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Dimensions||325 x 230 x 16.9 mm|