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Acer Spin 3 (2021) review: Good for writing

Acer Spin 3 (2021)

If you like to doodle in class or jot down handwritten notes, you may want to take the Acer Spin 3 out for a, well, spin. This silver-clad 2-in-1 Windows convertible switches seamlessly between tablet and clamshell laptop forms. And it comes with a Wacom stylus that can be stowed and charged within the convertible. My review unit comes preloaded with Windows 11 — you can catch the Spin 3 in our Windows 11 feature video.

Quick specs

  • 13.3-inch 16:10 (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) touchscreen
  • Intel Evo certified
  • Rechargeable Wacom AES stylus
  • 1.4kg

The rechargeable Wacom stylus is responsive with barely any lag. It feels like a real pen with its 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support. And you are less likely to lose the stylus because it can stowed inside the convertible. But there's a trade-off. Because it is so thin, it is uncomfortable to grip and use for long periods. However, I have few complaints about the writing surface. The Spin's 13.3-inch touch display is mounted on a sturdy aluminium lid with barely any flex. The screen is smooth and glossy, though it can be too reflective. The 2,560 x 1,600-pixel display is also suitably crisp, though the screen brightness is merely decent.

Acer Spin 3 (2021)
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

You should probably use the Spin 3 on a desk even in its tablet form because it weighs a fair bit at around 1.4kg. It's awkward to hold as a slate, despite the squarish 16:10 form factor. You do get more screen real estate for productivity tasks. The keyboard, though, is merely adequate for typing. It feels shallow and mushy. There's a fingerprint sensor on the top-left corner of the touchpad, but the Spin lacks an infrared camera for biometric authentication. What's not lacking are the ports. Somehow, Acer manages to fit a surprising number of ports at the sides. The Spin 3 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI, two USB ports, and a microSD card reader. And that's not including the side power button, stylus slot, headphone jack, and power connector.

Acer Spin 3 (2021)
Credit: Vincent Chang/Can Buy or Not

The Spin 3 has fairly standard specs for a modern convertible. It sports an 11th-gen Intel Core i5 processor with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. It's not really meant for gaming or serious content creation, but it will do fine if you're just editing documents and photos. For example, its PCMark 10 score of 4,282 is lower than a Core i7 ultrabook like the Dell Inspiron 14 5000 (4,766). An Intel Core i7 version is available if you need a bit more performance, but it won't turn it into a powerhouse. However, the Spin 3 more than compensates for its average performance with its excellent battery stamina. It lasted 8hr 41min in our video-loop battery test with the screen set to maximum brightness. It's not quite as long-lasting as the Dell Inspiron 14, but the Spin 3 does have a brighter display.

As Windows convertibles go, they don't get much more affordable than the Acer Spin 3, which costs around S$1,400 when discounted. It offers a good stylus experience, a decent touchscreen and a sturdy chassis. Battery life is excellent, too. Overall, the Spin 3 is definitely worth its price — get it now from the Acer Store, Shopee and Lazada.

See Also
Aftershock Vapor 15 Pro

Note: Review unit provided by Acer.


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Verdict



CAN BUY

Value-for-money convertible for those who like to write or draw.

Buy it from Acer
Buy it at Shopee
Available at Lazada

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