Acer Spin 1 Review - Performance, Battery Life and Verdict Review

Sections

Acer Spin 1 Review – Audio and Webcam

The Spin 1 has a couple of speakers that are positioned under the front edge of the laptop. They combine to create a sufficiently loud and clear sound for watching the odd YouTube clip and listening to music at low volume.

However, there’s a noticeable lack of high-end detail – even compared to other small laptops – that can make everything sound a little flat and lifeless. Plus, of course, bass is non-existent.

As for the webcam, it sits in the usual position above the screen and is fine for video calling. The image is rather blotchy and soft, and the lighting errs on looking too yellow; nevertheless, it gets the job done.

Acer Spin 1 Review – Performance

The Spin 1 is available in a range of configurations that use either the Intel N3350 dual-core processor or Intel N4200 (reviewed) and N3450 quad-core processors. You also get the option of a 500GB hard drive (reviewed), a 128GB SSD or 32 and 64GB eMMC drives.

The latter appears in the cheapest £250 version of the Spin 1, and it’s essentially flash memory of the type used in an SSD, except it’s slower. Indeed, it’s more akin to the memory used in an SD card.

Acer Spin 1 Review

Nonetheless, it remains a better option than the hard drive. We found our review sample to be incredibly slow when it came to booting up, loading apps and just getting stuff done in general. The N4200 processor and 4GB of RAM are enough to make performance adequate once things are up and running, but it’s getting to that stage that is the headache.

This is reflected in benchmark results. In Geekbench 3, this machine managed only 1,515 points and 3,307 points in the single and multi-threaded tests, which compares to 2,964 and 5,308 for the Spin 7. Similarly, in PCMark 8 it scored 1,485 while the Spin 7 hit 2,883.

All told, this is fine for watching video, slow and steady web browsing, email and writing, but you won’t want to be loading up your browser with a dozen tabs, scrolling through large spreadsheets, editing more than one picture at a time, or any other such demanding tasks.

In addition, all but the most simple games are very much out of the question.

Acer Spin 1 Review – Battery Life

Where the Spin 1 pulls back several brownie points is when it comes to longevity. The small screen, power-sipping processor and sufficient space for a decent size battery means this laptop will last almost ten hours – 9hrs 24mins in our Powermark video/web browsing test.

That’s true whether you’re doing general desktop work and web browsing or watching video, so you can be sure to be entertained or productive for those long-haul flights or slow bus rides.

Acer Spin 1 Review

Should I buy the Acer Spin 1?

Acer manages to get several things right with this hybrid laptop. It has a decent screen, it’s nice and portable, there’s plenty of connectivity and battery life is good. Add in the incredibly low asking price and it makes for a decent option for a basic, word-processing, web-browsing video-watching workhorse for those on the move – a backpacker’s delight, if you will.

However, you won’t want to be working on this device in any serious capacity for too long since the keyboard, trackpad and overall performance will start to grate. And only get the hard drive version if you really do need the space; the 128GB SSD version will be far smoother in overall operation.

As for the hybrid aspect, Windows 10 is still all but pointless as a tablet OS – and particularly on a device such as this; it isn’t slick enough to compete with even a cheap android tablet.

However, the versatility of the Spin 1’s hinge does allow for propping up the laptop in some creative ways to make for easier reading or video watching. Again, it’s the sort of device that will be appreciated in a cramped economy airplane seat, or when recovering from a hangover in a far-flung hostel bed.

Verdict

The Acer Spin 1 is a little slow and basic, but the folding touchscreen design, decent screen and battery life, and rock-bottom price make it the ideal travel companion or secondary laptop.

Video: Keep hearing about Intel Kaby Lake? Here’s what it means

Trusted Score


Score in detail

  • Performance 4
  • Keyboard 5
  • Design 7
  • Screen Quality 8
  • Build Quality 7
  • Value 8
  • Touchpad 6
  • Features 8
  • Heat & Noise 7
  • Battery Life 9

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.