I’ve reviewed quite a few Chromebooks in the past few years, but the one that has consistently topped the competition is the Acer Chromebook Spin 713. Not only is it fast with good battery life but it also sports one of the best screens and port selections you can find in the Chromebook category. But there is one complaint I’ve had about multiple Spin 713 models: they’re just kind of ugly.
The Spin 714, the company’s newest premium Chromebook certified through the Intel Evo platform, looks like a similar package to the 713 in many ways. It has up to a top-notch Core i7-1260P, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. There’s an option for a high-resolution 2560 x 1600 display covering a claimed 100 percent of the sRGB color gamut.
But Acer has made some clear strides in one important area: the looks. I’ve spent a week with the Spin 714, and I’ve looked at a bunch of photos side by side with photos of last year’s 713, and I have decided that the 714 is, in fact, more attractive. Which, if the 714 is as strong of a performer as the 713 in testing, could make it a very strong contender for the best Chromebook of 2022.
It comes in a nice dark color with a sturdy build and a comfortable texture. From the backlit keyboard to the lustrous accents on the touchpad and the keyboard and the hinge, it’s far ahead of the 713’s school laptop cart aesthetic (a phrase I’ve used to describe multiple models of that device). It looks and feels like quite a nice device.
There is one area in which the Spin 714 is a bit of a step backward from the 713: aspect ratio. Both of the Spin 714’s display options are 16:10 while the most recent 713 models have been 3:2. Both of these aspect ratios are preferable to 16:9, but I personally find the taller 3:2 to be roomier than 16:10. (And 3:2 screens, for those who prefer them, can be harder to find in the Chromebook market.) Still, anything but 16:9, please.
And for those who are all about the modern aesthetic, the 16:10 may be an improvement. The Spin 713 has a fairly big chin while the Spin 714’s looks smaller with the Acer logo less conspicuous. You can check out our review of that device to see the difference.
The Spin 714 that Acer sent us was a pre-production sample, meaning I can’t speak to the device’s performance and battery life yet. But, so far, I’m not seeing a ton of warning signs. The display looks great (though the “Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass” logo emblazoned across the top bezel is maybe a bit much), and, while the touchpad is a tad stiff, the keyboard is comfortable as well. There’s even a stylus that lives in a tiny garage on the bottom edge of the device, which was responsive and worked fine in my testing. Mainly, I like the look and I like the feel — which is a very good sign for this device overall.
The Spin 714 will be available in August for a starting price of $749.99.