I have been writing about technology for some years now – granted, not as much in the last couple – but one of the challenges I have always had is the jargon. My approach to most products, experiences, etc. is generally based on two things, namely functionality and aesthetic/design.
The reality is that I do not consider myself an expert on anything so to write about anything as the ‘final authority’ feels uncomfortable. Plus, a lot of things are subjective, opinions formed on the basis of our own experience, understanding, interests, etc.
For these reasons, and more, I have always tried to share from my own experience of something, in the hope that it will resonate in some form with those who read my scribblings. If one does not agree, that’s cool because we are each different, each looking for different things, experiences, and the like.
So this is a review of the Acer Spin 7, of sorts.
Acer For You
What I liked about the opportunity to play with and review the Acer Spin 7 is the approach that was taken to get it into my hands. It was through a campaign called “The #AcerForYou Blogger Road Trip”.
Prior to the actual road trip, which involved lifestyle and travel blogger Anna-Belle Durrant visiting myself (as well as several public personalities), I had the opportunity to spend time with the Acer Spin 7. The different laptops are considered best suited for particular ‘work types’ and, being a business person who spends a lot of time writing, I was given the Spin 7 to use.
Portability of the Acer Spin 7
No day is the same. I work out of multiple spaces and on multiple projects so portability is extremely important for me. I recently had a week where I had an editorial meeting for Afropolitan magazine on Monday, was at Kaya FM working on my show and some video production on Tuesday and Thursday, spent the day in Soweto on an immersion for a client, which involved visiting four different organisations, on Wednesday, and then worked out of my home office on Friday. I also often commute to these spaces and for meetings on my motorcycle. I am currently writing this sitting on my patio with a cigar and a cup of tea.
At 10.98mm thing and weighing 1.2 kgs, with an all-aluminium uni-body that feels sturdy and a 14-inch display in a 13-inch ‘body’, the Spin 7 is definitely portable and the kind of laptop that slots comfortably into my backpack. While it doesn’t have USB, HDMI and SA card slots, it does come with both USB and HDMI adapters which also don’t take up too much space.
Putting In Work
I do a lot of writing (typing) and Anna-Belle came to visit me at Afropolitan’s offices where I was working on the next – and my first, as editor – issue of the magazine. Whether it is putting together briefs, writing articles, doing research reading, or working on proposals, I spend my days on a keyboard and the Spin 7’s keyboard has a great feel to it. The spacing between the keys, the ‘bounce back’ from the keys as you plonk on them and the comfort from resting palms on the laptop all make for a decent writing experience.
The touch pad is made of glass and quite wide. I did accidentally rest my palms on it a couple of times when starting out, which did result in a click, but I have become better at taking that into consideration.
The 256 GB solid state drive (SSD) and 8 MB RAM are more than enough for someone who deals with more text than anything, but also has capacity for work with images and video, which I occasionally do.
Having a Windows account as well as a Microsoft Office license made it easy to setup and get going with work relatively quickly. I have standard software/apps that I use which are all in the Microsoft store so, within an hour of getting the Spin 7, I already had Dropbox, Evernote and Slack up and running.
The Acer Spin 7 is a convertible with 360-degree hinges and can be easily switched to ‘tent mode’ or ‘tablet mode’ which is cool for entertainment consumption. It is great to be able to climb into bed at the end of the day, switch to tent mode and catch up on series/movies of Showmax, Netflix, Prime Video or DSTV Catch-up or watching sports on Supersport. The touch screen also works painlessly in whichever mode I use the laptop.
I do most of my reading on the Amazon Kindle app on my iPad and am getting into the habit of now reading with the Spin 7 in tablet mode. And now I don’t have to fight with my children, although my son has started looking over my shoulder, chomping at the bit to play games through the Xbox app and Minecraft, which he has on his laptop but now prefers on the Spin 7.
I also play a lot of music, particularly when I am working, and the Dolby Audio pumps out sound at a decent level. It isn’t made for throwing a party but is more than sufficient.
In The End
From a design perspective, the Acer Spin 7 won’t win any awards but it is well made in all black, except for the ‘trimming’ around the keypad and the silver hinges. It ticks my boxes from a functionality perspective, which is most important for me. It is business-like, does what it says it does and has a place in my work world, while also providing me with enough from an entertainment perspective.
Getting to chat to Anna-Belle about how I work and the journey that I have taken ended up giving me a different perspective and approach to how I interact with technology.