I'm a laptop reviewer who hates Chromebooks — but this one changed my mind

Acer Crhomebook Spin 714
(Image credit: Getty Images/oxygen/Best Buy)

Chromebooks have never resonated with me. They're not gamer-friendly (even though OEMs are trying to 'make fetch happen' with 'gaming Chromebooks'), some of my favorite apps can't run natively on them, and they're web-based, rendering them useless if you're offline.

But what really grinds my gears is that Chromebooks have fooled the masses into thinking they have a reputation for having good battery life, but in my experience as a laptop reviewer, their runtimes are too mid to confidently say they're power efficient.

However, a brand spankin' new Chromebook was dropped on my desk, and I thought, "Oh great. Another boring ol' Chrome OS system with nine hours of battery life I bet." Boy, was I wrong.

The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 shut me up good, exceeding my expectations in almost every aspect. I still won't be getting a Chromebook anytime soon, but for once, I've finally reviewed a Chromebook that I'd recommend in a heartbeat. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 714

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (Image credit: Future)

Without further ado, here are three reasons I've fallen in love with the Chromebook Spin 714.

Where to buy? The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is $569.99 at Best Buy

1. It has excellent battery life

We tested the Acer Chromebook Spin 714's battery life three times. Here are its runtimes:

  • 12 hours and 20 minutes
  • 13 hours and 12 minutes
  • 12 hours and 41 minutes

On average, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 lasted for 12 hours and 43 minutes. That's nearly 13 hours. To put this into perspective for you, according to Laptop Mag's records, the average Chromebook lasts 9 hours and 56 minutes. In other words, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 delivers two more hours compared to a typical Chrome OS system.

This is much better than its predecessor. The last-gen model lasted only 7 hours and 25 minutes. Gross.

Keep in mind that Chromebooks have been disappointing me lately. For example, the HP Dragonfly Chromebook Pro, a $1,000 Chromebook that is way overpriced, only lasted for 9 hours and 17 minutes on the Laptop Mag battery test. (The Verge recorded an even lower runtime of two and a half hours.)

Acer Chromebook Spin 714

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (Image credit: Future)

We also reviewed the Chromebook 516 GE, a "gaming Chromebook" (someone get me an aspirin). It only lasted 7 hours and 40 minutes on a charge. With these poor runtimes I've seen seeing this year, I wasn't expecting much from the 2023 Acer Chromebook Spin 714, but it blew my expectations out of the water.

2. Its performance beat a $1,000 Chromebook

While HP had the audacity to slap a $1,000 price tag on a Chromebook that doesn't perform up to standard (i.e., the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook), Acer priced the Chromebook Spin 714 at less than $700 — and it runs better than its $1,000 rival.

Don't believe me? I've got the numbers to prove it. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 Acer Chromebook Spin 714HP Dragonfly Pro ChromebookAverage Chromebook
Geekbench 66,3354,2645,299

We ran Geekbench 6 on both laptops. The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 delivered a multi-core score of 6,335. The HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, on the other hand, notched an embarrassing score of 4,263. Are you not ashamed, HP? This system costs $300 more, and yet, it cannot perform better than a sub-$700 Chromebook. If I were HP, I'd sheepishly disappear into a bush à la Homer Simpson's infamous hedge GIF. (It's a good thing they came out with the HP Dragonfly G4, an absolute masterpiece of a laptop, to help us forget the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook.)

3. It's less than $700, but offers so much

The Chromebook Spin 714 has an MSRP of $699, but it's often on sale. As of this writing, it's $569 at Best Buy.

Acer Chromebook Spin 714

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (Image credit: Future)

Let me give you a rundown of all the awesome features you're getting for less than $700

  • Nearly 13 hours of battery life
  • A decent, comfortable keyboard
  • An attractive dark-gray chassis with gold accents
  • A QHD, 2460 x 1440-pixel webcam (most Chromebooks in this category sport a 720p or 1080p shooter)

The unit I reviewed comes with an 13th Gen Intel Core i5-1335U CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB NVMe SSD, and a 14-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel touch display.

Bottom line

Oh, and let's not forget that the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is a 2-in-1. In other words, you can transform this laptop into several other modes, including tent and tablet. 

Acer Chromebook Spin 714

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (Image credit: Future)

If you're looking for a good Chromebook as you head back to school, I'd recommend the Chromebook Spin 714. As I mentioned at the outset, Chromebooks aren't my thing (I prefer Windows or macOS), but if they were, the Chromebook Spin 714 would be my daily driver.

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Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!