The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 is a durable 14-inch business-class convertible PC that combines excellent expandability with modern components. Is it good enough to compete with the best that Dell, HP, and Lenovo offer in this market?
I’ll try to find out. But for now, here are my first impressions.
Most obviously, the Spin P4 is not an Ultrabook. It’s not particularly thin, at 0.7 inches, and it’s not particularly light, at 3.3 pounds.
What it is, however, is versatile. Thanks to its convertible form factor and bundled stylus, you can use the Spin P4 like a bulky tablet when needed, or you can use it in tent or presentation modes in other circumstances.
And the port situation is impressive in this minimalist era of USB-C ports. On the left, you’ll find an Ethernet (!) port, a full-sized HDMI port, two full-sized USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports (one of which features device charging when the PC is powered down), and one Thunderbolt 4/USB-C port, plus a jack for the proprietary barrel-style power connector.
There’s a lot less going on on the right. Here, you’ll find a security lock, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader, plus the power button, two indicator lights, and the stylus garage. I’m told there’s also a nano SIM card slot, but I haven’t even found that yet.
Internally, the Spin 4 is quite modern, with its 11th-generation Core processors and Intel Iris Xe graphics. The review unit is configured with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, Iris Xe graphics, 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB NVMe PCIe solid state drive. There’s Intel-based Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. And, depending on configuration, a 56 watt-hour battery (offering up to 13 hours of battery life) or a 48 watt-hour battery (11.5 hours). Notably, perhaps, this doesn’t appear to be an Intel Evo PC. But the Spin 4 supports fast-charging, at least, with an 80 percent charge in one hour.
The display is a 14-inch IPS panel with Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. It supports both multi-touch and the bundled stylus, which is a capacitive Active Electrostatic- (AES-) style unit. The display seems fine, but it’s surrounded by anachronistically large bezels, especially on the top and bottom. That part of the design feels dated.
There are also two stereo speakers powered by Acer TrueHarmony technology that promises lower distortion, wider frequency range, headphone-like audio, and powerful sound. And two built-in far-field microphones powered by Acer Purified technology that support Cortana voice control. And a 720p webcam with a manual privacy swtich built into the enormous top bezel.
The backlit and spill-resistant keyboard and glass Precision touchpad both look solid, though some may find the latter a bit small in this age of ginormous touchpads.
Acer bundles Windows 10 Pro, at least with the review unit, along with several Acer utilities, a few Intel utilities, AxCrypt password management, GoTrust ID for phone-based authentication, Norton Security, and a few crapware entries like Booking.com and Dropbox (promotion).
The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 is now available in the United States. The review unit is available for $1199, but it looks like an entry-level model with a Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD costs just $849. You can find all of the available models on the Acer website.