Acer's products are undoubtedly among the better options when it comes to Chrome OS, as our own Ryan Whitwam would tell you in his Chromebook Spin 713 review. And as part of its annual GPC event, the company has announced a significant milestone for Chrome OS hardware, the Chromebook Spin 513. It's the first to be equipped with the Snapdragon 7c platform, allowing for a fanless design, extraordinary battery life, and optional 4G LTE connectivity. Acer has also unveiled the follow-up to its 2018 desktop Chrome OS machine, the Chromebox CXI4. Both will be available starting Q1 next year.
Chromebook Spin 513
The Spin 513 may not be the first ARM Chromebook, but it's the first to run on the Snapdragon 7c, announced last year. It follows the Spin 7 running Windows, which comes with the more powerful Snapdragon 8cx. The 7c platform is comprised of the 8nm Kryo 468 and the Adreno 618 graphics chip, which should allow for up to 14 hours of battery life on a single charge. It's specifically built with laptops in mind, giving them smartphone-like features such as always-on connectivity, a fanless design, efficient yet powerful performance, and so on. On the Spin 513, the chip is supported by up to 8GB of LPDDR4X SDRAM and up to 128GB of storage.
The small processor unit allows for a weight of only 1.2kg (2.64lbs) and a thickness of 15.55mm (0.61 in), which could make the Spin 513 a great companion once we're out and about more often again. As the name implies, the display can be rotated 360 degrees, letting you use the 13.3-inch full HD IPS touchscreen as a tablet replacement. Both the display and the touchpad are protected by Gorilla Glass, and the aluminum cover does the rest to make for a durable but conventional-looking convertible. The keyboard has an optional backlight.
On the sides, you'll find two USB Type-C ports that both support USB 3.2 Gen 1, DisplayPort, and charging. There's also a USB A port, a headphone jack, a power button, and a volume rocker. Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac are on board, as well.
In North America, the Chromebook Spin 513 will be available starting from $399.99 in February 2021, and it's coming to EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Asia) in January. The base model will cost €429 there.
Acer has also presented a new stationary Chrome OS device, the Chromebox CXI4. It's the follow-up to the CXI3, which we reviewed here at AP. The box can be configured with Intel processors up to the 10th-gen Core i7. It has up to five USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, a USB Type-C connector, and two HDMI ports. An RJ45 connector allows for a fast wired connection, and the Intel Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) card should give you fast wireless speeds, too. The box can be mounted on the back of a display via an optional VESA kit.
The CXI4 will come to North America in Q1 2021 and start at $259.99. In Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, it will be available from €569. It's unclear why there's such a difference in pricing, but we'd assume it might be caused by a lack of lower-tier options in the latter markets.