Discussion in 'Other Android Tablet Manufacturers' started by artistebot, May 25, 2018.
Too bad you still can't buy one.
A new review:
"The overall performance of the Chromebook Spin 13 is nuts. The unit we reviewed had a 15W (read: overkill) 8th gen i5 8250U, and it utterly screamed through every task"
Wacom EMR pen, 16gb ram, excellent IPS screen, 10+hrs battery.......dang!
Amazon has the i5/8gb model of this on sale for Prime day $599. This is the lowest it has been, roughly $230 off and free ship for Prime Members. I placed an order, will report back.
Intel Core i5-8250U (Quad Core 3.4 GHz)
13.5" 2k screen 3:2
Metal build w backlit keyboard
Wacom EMR digitizer in SILO (larger than the average EMR Silo pen) Compatible w other non-wacom EMR pens.
Runs Chrome, Android, and Linux.
I nearly bought it a couple of times. Very interested in your feedback on its art capabilities, which nobody seems to have bothered to detail (e.g. Linux Krita).
I think @artistebot has a couple good links to reviews that will speak to your question in his post. That said, I have considered replacing my Pixelbook with the Spin 13 several times, and what always stops me is the weight: 3.5lbs vs. 2.4lbs. The ergonomics of the PB are so far superior to any laptop - period - I've ever used that I can deal with the inferior pen (Wacom AES vs. EMR), the lack of an SD card slot and USB-A port to retain the Ultra-luxe, thin and light Pixelbook. But I don't need performance from a Chromebook, so I'm likely to be more than satisfied with the PB's for a good long time. Most performance benchmarks are 30-80% better on the 8th gen Core i5U of the Acer than the 7th gen Core-i5y of the PB. I have looked at this so carefully (the comparison of the two CBs) that I think I can pretty fairly summarize that the main difference between the two are:
1) Keyboard of PB is superior
2) Screen of the Acer is 1"larger
3) Acer has USB-A and micro SD port that PB lacks
4) PB has better audio (but it's fair vs. poor)
5) Performance superiority of the Acer as noted above
6) Acer is 3.5 lbs vs. PB 2.4 lbs
7) Current Amazon price for Acer ($599) is so far superior (by $400) to all but PB refurbs (which cost the same)
Also, if you're only interested in a larger screen, higher performance CB (ie, not interested in a PB), the Acer is mostly equal or better than the Lenovo and HP machines that compete directly, and at it's current price on Amazon, it's a total no-brainer. One last point: I think both the Lenovo and HP are available with a 4K display, if that's a big deal for you, though I can't imagine paying the price difference
Thanks. I'm aware of the specs on the 13. I have no interest in the PB as I'm an EMR fundamentalist.
What I'm really curious about is Linux/Crostini performance, esp. as regards the stylus.
Just got the Spin 13 delivered, have not used it much yet, but the build quality is excellent. Pen is very nice.
I get it. Sorry I couldn't offer you any new insights. FWIW, I find it hard to believe that the hardware wouldn't guarantee the best Linux/Crostini performance that Chromebooks are capable of delivering but I share your admiration/requirement of EMR styli (I use Samsung devices with EMR digitizers or new iPads with EMR-like response, though way less comfort and ergonomic benefits for stylus apps other than note taking, for which I find AES, even the better MPP pens/devices sufficient. But if you're an artist (or just very, very discerning note-taker), I couldn't fault you for EMR requirement. It is very frustrating that reviews almost never detain stylus responsiveness, particularly for CBs, unless they are done by Lisa Gade of Mobiletechreview.com (who rarely bothers looking at Chromebooks) or in this forum.
@artistebot : we are beholden to you - let's hear some feedback, please!!
EDIT: Of all people, Thurott has done a review of this! Below are his comments about the stylus - not encouraging if you are looking to do art, due to lack of features like tilt, etc. Also there aren't many great Android apps for artists, but I assume you know that.
Below is an excerpt re: the stylus:
Finally, the Spin 13 ships with a Wacom EMR-powered Acer Active Pen, which is small enough to fit in a storage slot in the front of the device.
That’s good, of course—it will be harder to lose—but the small size also makes the Pen less ergonomic and harder to use, especially for those with large hands. Solutions like Surface Pen more closely mimic real writing implements.
That said, performance is very good, and Chrome OS is now smart enough to display Pen UIs when available. In apps like Google Keep Notes that natively support this kind of input, I experienced just a tiny bit of lag, but nothing like the unusable pen experiences in both the Qualcomm- and Intel-based versions of the HP Envy x2. The feeling of the Pen nib on the glass of the display is excellent. And there is no stutter-stepping where a continuous line is broken up as you go. (Another issue with the Envy x2.)
What you don’t get, sadly, are any advanced smartpen features like tilt support or pressure sensitivity. There aren’t any buttons either, or an eraser. Put this all together, and I feel that the Spin 13 is adequate for note-taking but less so for drawing.
I saw that at the time. The part about no pressure sensitivity is obvious nonsense: it's the Google Keep app that doesn't have it. I bet that's all he tried. 99% of reviewers are useless when it comes to these issues. It's really rather shocking. Which is another way of saying that yes, we do depend on @artistebot to give us his informed opinion!
Yes, and sadly this is a reminder of what a small niche in the market we represent - the serious penabled user. I think it explains why Microsoft, even while making the pen a fundamental selling point for Windows 10, to this day hasn't bothered either to invest in improving MPP/Ntrig or, more wisely, just license Wacom tech. The point: it's mostly a gimmick and so few people use active styli, particularly for serious digital art, that a cheap, distinctly 3rd place offering, is all they need to make the sale they're trying to make.
If you can swing it, why not buy a Spin 13 where you have 30 days to return (though that Prime Day sale was killer, that model often goes on sale for $699, still a steal. If you can do without Windows - and a decent SSD - I have the strong sense that this model is pretty much as good as any ultra book in the market for $100s less than competition. The only real competition that has EMR is the Samsung GB12, a really fine machine but a zero if you do much typing.
I do really enjoy using Chrome OS for browser work because it's so light, fast and - I presume - secure (except from Google!) I got my Pixelbook for $600 new 1.5 yrs ago and it's really my substitute for the iPad because I so prefer the clamshell form factor. I don't use Linux at all - is it a superior experience with a Chromebook compared to a Windows-built laptop, or is it primarily the same fast, light, simple access as the browser?
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