Interested in buying my 2021 Chromebook of the year pick at a $200 discount? You can: The Acer Chromebook Spin 713, with an 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor is now on sale for $499. That’s down from its typical $699 cost and represents a huge bang for the buck.
If you only need an entry-level or basic Chromebook and have a limited budget, the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is definitely overkill. Both for your needs and your wallet, that is.
However, for full-time Chromebook users that want a higher-performance everyday laptop, I still stand by my pick on this model. And with the discount, you’re getting an experience that would have cost nearly $1,000 just two years ago.
Inside is that quad-core 11th-gen Core i5 processor I previously mentioned, which is fast enough even for programming work. That’s paired with 8 GB of memory and a generous 256 GB of storage. And it’s the speedy NVME M.2 SSD type of storage as well, which is helpful for fast bootups and large file transfers.
The 13.5-inch display uses a high-resolution (2256 x 1504) touch panel that is USI stylus capable, although you have to supply your own pen.
This screen does use a 3:2 aspect ratio, so if you’re into widescreens this may not be the device for you. I personally prefer more vertical space to reduce scrolling, but that’s just me.
You get plenty of ports here with the Acer Chromebook Spin 713 as well.
There’s a pair of USB Type-C jacks for charging, data, or video out. They’re both on the left side, which is a minor inconvenince. They do support Thunderbolt 4 however, which is useful if you move data to external drives. You also get a full-sized USB Type-A jack and HDMI port as well, plus a memory card reader.
Battery life is solid but not exceptional, which is to be expected when you have a more power-hungry processor inside. Still, an eight-hour day is possible.
Some folks don’t care for the trackpad, but I think it’s more than adequate. And the backlit keyboard is quite good as well.
All in all, I’d consider this to be a “flagship” Chromebook, and that generally means a price between $700 and $1,000. At $499, I think this is a steal. If you agree, you can get one right here.
8 thoughts on “My 2021 Chromebook of the year pick is on sale: $499 for the Acer Chromebook Spin 713”
Alternatively you can go to the acer refurb ebay store.
Refurb but 2yr warranty vs the 1yr on best buy.
Hello Kevin (I believe you now work for Google – been following you forever now!) Here is a personal predicament where I am hoping you can help, given your breadth in this market space,
I have $850 to spend on a Chromebook (which I thought should be 50% more margin than most CB budgets) but it’s becoming very frustrating to find a Chrome OS machine with:
14-15″ widescreen #spreadsheets
128GB SSD or nvme
HD webcam (certainly not the 720p noisy crap)
Biometric that works
Acceptable integrated mic
(I am assuming the rest are fine like keys, trackpad, USB-C charging, 10th Gen i5+, etc.)
Good to have:
To give perspective, $150 more instantly hits nearly all (except screen size and no 360°/stylus) and substantially exceeds those criteria with the baseline MacBook Air (which I am certainly not interested in).
I hope you have some suggestions.
Thanks – Ananya
Hey, Ananya, thanks for the support! I haven’t worked at Google since 2017 though. 😉 I would agree with Zarin’s comment; there’s no device currently out there that ticks every one of your checkboxes. The HP Chromebook x360 14c actually comes really close, save for the processor (11th-gen Core i3, still pretty peppy) and the webcam, which is 720p. You may see a few devices this year that meet all of your requirements though, so hang in there!
Thanks Kevin and Zarin for your help! I am going to hold out a bit longer to see if there is going to be a generational upgrade with better webcams and displays.
BTW, Kevin have you tested to what extent do these biometrics work with apps/sites like LastPass for authentication? I think that might a potential article for your readers.
Unfortunately, there are two must-haves on your list that make things significantly harder:
Fingerprint readers are relatively new to the Chrome OS space. There are only a handful of models that have them.
1080p webcams are new to the laptop space, generally. You’re correct that the MacBook Air has one, but that’s an area where Apple is leading the charge, and pretty much everyone else is scrambling to catch up.
It’s also worth nothing that most high-end laptops (the ones that would have those features) are moving to a taller aspect ratio. (As a fellow widescreen lover, I feel your frustration).
On a budget, the Asus CX5 should have just about everything else you’re looking for. The HP C1030 is expensive, but I believe checks off everything on your list. There’s also an upcoming Asus model (https://45-56-100-85.ip.linodeusercontent.com/news/asus-chromebook-flip-cx5601-is-a-16-inch-convertible-with-12th-gen-intel-chips/) that might be your best bet, though there’s still a lot we don’t know about it.
But yes–my wishlist looks a lot like yours, and I’ve yet to find anything that checks all of my boxes either.
Thanks, Zarin for your detailed response.
It’s definitely disappointing to see the huge void that Chromebook manufacturers are leaving behind between the $700 to $1000 range of products. Google needs to start ‘standardizing’ certain components to move the needle meaningfully forward – this should have been a focus of the Pixel line of CBs but what can one expect when Google itself has been dropping the ball here.
Remote working should have prioritized enhanced cameras on Chromebooks by now.
The Asus model you shared looks interesting but I suspect at that screen size, the price is going to be atrociously high (>$1100).
A part of me, thinks, ‘given the Spin 713 is already at $500, is it possible that a better thought-out successor is on the horizon’?
If you are in the U.S. Costco has the Asus CX5 for $899.
Other than the cpu, is it any different from the previous version? Is the case any different? The speakers?