Acer has revealed its latest notebook, and while the Spin 7 may look like a regular convertible, inside there’s something that sets it apart from the rest of the company’s range. The first laptop to use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G platform, it eschews x86 processors from Intel and AMD, looking instead to the lengthy battery life and connectivity that our smartphones enjoy.
On the outside, it’s a 14-inch ultraportable. It’s 3.09 pounds and 15.9 mm in thickness, and uses a magnesium-aluminum alloy chassis finished in a rather fetching blue. There’s a 360-degree hinge to flip it from notebook to tablet, or any angle in-between.
Acer has baked in an Active Stylus, which recharges in a silo in the Spin 7 itself. That supports 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, using Wacom AES 1.0, for sketching and note-taking. The display itself is Full HD IPS and covers 100-percent of the sRGB gamut, with a layer of antimicrobial Gorilla glass protecting it. There’s also a silver-ion antimicrobial coating for the keyboard, touchpad, and the area around them.
It’s inside where things get really interesting, though. The Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G compute platform is the second-generation of the chipset for notebooks and 2-in-1s that Qualcomm first launched in late 2018, borrowing Snapdragon phone technology but adding more power for Windows 10. In the case of the Spin 7, it means the promise of “multi-day” battery life while still running Windows 10 Pro apps.
There’s also baked-in 5G and LTE, with the former having support for both mmWave and sub-6GHz connections for the maximum flexibility in the US. You can expect downloads of up to 7.5 Gbps, Acer says, assuming you have the 5G network for it.
There’s also Qualcomm Aqstic echo noise cancelation and noise suppression, for cutting out background noise on your video calls, plus a fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello. As well as the regular CPU and GPU cores, Qualcomm also bakes in its own AI coprocessors for speeding up machine-learning tasks.
Final specifications – along with pricing – for the Acer Spin 7 will be confirmed closer to the notebook’s launch. That’s likely to take place late this year. The big question will be how Qualcomm’s Arm-based chipset holds up in comparison to Apple Silicon, the upcoming homegrown platform that the Cupertino firm is expecting to transition all of its Macs over to across the next two years.