Notebookcheck

Acer Spin 5 SP513-51 Convertible Review

Benjamin Herzig, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 03/06/2017

Spinning. All big manufacturers offer devices in the competitive mainstream convertible segment. Acer wants to attract customers with the Acer Spin 5. How does the 360-degree convertible perform?

For the original German review, see here.

Acer launched two new series with mobile PCs at the IFA last year. The designation "Swift" is only carried by thin Ultrabooks, while devices with the addition "Spin" are convertibles with 360-degree hinges.

We have already reviewed the top model of the series, the Acer Spin 7. Our test unit today is the mainstream version Spin 5, which is placed in a very competitive segment of the notebook market. Suitable rivals are the HP Pavilion x360, the Dell Inspiron 3000 or the Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB. Similar to the Spin 5, the entry-level SKUs are available for prices between 500 and 600 Euros (~$529 and ~$634). Our test model is the entry-level SKU of the Spin 5.

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Acer Spin 5 SP513-51 (Spin 5 Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR4-2133, 1/1 slots in use
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 166 PPI, 10-point touchscreen, B133HAB01.0, IPS LED, 360° Hinges, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Hynix HFS128G39TND, 128 GB 
, 2280 M.2 SATA III SSD
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm stereo jack, Card Reader: SD-cardreader
Networking
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 20 x 328 x 229 ( = 0.79 x 12.91 x 9.02 in)
Battery
45 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo speakers, Keyboard: 6-row chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.7 kg ( = 59.97 oz / 3.75 pounds), Power Supply: 284 g ( = 10.02 oz / 0.63 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Acer Spin 5
Acer Spin 5

Inconspicuous comes to mind when you try to describe the design of the Acer Spin with one word. The whole chassis is dark gray, only the silver Acer logos as well as the blue Fn letterings of the keys stand out a bit.

Acer uses a combination of different materials: The surface of the lid is made of brushed aluminum, which is cool to the touch. The rest of the chassis is made of plastic, except for the display frame, which is made of glass. The plastic on the palm rests is structured (stripes) and slightly roughened, while the bottom of the base is much rougher and leaves a rather cheap impression compared to the rest of the system.

You can twist both the lid and the base with some force, but it is still okay for this price range. Otherwise, the stability is decent, and only the palm rests can be warped in the center with some pressure. Even slight pressure on the lid affects the picture. We cannot criticize the build quality; there are no uneven gaps or protruding edges.

The two hinges allow a maximum opening angle of 360 degrees, so you can fold the display back and use the system as a tablet. The hinges have black plastic covers, which are not too obtrusive, but they appear not to be as sophisticated as metal covers would be. They are sturdy, at least for the most part. There is some bouncing when there are vibrations, which also happens when you use the touchscreen in laptop mode. However, this is quite normal for this kind of convertible; only significantly more expensive 360-degree convertibles are better in this respect.

Display opened by 180 degrees
Laptop mode
Tablet mode
Tent mode

All the rivals are basically on par in terms of weight; we measure 1.7 kg for the Spin 5. The more expensive sibling Spin 7 on the other hand is noticeably lighter at 1.3 kg. All comparison devices also have a similar footprint, only the Lenovo Yoga 510 with the 14-inch display is a bit larger than the 13.3-inch models. The Acer Spin 7 is also the slimmest device by quite a margin.

336 mm / 13.2 inch 232 mm / 9.13 inch 20.9 mm / 0.823 inch 1.7 kg3.81 lbs330 mm / 13 inch 222 mm / 8.74 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 1.7 kg3.66 lbs328 mm / 12.9 inch 229 mm / 9.02 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 1.7 kg3.75 lbs326.4 mm / 12.9 inch 222 mm / 8.74 inch 19.8 mm / 0.78 inch 1.7 kg3.66 lbs324.6 mm / 12.8 inch 229.6 mm / 9.04 inch 10.98 mm / 0.4323 inch 1.3 kg2.8 lbs

Connectivity

The port layout is perfect for users who use an external mouse with their right hand: All relevant ports are located at the left, only the small and round plug for the power adapter is at the rear right. However, left-handers do not have to despair, because all the ports sit towards the rear. They are also pretty close together, so it might be tricky when you want to use all the ports at the same time.

USB Type-C is one port we miss, since it would make the Spin 5 pretty future-proof in this respect. The HDMI port is also the only video output and limits the number of resolutions you can use on an external monitor. You should get a device with DisplayPort (or DisplayPort via USB Type-C) when you have an external 4K screen.

Left side: HDMI, USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 3.5 mm stereo jack
Left side: HDMI, USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, 3.5 mm stereo jack
Right side: MicroSD-card slot, volume rocker, power button, AC power, Kensington lock
Right side: MicroSD-card slot, volume rocker, power button, AC power, Kensington lock

Communication

Picture with the integrated camera
Picture with the integrated camera

Acer implements a WLAN module from Qualcomm, more precisely the Atheros QCA9377 module. It is a 1x1 ac Wi-Fi card that works very well in practice. It is roughly on par with the Intel 3165 (also 1x1 ac) in the benchmarks. A 2x2 card like the Intel 7265 is on another performance level, but the Atheros Wi-Fi solution should still be sufficient for many users. The Spin 5 is not equipped with an Ethernet port.

The webcam inside the display frame performs on a typical level for an inexpensive or even more expensive laptop – the development seems to have stopped in this respect. The sample picture can hardly show the golden color of the metal case, and the picture looks washed-out as well as pale. The integrated microphones are better; they record voices clearly and without distortions.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Omen 17-w100ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
674 MBit/s ∼100% +94%
Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5567-1753
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
350 MBit/s ∼52% +1%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
347 MBit/s ∼51%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Omen 17-w100ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
524 MBit/s ∼100% +50%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
Qualcomm Atheros QCA9377 Wireless Network Adapter
349 MBit/s ∼67%
Dell Inspiron 15 5000 5567-1753
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
319 MBit/s ∼61% -9%

Accessories

Acer does not include any noteworthy accessories. The Spin 5 is not equipped with a docking port, either, so there are no corresponding accessories; you will have to use USB 3.0 docking stations instead.

Maintenance

Many systems for private users are often not very maintenance-friendly, and the Acer Spin 5 is no exception. The integrated battery can be replaced, you can upgrade the M.2-SSD (2280) or clean the fan, and you can upgrade the single RAM module. The memory is hidden underneath the metal cover next to the fan (see picture).

However, you will have to remove the bottom cover to access the components. It is not only secured by 13 screws but also by small plastic clips that can easily break if you use too much force. Inexperienced users should be careful.

A look at the internals
A look at the internals

Warranty

The laptop is shipped with a two-year Pickup & Return service by default, so you do not have to send the laptop to the manufacturer in warranty cases. Acer does not offer a warranty extension or an expanded service scope (like an on-site service).

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies & Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The illuminated 6-row chiclet keyboard of the test sample is a bit narrower compared to a standard input. You can notice this when you look at the keys between the directional keys and the space bar, for instance. There are usually three keys between them, but the Spin 5 only has two. The remaining layout is a bit squeezed at some points as well, including the small directional keys that are uncomfortable to use. The left Shift key is also smaller and there is hardly any spacing to the adjacent "<" key. All these changes can result in annoying typos, especially when you are used to standard-sized keyboards. It should work after a little learning period though, despite the layout changes.

The typing experience of the slightly roughened keys is rather crisp, which is also intensified by the pretty shallow key travel. There are better inputs for frequent writers, particularly keyboards from business notebooks. It is definitely not unusable and keyboards are always a matter of taste as well, but we think longer key travel would improve the experience. The pressure point is also a bit mushy.

Touchpad

The Touchpad of the Acer Spin 5 is sufficiently sized. It is made of plastic and has a smooth surface with good gliding capabilities, although glass touchpads are a bit better in this respect. Acer uses a touchpad that corresponds with the Precision Touchpad standard from Microsoft. The responsiveness is almost on par with touchscreens; things like multi-touch and two-finger scrolling work flawlessly. Here we can see a change in the Windows world, and the days of unsatisfying touchpads should be a thing of the past thanks to the distribution of Precision Touchpads.

The mouse replacement of the Acer is a so-called ClickPad, so the mouse buttons are not dedicated but integrated into the surface instead. A solution with dedicated buttons would be better, but the ClickPad is not bad. The mechanism provides a clean and firm feedback, and the ClickPad does not clatter, which is often a problem on less expensive systems.

Touchscreen

Since the Spin 5 is a convertible, it is obviously equipped with a 10-point touchscreen. It works really well and even inputs towards the edges are executed without any problems.

Input devices Acer Spin 5
Input devices Acer Spin 5

Display

B133HAB01.0 subpixel array
B133HAB01.0 subpixel array
Backlight bleeding (exaggerated in the picture)
Backlight bleeding (exaggerated in the picture)

The 13.3-inch display has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels (Full HD), which is average in this segment. The rivals also use FHD screens, including the more expensive sibling Acer Spin 7. The LC screen with the designation B133HAB01.0 is based on the AHVA technology, which is AUO's counterpart of IPS. Similar to all modern LCDs, it is equipped with an LED backlight. Acer does not offer any alternative screen, neither with higher nor lower resolutions. All SKUs of the Spin 5 have a glossy screen, which is a result of the plastic-glass surface for the touchscreen.

We determine a maximum luminance of almost 250 nits, and still 233 nits on average. This is okay within the comparison; more expensive convertibles like the Spectre x360 or the Acer Spin 7 often have slightly brighter displays. The contrast ratio of the Spin 5 is very good in return, and all the rivals – even the Spectre x360 – are beaten. A brightness distribution of 87% is good; backlight bleeding and PWM are no problem for the test model.

248
cd/m²
233
cd/m²
238
cd/m²
241
cd/m²
245
cd/m²
233
cd/m²
215
cd/m²
223
cd/m²
218
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
B133HAB01.0
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 248 cd/m² Average: 232.7 cd/m² Minimum: 18 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 245 cd/m²
Contrast: 1167:1 (Black: 0.21 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.2 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 3.94 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
59% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 38% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.66
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
B133HAB01.0, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Dell Inspiron 13 7359-4839
Samsung SDC864D / 133HL [Dell P/N: PVFF5], , 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB
BOE0637 / BOE DT NV140FHM-N41, , 1920x1080, 14
HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ng
LG Philips, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D
AUO B140HAN03.2 / AUO323D, , 1920x1080, 14
HP Spectre x360 13-w023dx
Chi Mei CMN1367, , 1920x1080, 13.3
Response Times
13%
-20%
20%
7%
19%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
56 (18, 38)
38 (19, 19)
32%
53 (20, 33)
5%
38 (14, 24)
32%
51 (13, 38)
9%
33.2 (16, 17.2)
41%
Response Time Black / White *
27 (8, 19)
29 (6, 23)
-7%
39 (12, 27)
-44%
25 (6, 19)
7%
26 (6, 20)
4%
28 (5.6, 22.4)
-4%
PWM Frequency
350 (60)
Screen
-31%
-13%
-15%
-39%
-7%
Brightness middle
245
253
3%
243
-1%
277
13%
344
40%
334.6
37%
Brightness
233
232
0%
248
6%
263
13%
292
25%
319
37%
Brightness Distribution
87
83
-5%
91
5%
88
1%
72
-17%
90
3%
Black Level *
0.21
0.28
-33%
0.32
-52%
0.31
-48%
0.26
-24%
0.336
-60%
Contrast
1167
904
-23%
759
-35%
894
-23%
1323
13%
996
-15%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.2
6.36
-51%
5.44
-30%
5.57
-33%
12.65
-201%
6.21
-48%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.75
12.72
-45%
9.73
-11%
13.6
-55%
17.8
-103%
12
-37%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
3.94
10.26
-160%
4.74
-20%
4.56
-16%
12.95
-229%
7.71
-96%
Gamma
2.66 83%
2.28 96%
2.38 92%
2.28 96%
1.33 165%
2.36 93%
CCT
6096 107%
6500 100%
7799 83%
6648 98%
6441 101%
6458 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
38
38
0%
39.6
4%
38
0%
58
53%
58.6
54%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
59
60
2%
62.5
6%
59
0%
89
51%
90
53%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-9% / -24%
-17% / -14%
3% / -9%
-16% / -32%
6% / -3%

* ... smaller is better

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
Grayscale
Grayscale

The display does not suffer from a color cast ex-works. The black value is also good at 0.21 cd/m², so black appears very rich. Overall, the picture is crisp and not pixelated.

One indicator for a less expensive panel is the color gamut: 59% sRGB and 38% AdobeRGB are indicators for deviated colors, because the screen can only display a limited number of colors. This is not very important for everyday tasks, but the panel is not suited for picture editing.

sRGB (transparent) vs. AUO B133HAB01.0
sRGB (transparent) vs. AUO B133HAB01.0
AdobeRGB (transparent) vs. AUO B133HAB01.0
AdobeRGB (transparent) vs. AUO B133HAB01.0
Outdoor use (in the shade)
Outdoor use (in the shade)

The display should at least manage 200 nits for outdoor usage, and the test sample surpasses this value, so you could use it on the go. The glossy surface, however, can be a problem, because it limits the usability in bright environments significantly. The backlight cannot compensate for direct sunlight, which would require 400 nits or more.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
27 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 8 ms rise
↘ 19 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 54 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
56 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 38 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 91 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.5 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9331 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Even mainstream convertibles are fortunately equipped with IPS screens nowadays. They provide much wider viewing angles compared to typical TN screens, and this is also the case here. However, high-end IPS panels provide even better viewing angles, while the brightness on the Spin 5 drops from some angles. Otherwise, the performance is very good.

Viewing angles Acer Spin 5
Viewing angles Acer Spin 5

Performance

Acer currently offers three SKUs of the Spin 5. Two of them are equipped with Kaby Lake Core i5 processors, more precisely the Core i5-7200U. Our entry-level model for 600 Euros (~$634) on the other hand uses another CPU: a Core i3-6100U from the Skylake generation. This also means the more expensive models get the newer iGPU Intel HD 620, while the graphics on our test sample are handled by the HD 520. There are no optional dedicated graphics chips.

One big difference between the different models is the SSD: The less expensive SKU is equipped with a 128 GB SSD, the mainstream model with a 256 GB SSD and the most expensive model with a 512 GB SSD. All SSDs are attached via SATA-III; NVMe drives are not available.

The memory configuration does not differ between the models; all of them are shipped with 8 GB DDR4-RAM by default. The Spin 5 supports up to 16 GB RAM.

HWInfo
HWInfo
CPUZ
CPUZ
GPUZ
GPUZ
LatencyMon
LatencyMon

Processor

The Core i3-6100U is a processor from the previous Skylake generation. It is the least powerful Core i chip from the U-series, which have a maximum consumption (TDP) of 15 Watts. The i3 CPU supports Hyper-Threading with four threads, but Turbo Boost is not supported, so the CPU is limited to the base frequency of 2.3 GHz.

The CPU can maintain its maximum clock of 2.3 GHz in the Cinebench R15 Multi-Core test. There is no throttling and the performance is not reduced on battery power, either.

If you want a Spin 5 with the highest possible performance, you should get the SKU with the Core i5-7200U. It should be much faster, both compared to the test model as well as the Spin 7 with the Y-processor; competitors with the Core i5-7200U are clearly ahead in the benchmarks.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB
Intel Core i5-7200U
130 Points ∼60% +35%
HP Spectre x360 13-w023dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
126 Points ∼58% +31%
HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
126 Points ∼58% +31%
Dell Inspiron 13 7359-4839
Intel Core i7-6500U
120 Points ∼55% +25%
Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D
Intel Core i5-7Y54
111 Points ∼51% +16%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
Intel Core i3-6100U
96 Points ∼44%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB
Intel Core i5-7200U
332 Points ∼8% +38%
HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
328 Points ∼7% +37%
HP Spectre x360 13-w023dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
314 Points ∼7% +31%
Dell Inspiron 13 7359-4839
Intel Core i7-6500U
310 Points ∼7% +29%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
Intel Core i3-6100U
240 Points ∼5%
Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D
Intel Core i5-7Y54
205 Points ∼5% -15%
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.7 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
35.13 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
240 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
96 Points
Help

System Performance

Subjectively, there is no criticism for the system performance. The laptop runs very smoothly and without longer delays. It can compete with the direct rivals in the PCMark benchmarks. Some of them are still equipped with HDDs, so the Acer Spin 5 should have an advantage in practice. Only the more expensive HP Spectre x360 with the NVMe-SSD can manage a higher benchmark score.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre x360 13-w023dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
4910 Points ∼75% +19%
Dell Inspiron 13 7359-4839
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Liteonit LCH-256V2S
4207 Points ∼64% +2%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
HD Graphics 520, 6100U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
4121 Points ∼63%
Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D
HD Graphics 615, 7Y54, Kingston RBUSNS4180S3256GG
4076 Points ∼62% -1%
HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ng
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A7E630
4050 Points ∼62% -2%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre x360 13-w023dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
3795 Points ∼62% +18%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB
Radeon R5 M430, 7200U, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
3550 Points ∼58% +10%
HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ng
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A7E630
3274 Points ∼54% +2%
Dell Inspiron 13 7359-4839
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Liteonit LCH-256V2S
3224 Points ∼53% 0%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
HD Graphics 520, 6100U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
3224 Points ∼53%
Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D
HD Graphics 615, 7Y54, Kingston RBUSNS4180S3256GG
2979 Points ∼49% -8%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3224 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4121 points
Help

Storage Devices

CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark

The Hynix HFS128G39TND is an 80-mm long M.2-SSD (M.2-2280) attached via SATA-III interface. Therefore, it cannot keep up with faster PCIe-NVMe-SSDs in more expensive systems. However, most laptops in the price range of the Spin 5 are "only" equipped with SATA-III SSDs, and some even with slow HDDs. The SSD in the test model also falls behind the Acer Spin 7 and the Dell Inspiron 13 in respect of 4K values; it is a slower flash drive.

More benchmark results are available in our HDD/SSD benchmark list.

Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
Hynix HFS128G39TND
Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D
Kingston RBUSNS4180S3256GG
Dell Inspiron 13 7359-4839
Liteonit LCH-256V2S
HP Spectre x360 13-w023dx
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
AS SSD
62%
43%
218%
168%
Score Total
766
1036
35%
856
12%
3064
300%
1865
143%
Access Time Write *
0.269
0.169
37%
0.051
81%
0.03
89%
0.028
90%
Access Time Read *
0.098
0.099
-1%
0.082
16%
0.042
57%
0.034
65%
4K-64 Write
91.35
270.7
196%
206.05
126%
500.87
448%
422.18
362%
4K-64 Read
333.75
345.58
4%
290.78
-13%
1420.18
326%
671.28
101%
4K Write
57.18
66.62
17%
72.66
27%
129.74
127%
132.91
132%
4K Read
24.45
41.2
69%
24.79
1%
37.75
54%
39.92
63%
Seq Write
115.67
361.52
213%
270.27
134%
547.65
373%
559.7
384%
Seq Read
503.26
433.2
-14%
505.61
0%
1454.69
189%
1388.73
176%

* ... smaller is better

Hynix HFS128G39TND
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 555 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 130.8 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 195.5 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 130.4 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 503.1 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 131.1 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 26.95 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 73.46 MB/s

GPU Performance

Since the CPU is from the previous generation, the GPU obviously is as well: The Intel HD 520 is the standard GPU for many Skylake notebooks and Ultrabooks. It is the GT2 version with 24 Execution Units (EUs).

The GPU performs best in the Cloud Gate benchmark. Interesting: There are sometimes big differences compared to the successor GPU HD 620. The HD 620 in the Lenovo Yoga 910, for example, is up to 40% faster, while the same GPU in the Pavilion x360 is hardly faster than the old HD 520 in our Spin 5. You can compare more GPUs in our benchmark list.

The GPU performance is not reduced on battery power.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB
AMD Radeon R5 M430, Intel Core i5-7200U
1643 Points ∼3% +35%
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
1623 Points ∼3% +34%
HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ng
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1390 Points ∼3% +15%
Dell Inspiron 13 7359-4839
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6500U
1268 Points ∼2% +5%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i3-6100U
1213 Points ∼2%
Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y54
1032 Points ∼2% -15%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
1045 Points ∼3% +39%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB
AMD Radeon R5 M430, Intel Core i5-7200U
989 Points ∼2% +32%
HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ng
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
762 Points ∼2% +1%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i3-6100U
752 Points ∼2%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
9060 Points ∼5% +45%
HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ng
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
6799 Points ∼4% +9%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i3-6100U
6249 Points ∼3%
Dell Inspiron 13 7359-4839
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6500U
5896 Points ∼3% -6%
Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y54
5478 Points ∼3% -12%
Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB
AMD Radeon R5 M430, Intel Core i5-7200U
5249 Points ∼3% -16%
3DMark 11 Performance
1321 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
4819 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
709 points
Help

Gaming Performance

You probably want to get another system if you plan to play a lot games. The single-channel RAM and the outdated iGPU do not win any prizes. Only BioShock Infinite is playable at the lowest settings, but it is already an older title. Even the modern Civilization VI, which has moderate system requirements, cannot be played at all.

Gamers should look for a multimedia or gaming laptop. The majority of convertibles with optional dedicated GPUs are usually limited to the GeForce 940MX. It is powerful enough for some modern games, but not at the highest settings.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 42.77 24.3 20.21 6.33 fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 16.8 fps
Civilization VI (2016) 27.9 10 fps

Emissions

System Noise

The Spin 5 is a good device for noise-sensitive users. The fan is usually deactivated with everyday tasks, and the noise is very subtle but audible, even when you stress the laptop. The fan starts very suddenly, but this is no problem since it is very quiet.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.431.732.42532.236.632.23135.932.935.94032.33032.35032.832.432.86328.727.828.78027.727.527.710026.425.526.412524.525.924.516024.723.724.72002423.52425026.722.926.731524.521.924.54002420.22450022.320.322.363021.819.421.880021.918.621.9100026.918.326.9125025.417.925.416002517.925200026.617.626.6250029.617.929.6315025.317.925.3400021.117.921.1500020.218.120.2630019.618.319.6800018.618.318.61000018.518.218.51250018.318.118.31600018.118.218.1SPL36.730.636.7N2.41.52.4median 24median 18.3median 24Delta2.41.92.433.635.134.535.334.633.632.431.235.533.239.632.436.437.938.135.839.936.430.831.433.434.135.230.829.93029.629.832.329.928.828.128.530.628.228.828.227.826.927.32628.226.926.926.225.32626.925.125.82725.625.425.12423.623.223.123.32424.124.222.523.423.824.12323.72223.222.72322.524.42121.221.622.521.62320.620.320.221.620.621.419.819.319.620.620.320.818.919.118.620.323.324.12222.418.623.322.724.120.821.11822.721.423.819.32017.421.422.325.118.319.117.922.322.224.818.719.117.522.224.126.818.51917.824.125.931.718.318.617.925.919.924.218.718.91819.919.220.818.318.618.319.21920.618.418.618.41918.719.518.418.418.418.718.518.718.318.518.418.518.318.318.218.418.218.318.518.318.218.618.418.534.237.331.331.630.534.222.51.61.61.42median 22.2median 23.8median 18.9median 19.1median 18.4median 22.22.12.11.71.422.138.541.541.33939.338.533.740.737.936.936.733.73334.131.631.834.1333135.632.432.431.63131.33532.432.632.831.336.136.335.333.533.836.131.436.730.229.530.231.429.935.430.528.229.329.926.828.526.52725.926.826.228.927.126.126.426.227.529.92826.226.527.524.227.425.124.224.324.224.827.525.324.723.724.822.725.524.522.722.422.722.225.524.622.422.322.221.724.523.221.921.521.720.524.523.42220.920.52024.723.821.819.62019.625.124.522.119.519.619.226.325.723.21919.219.23029.225.418.619.218.829.228.725.618.418.818.628.828.32518.418.618.524.624.120.418.318.518.623.52320.218.518.618.522.521.619.318.518.518.62120.618.818.518.618.419.318.918.418.418.418.218.918.718.318.118.218.218.818.418.218.118.231.938.437.734.931.831.91.732.72.21.71.7median 19.6median 25.5median 24.5median 22.4median 19.5median 19.62.42.522.62.62.434.235.43834.234.242.642.14341.242.644.150.945.543.344.133.844.83936.533.836.634.23335.636.629.72928.528.829.727.931.932.327.827.926.827.427.526.426.825.725.926.325.625.724.524.725.223.824.523.424.824.523.623.422.624.324.722.322.621.524.324.521.421.520.824.924.120.720.820.72322.420.320.719.424.524.41919.419.426.325.718.619.419.932.231.718.119.920.633.533.517.920.618.930.93117.818.918.531.131.417.618.518.833.733.517.618.818.331.431.418.118.318.327.227.218.118.318.426.526.518.318.418.525.825.918.518.518.524.424.318.418.518.521.321.118.518.518.419.519.418.318.418.419.618.918.318.431.341.941.930.631.31.63.73.61.51.6median 19.4median 25.8median 25.7median 18.5median 19.41.51.71.71.91.5hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseAcer Spin 5 SP513-51HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ngLenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGEDell Inspiron 15 5000 5567-1753

Noise Level

Idle
30.5 / 30.5 / 30.6 dB(A)
Load
31 / 36.8 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.5 dB(A)

Temperature

Stress test: Prime95 + FurMark
Stress test: Prime95 + FurMark

The temperatures of the Spin 5 are just as inconspicuous as the fan noise in practice. It only gets moderately warm, even during our stress test, so you do not have to be worried.

The CPU was able to maintain its maximum clock of 2.3 GHz even after the one-hour stress test, and the GPU was also steady at 1,000 MHz. The processor never reaches more than 71 °C, so the cooling performance of the Spin 5 has no problems with the i3. The Cinebench scores immediately after the stress test are normal.

The question is how the Spin 5 can handle the temperature development of the Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs. These SKUs could get warmer when Acer uses the same cooling system.

Top (idle)
Top (idle)
Bottom (idle)
Bottom (idle)
Top (load)
Top (load)
Bottom (load)
Bottom (load)
Max. Load
 33.6 °C
92 F
38.3 °C
101 F
35.8 °C
96 F
 
 28.1 °C
83 F
33.9 °C
93 F
25.6 °C
78 F
 
 24 °C
75 F
22.8 °C
73 F
23 °C
73 F
 
Maximum: 38.3 °C = 101 F
Average: 29.5 °C = 85 F
29.5 °C
85 F
42.5 °C
109 F
34.9 °C
95 F
24.1 °C
75 F
37.6 °C
100 F
30.2 °C
86 F
22.5 °C
73 F
23.4 °C
74 F
23.8 °C
75 F
Maximum: 42.5 °C = 109 F
Average: 29.8 °C = 86 F
Power Supply (max.)  45 °C = 113 F | Room Temperature 21.6 °C = 71 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.5 °C / 85 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38.3 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 35.4 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 42.5 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.1 °C / 77 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 24 °C / 75.2 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(+) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.9 °C / 84 F (+4.9 °C / 8.8 F).

Speakers

The sound output via integrated speakers is pretty typical for a compact notebook: tinny, without bass, and distorted at higher volumes. The latter is pretty high compared to other notebooks. The MacBook we use for the comparison is on another level.

You should use external speakers or headphones instead of the down-facing stereo speakers when you want to listen to music.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.731.732.72531.236.631.23131.532.931.54031.33031.35029.432.429.46327.827.827.88026.527.526.510025.925.525.912526.125.926.116033.223.733.220043.223.543.225046.922.946.931551.921.951.940057.220.257.250056.320.356.363060.719.460.780072.418.672.4100066.418.366.4125059.317.959.3160059.117.959.1200064.317.664.3250065.617.965.6315069.117.969.1400070.317.970.3500064.718.164.7630063.218.363.2800063.818.363.81000061.318.261.3125006318.1631600063.718.263.7SPL78.230.678.2N40.71.540.7median 61.3median 18.3median 61.3Delta7.31.97.335.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer Spin 5 SP513-51Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (71 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.1% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (11.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 52% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 41% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 47% of all tested devices were better, 9% similar, 43% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency comparison (checkboxes select/deselectable!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The rather slow hardware not only improves the temperature and noise development, but the Spin 5 is also a very efficient device in our consumption measurements. It is even on par with the Spin 7, which is equipped with the most efficient Y-series CPUs. Lenovo's Yoga 510 needs the most amount of power within this comparison group, which is a result of the dedicated GPU.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.72 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.1 / 6.8 / 7.9 Watt
Load midlight 20.4 / 26.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
6100U, HD Graphics 520, Hynix HFS128G39TND, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 13.3
Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D
7Y54, HD Graphics 615, Kingston RBUSNS4180S3256GG, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Dell Inspiron 13 7359-4839
6500U, HD Graphics 520, Liteonit LCH-256V2S, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB
7200U, Radeon R5 M430, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ng
7200U, HD Graphics 620, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A7E630, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Power Consumption
-1%
-4%
-34%
-15%
Idle Minimum *
4.1
4.3
-5%
4
2%
3.9
5%
4.7
-15%
Idle Average *
6.8
7.4
-9%
4.8
29%
7.1
-4%
7.2
-6%
Idle Maximum *
7.9
8
-1%
7.6
4%
7.7
3%
7.9
-0%
Load Average *
20.4
22.1
-8%
30
-47%
33.4
-64%
30
-47%
Load Maximum *
26.8
21.7
19%
29.3
-9%
55.9
-109%
29
-8%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Acer implements a 45-Wh lithium-ion battery. It manages decent runtimes in combination with the efficient Core i3 processor: 7 hours and 43 minutes is a good result and almost on par with the Dell Inspiron 13, while both the Yoga 510-14IKB and the HP Pavilion x360 in particular are beaten. The luxury convertible Lenovo Yoga 910 with its monstrous 78-Wh battery is much more enduring, but it is obviously much more expensive as well.

It takes quite a while to charge the Spin 5, which is also a result of the very compact power adapter. A full charge of the battery takes about 2.5 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
12h 29min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge)
7h 43min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 13min
Acer Spin 5 SP513-51
6100U, HD Graphics 520, 45 Wh
Acer Spin 7 SP714-51-M09D
7Y54, HD Graphics 615, 42 Wh
Dell Inspiron 13 7359-4839
6500U, HD Graphics 520, 44 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB
7200U, Radeon R5 M430, 35 Wh
HP Pavilion x360 13-u102ng
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 41 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 78 Wh
Battery Runtime
2%
2%
-16%
-30%
38%
Reader / Idle
749
748
0%
886
18%
722
-4%
560
-25%
1069
43%
WiFi v1.3
463
391
-16%
486
5%
373
-19%
322
-30%
644
39%
Load
133
163
23%
109
-18%
100
-25%
86
-35%
174
31%
H.264
320

Pros

+ precise touchpad
+ cool & quiet
+ low price
+ good display
+ comparatively long battery runtime

Cons

- squeezed keyboard
- old CPU
- long charging times
- microSD instead of SD-card reader
- no USB Type-C

Verdict

In review: Acer Spin 5
In review: Acer Spin 5

The Acer Spin 5 is quite a success. The test model convinces with the quiet fan, the good cooling performance as well as the precise touchpad in particular. The chassis, the screen, and the battery runtimes are all average and do not reveal any serious flaws.

The keyboard deserves some criticism, because the typing experience is not satisfying and the layout is pretty squeezed, which can result in typos. Then there are the ports: A modern USB Type-C port is missing, just like a full-size SD-card reader (only microSD reader). The long charging time of the battery is also a bit annoying.

We can recommend the Acer Spin 5. There are many positive aspects; only the keyboard falls a bit short. The biggest advantages are the emissions with the quiet fan and the low temperatures.

All in all, the Acer Spin 5 still deserves a recommendation. It is an inexpensive device for web browsing and office applications, where it works well. The Core i3 is not particularly powerful, but the laptop is always cool and quiet in return.

However, the competition manages better price-performance ratios: The Lenovo Yoga 510-14IKB with a Core i3-7100U, 128 GB SSD and 4 GB RAM is 50 Euros (~$52) less expensive. HP's Pavilion x360 13 costs as much as the Acer Spin 5, and it is equipped with the new Core i5-7200U and 8 GB RAM, but it has a 1 TB HDD instead of the 128 GB SSD, so you have to decide between performance and capacity. Then there is obviously the additional noise from the HDD.

Acer Spin 5 SP513-51 - 01/23/2017 v6(old)
Benjamin Herzig

Chassis
71 / 98 → 72%
Keyboard
70%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
39 / 80 → 49%
Weight
67 / 35-78 → 73%
Battery
90%
Display
81%
Games Performance
55 / 68 → 80%
Application Performance
76 / 87 → 88%
Temperature
94%
Noise
93%
Audio
56 / 91 → 62%
Camera
32 / 85 → 37%
Average
71%
80%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Spin 5 SP513-51 Convertible Review
Benjamin Herzig, 2017-03- 6 (Update: 2019-04-21)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.