Acer Chromebook Spin 714 Unboxing: big specs, realistic price

In this new world of virtual-only events, it is easy to get a bit mixed up on which Chromebooks are here, which ones are coming, and which ones have only been announced. That was a bit of the case with me and the Acer Chromebook Spin 714. Announced back in the spring via the Next@Acer Global Press Conference, this device was exciting and a bit of a whirlwind. We got a pre-production hands-on look at it, but were unable to test or comment on much of anything as a part of that coverage and had to return it pretty quickly.

That’s no knock to Acer or any other company that lets us test things out a bit early: it’s par for the course when talking about devices that aren’t yet ready for mass production. But somewhere in the quick experience I had with the Spin 714 and the excitement that was building for the also-excellent Acer Chromebook Spin 513, I forgot the things about the Spin 714 that had me so excited in the first place.

When we were alerted that this Chromebook was now for sale at Best Buy and that we’d have a review unit on the way, I immediately went back to our early hands-on video and was quickly reminded why this could be one of Acer’s best Chromebooks yet. From the build quality to the feature set to the now-known price of $729, there’s little to knock this Chromebook for, and we’re excited to have it back in the office in an official way to begin the review process.

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As a reminder, this Chromebook absolutely brings the specs. In a world where high-end hardware is going for $1000+ (a similarly-spec’d HP Dragonfly Chromebook goes for almost twice the price), it is refreshing to see Acer put out such a well-made, well-outfitted Chromebook like this without letting the price tag get away from them.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 Key Specs

  • 12th-gen Intel Core i5-1235U w/Iris Xe GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • 1920×1200 14-inch IPS touchscreen @ 340 nits
  • 100% SRGB
  • 10+ hour battery
  • USI pen included (internally stowed)
  • 1080p webcam
  • Aluminum chassis
  • Upward firing speakers
  • Wi-Fi 6e
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Full-size HDMI port
  • 2x USB Type C w/Thunderbolt
  • 1x USB Type A (3.2)
  • MIL-STD 810H Certified
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Gorilla Glass trackpad
  • 0.71″ x 12.3″ x 8.8″
  • 3.09 lbs
  • AUE: June 2030

With a spec sheet like that, looks that put it above any previously-made Acer Chromebook in my opinion, and a form-factor that will make it both productive and portable, there’s clearly a lot to like in this Chromebook.

I’ve yet to even begin the review process in earnest on this one, but we were able to quickly test a few things this time around that we had to wait on last time. Before we talk about those, I can already tell you that that the build quality, color, fit and finish of this Spin 714 is fantastic. It looks great, it feels great, and there’s definitely a finer quality to this device than we’ve had on previous higher-end Acer Chromebooks. I’m already loving the screen, the keyboard and the stowed USI pen Acer has put in this device, and there’s no real question about speed with these internals.

The couple things we couldn’t really talk about last time were benchmarks and speaker quality. Both are very impressive, and in the video you’ll hear a bit more of those speakers this time around. They are loud, full, and I’m looking forward to having them at my disposal when my review time begins. Second up is the performance. With Octane scores of 81,000+ and Speedometer 2.0 scores around 240, you don’t have to wonder if this Chromebook is fast. It blazes.

Obviously, there are things about the battery, the screen, the portability and the long-term use of things like the trackpad and keyboard that I’ll need time to really evaluate, but Acer has put together a little monster in the Chromebook. I love the Spin 513 I’m using at this particular moment and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the HP Dragonfly Chromebook (review on the way), but this new Spin 714 has the potential of finding a real sweet spot of adding nearly every feature you could want and keeping the price tag realistic. With many more 12th-gen Intel-powered Chromebooks on the way, that’s good news for Acer and hopefully a sign of things to come in the Chromebook space as 2022 continues.