Notebookcheck

Acer TravelMate Spin B1 Convertible Review

Benjamin Herzig, 👁 Andreas Osthoff, Tanja Hinum (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 09/19/2017

Weakling with odd clickpad design. Laptops for the educational sector need to be both sturdy and inexpensive. The Acer TravelMate Spin B1 fulfills with these requirements, but a closer look reveals many shortcomings.

The education sector is hotly contested and most manufacturers want a piece of the pie: Apple with their iPad, Google with the Chromebook and Microsoft with affordable Windows notebooks. Our review laptop is such a device. More precisely, the Acer TravelMate Spin B1 is a convertible designed to take the place of books and other tools within the educational sector.  

The TravelMate Spin B1 was introduced in May as Microsoft's next big play in the education sector. Its core attributes are the affordable price, the sturdy chassis and the 2-in-1 design. We selected the Dell Latitude 3180ASUS Vivobook E200HAHP Probook x360 as well as the Acer Spin 1 for our comparison. Our review notebook comes with a Pentium N4200, 4 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD and costs at least 675 Euro (~$810).

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Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE (TravelMate Spin B1 Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR3L-1333, 1 slot
Display
11.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 190 PPI, 10-point, native pen support, LM116LF3L02, IPS LED, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Apollo Lake
Storage
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A, 256 GB 
, , 218 GB free
Soundcard
Realtek ALC256 @ Intel Apollo Lake SoC - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo-jack, Card Reader: SD card reader
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 23 x 291 x 211 ( = 0.91 x 11.46 x 8.31 in)
Battery
48 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 0.9 MP
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo speakers, Keyboard: 6-row chiclet , Keyboard Light: no, Active Pen, Acer Collection, Acer TeachSmart, Acer Quick Access, McAfee Internet Security Trial, Microsoft Office Trial, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
1.488 kg ( = 52.49 oz / 3.28 pounds), Power Supply: 280 g ( = 9.88 oz / 0.62 pounds)
Price
811 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Chassis & Connectivity

So how do you design an affordable, but at the same time sturdy notebook for students? The answer is simple: make the chassis out of thick, black plastic. While the result might not look great nor be very light, it's at least resilient. The TravelMate Spin B1 doesn't look or feel very upscale, but the design is robust and the base unit in particular is torsionally very rigid. Even localized pressure has next to no effect. Only the display falls a bit short here, as it doesn't take a whole lot of pressure to affect the picture. Strangely enough the hinges, which allow the display to flip a convertible-typical 360°, have a lot of play. This could be a peculiarity of our review unit, but we can't say if this excess movement is detrimental to the longevity of the hinges. 

Size Comparison

332.9 mm / 13.1 inch 231.8 mm / 9.13 inch 23 mm / 0.906 inch 1.6 kg3.59 lbs302 mm / 11.9 inch 208 mm / 8.19 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 1.5 kg3.22 lbs298 mm / 11.7 inch 210 mm / 8.27 inch 20.3 mm / 0.799 inch 1.5 kg3.31 lbs291 mm / 11.5 inch 211 mm / 8.31 inch 23 mm / 0.906 inch 1.5 kg3.28 lbs286 mm / 11.3 inch 193 mm / 7.6 inch 17.5 mm / 0.689 inch 976 g2.15 lbs

Connectivity

The connectivity is decent, although we do think that Acer could've thrown in a USB Type-C port for good measure. This aspect of future-proofing might only be of minor importance to schools, so this isn't really a major drawback. Slightly more concerning is the location of the ports, since the are all jammed together. Given the small footprint, this can't really be avoided, but the user has to accept possible port contention depending on what's plugged in.

Left: power, Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.0 Type A, audio combo-jack
Left: power, Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.0 Type A, audio combo-jack
Right: power button, SD card reader, USB 2.0 Type A, Kensington lock slot
Right: power button, SD card reader, USB 2.0 Type A, Kensington lock slot

The Intel Wireless 7265 wireless card is an older-generation 2x2 AC WLAN module. The card is used in several of the notebooks in our comparison, but its performance is the lowest in our Spin B1. The SD card reader is very slow as well and inserted cards stick out. In some areas, the system definitely shows its low price point.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
64 MB/s ∼100% +158%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
24.8 MB/s ∼39%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
84.2 MB/s ∼100% +136%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
35.7 MB/s ∼42%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
559 MBit/s ∼100% +23%
Dell Latitude 3180
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
543 MBit/s ∼97% +20%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
453 MBit/s ∼81%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
671 MBit/s ∼100% +53%
Dell Latitude 3180
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
655 MBit/s ∼98% +49%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
439 MBit/s ∼65%

Input Devices

The review notebook is equipped with a chiclet keyboard without a backlight - something that is to be expected in this price range. The matte keys have a rough surface but the typing experience isn't that great. While the key travel is adequate, the actuation point isn't well defined at all, so the keyboard isn't particularly well-suited for users who need to type a lot. It's also important to point out the keyboard isn't full size and thus not as wide as it would be on a regular notebook. In other words, it might take a fairly long adjustment period to get used to typing on the Spin B1.     

The clickpad underneath the keyboard functions well as far as moving the cursor with a high amount of accuracy is concerned, but its actuation mechanism is somewhat strange. The surface yields when pressed without registering a click even when reaching the endpoint. In essence registering a click requires two presses, which feels strange and is highly irritating during everyday use.

Since this is a convertible, the Spin B1 of course features a touch display in addition to the touchpad and the keyboard. An active digitizer-stylus is included as well. The pen functions flawlessly and accurately even at the very edges and can be - since it supports pressure levels - used for drawing as well.

The keyboard of the Acer TravelMate Spin B1
The keyboard of the Acer TravelMate Spin B1

Display

Subpixel array LM116LF3L02
Subpixel array LM116LF3L02
Minimal backlight bleeding
Minimal backlight bleeding

Acer didn't take any shortcuts when it comes to the display, as all variants of the TravelMate Spin B1 are equipped with a 11.6-inch Full HD display (1920 x 1080 pixels). The display is based on IPS technology and it's reflective because of the glass panel up front.        

Compared to the competitors, Acer uses without a doubt the highest-end panel. The average brightness of 290 cd/m² is the highest of the bunch and the coverage of the professional color space sRGB is - at 97 % - very good indeed. No other competitor in this price range offers the same performance. The contrast of 1409:1 is also surprisingly good for an inexpensive notebook. The only downside is the brightness distribution, which is quite uneven at 80 %. There's next to no backlight bleeding and the PWM frequency of 1000 Hz is high enough to not have any ill effects.

274
cd/m²
259
cd/m²
278
cd/m²
289
cd/m²
324
cd/m²
295
cd/m²
301
cd/m²
287
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LM116LF3L02
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 324 cd/m² Average: 289.6 cd/m² Minimum: 19.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 80 %
Center on Battery: 324 cd/m²
Contrast: 1409:1 (Black: 0.23 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.7 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
97.3% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 63.7% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.13
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
LM116LF3L02, , 1920x1080, 11.6
Dell Latitude 3180
BOE NT11621, , 1366x768, 11.6
Asus VivoBook E200HA-FD0041TS
Chi Mei CMN1130, N116BGE-EB2, , 1366x768, 11.6
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
Chi Mei CMN1139, , 1366x768, 11.6
Acer Spin 1 SP111-31-C79E
AU Optronics B116HAN05.0, , 1920x1080, 11.6
Response Times
-25%
798%
5%
12%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
38 (17.6, 20.4)
40 (22, 18)
-5%
45 (25, 20)
-18%
40 (22, 18)
-5%
36 (19, 17)
5%
Response Time Black / White *
29.2 (16.4, 12.8)
26 (20, 6)
11%
18 (14, 4)
38%
25 (19, 6)
14%
24 (14, 10)
18%
PWM Frequency
1000 (20)
200 (90)
-80%
24750 (30)
2375%
Screen
-97%
-40%
-82%
-15%
Brightness middle
324
253
-22%
267
-18%
174
-46%
251
-23%
Brightness
290
236
-19%
265
-9%
166
-43%
247
-15%
Brightness Distribution
80
85
6%
85
6%
90
13%
86
8%
Black Level *
0.23
0.47
-104%
0.35
-52%
0.29
-26%
0.21
9%
Contrast
1409
538
-62%
763
-46%
600
-57%
1195
-15%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.7
12.87
-248%
6.67
-80%
11.38
-208%
4.27
-15%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.4
21.99
-197%
10.32
-39%
19.59
-165%
11
-49%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4
13.97
-249%
7.84
-96%
12.75
-219%
3.77
6%
Gamma
2.13 103%
2.46 89%
2.3 96%
2.49 88%
2.26 97%
CCT
6971 93%
18336 35%
8076 80%
15367 42%
6524 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
63.7
39
-39%
42
-34%
40
-37%
47
-26%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97.3
61
-37%
65
-33%
63
-35%
72
-26%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-61% / -80%
379% / 153%
-39% / -68%
-2% / -10%

* ... smaller is better

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
29.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 12.8 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. » 70 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.6 ms rise
↘ 20.4 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. » 37 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to 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 detected 1000 Hz ≤ 20 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 20 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 1000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

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.

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Saturation
Saturation
Grayscale
Grayscale
ColorChecker (calibrated)
ColorChecker (calibrated)
Saturation (calibrated)
Saturation (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)
Grayscale (calibrated)

Subjectively, the display quality is impressive. As shipped, there's a slight greenish hue though, although a calibration takes care of that. As always, we include a link to download the profile.        

Outdoor use is hampered by the glossy display. While the brightness of 290 cd/m² would certainly be sufficient for a non-glare display, the reflective character of the panel makes outdoor use almost impossible.

As it is typical for IPS displays, the viewing angle stability is excellent and easily surpasses those of TN-based panels.

sRGB: 97.3 %
sRGB: 97.3 %
Outdoor use (shade)
Outdoor use (shade)
Viewing angles from the side
Viewing angles from the side
AdobeRGB: 63.7 %
AdobeRGB: 63.7 %
Outdoor use (sun)
Outdoor use (sun)
Viewing angles from below
Viewing angles from below

Performance

In Germany, the  Acer TravelMate Spin B1 is offered in eight different configurations with prices ranging from 320 to 670 Euro (~$380-800). Our review notebook is the most expensive version with Windows 10 Pro, a 256 GB SSD and Intel Pentium N4200 processor. The lower-end models come with Windows 10 Home or even Linux and a 128 GB instead of a 256 GB SSD; the least expensive model comes with a 500 GB conventional hard drive. The three lowest-end versions come with a Celeron N3450 instead of the Pentium processor..

The RAM remains unchanged: all versions of the TravelMate Spin B1 come with 4 GB of DDR3L RAM. The RAM is soldered on and thus cannot be upgraded.

HWiNFO
HWiNFO
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
Latencymon
Latencymon
 

Processor

The Intel Pentium N4200 is a quad-core processor which utilizes Intel's Apollo Lake architecture. As an Atom-based CPU, the processor is ideal for notebooks where the lowest possible price is of the utmost importance. Neither the four cores nor the Turbo clock speed of 2.5 GHz (base: 1.1 GHz) can hide the fact that this CPU is only suitable for undemanding tasks. On the other hand, the TDP of 6 W is also quite low.

Even during the Cinebench test, the processor can't reach its full potential. We measured a clock speed of 1.6 GHz during the Multicore portion of the test. The Spin B1 is not nearly as fast as it could be and about 22 - 23 % slower than other notebooks with the Pentium N4200. At least the performance doesn't drop during prolonged load. During our 30 minute Cinebench R15 Multi loop test, the performance remained low, but didn't deteriorate further. 

Using the notebook on battery power has no impact on the performance.

0102030405060708090100110120130140Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
Intel Pentium N4200
53 Points ∼24% +2%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
Intel Pentium N4200
52 Points ∼24%
Dell Latitude 3180
Intel Pentium N4200
51 Points ∼23% -2%
Acer Spin 1 SP111-31-C79E
Intel Celeron N3450
48 Points ∼22% -8%
Asus VivoBook E200HA-FD0041TS
Intel Atom x5-Z8350
27 Points ∼12% -48%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude 3180
Intel Pentium N4200
175 Points ∼4% +30%
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
Intel Pentium N4200
174 Points ∼4% +29%
Acer Spin 1 SP111-31-C79E
Intel Celeron N3450
135 Points ∼3% 0%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
Intel Pentium N4200
135 Points ∼3%
Asus VivoBook E200HA-FD0041TS
Intel Atom x5-Z8350
95 Points ∼2% -30%
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
11.3 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.7 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
135 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
52 Points
Help

System Performance

Considering the low-power hardware, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the TravelMate Spin B1 isn't exactly a top-notch performer. When running PCMark benchmark tests, which measure the overall system performance, the convertible doesn't even come close to equaling the performance of Core-i systems. Our review notebook places in the middle of the field when compared to other laptops with Intel Atom technology. Since the CPU doesn't reach its full potential, the other two notebooks with Pentium N4200 in our comparison are faster. During normal operation the system runs smoothly for the most part, but stutters do occur on a regular basis.  

PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Latitude 3180
HD Graphics 505, N4200, Liteonit CV3-8D128
2314 Points ∼38% +16%
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
HD Graphics 505, N4200, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
2140 Points ∼35% +8%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
HD Graphics 505, N4200, SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
1989 Points ∼33%
Acer Spin 1 SP111-31-C79E
HD Graphics 500, N3450, Toshiba MQ01ABF050
1530 Points ∼25% -23%
Asus VivoBook E200HA-FD0041TS
HD Graphics 400 (Braswell), Z8350, Hynix HBG4a2 32 GB eMMC
1464 Points ∼24% -26%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
1989 points
Help

Storage Devices

The 256 GB SSD from Hynix is the one component which makes operation of the TravelMate Spin B1 bearable. Not all laptops in this price range come with SSDs. Even though the drive in question is of the slower SATA III variety, it is still significantly faster than the eMMC flash drive in the Asus Vivobook E200HA or the platter-based drive in the Acer Spin 1.

Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Dell Latitude 3180
Liteonit CV3-8D128
Asus VivoBook E200HA-FD0041TS
Hynix HBG4a2 32 GB eMMC
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1006
Acer Spin 1 SP111-31-C79E
Toshiba MQ01ABF050
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-6%
-55%
13%
-88%
Write 4k QD32
106.9
118.1
10%
28.32
-74%
112.1
5%
1.043
-99%
Read 4k QD32
119.3
132.7
11%
30.25
-75%
123.8
4%
1.003
-99%
Write 4k
54.2
44.77
-17%
19.23
-65%
58.09
7%
1.037
-98%
Read 4k
15.91
18.17
14%
16.62
4%
12.3
-23%
0.482
-97%
Write 512
261.4
162.6
-38%
108.8
-58%
369.8
41%
45.28
-83%
Read 512
313.1
276.5
-12%
154.9
-51%
317.1
1%
35.89
-89%
Write Seq
262.2
213.2
-19%
115.3
-56%
453.5
73%
107.3
-59%
Read Seq
480.6
482.6
0%
163.2
-66%
458.4
-5%
109.1
-77%
SK Hynix HFS256G39TND-N210A
Sequential Read: 480.6 MB/s
Sequential Write: 262.2 MB/s
512K Read: 313.1 MB/s
512K Write: 261.4 MB/s
4K Read: 15.91 MB/s
4K Write: 54.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 119.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 106.9 MB/s

Graphics Card

The Intel HD Graphics 505 is a low-end iGPU based on the Intel Skylake GPU architecture and therefore related to other Gen9 iGPUs like the Intel HD Graphics 520. The graphics card features 6 execution units less than the HD Graphics 520 and tops out at 750 MHz instead of 1050 MHz because of the lower TDP of the CPU/GPU combo.       

Well - at least that's the theory. During our benchmark test, the GPU never reached the advertised 750 MHz, but ran at an average of only 350 MHz. Compared to other notebooks with the Intel HD 505, the TravelMate Spin B1 is consequently the slowest system. The 3DMark 11 scores of competitors like the HP Probook x360 11 and the Dell Latitude 3180 are between 50 to 75 % higher.

Running the convertible unplugged from the outlet doesn't reduce the performance any further.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell Latitude 3180
Intel HD Graphics 505, Intel Pentium N4200
825 Points ∼100% +74%
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
Intel HD Graphics 505, Intel Pentium N4200
725 Points ∼88% +53%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
Intel HD Graphics 505, Intel Pentium N4200
473 Points ∼57%
Acer Spin 1 SP111-31-C79E
Intel HD Graphics 500, Intel Celeron N3450
368 Points ∼45% -22%
Asus VivoBook E200HA-FD0041TS
Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell), Intel Atom x5-Z8350
348 Points ∼42% -26%
3DMark 11 Performance
500 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Given the low graphics capabilities, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the TravelMate Spin B1 isn't really usable for gaming, which might not be a disadvantage given that the device is designed for the education sector. Very basic casual games or very old titles should still run adequately, however.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 21.04 fps

Emissions & Energy

Noise Level

Since there is no fan, the Spin B1 is completely silent, no matter how hard the CPU and the GPU are working. We also didn't notice any coil whine or other annoying sounds.

It needs to be pointed out that not all versions of this TravelMate are inaudible - models with HDD emit the typical whirring sound and access noise. Our review convertible is equipped with an SSD and dead silent.

Temperature

Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark)
Stress test (Prime95 + FurMark)

A laptop without a fan is bound to get hot - or so one might think. The TravelMate Spin B1 does indeed get warm at a maximum of 45 °C, but this temperature is far from critical.       

With both the CPU and GPU at 100 % utilization, the CPU runs at the base frequency of 1.1 GHz for 15 minutes, while the GPU only operates at 150 MHz. Both components only consume a total of 4 W. It appears that Acer implemented a TDP restriction which becomes active when both the processor and the graphics card are running at their respective maximums. After 15 minutes the CPU reached 70 °C and the frequency all of a sudden dropped to only 400 MHz. It seems that there's not only a TDP, but also a temperature limit at work, which prevents excessive heat generation.       

We repeat the 3DMark 11 benchmark again directly after the stress test. The resulting score remains nearly the same, which means that the throttling doesn't really impact every day use, although the convertible is quite slow to begin with.

Max. Load
 42.9 °C
109 F
42.7 °C
109 F
32.8 °C
91 F
 
 39.6 °C
103 F
38.9 °C
102 F
31.7 °C
89 F
 
 34.6 °C
94 F
33.3 °C
92 F
28.1 °C
83 F
 
Maximum: 42.9 °C = 109 F
Average: 36.1 °C = 97 F
29.3 °C
85 F
44.2 °C
112 F
45.6 °C
114 F
29.4 °C
85 F
42 °C
108 F
42.3 °C
108 F
25.7 °C
78 F
28.9 °C
84 F
29.3 °C
85 F
Maximum: 45.6 °C = 114 F
Average: 35.2 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  37.7 °C = 100 F | Room Temperature 22.4 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-900
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.1 °C / 97 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 42.9 °C / 109 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 45.6 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27.7 °C / 82 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (34.6 °C / 94.3 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.9 °C / 84 F (-5.7 °C / -10.3 F).
Top (load)
Top (load)
Bottom (load)
Bottom (load)

Speakers

What should we expect from a laptop with a starting price of 300 Euro (~$360) when it comes to the quality of the speakers? The answer: not much. The speakers, which fire towards the bottom, lack bass, don't get very loud and sound quite tinny.     

Users who want better sound should use the headphone jack, which delivers decent sound output.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.928.430.9253128.3313129.228.729.24027.62427.65026.123.926.16327.425.327.48030.224.330.210026.921.826.912530.622.230.616030.920.430.920033.719.633.725040.119.440.131549.818.249.840051.117.451.150050.317.350.363049.916.549.980055.616.155.6100060.616.660.6125062.116.962.1160062.617.262.6200060.317.760.3250060.218.260.231505718.557400061.418.561.4500062.118.562.1630057.718.457.7800066.718.166.71000060.817.660.81250057.917.157.91600066.116.566.1SPL72.929.972.9N29.61.329.6median 57.7median 18.1median 57.7Delta7.80.87.832.233.132.233.432.933.435.232.635.23329.83339.137.939.128.231.128.227.328.227.326.524.526.524.524.924.525.824.425.827.923.327.935.322.235.352.121.452.156.120.456.15619.25652.318.752.356.818.256.861.217.761.261.217.561.265.117.365.163.517.463.562.217.562.267.817.567.873.917.773.974.817.874.869.81869.869.618.269.671.218.271.265.418.365.468.418.468.480.930.380.9431.443median 61.2median 18.2median 61.211.82.211.8hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BEHP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 22.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.8% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 60% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 58% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (74.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 29.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (28.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 81% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 17% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 83% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 13% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Power Consumption

Not surprising is the fact that the notebook consumes little power, since the CPU maxes out at 7 W. When both the CPU and the GPU are working hard at the same time, the consumption drops to only 4 W. Both the idle as well as the load maximum are very low and the TravelMate Spin B1 is indeed a very frugal notebook.

Since the maximum power consumption never exceeds 30 W, the 45 W power adapter can easily handle the load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.18 / 0.64 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.25 / 6.1 / 6.8 Watt
Load midlight 15.1 / 26.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy

Battery Life

Although the power draw is low, the battery run times are quite disappointing. That is actually quite strange, since Acer uses a battery with a capacity of 48 Wh, which seems pretty generous.       

One of the reasons for the subpar performance during the WLAN battery test could be the display - most competitors only feature panels with HD resolution. A panel with lower pixel density consumes less power at the same brightness level. Acer's own Spin 1, however, also has a Full HD panel and scores much higher. This particular model consumes even less power under low load, which might also makes a difference. 

Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3
Dell Latitude 3180
N4200, HD Graphics 505, 42 Wh
621 min ∼24% +79%
Acer Spin 1 SP111-31-C79E
N3450, HD Graphics 500, 48.9 Wh
564 min ∼21% +63%
Asus VivoBook E200HA-FD0041TS
Z8350, HD Graphics 400 (Braswell), 38 Wh
534 min ∼20% +54%
HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Z3A47EA
N4200, HD Graphics 505, 41 Wh
381 min ∼14% +10%
Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE
N4200, HD Graphics 505, 48 Wh
347 min ∼13%
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge)
5h 47min

Pros

+ colorful Full-HD display
+ always silent - no fan
+ sturdy chassis
+ flexible with touchscreen and pen support

Cons

- strange clickpad design
- CPU doesn't reach its potential
- glossy display
- mediocre battery life

Verdict

In Review: the Acer TravelMate Spin B1, courtesy of Acer Germany.
In Review: the Acer TravelMate Spin B1, courtesy of Acer Germany.

The TravelMate Spin B1 isn't a mainstream convertible, but a laptop specifically designed specifically for the education sector. Given the target audience, Acer did quite a few things right. Classroom use requires a sturdy chassis and the Spin B1 delivers in that aspect. A bright display panel is desirable as well and at 290 cd/m², the TravelMate is equipped with one - especially when compared to the competition. In addition, the display is a touchscreen and supports a stylus, which is quite helpful in this field. The TravelMate is passively cooled, so there is no fan that can get plugged up or broken when the notebook is handled roughly. Schools are using hardware for longer than businesses or home users, so longevity is a very import aspect of the design.

There are a few things that could use improvement. The display is bright and surprisingly colorful, but it's very reflective as well - we think an at least semi-matte panel would've been a much more appropriate choice. The clickpad is quite strange, feels weird and can't be operated comfortably. The battery life isn't great either - students who would like an inexpensive secondary notebook need to consider this as a major con. Last but not least, the TravelMate doesn't utilize the full potential of the processor; the also passively-cooled Dell Latitude 3180 and the Dell Latitude 3180 (N4200, HD) Laptop ReviewAsus VivoBook E200HA do a much better job in that regard. The only saving grace as far as daily operation is concerned is the SSD.

The Acer TravelMate Spin B1 is a decidedly mixed bag: while the display quality is impressive, the convertible has a lot of drawbacks as well. 

The points above make it difficult to whole-heartedly recommend the Spin B1. The fact that the TravelMate is a convertible is not a unique selling feature and neither is the fanless design. The price differences are fairly minor as well. One of the major plus points is the display: users who need adequate coverage of the color spaces and great viewing angle stability might consider the TravelMate over its competition.

Acer TravelMate Spin B1 118-RN-P6BE - 09/11/2017 v6(old)
Benjamin Herzig

Chassis
81 / 98 → 82%
Keyboard
74%
Pointing Device
72%
Connectivity
44 / 80 → 55%
Weight
69 / 35-78 → 79%
Battery
87%
Display
84%
Games Performance
40 / 68 → 58%
Application Performance
60 / 87 → 69%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
50 / 91 → 55%
Camera
44 / 85 → 52%
Average
69%
78%
Convertible - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer TravelMate Spin B1 Convertible Review
Benjamin Herzig, 2017-09-19 (Update: 2017-09-19)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).