Acer Chromebook 13, Spin 13 arrive in September, starting at $650 and $750

Acer introduced its new Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 back in May, leaving us in suspense for the price and availability information. Now we have it. Both models will be available starting in September in the US and Canada. These are high-end devices so they won’t be inexpensive. The Chromebook 13 starts at $649.99 while the base Chromebook Spin 13 is $749.99

Both devices have 13.5-inch IPS displays with a 3:2 aspect ratio and 2256×1504 resolution. Each shares an aluminum chassis, Gorilla Glass touchpad, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2., a microSD card slot, full-sized USB port and two USB Type-C ports.The main difference between the two is that the Spin model has a touchscreen that rotates completely over for a large tablet-like experience. It also comes with an EMR stylus that fits inside the Chromebook.

You’ll be able to choose between two Chromebook 13 and three Chromebook Spin 13 configuration models come September:

Chromebook 13

  • CB713-1W-36XR: 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U processor, 8GB LPDDR3 memory and 32GB eMMC storage for $649.99 USD and $899.99 CAD.
  • CB713-1W-56VY: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB LPDDR3 memory and 32GB eMMC storage for $749.99 USD and $1029.99 CAD.

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Chromebook Spin 13

  • CP713-1WN-385L: 8th Generation Intel Core i3-8130U processor, 8GB LPDDR3 memory and 64GB eMMC storage for $749.99 USD and $1,029.99 CAD.
  • CP713-1WN-55HT: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB LPDDR3 memory and 64GB eMMC storage for $849.99 USD and $1,149.99 CAD.
  • CP713-1WN-59KY has an 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 16GB LPDDR3 memory and 128GB eMMC storage for $949.99 USD and $1,299.99 CAD.

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Clearly, this is high-end Chromebook pricing. Then again, these are high-end Chromebooks based on the internals and build materials used. Yes, the display resolution is lower than the $599 HP Chromebook X2 and $999 Google Pixelbook, for example, but there’s no Core m series chips here. And these are the latest generation Intel processors.

Acer already has Chromebooks in the less expensive segments, so it’s good to see them jump into the high end with devices for power users and enterprises.

Did we hope for slightly lower prices? Sure, we all want more for less. Based on the configurations though — and assuming these perform as well as expected when we take them for spin next month — I think the costs are reasonable.

21 thoughts on “Acer Chromebook 13, Spin 13 arrive in September, starting at $650 and $750

  • August 2, 2018 at 12:19 pm
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    My biggest disappointment with this model is with the storage. First, the cost of m2 SSDs are such that the $200 additional cost to go from 32GB eMMc to 128GB eMMc should have enabled at least a 128GB SSD, and for the overall price of $949 should have allowed for a 256GB SSD. Why should it cost more for a Chromebook than for comparably equipped Windows machine? One thing I’ve found particularly irritating is the paucity lab tests if the read/write speeds of the eMMc drives in everything from the Pixelbooks to the “lesser” but stll “premium” Chromebooks from the Samsung CB Pro to Asus C302CA and HPx2. Fwiw, in random small file r/w operations my Pixelbook I perceive no difference vs. the PCIE/NVME IN my Surface Book (1st series).

    It comes down to my not understanding why CB makers continue to act as if eMMc drives are fine for Chromebooks when no mfr would dream of using them in a Windows laptop retailing for over $600 combined with my curiosity as to just how slow these eMMc drives are in upscale CBs. Any comments or links are appreciated.

    Reply
  • August 2, 2018 at 4:01 pm
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    I agree the Acer Chromebook Spin 13’s one glaring hardware deficiency (and likely deal breaker for some) is its eMMC internal storage type. Higher-end Chrome OS devices should come with SSD/NVMe storage (as in the Pixelbook). DDR4 memory is also preferable to the Spin 13’s LPDDR3. The new Acer CXI3 Chromeboxes come with both SSD storage and DDR4 memory and it’s unfortunate the Spin 13 (with the same Core i5-8250U processor) doesn’t do the same.

    Reply
      • August 2, 2018 at 4:25 pm
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        Actually, the Pixelbook comes with SSD storage in the 128GB and 256GB configurations and NVMe storage in the 512GB configuration:
        https://store.google.com/us/product/google_pixelbook_specs

        The Reddit source you quoted is erroneous in stating the Core i5 models come with eMMC. None of the Pixelbook configurations do.

        Reply
        • August 2, 2018 at 4:35 pm
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          Hmmm… I’m thinking the source is correct. I just hit chrome://system and expanded the storage_info parameters. This is what I see (among many other bits of info in there:

          Card Type [CARD_TYPE: 0x57 – 00]
          HS400 Dual Data Rate eMMC @200MHz 1.8VI/O
          HS200 Single Data Rate eMMC @200MHz 1.8VI/O
          HS Dual Data Rate eMMC @52MHz 1.8V or 3VI/O
          HS eMMC @52MHz – at rated device voltage(s)
          HS eMMC @26MHz – at rated device voltage(s)

          and

          eMMC Firmware Version: 
          eMMC Life Time Estimation A [EXT_CSD_DEVICE_LIFE_TIME_EST_TYP_A]: 0x01
          eMMC Life Time Estimation B [EXT_CSD_DEVICE_LIFE_TIME_EST_TYP_B]: 0x01
          eMMC Pre EOL information [EXT_CSD_PRE_EOL_INFO]: 0x01

          Not a single mention of SSD nor NVMe.

          Reply
  • August 2, 2018 at 4:47 pm
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    This is what is stated in the Pixelbook’s tech specs:

    “128GB, 256GB, or 512GB (which also supports NVME) Solid State Drive”

    All three of the Pixelbooks are configured with SSD drives, with the 512GB version also supporting NVMe. It is quite clear none are configured with eMMC.

    Reply
    • August 2, 2018 at 4:51 pm
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      Yes, I read the specs. BUT, you can read them two ways, so it’s not clear. Note that the NVMe is after the 512MB option. That (and based on what my Pixelbook is showing me) could mean that ONLY the 512MB version has NVMe. 😉

      Double check me though. Go to the Google Store and hit the Pixelbook site. Hit the Buy button. Then tell me what you see for the storage options and prices. I know it says SSD there but I think that’s simply because people equate flash memory with SSD.

      Reply
      • August 2, 2018 at 5:08 pm
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        For what it’s worth, I just installed AndroBench from the Play Store and ran tests on storage speeds for the base Pixelbook. Random reads: 30.25 MBps. Random writes: 12.83 MBps. If it’s an SSD (which I still don’t think it is based on the storage_info data), it’s a pretty poor one. 😉

        Reply
  • August 2, 2018 at 5:19 pm
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    Here is another description of the internal storage from the Pixelbook’s tech specs page:

    “Solid state drive (128GB, 256GB, or 512GB NVMe)”

    Again, it is quite clear all three come with SSD and none come with eMMC. Google would have specifically stipulated “eMMC” if it had configured any of the three models with it. Likewise, “SSD” is specified on all three versions on the “Buy” page (no mention of eMMC).

    To my knowledge, Google has never used eMMC in any of its Chromebook Pixel or Pixelbook configurations:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromebook_Pixel

    Reply
    • August 2, 2018 at 5:26 pm
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      I get what you’re saying, but SSD means different things to different people unfortunately. Why would my Pixelbook say emmc, for example? I’ll look for another method to get the technical info; even will ask my Google contacts if needed, but I think Google is playing loose with marketing and using the term SSD since the technical information in chrome://system clearly states emmc. Trust me, I’d rather have faster storage. But those read/write speeds don’t scream SSD to me.

      Here are pics of the motherboard if you want to see; it’s worth a look just for the engineering / design! https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Google+Pixelbook+Motherboard+Replacement/103312 I see two Sk Hynix chips soldered on between the Intel Core i5 package and the wireless module; Sk Hynix makes memory and emmc storage, FWIW. Looks like those are memory though.

      Reply
      • August 2, 2018 at 5:55 pm
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        The SK Hynix pieces appear to be 4GB memory modules, not storage:
        https://www.skhynix.com/products.view.do?vseq=920&cseq=79

        It would be informative for someone to provide a definitive answer on the Pixelbook SSD vs. eMMC internal storage debate. I would be shocked if I were to learn the i5 Pixelbooks are indeed configured with eMMC storage.

        Reply
        • August 2, 2018 at 5:57 pm
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          Agreed. I’ll ping a few contacts at Google and let you know what I find.

          Reply
  • August 2, 2018 at 10:12 pm
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    My primary is an ASUS C302, and I haven’t noticed any lag, hiccuping, or problems since I got it.
    I *want* better, faster, MORE, but I’m not sure another machine if going to deliver.

    Good problems to have, really…

    Reply
  • August 3, 2018 at 12:28 am
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    I feel like I have left this comment at least twice on each of the two threads running on this topic – the spin 13 and the subject of both Acer and Google using eMMc storage, the former identifying it honestly and the latter being deceptive by calling it “SSD” when the 128GB and 256GB versions of the Pixelbook use eMMc and not pcie/nvme storage. I made accusations about Google in my previous comments and fear they were removed for that reason. Thus I will attempt to create a sanitized version, just sticking to the facts.

    It is a fact, entirely indisputable, that the Pixelbook uses eMMc storage for the 128GB and 256GB versions of the device. Google, in their marketing literature, calls the storage “SSD” and though one could question the appropriateness of using that term – citing, perhaps, the fact that, to my personal knowledge, they are the only manufacturer to use the term “SSD” when referring to their storage that uses eMMc technology. One other indisputable fact is that, however unconventional it is to describe an eMMc storage device as “SSD” it is in the narrowest definition of the term, 100% accurate. eMMc modules are solid state devices; it’s a fact and it cannot be disputed. The term “SSD,” referring to storage modules, simply describes that the storage technology is 100% electronic, with no moving parts. Other than much older technologies and perhaps some very esoteric tech on the horizon, the only kind of storage device in use today that is not an “SSD” is the now-old-fashioned “HD,” as it is commonly known, which uses a spinning platter, hence it is an electromechanical device, with moving parts, hence not an “SSD,” which uses no moving parts and is 100% comprised of solid state electronic technology for storing data.

    The reason I am so certain of the veracity of what I have stated above is that I purchased a Pixelbook in January of this year and was crestfallen when I learned that my 128GB model had eMMc storage, not what every manufacturer in the known universe except Google would call “SSD” in their marketing literature. I researched the subject and the details of Google’s hardware, it’s “marketing terminology” and those of every other manufacturer of PCs, Chromebooks, tablets and smartphones and I wrote 8 emails to Google and had 3 phone conversations with Google personnel. As to the fact that Google can choose to call an eMMc storage device an “SSD,” I confirmed with experts and through many articles on the subject that, while misleading in light of standard industry practice, it is neither false nor technically illegal to call eMMc storage SSD storage as Google does with the 128GB and 256GB Pixelbooks (ironically, they don’t use the term SSD to characterize, say, their 128GB Pixel 2 smartphones). I think Kevin has adequately cited references proving that the actual storage in those two lower tiered Pixelbooks are eMMc devices and that Google actually acknowledges it in various technical specification pieces, if not in their marketing literature.

    The Reddit thread Kevin cited was probably the event that created somewhat widespread knowledge that the PBs didn’t have SSDs as the rest of the industry uses the term: solid state memory/storage chips that use SATA, m2 or pcie/nvme protocols. Still, it is not surprising that so many people are shocked to hear this even now because the tech press did not cover this news the way one would have expected to this day. It is gratifying that Acer, Asus, HP, Samsung and other higher end Chromebook manufacturers did not follow Googles, er, lead but rather used the term “eMMc” unambiguously.

    Beyond this I editorialized rather vociferously in my earlier two posts about my feelings about Googles marketing of this “feature” and what I think should be done about it. I’ll refrain from any further comments.

    Though I haven’t either proven or even documented the “facts” I assert in this post, I can assure you that they are well researched and 100% true and I think Kevin has supplied enough documentation to support them. All I have added here is the clarification that in the narrowest sense of the term SSD, eMMc devices qualify as SSDs which explains why Google can use the term.

    One thing I forgot to mention is that the benchmarks quoted by someone earlier in the thread that the Pixelbook 128GB achieves 4k random read speeds of 30MB/sec explains why few people notice their Pixelbooks seeming very slow in spite of having very slow eMMc storage devices. The vast majority of data access is with small random access data and 30MB/sec is not that much slower than even today’s pcie/nvme devices, and is on par with those of 2 years ago. The nature of most CB use does not involve downloading of large sequential access data files which, when one does on any CB with eMMc storage, will seem interminably slow, as it will be as much as 100X slower than a modern pcie/nvme SSD (30MB/sec vs. 3,000MB/sec.). Once people start using Linux on their Pixelbooks (and all other CBs for that matter, except the top tier Pixelbook with 512GB pcie/nvme SSD, forreal) and attempt to download large data files they will no doubt head for Swappa and eBay in droves as the speeds, while still faster than HDDs, will feel antique-like compared to even $600 windows laptops of today.

    Please, please don’t kill my post! If there is some part of it that you consider inappropriate, please just “redact” it! Thank you. I come in peace, with truth!

    Reply
    • August 3, 2018 at 11:55 am
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      Jeff, thanks for your informative and illuminating comment. It is in no way inappropriate. I am shocked to learn from you and Kevin that the internal storage in the 128GB and 256GB versions of the Pixelbook is actually of the eMMC variety. IMO Google is guilty of ‘fraudulent’ tech spec documentation for giving potential buyers the impression the internal storage in the base and mid-tier configurations is of the M.2 SSD variety when in actuality it is eMMC. I emailed iFixit in late 2017 requesting a teardown of the Pixelbook but they unfortunately elected to not proceed. A comprehensive teardown of either the 128GB or 256GB model would have provided a definitive answer on the actual configuration of the device’s internal storage.

      Reply
    • August 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm
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      Jeff, thanks for the informative comment. Just to be clear, I haven’t removed any of your comments here, so if something you wrote didn’t show, it wasn’t because of me. Perhaps Akismet (which I use to filter for spam comments) caught something; not sure. But if it ever happens to — or anyone else for that matter — just ping me at [email protected] and I’ll look into it / restore any comments that shouldn’t have been blocked or removed. Thanks!

      Reply
  • August 3, 2018 at 1:48 pm
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    Just to close the loop on the eMMC vs SSD conversation, which has been very informative, I did have some email conversation with Google over the past 18 hours and the official word is:

    “Both i5 models use eMMC.”

    I’ll likely write this up as a separate post for the wider audience who may not see this conversation. Since I’m a heavy-duty Pixelbook owner, let me just add an opinion to this clarification from Google.

    I’m personally fine with the storage speed / technology used in the Pixelbook because I don’t transfer massive amounts of data locally. I suspect most CB owners don’t either. Instead, the larger data movement is between the device and the cloud, so it’s more important to me that I have a fast wireless connection. That’s why I have 1GB fiber to my home.

    Would I want faster storage speeds? Sure, why not! Are the current speeds a hindrance in any noticeable way? Nope. The Pixelbook still remains blazing fast for everything I throw at it. Again, just my opinion.

    We can debate the marketing use of eMMC vs SSD on the Pixelbook tech specs of course, but that’s a different issue to me. Real world use is what I care about. And, to be honest, SSD has become a generally overused term as many flash memory storage solutions are referred to as “SSD”. I doubt most consumers know what eMMC is but I’m betting they do know what SSD means, for what that’s worth.

    Reply
    • August 3, 2018 at 3:49 pm
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      That’s some quality follow-up there, considering the original post is from 2 August. 😉

      Thank you for article. I’ve been waiting for news on the Spin 13 since it was announced. Although the price tag is indeed higher than I wished for, a positive review will almost certainly guarantee the retirement of my valiant Toshiba Chromebook 2.

      Acer is one of the few OEMs that bring Chromebooks to Europe, so credit where it’s due.

      Reply
    • August 5, 2018 at 11:57 am
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      Nice follow-up Kevin. Agree completely with all but this:

      “To be honest, SSD has become a generally overused term as many flash memory storage solutions are referred to as “SSD”

      I don’t know of any other device today or in years where “SSD” is used to describe any device other than a SATA, m2 or pcie/nvme module. You’re a fine diplomat but Google alone is, IMO, using deceptive language regarding Pixelbook storage and I’m really surprised the tech press has been silent about it for the 8 months since it’s been released.

      Reply

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