- The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is considered a popular choice for potential buyers, but there are several reasons to avoid it.
- The Chromebook Spin 714 is relatively expensive compared to Windows machines with similar configurations.
- The lack of apps is a major drawback of ChromeOS, as it limits the ability to download third-party applications.
- The display on the Chromebook Spin 714 has dull colors and a brightness level that can’t compete with similarly-priced Windows laptops.
- The battery life of the Spin 714 is disappointing, especially in tablet mode.
If you are the least bit familiar with the world of Chromebooks, you know there are dozens of different options. One of the most popular options, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714, is frequently listed as a great choice for potential buyers. While this might be true for some people, it’s more likely the Chromebook Spin 714 is a laptop you can ignore.
Whether it’s because you want a larger screen, more performance, or don’t care for the 2-in-1 approach, there are plenty of Chromebook alternatives waiting for you. In fact, let’s dive deep and look at the specific reasons you can avoid the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 and which models you should look at instead.
One of the best reasons someone buys a Chromebook is because they want to keep costs down. In the case of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714, you have a common configuration price of around $670. At this price point, you get a 13th-generation Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.
However, you can look at any number of Windows machines with the same configuration and probably spend $100 less. More importantly, for this low price point, you get the full effect of Windows 11 instead of the more limiting Chromebook OS. This means you have access to the entirety of the Microsoft Store as well as third-party apps.
The Acer Spin 714 will have Android apps available, but it’s limiting at best as they are still just mobile apps.
Lack of Apps
Speaking of apps, one of the biggest pitfalls of ChromeOS in general is the lack of apps. In other words, you can enjoy just about any browser you want on your Acer Chromebook Spin 714 as long as it’s Chrome. Yes, you’ll have access to the online versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but don’t expect to download third-party applications.
As I mentioned above, you do get apps through the Google Play Store, but they are just mobile apps. This means they are limited when compared to the desktop versions you will find with Windows 11.
To make the best use of a Chromebook, you need to be all-in on just using a web browser. If you think you will need any apps at all, the Chromebook Spin 714 is not for you.
While you can’t expect 4K or OLED screen quality for $670, you can expect to be okay with a laptop’s display. In the case of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714, I think you will be disappointed by the somewhat dull colors of the display. On top of the dull colors, you also have to make do with a brightness level that really can’t go as high as similarly-priced Windows laptops.
What this means is that watching things like movies or streaming your favorite TV shows can be disappointing. It’s not downright awful, however, I think Acer missed out on an opportunity to make the screen more enjoyable to watch in “tablet” mode. At only 161 PPI (pixels per inch), there isn’t a whole lot of positive to say about the number.
The screen is multitouch and for the most part, it works okay, but you may also want more than just 14 inches to work with. Using this as a 2-in-1 computer demands more screen real estate, which you just can’t get on this model. Most important is that ChromeOS doesn’t do much to encourage users to touch the screen, so it feels like an unnecessary and pricey add-on.
It should come as no surprise that Acer markets the Chromebook Spin 714 as being versatile. Display notwithstanding, there is no doubt this is a 2-in-1 Chromebook. However, where you get let down is with the battery life, which you want more of when the Spin 714 is in “tablet” mode. When I think of a Chromebook, I think of exceptionally long battery life because it doesn’t have the same battery limitations as Windows 11.
However, battery life is promised to be all day and it’s not all day. One of the biggest complaints with the latest model of the Chromebook Spin 714 is that the battery life is worse than the model year prior. I know some people might throw up their arms and ask how I can think 12 hours of battery life is bad. The thing is, I’m used to my MacBook Pro hitting well over 15 hours of battery life with multiple applications running.
For a Chromebook to only run Chrome and not have a similar battery life is disappointing on my end.
When it comes to any computer, Windows, Mac, or Chromebook, the keyboard can be a big make-or-break factor. In the case of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714, the keyboard leans more toward the break-it factor. There have simply been too many reports of inconsistent build quality, which makes it tough to spend the kind of money Acer is asking when you might get a computer that has a busted keyboard.
Rest assured this isn’t the worst keyboard you can use in the Chromebook world. This isn’t high praise either as the keyboard and trackpad could be much better. There is just too much travel between keys for a 14-inch laptop. It makes the laptop feel larger than it is. Combine this feeling with keyboard flex when typing in the middle and you can question build quality.
So, my complaint with the camera on the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is a bit of a personal one. While the 1440p camera isn’t half bad, the wide field of view is a little ridiculous. There is far too much of a room shown by this field-of-view and it’s not at all wise to use if you work from home. Whether it’s dirty clothes on the floor, a dog lying around, or just kids coming into view, this wide field of view should have been removed before pushing this Chromebook to consumers.
On top of this, the microphone on the Chromebook Spin 714 doesn’t do very well with noise cancelation. When thinking about the idea of working remotely, noise-canceling microphones are a must. If this feature doesn’t work as expected, it can throw those who are listening to you for a loop. All it takes is a single dog bark, a landscaper, or a child screaming to interrupt an important call.
Best Alternatives to the Acer Chromebook Spin 714
#1 Best Overall: ASUS Chromebook Plus CX34
When you want to spend a little less and get a little more, the ASUS Chromebook Plus CX34 is the answer.
Available for right around $439, the ASUS Chromebook Plus CX34 is an outstanding Chromebook. What you get here is the Chromebook Plus bonus, so you have exclusive AI-powered features like Magic Eraser and noise cancelation. Considering the poor noise cancelation on the Chromebook Spin 714, the ASUS outperforms.
Most importantly, with the Chromebook Plus bonus, you get increased hardware performance mandated by Google. This means you get a better user experience and the promise of future updates all rolled into one promotion. Last but not least, the 1080p webcam thankfully doesn’t offer a wide field of view. This is a big win for the ASUS.
Best Windows Alternative: Acer Aspire 5
- Budget-friendly option
- 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor
- Wi-Fi 6 built-in
- 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display with thin bezels
It should come as no surprise the Acer Aspire 5 is a top Windows alternative to the Acer Chromebook Spin 714.
In the world of laptops, the Acer Aspire 5 is always near the top of every list of budget-friendly laptops. There is a very good reason for the staple Acer presence, largely because of its great performance-to-price ratio. With a 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, you have what you need for both work and play.
Better yet, you have Wi-Fi 6 built-in for future-proofed internet coverage. Wait, there’s more! You also have a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display with thin bezels. Acer also utilizes its own Purified Voice technology to help filter out background noise when you are on calls. Rest assured it’s far better than what Acer’s Chromebook Spin 714 can offer.
6 Reasons I Would Avoid the Acer Chromebook Spin 714
|The high price of the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 isn’t justified.
|Lack of Apps
|Not having an app store is a big disappointment coming from a Windows laptop.
|The display on the Chromebook Spin 714 only offers a 161 PPI.
|Battery life on the Spin 714 should have at least another two hours.
|The flex on the Spin 714 keyboard and travel between keys can be aggravating.
|Having such a wide field of view on a webcam is rough on remote workers.
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