Acer Spin 5 (2022) review: Looking sharp in more ways than one

We’re big fans of convertible 2-in-1 devices here at Windows Central. Their flexible touchscreen displays and thin-and-light designs make them some of the best laptops you can buy if you need a reliable travel companion, and they’re also perfect for folks that enjoy using a stylus to draw, take notes, or navigate Windows. One of the latest convertibles to hit the market is the latest refresh of the Acer Spin 5, a promising laptop with a high resolution 2.5K display and the latest and greatest from the 12th Gen Intel Mobile CPU lineup.

I was recently able to test the new Spin 5 out myself, and I’m happy to report that ⁠— for the most part ⁠— it’s an absolute pleasure to use for general web browsing, productivity work, and media consumption. While I would have liked to have seen an option for mobile connectivity and larger function keys, the Spin 5 nevertheless offers a bright and vibrant display, speedy performance, great battery life, and more.

Acer Spin 5 (2022): Price, availability, and specs

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Acer supplied Windows Central with a review unit of the 2022 refresh of the Acer Spin 5. It was configured by the manufacturer with a 12th Gen Core i7-1260P CPU, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, a 1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD, and a 14-inch 2.5K touch display.

At the time of writing this review, the refreshed Acer Spin 5 costs $1,380 on Acer’s own store, though it’s a bit less expensive on Amazon at $1,280. The laptop comes pre-installed with the Windows 11 operating system, and Acer also includes an Acer Active Stylus with each purchase as well.

Below is a full list of all the hardware specifications for the Acer Spin 5:

Category Spec
OS Windows 11 Home
Processor 12th Gen Core i7-1260P
RAM 16GB LPDDR5
Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Storage 1TB PCIe Gen 4 SSD
Display 14-inch WQXGA 2.5K (2560×1600) IPS touch display
LED-backlit, TÜV Rheinland Certified Low Blue Light
100% sRGB, 425 nits of peak brightness
Ports 2x Thunderbolt 4
2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A
1x HDMI 2.1
1x 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo
1x microSD card reader
Audio 2x built-in front facing stereo speakers
DTS Audio, Acer Purified Voice, Acer TrueHarmony
Certified with Amazon Alexa service
Connectivity Killer Wireless Wi-Fi 6E AX1675
Bluetooth 5.2
Camera FHD MIPI (1920×1080) webcam
Blue Glass Lens
1080p HD video at 60 FPS
Keyboard 80-key Acer keyboard layout with backlighting
International language support
Touchpad Multi-gesture touchpad
Microsoft Precision Touchpad certification
Security Fingerprint reader for Windows Hello
Noble Lock slot
Battery 56 Wh 4-cell Li-ion battery
Up to 15 hours of battery life
Supports Fast Charging
Dimensions 12.25 x 8.59 x 0.67 inches
311.2mm x 218.2mm x 16.9mm
Weight 2.87 pounds
1.3kg

Acer Spin 5 (2022): What I like

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After using the Acer Spin 5 for work across a span of two weeks, the thing that stood out the most to me about it was its performance. Thanks to the strength and speed of the P-Series Core i7-1260P chip and the 16GB of cutting-edge DDR5 memory, this is one of the best laptops you can buy if you’re looking for top-notch general productivity performance. It’s not ideal for more intensive types of creative work — you’ll want to invest in a workstation device with dedicated graphics like the Surface Laptop Studio for that — but for browsing the web, writing, completing homework, and powering through simpler types of photo or video editing, the Acer Spin 5 is absolutely fantastic. You could even comfortably do some light gaming, though you’ll want to ensure you’ve got the laptop plugged in while doing so to get the best possible performance and to counter the increased battery drain.

The Acer Spin 5 offers fantastic general productivity performance thanks to its 12th Gen P-Series CPU and DDR5 RAM.

Speaking of the battery, the Acer Spin 5’s battery life is great, too. Acer claims a maximum of 15 hours; while writing for work with screen brightness set to 50%, I measured a runtime of just under 11.5 hours. This isn’t the best out there, but it’s still a strong result, especially for something equipped with one of Intel’s P-Series CPUs that draw more power than the U-series chips traditionally in Ultrabooks like this one. If you need all-day battery life, you’ll definitely get it here.

The sharp 14-inch 2.5K (2560×1600) touch display is another standout feature of the Acer Spin 5 as well. It gets plenty bright at 425 nits and has both great contrast and a vivid color gamut, complete with 100% coverage of the sRGB spectrum. I also find the refreshed model’s 16:10 aspect ratio preferable to the Spin 5’s previous 16:9 and 3:2 panels, as it offers more vertical screen real estate while keeping the traditional widescreen width I’ve gotten used to.

Lastly, the laptop’s design is excellent. The low-profile backlit keys feel great to type on (with one notable issue I’ll discuss in the next section), while the trackpad is smooth and responsive to mouse and click with. There’s also a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello users, as well as a built-in pen slot you can use to store the included Acer Active Stylus. For ports, you get a nice selection of dual Thunderbolt 4, dual USB-A, HDMI 2.1, 3.5mm audio, and a microSD card reader for extra storage. The overall build quality is solid and sturdy, and the device’s sleek edges, narrow bezels, and thin profile make it one of the most stylish laptops Acer has ever made.

Acer Spin 5 (2022): What I don’t like

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There’s not much I dislike about the Acer Spin 5, although I do have a few minor complaints. It’s disappointing that Acer doesn’t have a version of the device with 4G LTE or 5G connectivity available, as 14-inch thin-and-lights with strong battery life and great performance like this one make them attractive options for folks that are frequently on the move. It’s true that you can find a Wi-Fi connection pretty much everywhere in today’s day and age, but still, the option for mobile connectivity would have been appreciated.

Also, even though the keyboard overall is lovely, the function keys are very small and difficult to press accurately while typing. This led to some errors that slowed down my work writing a bit, and while I did eventually get used to the small size, I would have ultimately preferred if the function keys were the same size as the rest of them.

Another caveat is that you’ll have to deal with a suite of bloatware apps if you choose to get the Spin 5, which is a common problem for Acer devices. This really isn’t a big deal — getting rid of bloatware is a quick and easy process — but spending time uninstalling apps you never wanted in the first place will never not be annoying.

Acer Spin 5 (2022): Competition

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The Ultrabook market is a fierce one, and there’s plenty of competition that goes toe-to-toe with the latest Acer Spin 5. The Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 comes to mind, as it’s a less expensive alternative that provides a fairly comparable experience, though its equipped with a U-Series Core i7-1255U CPU, a smaller 512GB SSD, a less sharp 2.2K panel, and one fewer USB-A port. 

There’s also the excellent HP Spectre x360 13.5, which you can get with a wide range of 12th Gen U-Series chips, up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM, up to 2TB of SSD storage, and a stunning 3K2K OLED display (you can also opt for a more modest 1920×1280 screen). All but the simplest configurations of the Spectre will be more expensive than the Spin 5 as a result of the extra memory and storage, but if you can put it to good use, it may be the better option for you.

The latest version of the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is also worth considering. While you’ll have to give up DDR5 and the power of Intel’s P-Series by opting for Dell’s offering, you do get the option for 5G connectivity. The starting price for the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 is lower as well, and its 500-nit 3K HDR panel is even brighter and sharper than the one found on the Spin 5.

Acer Spin 5 (2022): Should you buy it?

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Who it’s for …

  • Anyone who needs strong productivity performance
  • People who want a bright and sharp display
  • Folks who need all-day battery life
  • Fans of stylish and portable convertibles
  • Someone who doesn’t mind a fairly high price

Who it’s not for …

  • Anyone who needs 4G LTE/5G connectivity
  • People who use function keys often
  • Those who prefer traditional clamshell designs
  • Gamers or creators who need a dedicated GPU
  • Folks on a tight budget

While I would have liked the new Acer Spin 5 even more if it had an option for mobile connectivity, larger function keys, and less bloatware, it’s still a stellar convertible 2-in-1 that anyone in need of a sleek and efficient productivity device will love. If you’re looking for something that offers great specs, an excellent typing experience, a vibrant and sharp display, an attractive design with plenty of ports, and a battery life that will easily get you through the workday, look no further than the 2022 refresh of the Spin 5. Hands down, it’s one of the best Windows laptops I’ve ever used.

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