New Acer Tiger Lake Portables Pack 3:2 and 16:10 Displays

Acer Tiger Lake
(Image credit: Acer)

Today, Acer officially unveiled its Tiger Lake Spin 3 and Spin 5 refreshes, bringing its consumer convertibles in line with Intel’s 11th generation of processors. That’s not the only upgrade to the new Spin 3 and Spin 5, though. Following the trend set by other recent 13 inch laptops, the Spin 3 is also trying out a new aspect ratio - 16:10. 

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Header Cell - Column 0 Acer Spin 3Acer Spin 5
ProcessorUp to Intel Core i7-1165G7Up to Intel Core i7-1165G7
GraphicsIntel Iris Xe GraphicsIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Display13.3 inches, up to 2560 x 1600, IPS, multi-touch, pen-compatible13.5 inches, 2256 x 1504, IPS, multi-touch, pen-compatible
MemoryUp to 16GB LPDDR4XUp to 16GB LPDDR4X
StorageUp to 1TB NVMeUp to 1TB NVMe
Dimensions11.9 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches11.8 x 9.3 x 0.6 inches
Weight3.3 pounds2.6 pounds
Starting Price$849 $999
Release DateMarch 2021February 2021

Visually, the new Spin 3 and Spin 5 don’t look much different from existing models. They both have minimal gray exteriors, have a 360 degree hinge with a cooling vent and speakers on it, and seem to feature pretty extensive I/O options. Under the hood, though, the Spin 3 and Spin 5 both have processor options up to Intel Core i7-1165G7.

(Image credit: Acer)

That also means they’ve both got Intel’s new Intel Iris Xe Graphics and are compatible with LPDDR4X RAM. Both the Spin 3 and Spin 5 can also come with up to 16GB of memory and up to 1TB of NVMe storage.

Aside from their tech specs, the big new upgrade here is to the Spin 3’s display. While the Spin 5 maintains its 13.5 inch 2256 x 1504 IPS multi-touch screen, the Spin 3 is being revamped with a 13.3 inch 2560 x 1600 (or 1920 x 1200, depending on your config) IPS multi-touch screen. That takes it from a 16:9 aspect ratio to a 16:10 one. And since the Spin 5’s 2256 x 1504 resolution has a 3:2 aspect ratio, now neither convertible will use a traditional 16:9 screen.

Both screens will also be compatible with an included stylus.

Going from these specs, aside from the difference in screen size and resolution, the Spin 3 and Spin 5 seem to be identical. But it’s also worth noting the difference in starting prices: The Spin 3 will release in March of 2021 for a starting price of $849, while the Spin 5 will hit the market in February of 2021 for a starting price of $999.

(Image credit: Acer)

The Spin 3 is able to hit that lower starting price because it’s also got more low-end configuration options than the Spin 5. While the Spin 5’s processor options start at i5, the Spin 3’s start at i3, and while the Spin 5’s storage options start at 512GB, the Spin 3’s start at 256GB. And, of course, there’s also the option to choose between a 1900 x 1200 or 2560 x 1600 display on the Spin 3.

The Spin 3 is also slightly heftier than the Spin 5, though we’re not sure what’s responsible for the difference in weight quite yet.

Either way, though, both of these devices will give you a sub-$1000 Tiger Lake laptop and tablet in one when they release early next year. 

Michelle Ehrhardt

Michelle Ehrhardt is an editor at Tom's Hardware. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.