Cyber Monday Chromebook deal on the Acer Chromebook Spin 714

First impressions of the 2022 Acer Chromebook Spin 714

Well, I put my money where my mouth is and picked up the 2022 Acer Chromebook Spin 714 earlier this week. Acer’s first 12th gen Intel Chromebook is typically priced at $729 but a current Best Buy sale drops that by $100. So I figured I’d take the plunge, knowing I could return the laptop within 14 days. How is it so far? Read on for my first impressions of the 2022 Acer Chromebook Spin 714.

Since I just reviewed another 12th gen Intel Chromebook, the HP Elite Dragonfly, I have some comparison thoughts sprinkled throughout my first impressions. While these two devices aren’t close in price, they are close in terms of what you get. You can see the specs of all the 12th gen Intel Chromebooks here, for reference.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 design and build

For starters, the HP hardware is certainly nicer. So too is the overall build quality and materials used. That’s not to say the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 isn’t designed well or is poorly built. It’s just not as premium. Put another way, the overall look and feel of this ChromeOS laptop are what you’d expect at this price. The same holds true for the HP Elite Dragonfly, which costs $400 more at full retail price.

In fact, there’s little new here in terms of design and materials. Acer made slight modifications from its Spin 713 such as moving the speakers between the keyboard and display. The aspect ratio of the display is different from the 3:2 on the 713 as well; the Spin 714 uses a 16:10 panel. Other than that and a few changes to the device edges, there’s not much to say.

Left side of the 12th gen Intel Acer Chromebook

This doesn’t really bother me, to be honest. I consider Acer’s high-end Chromebooks to be more utilitarian than fashion-forward. And compared to my 2018 Acer Chromebook Spin 13 that the Spin 714 is replacing, it’s a step up. This laptop is thinner and nicer looking than my old workhorse. (Sorry, Spin 13, but it’s true.)

A good but not great display

Since I mentioned the display, I’ll share thoughts on that next. While my preferred screen aspect ratio is 3:2, I am liking the 16:10 display here. It’s working well for multiple windows when I browse, use Twitter, code, etc… And it’s better for content consumption than a 3:2 screen as wider content fits better.

Color reproduction is quite good as are the viewing angles. Right now the only nitpick I have is the 340 nit brightness of the screen. It actually doesn’t even seem that bright to me. I’m not sure why and I’ll have to do some side-by-side comparison testing with dimmer and brighter screens. But even indoors, I need the screen brightness level at around 70% for comfortable use.

Keyboard, trackpad, stylus, and speakers

Obviously, you’re not getting the haptic trackpad of the HP on the Acer. It’s a standard multitouch trackpad that’s a bit small but certainly fine. I haven’t had any issues with random mouse taps or mouse movement. It works. I’ll admit I do like the haptic trackpad on the HP, having used those for years on Macs. Can I live without it? Of course.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 keyboard

I’d consider the keyboard on the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 to be above average so far. There’s a fair amount of light-bleed under the keys, but I can say the same about the HP. The typing experience has been solid as the keys are well spaced and sized, and have a good amount of travel. It’s not too loud of a keyboard either.

Although I don’t use a digital stylus that often, it’s nice to see Acer include it with the Spin 714 at this price. It’s a dockable USI pen so there’s a place to keep it at all times. It charges while inside the chassis. I haven’t yet tested it on the display but I will in my full review.

I had high hopes for the Spin 714’s speakers since they’re not downward firing. But this is probably the biggest letdown so far. They’re just not loud nor rich sounding. Now that may be due to a software fix and if so, it means this could improve. I heard from several early owners of this device and they said the speakers cracked and popped. Mine do not, which suggests a software change to address that problem. It may have fixed that issue but it appears that speaker output went too far the other way.

Overall performance is outstanding

The star of the show here is the 12th gen Intel chipset inside this Chromebook. Unlike the Core i3 used in the HP Elite Dragonfly, Acer popped a Core i5 inside. Paired with 8 GB of memory, this ChromeOS laptop is every bit as fast as the HP, as you’d expect. What I didn’t expect is that the Core i5 doesn’t “test” much faster than the Core i3.

I’ve only performed a few Octane benchmark tests on the Spin 714 at this point. The first one cracked 80,000 points, which is the highest I’ve ever seen on a Chromebook. Subsequent tests were slightly lower but within a few hundred points. As good as that sounds, the Core i3 in the HP returns Octane numbers in the 76 to 77-thousand range. So synthetic benchmarks, so far, are very comparable. And I can’t tell any difference in speed when using the HP and Acer side-by-side on the same tasks.

Octane test on the 12th gen Intel Chromebook

For those that eventually look for a 12th gen Intel Chromebook of their own, a Core i3 might be all that’s needed. And this is definitely overkill for someone who just needs to browse the web a few hours a day, run an Android app or two, and doesn’t use Linux on Chromebooks. You can easily be happy by spending $200 less for an everyday Chromebook.

Other observations, in no particular order

  • I don’t test battery life on any Chromebook until it’s been charged and recharged a few times, so I can’t speak to that yet.
  • I love that Acer split up the power and volume buttons. Power is on the left and volume is on the right. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve hit the wrong one on other Chromebooks because they’re next to each other.
  • I appreciate the sliding camera shutter and fully expect it on every Chromebook I use going forward.
  • I thought I’d miss the fingerprint sensor found on the HP. Nope, this model of the Spin 714 doesn’t have one. Turns out I don’t miss it, although I know others might. I only log in to a Chromebook once or twice a day because I use it so much.
  • The 1080p webcam is a nice upgrade from older models. It doesn’t handle backlighting as well as the HP does as you can see. Outside of that, it’s impressive.
Acer Chromebook Spin 714 webcam in Meet

That’s about it for now as I’ve only had a few days with the device.

If there are specific questions you have, drop them in the comments and I’ll either answer them here or in the full review.

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34 thoughts on “First impressions of the 2022 Acer Chromebook Spin 714

  1. Do you know if they will release a i5 16gb Ram version of this or the HP elitebook?

    That’s the perfect sweet spot for me.

    1. Great questions, Mike. I only know what the device makers “plan” to do based on their news releases. Unfortunately, those plans don’t always come to pass. I’ve lost track of how many times the “up to Core i7 ” model or “up to 16 GB of RAM” model was announced and I was waiting for simply never arrived. I will keep an ear to the ground though and post if/when new configs debut.

  2. thanks for the update. As luck would have it I dropped my hp x360 yesterday and the screen cracked so finding a replacement just became that much more urgent 🙂

  3. ~ I love that Acer split up the power and volume buttons. Power is on the left and volume is on the right. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve hit the wrong one on other Chromebooks because they’re next to each other.
    ~ The 1080p webcam is a nice upgrade from older models.

    By now, these should be Chromebook standards.

  4. TL;DR: Do you feel held back by the 8GB of RAM?

    First, I wanted to express my appreciation for how quickly you covered this device. My previous top candidate was the CX5400, and other than a couple of Reddit AMAs, it was several months between when orders started shipping and anyone who got one actually talked about it. So especial thanks for spending your own hard earned cash to get one of these and let us know how it is.

    Second, I’m in much the same spot as you: I’m a computer science student, and that makes me nervous about only 8GB of RAM. I start my university’s android app development course in two weeks, and given how quickly VS Code evaporates my available RAM I’m scared to see what Android studio does to it. You previously mentioned that the faster CPU might be enough of a benefit to justify a downsize in memory, did that hold up?

    1. I don’t feel held back but I’m also not a full-time developer building massive apps. I’m using VS Code for JavaScript classes, where the exercises are small programs and the solutions are typically 100 lines of code or less. So far, the experience is super speedy for that scenario. This device meets the minimum requirements for Android Studio on a Chromebook so I’m sure it can handle that IDE. Would it be more efficient with 16 GB of RAM? Sure. But I don’t think it will be a painstaking slow dev system. I think it’s really going to depend on the complexity of Android apps you work on. Something with basic graphics and a UI, maybe up to 6 activities or pages should be fine.

      I do think the speed of the processor can help compensate but obviously, more RAM is always better so the device doesn’t have to swap data in and out. Oh and thanks for the kind words!

  5. It seems when I visit the Acer website and store, they never have any variants of current production systems I might like to buy. Only lesser and older systems. Also, I want 16GB, i-5 12th gen, and 256GB SSD – yet to see this anywhere.

  6. I went with this (i.e. Acer Spin 714) over the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook because the more affordable Elite Dragonfly CB didn’t have the Intel Iris Xe graphics. Overall I would have loved to have the Haptic Trackpad of the Elite because I love it on my Surface Laptop Studio. But I wanted to install Steam which I did successfully on the Spin 714 due to the i5 cpu and Iris Xe graphics which aren’t options on the cheaper Elite Dragonfly.

    1. Nice. Did you install Steam in the Linux container or were you able to get Borealis (the custom Steam container Google is working on) installed? I’ll have to check my box to see if a wireless mouse is hiding in there. Thanks!

  7. Mr Tofel you completely sold me on Chromebooks, i plan to get this one asap. However, Chromebooks run faster and they are touch which most latest Apple Macs cant do. Let alone that i can run games and android apps as well as the browser at a faster pace. I do read this site on a daily basis, Chromebooks are a thing. I do IT support for my tech start up, however, more and more people want to know about Chromebooks as they want something that is simple to use and super fast.

  8. I too have been wrestling between the Acer Spin 714 and the HP Elite Dragonfly over the course of this year—and the needle constantly seems to go back and forth between the two for me, whether it’s price, whether I can even get a 16GB of RAM model, and now, quality. When I was recently browsing around for the Spin 714, I came across its BestBuy listing, and wow, there are some really disappointed buyers there: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-chromebook-spin-714-laptop-14-0-2-in-1-touchscreen-intel-evo-core-i5-8gb-256gb-ssd-slate-blue-slate-blue/6507836.p?skuId=6507836

    It would be great for you to weigh in on whether you’re also seeing the speaker and trackpad issues that others are voicing in the BestBuy reviews!

    1. i saw the same and exited the cart waiting for Kevin’s review. amzn has the 713 i5, 8ram, 256ssd $519 …seems a better alternative if the best buy reviews are legit

    2. I have the Acer Spin 714 and I may can speak on the speaker and trackpad issue. The speaker sound quality is tiny in sound and occasionally when watching You Tube videos I have experienced a crackling here and there but not unbearable. When listening to Spotify I can’t say that I’ve experienced crackling. But I remedy the occasional crackling by lowering the volume. However if you use headphones which I use Pixel Buds Pro or Surface Headphones 2 then the sound is great as it does have DTS audio which is a format used in most feature film. I also have a Surface Laptop Studio (SLS) and a Pixelbook Go which both haves speakers on par with the MacBook Pros so I’d like to say that I can confidently say that Spin 714 lacks the fuller sound and bass of the aforementioned. I know that the Dragonfly Elite has B&O branded speakers. I had an HP Chromebook 14c with B&O speakers before trading it in for the Spin 714 and the sound on the 14c was just slightly better. Honestly I just don’t think you’ll find many Chromebooks with great sounding speakers outside of the Pixelbook Go.

      As for the Trackpad, it’s smaller than the Pixelbook Go but it’s glass I believe and feels good. I know some have complained on Best Buy of lag but I didn’t notice any plus you can probably go into settings and adjust if needed. The Trackpad does at times feel a little looser compared to the solid feel of my SLS Haptic Trackpad and larger glass Pixelbook Go but it’s not a deal breaker.

      In conclusion I too debated between the HP Dragonfly Elite and the Spin 714 but in order to get the comparable specs of the Spin 714 (i5, Iris Xe graphics and 256gb HDD) on the HP Dragonfly you would be spending over $700 or more. Also the build quality feels pretty solid on the Spin 714. It’s speedy, runs fairly quiet even when the fan comes on it’s still quiet and the stowable digital pen is a nice bonus. Beauty is subjective but I think the Spin 714 looks better than the previous gen Acer Spin series. Like the HP Dragonfly the Spin 714 has a dark shade of blue color and very professional looking.

      So far I’m satisfied with my purchase. Perhaps if HP releases a consumer version with the Haptic Trackpad down the line at Best Buy in the $700-$800 range I may consider trading the Spin in to purchase it. But I’m a Best Buy Total Tech member so I have a 60 day return window. I think non Total Tech Customers get a 15 day return policy. Hope this mini review helps in your decision.

  9. Kevin, can you tell me from the Files app how much space is available to the user on the Spin 714 out of the box?

    1. I’d have to factory reset the device and sign in as a brand new user (or not sync settings and files) to get that info, Bill. I’d rather not, but I can do that if needed. I’ve installed a few Linux apps at this point and have 184.5 GB available according to the Files app. My Linux partition is taking up 3.8 GB. Are you concerned about something specific to the 256 GB drive? Note that the Spin 714 hasn’t received the ChromeOS 104 update like most Chromebooks so this could be a build that’s not quite optimized.

      1. Kevin, I need to have a Linux container in the 150-175 GB range, which is why I asked. It looks like Gregory answered the question, so don’t blow away your setup to get the number. Thanks.

    2. Hi Bill, it appears that 60.6 GB is system. However I’m also using 10.0 GB for Linux storage so I have 186 GB remaining from the 256 GB HDD. Hope this helps

  10. Thanks for your review of the Spin 714. I have purchased Acer Chromebooks in the
    past and will continue to do so. I purchased a Spin 714 in July 2022 and was
    wondering when its ChromeOS will be updated to Version 104. So far, it is still
    on Version 103 and thought it was only my problem. I am happy with the Spin 714
    (especially the Intel i5 12th Gen and 8 GB RAM) EXPECT the lack of a ChromeOS
    update. Any info from you or your readers will be appreciated.

    P.S. Subscribed!

    1. Hi Larry, I have the Acer Spin 714 and I’m still on version 103. I saw that version 104 was released on 8/20, so hopefully we’ll get it by this weekend.

      My Pixel 6 didn’t get Android 13 until last Saturday. I spent all last week regularly checking if the update was available for my phone. Last Friday I was going to join the Beta program to get the Android 13 update but got busy and failed to do it. So it was a pleasant surprised on last Saturday morning when I checked to see if my phone would update to 13 before joining the Beta program. Lo and behold the update for Android 13 was available.

      I’m curious to know if anyone with other brands or if any HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook owners have version 104

      1. The Dragonfly does have ChromeOS 104 Stable Channel. Sadly, we Spin 714 owners have to wait a little more. Given that we’re on 103 and ChromeOS 105 is expected to launch on September 1 for the Stable Channel, I suspect we’ll have to wait until then and we’ll simply get 105, skipping 104. But I’m keeping my eye out for any updates, just in case. 😉

          1. My Acer Chromebook Spin 714 was updated to ChromeOS 105 today
            (9/7/22), skipping 104. You were right, Mr. Tofel……thank you.

      2. Thank you. I also hope the Acer Spin 714 gets ChromeOS 104 this weekend.
        Correct me if I am wrong, but I think ChromeOS 104 was released on August 2,
        2022 (my Acer Chromebook 714 Model CB714 was updated at/about that
        time), hence my concern for the lack of an update to the Acer Spin 714 Model CP714
        as of August 23.

        P.S. Last time I looked (this afternoon), I did not see the Acer Chromebook Spin 714
        Model CP714 listed on the Google Support Auto Update Policy page.

        1. Acer Chromebook Spin 714 Model CP714-1WN is now listed on the Google Support Auto Update Policy Page (Auto Update Expiration Date – June 2030).

  11. Hi Kevin. Thank you for the review. I’m always intrigued by the Acer Spin 7XX but I tend to buy sleeker, lighter machines instead (I currently have an ASUS CX9 w 16GB RAM) because I’m on the go a lot.

    I noticed that you purchased a machine with 8GB RAM and was wondering if you no longer need 16GB of RAM on your Chromebook? I work for two different companies and always keep about 30-40 open tabs between the various virtual desks and when I switched to a 16GB machine the stuttering and crashes virtually stopped. Just wondering if ChromeOS has improved that much or your needs changed…?

    1. Nothing wrong with lighter and sleeker! So after testing out my typical workload and running into no issues with the 8 GB model, I decided it would meet my needs. Yours may need the 16 GB because I don’t keep 30-40 open tabs. I’d say typically around 15-20. I’m thinking 16 GB is the way to go in your case given that you’ve already seen it solve the stuttering and crashing with less than that.

      1. Hi Kevin. Thanks for the feedback and for affirming that I’m in the right configuration for my use case.

        I looked at the Dragonfly Chromebooks and while they are dreamy, the pricing is ridiculous. I could get 2 Acer 714s for the price of one Dragonfly 🤦‍♀ Even with the sleeker, lighter, slightly nicer case and what sounds like a really incredible keyboard, I simply can’t justify spending that much especially when I update my machine every year or two.

        Several years ago after being on the “flagship” train for phones I realized that while I enjoy the latest and greatest, I can live with something really nice and just replace it more often. Technology is evolving so quickly that the latest and greatest doesn’t seem so great after even a year.

        I love your site and really appreciate what you do here. 👍 THANK YOU!

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