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8 Reasons to Avoid the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (And What to Buy Instead)

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is frequently recommended as one of the best premium Chromebooks you can buy. With its convertible 2-in-1 design, 12th gen Intel processors, and included stylus, it aims to be a versatile productivity machine for students and professionals alike.

However, after extensively testing and using the Spin 714, I‘ve come to the conclusion that most people would be better off avoiding this particular Chromebook model. From its high price to disappointing display and battery life, there are several significant downsides that make it hard to recommend, especially when you consider the capable Chromebook and Windows laptop alternatives available for less money.

In this article, I‘ll break down the top 8 reasons why the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 fails to justify its premium pricing, and suggest some better laptops to buy instead, whether you want to stick with ChromeOS or switch to Windows. Let‘s dive in.

1. It‘s overpriced for what you get

With a typical retail price of around $700 for the Core i5 model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is undoubtedly an expensive Chromebook. The problem is, the hardware and user experience don‘t measure up to justify this steep pricing.

In the Windows laptop world, you can get significantly more for your money. For example, the excellent Acer Swift 3 gives you a faster 12th gen Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a larger 14" 1080p IPS display for around the same $700 price tag. The build quality is also more premium with an all-metal chassis.

When you‘re spending this much on a laptop, going with a Windows machine makes more sense for most people given the expandable storage, wider app support, and better multitasking experience Windows enables compared to the limitations of ChromeOS. More on that below.

2. ChromeOS is still too limited for power users

While ChromeOS has come a long way from its browser-only roots, it still feels unnecessarily restrictive compared to a full desktop operating system like Windows or macOS, especially if you want to do anything beyond basic web browsing, word processing, and media consumption.

Installing apps is more cumbersome as you‘re limited to the lackluster selection in the Google Play Store (which are often just mobile ports) and progressive web apps. Meanwhile on Windows, you have a massive ecosystem of powerful x86 apps to take advantage of.

The inability to download third-party browsers like Firefox also bothers me as a power user who likes having multiple browser options. With the Spin 714, you‘re basically stuck with Chrome or bust.

For students writing papers and professionals using web apps, a Chromebook can work fine. But for the price Acer is charging for the Spin 714, you‘re better off going with a Windows laptop to have a real desktop OS at your disposal to install full-featured software.

3. The display is dimmer and more dull than it should be

The 13.5" touch display on the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is a mixed bag. With a resolution of 2256 x 1504, it delivers decent sharpness at 201 PPI. But in actual usage, the screen looks more dull and washed out than it should for a laptop in this price range.

Colors lack vibrancy and tend to skew cool, while the max brightness of 340 nits fails to impress. Under any sort of bright indoor lighting or outdoors, the display struggles with glare and reflections. Dimmer, muted colors also make the screen less engaging for viewing media content.

The glossy screen finish compounds these issues. I would have much preferred a matte panel to cut down on distracting reflections. As is, this is a thoroughly average display that pales next to the 400-nit, 100% sRGB screens available on similarly priced Windows ultrabooks like the Lenovo Yoga 7i.

For a laptop marketed as a premium option and priced accordingly, I expected better from the Spin 714‘s display. It‘s usable, but lacks the color accuracy, brightness, and pop you can get from other laptops around this cost, Chromebook or otherwise.

4. Battery life is shorter than other Chromebooks

One of the big advantages Chromebooks usually hold over Windows laptops is lengthy battery life, often exceeding 10-12 hours on a charge. Unfortunately, despite Acer‘s claims of "all-day" battery, the Spin 714 disappoints in this regard.

In my real-world usage running a mix of web browsing, document editing, and video playback at medium brightness, I averaged just 7-8 hours unplugged before needing to recharge the 56Wh battery pack. This is barely better than budget Windows laptops and a far cry from other Chromebooks like the Asus Chromebook CX9 which can hit 12-14 hours with ease.

Battery life seems to have taken a step back from Acer‘s previous generation Spin 713 Chromebook, which is strange since the jump from 11th to 12th gen Intel processors should have improved efficiency, not reduced it.

For a device positioned as an on-the-go 2-in-1 that you can use in tablet mode, I hoped for better stamina away from an outlet. Having to recharge this Chromebook every afternoon puts a real damper on its portability and is a big reason I‘d hesitate to take it with me while traveling compared to longer-lasting alternatives.

5. Keyboard flex and key feel are disappointing

Given how critical a good keyboard is to any productivity-focused laptop, it pains me to report that the typing experience on the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 leaves a lot to be desired.

Build quality is the main culprit, with distracting amounts of flex whenever you press down on the alphanumeric keys in the center of the board. The loud rattling that often accompanies this flex cheapens the overall feel and makes the Spin 714 seem shoddier than it should for the price.

Layout-wise, the keys are well spaced but have a little too much travel for my tastes, leading to a mushier, spongier feel than the crisper feedback I prefer. Combine the high key travel with the flex issues and it quickly becomes an unpleasant keyboard to type on for extended periods.

I‘ve used $300-400 Windows laptops and Chromebooks with sturdier, snappier keyboards than this. When you‘re dropping $700+ on a device, you shouldn‘t have to compromise on something as fundamental as the typing experience, making this yet another area where the Spin 714 fails to measure up to its steep asking price.

6. The webcam‘s wide-angle lens is awkward for video calls

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 has a decent quality front-facing webcam, at least on paper. The 1080p sensor is a nice step up from the lowly 720p cameras found on most laptops.

However, Acer made the baffling decision to use an ultra-wide angle lens that captures far more of your surroundings than anyone needs to see on a Zoom call. It can make for awkward moments if you have any clutter or mess visible in the background of your room.

For the privacy-conscious (as we all should be in this day and age), this wide-angle webcam means you have to be extra cautious about what‘s going on behind you unless you want your coworkers to see your pile of unfolded laundry or kids barging in at inopportune times.

I much prefer the more natural field-of-view of the webcams on laptops like the Asus Chromebook CX9 and Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2. They keep the focus where it should be – on your face – instead of capturing an unnecessarily wide swath of your environment.

There‘s also no physical privacy shutter to block the camera when not in use, a feature I really appreciate on laptops like Lenovo‘s ThinkPad series. It‘s an unfortunate omission for a work-oriented device like the Spin 714.

7. You can get more features for your money elsewhere

The longer I used the Acer Chromebook Spin 714, the worse its value proposition looked compared to other laptops I‘ve tested, both Chromebooks and Windows machines.

In the Chromebook space, Asus‘s Chromebook CX9 delivers a sleeker design, faster performance, longer battery life, a 400-nit display, and a fingerprint sensor for often $100-200 less than a similarly configured Spin 714. It even has a number pad built into the touchpad, making it a much better productivity laptop for number crunchers.

If you‘re open to a Windows laptop, your options really open up in the $600-800 range the Spin 714 occupies. The HP Pavilion Aero is an amazing ultraportable with a Ryzen 7 5800U processor that runs circles around the Spin 714‘s Core i5, along with a brighter 16:10 display and smaller footprint, for under $700.

You can also find great 2-in-1 Windows options like the Lenovo Yoga 7i with its gorgeous 2.5K display, all-metal build, Thunderbolt 4 support and included active pen for about the same price as a Spin 714. With Windows, you‘re getting a much more flexible operating system as well.

Unless you absolutely need a high-end Chromebook and don‘t mind overpaying for the privilege, there are just too many competing laptops that offer better hardware, performance and value to justify dropping big bucks on the Acer Chromebook Spin 714. You can almost always find a superior machine for the same cost or less.

8. Touchscreen feels tacked on and unnecessary

As a convertible 2-in-1, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 has a 360-degree hinge that lets you flip the screen all the way around to use the device as a tablet. There‘s also an included Wacom EMR stylus for drawing and handwritten notes.

Here‘s the thing though: ChromeOS simply isn‘t designed to be a tablet-first operating system the way iPadOS or even Windows 11 are. The touch targets are often too small, Android apps are buggy and limited, and there‘s no real benefit to using a Chromebook in tablet mode for an extended period. It‘s a neat gimmick that quickly feels pointless.

The stylus works well enough for basic sketches and equations, but if you need serious graphics or notation abilities, you‘re better off buying an iPad or a Windows laptop like the Microsoft Surface that‘s built around inking from the ground up. The Spin 714‘s stylus feels like an afterthought rather than an integral part of the experience.

In the end, the touchscreen and 2-in-1 form factor come across as box-ticking features Acer tacked on to the Spin 714 to justify its higher price. But in reality, most people will use this laptop as a traditional clamshell 99% of the time, making the added cost and complexity of the convertible design an unnecessary burden. Sometimes simpler is better, especially when it results in a lower price tag.

The Best Alternatives to the Acer Chromebook Spin 714

So if the Spin 714 isn‘t worth buying, what should you get instead? Here are my top picks for better Chromebook and Windows options at various price points:

Best premium Chromebook: Asus Chromebook CX9 ($749) – With its premium all-aluminum chassis, super-bright 400-nit display, long battery life and snappy keyboard, the CX9 is everything the Spin 714 should have been. The Core i3 model is plenty fast and often on sale for under $600, making it a far better value.

Best mid-range Chromebook: Acer Chromebook 516 GE ($649) – If you want a large 16" display and fast gaming performance to go with cloud gaming services like Nvidia GeForce Now, the Chromebook 516 GE is an excellent all-arounder. With a 120Hz refresh rate and RGB keyboard, this Chromebook is great for both work and play.

Best budget Chromebook: Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 ($369) – This 11" 2-in-1 Chromebook nails the basics, with a crisp 2K display, solid performance, and included keyboard cover, all for well under $400. If you just need a cheap laptop for casual computing, the Duet 3 is all the Chromebook most people need.

Best premium Windows laptop: HP Spectre x360 13.5" ($1099) – The Spectre x360 is a gorgeous 2-in-1 with a vibrant 3K2K OLED display, 12th gen Core i7 processor, roomy 512GB SSD and all the ports you need while still weighing under 3 pounds. It‘s like a Windows-powered MacBook Air, and blows away any premium Chromebook.

Best mid-range Windows laptop: Asus Vivobook S14X ($799) – Packing a powerful 12th gen Core i7 processor, brilliant 2.8K 120Hz OLED screen, and compact design, this Vivobook is a heck of a lot of laptop for $799. You even get a CPU with the same hybrid architecture as Apple‘s M1 chip in the MacBook Pro, enabling stellar battery life.

Best budget Windows laptop: HP Pavilion 15 ($599) – The Pavilion 15 offers impressive specs for the price, with a Ryzen 7 5825U processor, 16GB of RAM and a 15.6" 1080p IPS display. At under $600, it runs circles around any budget Chromebook while being able to do much more with the full Windows operating system onboard.


As you can see, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 falls short in too many areas to be worthy of a recommendation, especially at its lofty asking price. Between the underwhelming display, middling battery life, and flimsy keyboard, it fails to compete with the best Chromebooks on the market, while being handily outclassed by more full-featured Windows laptops.

If you absolutely must have a premium Chromebook for some reason, the Asus CX9 is a much smarter buy. But for most people shopping in the $600-800 range, you‘re better off skipping ChromeOS entirely and opting for a more versatile Windows laptop like the Lenovo Yoga 7i or HP Pavilion Aero instead. You‘ll get significantly better performance, displays and build quality for your money.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is a classic case of a manufacturer overreaching to create a halo product that the ChromeOS platform simply isn‘t ready for. Until Google irons out ChromeOS‘s laptop-tablet identity crisis and closes the app ecosystem gap with Windows, spending this much on any Chromebook just doesn‘t make sense.