Souped-up Acer Chromebook Spin 13 available with a Core i7, 16 GB of memory

The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 is still one of my favorite 2-in-1 Chromebooks, perhaps even more so than the Google Pixelbook. And if you’re looking for a high-powered version beyond the Core i5 model, Acer now has one. The Acer Chromebook Spin 13 can be had with an Intel Core i7-8550U processor and 16 GB of RAM.

The price seems a tad high to me, however. Full retail price is $1,569.99. And if you didn’t already know, there’s been a Chromebook option with a slightly faster Core i7-8650U chip: The HP Chromebook X360 14 can be configured with such a beast. And as of this moment, that model is priced at $1,248.87 direct from HP.

Both devices are equipped with the same 16 GB of memory while the Acer option doubles up on the local storage: 128 GB vs 64 on the HP. The Acer’s 2256 x 1504 display resolution is higher than the 1920 x 1080 on the HP option as well. Even so, those differences are worth the $300 premium.

Clearly, most people don’t need to spend this much on a Chromebook, nor do they need a Core i7 processor and 16 GB of memory for basic Chromebook use.

Truth be told, however, I’ve been thinking about a replacement for my Core i5 Pixel Slate and if I do make the switch it will likely to be a Core i7 device.

Don’t misunderstand me: I love the Pixel Slate. It’s still my daily driver and has been since I ordered it last fall. However, I started considering an upgrade when Google listed its recommended devices for Android Studio and all of them had U-Series processors compared to the less powerful Y-Series chips found in the Pixel Slate.

For day-to-day Java and Python coding in my CompSci classes, the Slate has been a champ. Then again, my homework assignments and class projects are relatively small: Very few apps are more than four or five hundred lines of code. Once I move on to development outside of class – likely for Android apps – I think the Slate may be overwhelmed by Android Studio, numerous libraries and frameworks, and much larger codebases.

Implementing a linked list stack in Java on the Pixel Slate – yay!

I’m still on the fence because for now, the Slate is fine. But I am trying to think ahead on some projects I’ve been planning.

As much as I like the Acer Chromebook Spin 13, nearly $1,600 for the new high-end model is a big stretch when that HP Chromebook X360 14 can probably fit the bill for $300 less.

Regardless, there are now two good options in the “super-powered” Chromebook space so if you’re computing requirements are similar to mine, you’ve got a pair of choices to consider.

5 thoughts on “Souped-up Acer Chromebook Spin 13 available with a Core i7, 16 GB of memory

  • July 25, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Definitely for heavy-duty coders. Maybe for Stadia. Not really for business users, outside of needing Linux applications. Don’t really see Lenovo being drawn into making an i7 Yoga Chromebook.

    • July 25, 2019 at 11:45 am

      Stadia really doesn’t care what hardware is inside a Chromebook; it’s just a streaming session, so as long as the GPU can handle the stream, even a $200 Chromebook will work. But I agree: definitely for coders, maybe a few corporate users… maybe. 😉

  • July 25, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Kevin I do Android and now Flutter dev for a living.
    I’ve been trying to move across to ChromeOS as my main daily dev env. Even on a i5 PB, using Android Studio is fine, evne building a large Android app project is fine, thogh of course not super fast, Flutter’s hot-reload makes it much more productvie vs “native” android development. And of course your slate being fanless liek my PB will mean constant down-clocking due to cpu temps goign over threshold.
    Slow disk speed is also a concern, though I have to say that the eMMC storage in both my PB and even emmc 5.0 in a HP x360 14 G1 that I tried to use was actual reasonable.

    I’m planning to write up my experiences of using chromebooks from a professional mobile devs point of view in case others are interested? most existing writeups people have done from devops or web dev developers points of view.

    BUT the main issue at the moment is a serious bug with the container usb pass thru at the moment on m75 & m76 which causes the container and termina vm to completely lock up anad crash. This makes using CrOS for daily Android dev impossible right now:

    I’m surprised others haven’t noticed this til now – perhaps nto many other Android devs are trying to use crostini?
    Also while having U class cpus is a step up from the Y clas and celerons, they aren’t really ideal for “heavier” development tasks such as Android, really you want the H (what used to be the MQ) class CPU machines, ideally something like a Dell XPS 15 would be great a developer Chromebook but unfortunately that seems to not be on any OEMs radar afaik.

    • July 26, 2019 at 4:09 am

      @Maks, I had a similar situation as you but for me I narrowed down the problem to executing commands from two different terminals that tried to utilize the connected device. For example, if I ran flutter doctor in one terminal and had vs code simply connected it would continuously lock up my Linux session. But if I ran all commands from the same session either all in a single terminal or all in vs code then things work w/out a hitch.

      The crashes would happen even if I ran a command in one terminal and THEN later opened vs code via the dock. As soon as vs code connected to my device it would instantly lock my Linux subsystem. My guess is that whenever one session established a connection it holds onto some resources even after the command finishes and when another separate process tried to use the device it causes some conflict and crashes. Doing all device communication in one process has worked for me without any problems. This includes running vs code AND opening a shell within vs code and executing flutter commands. My guess this works because the Shell is a sub process of vs code.

      Sorry for the long-winded reply but I hope this helps in some way.

      • July 26, 2019 at 8:41 pm

        Wow, thank you so much @Troy, that’s extremely helpful! Very grateful that you shared that! I hadn’t thought that maybe an issue. I’ll try it out asap and see if I can replicate your finding.
        If you don’t mind I’ll add your reply as a comment on the Chromebook bugtracker issue as I think that will greatly help track down the source of the big. Please do ping me via @mklin on Twitter or comments on the big report if you discover anything else about the issue.
        And great to hear at least one other person is doing Flutter dev on ChromeOS! 🙂


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