I love the Acer 713 Chromebook, which I think I made obvious in my Acer 713 video review. However, I have slightly changed my mind since that original review. It’s still a great Chromebook don’t get me wrong. The issue for me is there are a couple of things that have caused me not to fall in love with it. That may sound a tad dramatic, but I think it’s important to own a laptop you love. You’ll be using it for a few years, so it has got to feel right.
Although the Acer 713 has a fantastic display, which I absolutely love. There are definitely some concerns around the build quality. It comes with the military grading certification, so it should be able to take a few knocks. The problem is I don’t feel that would be the case. The underside of the laptop needs some attention. When you glide your fingers over the back, you feel the edge where it connects to the upper part of the chassis. Not everywhere, but it’s noticeable a lot more around the power button.
You may think I’m being super-critical and perhaps I am to some extent. The thing is this is more down to design. It’s a great laptop, but it has given me the feeling that it wouldn’t do too well over the long term. Especially, if I used it when travelling. This made me immediately hit the shops to buy the cheaper Acer 311 for something I can use temporarily when out and about. A laptop I think would be able to take a few knocks and falls along the way.
It’s not a great choice for a laptop to use on the move
Apart from the design floors the Acer 713 definitely has. I don’t think this is the ideal laptop if you like to take your laptop everywhere with you. Although I love the 3:2 aspect ratio it comes with. The taller display makes it difficult to use when you’re on a train where you have another seat directly in front of you. You just don’t have the room to have the display in a good position to work with. This would be a similar problem on a plane; unless you were flying long-haul where you get the extra room. A shorter 16:9 aspect ratio is definitely a better option in these situations.
If I didn’t use a Chromebox at home for most of my work. Then I would be happy to use the Acer 713 as a home laptop. For me though, a laptop is something that needs to be portable. The Acer 713 has awkward dimensions and is a tad too heavy for just throwing in your bag and forgetting about it.
The display issue
Something else I’ve noticed when using the Acer 713 is an issue around the display. It’s something I noticed very early on but didn’t take too much notice of because it didn’t happen again. Now I’ve owned it for a couple of months I’ve noticed it a few times. I can’t put my finger on it. However, it appears Chrome OS struggles with the resolution on occasions. The display moves very quickly out of position before going back to the normal settings.
It’s something that is very hard to explain in writing. The issue with this is it makes me feel the display isn’t working seamlessly with the software. I have no idea what is causing it, but it frustrates me when it happens.
The Acer 713 keyboard
The Acer 713 keyboard is perfectly fine to type on. It records all of the keys that I touch when typing. The problem I have is the lack of feedback. I mentioned this in my video review, and now after typing on it more often. It is something I find a tad frustrating. Although the keystrokes are being registered. The lack of feedback stops me from getting engaged when typing.
I love the fact it has a large space to place your palms when typing. This is a really good advantage over many other laptops. It means you can sit with it on your lap and type away and still feel comfortable. This larger space for your palms is thanks to the more space available due to the taller 3:2 aspect ratio display. The very thing that makes it not a portable laptop, so it’s a double-edged sword.
It’s a great Chromebook but it isn’t for me
It’s a real shame I’ve not been able to gel with my Acer 713. It has so much going for it, but these little issues have stopped me from loving it. If you’re buying a laptop to use for a number of years. Then it’s really important to make sure it’s something you’ll be able to get comfortable with.
I think Acer needs to spend more time on design. At the moment I think Asus are way ahead of them in this department. Corners are cut with the Acer 713, which possibly explains how you can get a laptop with such a great display, at a very reasonable price. For me, I need something I can use longer-term that is also perfect to use on the move.