Acer's latest Chromebook Spin 714 sports a 2K webcam

It also has Intel's 13th-gen Core procesors.


Acer reliably makes some of the best Chromebooks on the market, and today it's announcing an update to the Chromebook Spin 714 as part of a slew of PC news. Like last year's model, the Chromebook Spin 714 is a premium laptop that's thin (0.7 inches), light (about three pounds) and powerful.

Unsurprisingly, the new model users Intel's 13th-generation Core processors — either the i3-1315U, i5-1335U or i7-1355U. Acer also offers a high-end model geared at enterprise use with Intel's vPro platform with an i7-1365U processor. Combine that with up to 32GB of RAM and up to a 1TB SSD and you're looking at far more power than most ChromeOS tasks need, but that's kind of the point when you're looking at a premium Chromebook.

Another notable change is the webcam — Acer put a "QHD 2K" camera in the Spin 714. It feels like companies are finally adjusting to the realities of work-from-home life and giving us webcams that offer notable improvements, so I'm glad to see that here.

Otherwise, the Spin 714 sticks to the usual premium Chomebook script that we know from Acer, not that that's a bad thing. As usual, Acer is using a durable anodized aluminum chassis which the company says meets the US MIL-STD 810 durability spec. As the name suggests, the 14-inch 1,920 x 1,200 touchscreen has a 360-degree hinge so you can prop the laptop up in tent mode or use it as a tablet. I say this every year: this trick means nothing to me.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714

But Acer and plenty of other companies are still keen on convertible laptops, so I'm sure someone out there appreciates it. The touchscreen does work well with a USI stylus, offering 4,096 levels of pressure and tilt sensitivity — so if you're interested in drawing on the relatively large canvas this screen afford you, it should work pretty well. There's nothing new about the keyboard or trackpad this year, though Acer once again thoughtfully includes an optional fingerprint sensor for security. And past keyboards and trackpads on the high-end Spin models have been very good.

Finally, Acer says the battery on this laptop will last for about 10 hours. Unfortunately, most high-end Chromebooks I've used lately seem to max out in the six-to-seven hour range. Not terrible, but not ideal for a relatively expensive device. Hopefully the new Spin 714 will get closer to matching its promised battery life than last year's model.

The Chromebook Spin 714 starts at $699 and will be available in North America in May. It'll then come to Europe, Middle East and African markets in July. As usual, Acer says it'll offer a wide variety of configurations, with prices differing by spec and region.