Review: Acer Spin 3 laptop is a steal at its price
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Acer’s Spin 3 (SP315-51) is a hybrid notebook which can also be used as a really big screen tablet. Inspired by Lenovo’s Yogabook series, the Spin 3 is priced at Rs42,999, and in many ways is a cost-effective alternative to users looking for a notebook that can not only handle most day-to-day chores comfortably but can provide some flexibility of a touchscreen tablet.
Design: Big but extremely well built
Acer Spin 3 looks like any other big-screen notebook at first. A closer look reveals finer nuances such as its sturdy build quality (despite the plastic exterior) and the coarse matte finish on the lid which provides better grip when you are carrying the notebook without a case. Though it doesn’t smudge, due to the coarse lines the lid easily gets dusty.
At 22mm, it looks a bit slim with the lid closed. If you are used a to small-screen notebook, you will find it a bit heavy. At 2.3kg, it weighs as much as any big-screen notebook.
Acer has left out the optical drive and the LAN port. Though optical drives are rarely used these days, the absence of LAN port is a limitation. Acer hasn’t compromised on any of the connectors and physical buttons.
The left side carries two USB 2.0 ports, volume rocker, power button, while the right side includes one USB 3.0 port, 1 HDMI, SD card reader and a 3.5mm jack.
The big highlight is that the display can be flipped backwards until it touches the base and the display can be used as a big-screen tablet. This flexibility in design also allows the keyboard to be used as a stand to prop up the display while watching a movie or playing a game with a controller.
Keyboard: Big and backlit
The notebook offers a full-fledged keyboard with a number pad. The keys look a bit small, but they are well spaced to allow for a comfortable and accurate typing experience. They are also backlit which means you can use it in the dark with the same ease.
The laptop offers plenty of space for hand rest, so one can type for long hours. Though typing was smooth and navigation with the touchpad was quite satisfactory, we feel slightly bigger keys and a wider touchpad would have made things more comfortable.
Display: Support touch
The 15.6-inch LCD panel has a modest resolution of 1,366x768p and it is also a bit reflective. Despite these limitations, it doesn’t feel inferior to any of the similarly priced big-screen notebooks.
Colours looked good with movies, web pages and games. The fact that the screen supports touch commands not only means you can use it as a tablet, but also makes life easier when used as a laptop. Minor things like closing a webpage, or opening an app with the tap of a finger feels more intuitive than scroll and click of the trackpad.
Performance: Can handle slightly heavy tasks
Acer Spin 3 runs on Intel Core i3 (6th Gen) chip with 4GB RAM and runs Windows 10 Home out of the box. It is an adequately powerful chip and can handle multi-tasking, most day-to-day task and lighter games better than notebook with Intel M series. The notebook offers 500GB of HDD which is a bit on the lower side. We have seen notebooks with up to 1TB of HDD at less price. The laptop offers 7 to 8 hours of backup on modest use involving typing, web browsing, watching movies and some amount of gaming.
Acer Spin 3 is a solid mid-range laptop and can handle most tasks well. Though the Spin 3 is too heavy to be used as a tablet for long periods of time, the presence of touchscreen is a bonus that you don’t easily get on big-screen laptops at this price point. At this price point, you can also try the Lenovo Ideapad 310 80TV00Y9IH (Rs48,400) if you don’t want a touchscreen, and that also runs on a more powerful Intel Core i5 processor. It also offers a Full HD (1,920x1,080p) display and twice the storage of Spin 3.