Acer Spin 5 (SP513-51-55ZR) Laptop Review

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December 19, 2016
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There are quite a few 2-in-1 laptops to choose from, so standing out from the crowd is tough for any model. The Acer Spin 5 (SP513-51-55ZR) tries to achieve this with solid performance, praising reviews and affordable price. At a quick glance all of these things seem to be in check, but of course that’s what the seller wants you to think… Read this critique before choosing the laptop in question!

Performance in general

Acer Spin 5 (SP513-51-55ZR) can be called a powerhouse: to begin with, its storage is provided by a 256GB M.2 solid-state drive. The obvious advantage is performance, older hard drives are clearly slower than this SSD. But the storage is not that small either – quarter a terabyte is a lot to play with. The drive can be replaced, but for that you need to remove the laptop bottom and battery.

The powerhouse-esque spirit continues in the processor section. Running the show is Intel Core i5-6200U, a dual-core 6th generation processor with clock speed varying between 2.3GHz and 2.8GHz depending on turbo boost activation. It gets ~3900 points in CPU Mark which is very good, however not really different what the other version of this Acer with i3-6100U processor is getting (3900 points too). Nonetheless, you can only expect lag-free performance from this model for any type of software.

The installed RAM is eight gigabytes DDR4, on a single stick. I bet you will find it enough – but in case you don’t, replacing that stick is possible. Just remember there are no extra RAM slots and getting to the one requires tearing down the laptop.

Does this computer work for gaming?

Acer Spin 5 (SP513-51-55ZR) cannot brag about great performance for gaming. The reason is rather simple: only Intel HD 520 graphics engine is available, no dedicated graphics card anywhere. You are in trouble if you want to play very new and demanding games, for that the Intel HD is too slow. Some of the bit older (yet still rather heavyweight) titles that work are Battlefield 4 at ~40 and GTA 5 at ~30FPS when played on low settings. And throw Sims 4, DayZ or other light-graphics game at this and there’s no problem whatsoever!

What ports does it offer?

Acer Spin 5 (SP513-51-55ZR) has the standard amount of USB ports which is three. Bit of a bummer, just one of those is USB 3.0 while two are USB 2.0. There’s also the obligatory HDMI-output giving you the possibility to connect PC monitor or HDTV to this Acer.

You may connect the laptop to Internet by using the WiFi card (supports the brilliant IEEE 802.11ac standard and Bluetooth). RJ-45 port isn’t installed by default, however you can use USB adapter to get that.

Like with most 2-in-1 notebooks, also the Acer doesn’t sport a DVD burner. But you will find a microSD card slot on the side.

Miscellaneous, yet important things

The notebook’s 4-cell battery reaches eight hours operating time, many user reports said so. It’s a good duration for this kind of model. Just remember the battery is considered to be a non-user replaceable one.

There’s a professional-grade 13.3 inches screen in Acer Spin 5 (SP513-51-55ZR): the resolution support reaches 1080p and panel type is IPS (very view-able from side angles too). The touch display bends backwards all the way into a tablet mode. The laptop has one webcam, a 720p unit in the screen’s top bezel.

Unfortunately to some, this model does not work with a stylus pen (or any pen for that matter).

The keyboard is advertised as backlit, which it is – but know that the light comes from back of the keys, not from top.

Final thoughts

You are very welcome to get Acer Spin 5 (SP513-51-55ZR) if you’re into convertible models. The laptop/tablet split works effortlessly, and when the need arises, there’s also plenty of software performance in the reserves thanks to the i5 processor and solid-state drive. The Full HD screen is beautiful to operate, and the laptop sports all the necessary ports with HDMI included. When it comes to gaming the performance is rather subpar, but in other regards the Acer is a great 2-in-1 product for the quality-minded!


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