Review: Acer Spin 3 Convertible 2-in-1 Laptop with Core i7-8565U (SP314-53N-77AJ)

I love 2-in-1 laptops. They are so convenient and versatile. In 2020, if you are thinking of buying a laptop, my recommendation is to go with a 2-in-1 laptop form-factor. Acer Spin 3 is one of the best selling 2-in-1 convertible laptop on amazon. Acer has packed some high end specs in this thin-n-light 2-in-1 laptop while still keeping a reasonable price. They are pursuing a very aggressive pricing strategy in this high end premium 2-in-1 laptop category. But is Acer Spin 3 any good? Let's find out!

Build Quality

Acer Spin 3 weighs about 3.75 pounds and it is 0.78 inches thick. In order to get to budget price point, Acer had to make some compromises. So this laptop is made of polycarbonate material or plastic in simple English. So no fancy unibody magnesium alloy constructions. But this is not necessarily a bad thing since it keeps the weight of the laptop down.

The laptop is fairly well built and feels solid in hands. When you open the lid, you see a black texturized upper bezel and a glossy silver bottom. The silver finishing does a good job at repelling smudges and scratches. Whether you are a student or you plan to use this laptop at home, it should be able to handle your daily hussle quite well.


Acer Spin 3 is a hybrid form-factor device. It comes with a 360 degree hinge mechanism. There are 2 hinges that hold the screen in various arrangements. From a traditional clam-shell laptop, to laying flat on a table, to tent mode and finally to tablet mode. Typically hinges on a convertible laptop are not all that sturdy and they have some play in them.

But the Acer Spin 3 hinge holds the screen in place quite rigidly. I did not notice any screen wobbles when using it in either laptop or tablet mode. I especially prefer the mode where you tilt the screen back 180 degrees. This is great when you are chilling in your bed or couch watching videos while the laptop is comfortably resting on your lap. The tablet mode is great for using with included stylus. I often use sketching apps to doodle and make stupid cartoons. It helps me channel my inner artist!


Acer Spin 3 has a 14 inches Full HD 1920 by 1080 widescreen display. It is an LED backlit IPS Panel which supports multi touch. The screen has very thin bezels measuring only 0.38 inches. This gives it a 78.9% screen-to-body ratio which is pretty impressive for a 2-in-1 laptop screen. The screen is plenty bright clocking about 240 nits of brightness. You will have no problem using this laptop in bright-lit environments be it a classroom or a conference room.
The contrast level is also good and the screen produces deep inky blacks. This screen has a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees. This means that the text and images look sharp even at skewed angles. The screen supports full windows 10 multi-touch features. Spin 3 comes with a rechargeable active stylus that docks right into the laptop. The stylus is perfect for taking notes drawing and sketching. I think students and working professionals will find it very useful.

As I mentioned before, Acer Spin3 has a built-in storage dock for the stylus which also acts as a charger. It charges the stylus very quickly, just 5 seconds in the dock will juice up the stylus for about an hours use. This rechargeable active stylus is certified by Microsoft and it integrates the Microsoft Pen Protocol. This means you can use it with various apps including Microsoft Onenote. This is really handy and I appreciate the fact that Acer includes a stylus with this laptop. Companies like Apple charge 130 dollars for their Apple Pencil, so thank you Acer for not fleecing your customers


Acer Spin 3 comes with Core i7 processor. Specifically this is the 8th generation core-i7 8565U from Intel Whiskey Lake family. This is a pleasant surprise because most of the 2-in-1 hybrid laptops in this price point use a slower processor. So again, kudos to Acer for picking a core-i7 processor.

This is a 4 core 8 thread processor with a base clock speed of 1.8 GHz and Max Turbo Frequency of 4.6 Ghz. This CPU has a TDP threshold of 15 Watts. It is able to automatically over-clock itself from 1.8 Ghz to 4.6 GHz while still maintaining the 15 Watt thermal envelope. As a result, Spin 3 can deliver snappy performance while remaining cool. In passmark CPU benchmark this CPU scored 8832 points.

If we compare it with top 10 common laptop CPUs, core-i7 8565U is sitting at 2nd spot. For thin-n-light 2-in-1 laptop category, this is a kickass CPU. You will have no trouble running any application on this laptop. I was able to open more than 50 chrome browser tabs and seamlessly switch between them without any stuttering or buffering. I am very happy with this CPUs performance


Spin 3 is using integrated Intel UHD 620 Graphics. This is a pretty capable GPU and it produces 37 frames per second on the Dirt 3 benchmark. That is above the playability threshold of 30 frames per second.

You will be able to do casual gaming on this laptop without any issues. It also supports hardware acceleration of all popular codecs like h264, AVC and vp9. This means smooth 4K video playback on YouTube and Netflix with no dropped frames. But remember this is an integrated GPU. Don't expect Nvidia & AMD discrete GPU class performance. If you plan to do hardcore gaming, you are probably better off buying a gaming laptop.

System Memory (RAM)

Spin 3 comes with 16 gig of DDR4 system memory. I am really happy to see Acer not skimp on memory. To get the best performance on any modern laptop you need at least 16 gig RAM. I hate it when companies sell expensive laptops and yet give only 8 gig RAM.  If 16 Gig is not enough for you, you can always upgrade the RAM.

👉 Buy 16 GB RAM

The existing 16 gig ram is split into 2 parts. 8 gig is soldered to the motherboard and this cannot be expanded. The remaining 8 gig is installed on a DIMM slot which is user upgradeable. So, you can replace this 8 gig RAM stick with a compatible 16 gig stick for about 50 bucks. This will bump up the total system RAM on your laptop to an amazing 24 gig.

Onboard Storage (SSD)

When it comes to storage this laptop has a generous 512 gig of fast PCIe NVMe SSD storage. During my File Transfer test, I was able to copy over a 5 Gig video in under 9 seconds. I think that's pretty impressive and it is faster than competing ultrabooks like Asus Zenbook 13 and HP x360.

👉 Buy 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD
👉 Buy 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD

512 gig of storage should be sufficient for most folks, but if you want to increase storage you can easily swap this SSD with a bigger SSD. Once you open the back of the laptop, the m.2 slot is accessible for SSD upgrade. But remember one thing if you are planning to upgrade the SSD. You will have to clone the windows operating system from old SSD to the new SSD. The SSD that I have linked above does come with a free  cloning software.

If you dont want to open the back of the laptop and mess with hardware upgrades, you can always buy an external USB drive. I personally use them for backing my data including pictures and videos.

👉 Buy USB 3.0 External Hard Drive


Acer claims 12 hours of battery life on a single charge. But in my testing which involved web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, I got about 7 to 7 and a half hours of battery life. For an ultrabook this is decent battery life, but I wish it was little better. I wouldn't call it an all day battery life. If you are able to charge it for about 30 mins, you can stretch it out for the whole day.

I think if you are a student who plans to use this laptop in classroom you should be fine. The thermal heat dissipation on this laptop is pretty good. After watching videos on netflix & youtube for about 30 mins, the laptop body still felt cool. There was no heating and no loud fans cranking at full throttle. This is primarily due to well designed heat-sink and fan which do a great job at keeping the laptop cool


Acer Spin 3 has island-style keyboard which is backlit enabled. The keyboard has a regular layout with all the keys in their right place. The keys are well spaced and feel comfortable to type. The keys are also quite responsive with a key travel distance of 1.0 millimeter. They offer an actuation force of about 80 grams which gives a nice tactile feedback.

The keyboard deck is made of smoothly textured plastic and feels very comfortable when your palm is resting on it. I would say that for a thin and light laptop design, this is an excellent keyboard. Acer has also included a finger-print sensor on the top left corner of the track-pad. This extra level of biometric security is a nice welcome addition. I am very bad with coming up secure passwords, so I really appreciate a builtin fingerprint sensor


Acer Spin3 has a large 4.1 by 2.6 inches trackpad.  The trackpad is made of plastic but it is very clicky and responsive. It comes with windows precision drivers and handles swipes, gestures, taps, and palm rejection really well. Whether you're zooming in or scrolling through wepages, windows 10 gestures work like a charm on this trackpad


The Spin 3 has dual front facing speakers and they provide loud audio with decent bass. The speakers are hidden behind the grill at the top of the keyboard. I really like this placement of speakers because they are facing you in both laptop & tablet mode. The maximum volume is around 74 decibel and even at top volume I couldn't hear any distortion. Pretty impressive for an ultrabook because usually they tend to have tinny speakers.


You also get a decent selection of ports with this laptop. There are full-size USB ports, HDMI port for connecting to an external monitor & an SD card reader. But there are no USB Type C ports which sucks. 2020 is almost upon us and I think now every laptop should ship with at least one USB type C port

Final thoughts

I think for the price Acer Spin 3 is a steal. There are no thin and light laptop available at this price point which can offer comparable performance. So kudos to Acer for creating an affordable 2-in-1 premium ultrabook equipped with kickass Core i7 processor and 16 gig RAM. You are also getting a nice touchscreen with stylus support and great stereo speakers. I think both students and professional will find Spin3 a solid purchase.

Purchase Links

Buy Acer Spin 3 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

👉 With Intel Core i7-8565U
👉 With Intel Core I5-8265U
👉 With Intel Core i3-8130U

Buy Acer Spin 5 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

👉 With Intel Core i7-8550U & GTX 1050
👉 With Intel Core i7-8550U
👉 With Intel Core i5-8265U

Buy Lenovo Flex 14 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop

👉 With AMD Ryzen 3500U
👉 With AMD Ryzen 3700U
👉 With Intel Core I5-8265U

Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases