Technology

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H) Review: Best for Less Sprightly performance, long battery life, a backlit keyboard and pen support matched with a premium fanless design make the Spin 513 a worthy Chromebook value.


The Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H) is almost nothing like its predecessor, the Spin 513 (CP513-1H). In fact, it has more in common with last year’s higher-end Chromebook Spin 713, which is good since that one was one of the best Chromebooks of 2021 and the 513 starts at $100 less at $600 (£500, AU$800).

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 on a green background

The Chromebook Spin 513’s 3:2 display gives it more vertical screen space.


Josh Goldman/CNET

Like the Spin 713, the Chromebook Spin 513 is a two-in-one convertible Chromebook with a 13.5-inch 2,256×1,504-resolution touch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio. The extra vertical space compared to a 16:9 or 16:10 display means less scrolling when you’re working. The screen size is also close to that of letter-size paper, making it comfortable for notetaking in tablet mode with a USI pen (they’re supported but one is not included). 

The Chromebook Spin 513 is also nearly identical in appearance to the 713: a bit bland but a safe choice for work or school. The sturdy aluminum body of the Spin 513 is fanless (the Spin 713 has vents and fans) making it silent — perfect for quiet classrooms, meetings or video calls. Although the two models have a few more features in common such as a backlit keyboard and fast Wi-Fi 6 wireless, they do eventually diverge as the Spin 513 dips a bit in performance (but not in battery life) and features. Still, it comes with a lower price to make up for the tradeoffs.

8.0

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H)

Like

  • Amazing battery life
  • Excellent 3:2 display
  • Sturdy, fanless body
  • Backlit keyboard and USI pen support

Don’t Like

  • Slower eMMC storage
  • Thin audio quality

The Chromebook Spin 513 runs on an octacore MediaTek Kompanio 1380 processor, 8GB of dual-channel memory and 128GB of eMMC flash storage. MediaTek has really upped its game with its latest Arm-powered system-on-a-chip (SoC). While the Kompanio SoC is slightly behind the 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor in the Spin 713, the Kompanio 1380’s performance topped the 11th-gen Intel Core i3-1115G4 in the Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5i on most tests. The Spin 513 also outperforms its Qualcomm-based predecessor (although the Qualcomm-based 514 is $300 less).

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 (CP513-2H)

Price as reviewed $600
Display size/resolution 13.5-inch 2,256×1,504-pixel touchscreen
CPU MediaTek Kompanio 1380 Octa-core Arm
Memory 8GB 4267MHz LPDDR4X (onboard)
Graphics Integrated Mali-G57 MC5 
Storage 128GB eMMC flash
Networking 802.11ax wireless, Bluetooth 5.1
Connections USB-C (3.2 Gen 1, x2), USB-A (3.2 Gen 1), 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot
Operating system ChromeOS

One thing that might be holding the Spin 513 back is its storage. Instead of a faster PCIe SSD, Acer used less expensive eMMC flash storage. Regardless, know that the Spin 513 can ably handle everyday work and entertainment. It can also do it for an extra long time. Acer claims the battery life gets up to 10 hours on Google’s power load test. On our streaming video test it blew right past that, hitting 13 hours and 51 minutes. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 on a green background

The Spin 513 is a bit bulky in tablet mode but it’s fine to use on your lap or a desk.


Josh Goldman/CNET

Similar but not the same

The Spin 513’s fanless body is one of the differentiating features from the Spin 713 and it’s definitely a plus. The lack of vents not only looks nice, but the passive cooling means the fans won’t suddenly kick in when you’re in a quiet setting or when you want to hear or be heard on a Zoom call. 

On the other hand, along with the processor change from Intel to MediaTek, a few other changes might make or break your decision to spend more for the Spin 713 or its update, the Spin 714. For instance, Acer put a 720p webcam into the Spin 513 instead of a 1080p camera. The 720p camera is fine if you’re well lit; otherwise, the image is soft and noisy. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 on a green background

The Spin 513 has USB-C ports on both sides but no HDMI out like the Spin 713.


Josh Goldman/CNET

Also, the Spin 513 doesn’t have an HDMI output. If you want to connect directly to a display, it’ll have to be through one of its two USB-C ports. Unfortunately, they’re not Thunderbolt 4 like the Spin 713’s ports. The MediaTek chip does support up to two 4K 60Hz displays, though, and there’s a USB-C port on each side making charging more flexible. 

The display carries over from the Spin 713 and is one of this Chromebook’s best features. It’s bright, has crisp colors for a Chromebook, and covers 100% sRGB color gamut. It does support USI pens, and although there’s a slight lag, it was fine for note taking, casual sketching and for use as a digital whiteboard. Streaming video looked great on it, too. What fell short were the downward-firing speakers. While Acer talks up the superior sound of the DTS Audio tuning used, the speakers sound thin — fine for casual use or a quick video chat, but you’ll want a headset for everything else. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 on a green background

The power button and volume rocker are on the right with a USB-C port.


Josh Goldman/CNET

Overall, the cuts to the features are relatively minor for the cost savings. If you’re someone who uses the webcam and speakers regularly, you might be disappointed. Honestly, the quality is in line with what you’d find on a $600 Windows laptop, too, but you wouldn’t get the rest of the Acer Chromebook Spin 513’s excellent package. The sprightly performance, long battery life, a backlit keyboard and pen support matched with a premium fanless design make the Spin 513 a worthy Chromebook value.



Source from www.cnet.com

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