Acer TravelMate Spin P4 First Impressions

Posted on May 5, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile, Windows 10 with 5 Comments

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.

More soon.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Acer TravelMate Spin P4 First Impressions”

  1. awright18

    I personally truly enjoyed your honest first impressions.


    Here are few of my favorite parts: "stylus garage" , "anachronistically large bezels", "you can use the Spin P4 like a bulky tablet when needed".


    I also enjoyed the list of bundled software"...Norton Security, and a few crapware entries like Booking.com and Dropbox (promotion)."


    This sounds like a great buy for someone who needs a computer with a form factor from a decade ago with some modern internals.


    • wright_is

      It looks about right for a business laptop.


      Our spend around 90% of the time connected via Ethernet at work, so an Ethernet port is a must on any laptop.


      Most of our users are either docked at work or in home office, they don't need to be carried around, so weight and size isn't that much of a problem. Typing comfort, screen quality and USB ports for keyboard and mouse, for home office, are the most important features. The non-Ultrabook design also should mean that it is fairly quiet.


      If you look at the equivalents from HP, Dell and Lenovo, they don't look much different (Lenovo ThinkPad L and T series, Dell Lattitude 5410, HP ProBook etc.), they are all more chunky than Ultrabooks, they all have a wider variety of ports than the XPS, Elitebook or Carbon ranges, and they are all significantly cheaper. The Acer offers a few things that the competition don't like a touchscreen and stylus - although HP does offer a ProBook x360.

  2. hrlngrv

    To repeat again, from my perspective the worst thing about laptop reviews here is the dearth of decent screenshots of the RIGHT SIDE of the keyboard. There's squat all variation on the left side of laptop keyboards, at most [Ctrl] [Fn] or [Fn] [Ctrl]. A helluva lot more variation between keyboards on the right side.

    • IanYates82

      Yeah, a top down "here's the keyboard layout, no perspective distortion" would be very helpful.


      As I type this on my Lenovo X1 Extreme Gen 2 (no idea if those words are in the right order) I was comparing my keyboard to that PC's keyboard.


      My old Lenovo had a numeric keypad, which I still miss occasionally, but I learned to live without it. But even this Lenovo has full-size arrow keys. It does that by having the left/right keys extend beyond the bottom row of the rest of the keyboard's keys - the mouse buttons for the nubbin, and and the keyboard, form one unit by the look of it. Acer and other manufacturers don't seem to have this arrangement so must squish the arrow keys into half-height :(


      I can see page up / page down are there. However, home & end need Fn keypress to active. Not great :(


      This laptop would otherwise be great. Something a little heavier is fine if it helps with price and battery.



      Paul - it sounds like the battery is removable, given there are two sizes. I had a laptop once where the SIM was accessible once you removed the battery. Maybe that's the case on this one too?

    • Craig Hinners

      Seconded, this – along with whether the device uses a proprietary or USB-C charger – is the first thing I look at in laptop reviews. At least Acer put dedicated PGUP and PGDN keys in the arrow key area, but I can’t see from the photos if there are dedicated Home and End keys, or if you have to FN the page keys.


      I’d really prefer the dedicated right side column of PGUP, PGDN, Home, and End keys; it’s incredibly frustrating to see that Acer seemingly has the space to either side of the keyboard to add this type of column but doesn’t do it. HP is the only one who puts this column in anymore best I can tell.

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