Acer Chromebook 13 Spin is a beast.

Discussion in 'Other Android Tablet Manufacturers' started by artistebot, May 25, 2018.

  1. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Ok, I'm just come out and say I challenge this narrative that stylus users represent an economically insignificant portion of the market.

    If this were true, it would not make business sense for Apple to introduce Pencil support to so much of their existing lineup:

    (Apple)
    "If you have an Apple Pencil (1st generation), you can use it with these iPad models:
    • iPad Air (3rd generation)
    • iPad mini (5th generation)
    • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st or 2nd generation)
    • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
    • iPad Pro 9.7-inch
    • iPad (6th generation)"
    Since the inception of the iPad in 2010 came many of those (generally horrible) 3rd-party capacitive stylii. My guess is that Apple observed—contrary to expectation—sales and interest in these peripherals was growing⁠, despite poor performance and spotty app support.

    Thus like any diligent company, they recognized a genuine market demand and adapted their product line and OS integration accordingly. Thus we getting iPad OS, pen-enabled creative apps (now rivaling their desktop counterparts), and recently Sidecar.

    So no, I don't buy that low market demand is preventing MS from developing their pen hardware and ecosystem. They are simply providing a sub-par pen experience relative to competition, and thus not seeing growth.

    MS hasn't lost the pen tablet market yet, but this backwards reasoning will certainly seal their fate.
     
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  2. artistebot

    artistebot Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hey folks, I have been swamped with work lately, but I did do a few initial installs and tests.


    The Good
    For android art apps such as Infinite Painter, and Sketchbook Pro, and Art Rage the pen works as you might expect (pen pressure is working great)

    Pen tilt DOES work just fine in ArtRage and Infinite Painter. Probably works great in Clover Paint too.

    The Apps I have tested work in full-screen and windowed mode. The Window size is adjustable on the art apps I tried. Never the less not all apps can be resized such as ArtPose (Not a very well made app with lots of bugs..)

    As anyone should expect Android and Chrome App performance is very good. For example, ArtRage seems to have no lag with even the biggest brushes.

    Pens w a back "eraser button" seem to work as expected in ArtRage and an eraser. Strangely in Infinite Painter the back button only works a brush. The IP developer is very responsive so I suspect that can be fixed.

    All the usual current crop of Wacom "Pen Enabled" EMR pens seem to work just fine, I have tested 4 types including my favorite, the Norris.

    The included pen is a nice size, if only slightly small.

    Once installed Linux apps seem to appear as any other app.

    The Bad

    Pen Side Buttons on pens don't seem to work at all in the apps I tried. Bit of a bummer, but not surprising.

    By default, when the Chromebook is put into "tablet" mode, all apps are forced to Full Screen. This can be disabled but then the OS Keyboard won't work. The clumsy work around to have windowed app in tablet mode is to plug in a mouse into the USB port.

    Linux installs is an awkward command line affair, clearly still in development. FYI they only just added external USB support within a week or so.

    The case on top behind the keyboard at the base of the screen gets very hot. In tablet mode this could be an issue.

    The Ugly

    Linux Gimp performance seems great with no lag, but the pen pressure or side button are not working. Keyboard shortcuts and touch seem to work fine.

    FYI: I don't know how to use Gimp so I am simply poking at it for now. This might be a viable Photoshop replacement...?


    TBD

    Krita

    Test if windowed apps will run in background (reference slideshows...)

    Can be "always on top"/pinned if needed.

    Clover Paint.

    other apps...requests?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  3. Cuberdon75

    Cuberdon75 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Fantastic, thank you! Believe it or not, 18 months after release, this is by far the most detailed review wrt stylus/art apps I've seen. Though as I would use this mainly as a Krita machine I'm still on tenterhooks. The fact that Gimp doesn't recognize pressure isn't a great sign. Although in Linux these things can often be fixed with some community help. Question, how often does the fan come on while using art apps? What's the noise level and heat output? How are you finding the 8 gigs of RAM?
     
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  4. artistebot

    artistebot Scribbler - Standard Member

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    IMHO, the fan noise is comparable to any windows and macbook portable, maybe louder than a macbook, but not always. It does not run all the time, but an average of 50% maybe? If you are expecting total iPad silence then you will be disappointed. So far it has not bothered me that much yet.

    8 GB of ram seems fine, I have not encountered any issues yet? I know there is a 16gb model but at over $300 more I just not sure if it is worth it? In the UK there is an i7 option too, but wonder if there is any apps that would really need it?

    Agreed, no pen support in GIMP is not a good sign, plus I have read on Reddit someone else has tried Krita without much success...

    There has been articles specifically quoting Google "all devices [Chromebook] launched this year will be Linux-ready right out of the box." Well folks WITHOUT proper stylus support, than many chromebooks have, then what does "Linux Ready" really mean?

    Ultimately I think google needs to get more robust support of Linux Stylus to happen sooner rather than later.

    I am not sure if Google is even aware of the the opportunity they have? Adobe is hiking up subscriptions, Windows a bloated mess, OSX/iOS in a alternate reality, Chrome w Linux/Gimp might be a simple solution? Maybe there is very little profit in Linux Software development, but to provide a low cost and robust alternative to the education market plus new generation of content creators would really cement their platform.

    More tests later...
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
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  5. artistebot

    artistebot Scribbler - Standard Member

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    So now you can buy a Spin 13 w i7 and 16gb ram for the low low price of $1600.....Yikes.

    https://www.aboutchromebooks.com/news/acer-chromebook-spin-13-with-core-i7-16-gb-ram/

    Tried Krita and it runs slow and without Pen pressure detection (or buttons)....ugh.

    I think this device might be good at a $600 price point or less, for someone wising to run Android apps who does not already have a Android device w EMR as it has large 3:2 screen, and plenty of power.

    For me I have the Tab S3 that has a much smaller screen. Yet the S3 is lighter, and the pen buttons are fully functioning.

    I am pretty sure I will send the Spin 13 back, as at this time, Chrome OS is not ready to run Linux art apps. I also found myself be concerned about flip over keyboard when in tablet mode, and not liking the ability to use windowed apps WO plugging in a mouse.

    I will give it a another week or so.


    PS: I also have the HP Zbook X2 that costs roughly x4 as much but more capable albeit with far less battery life and heavier (~2hrs vs ~10hrs)
     
  6. Cuberdon75

    Cuberdon75 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Wow... What a letdown. Such great specs for a Linux art machine and Crostini doesn't even run properly after all this time.

    I wonder if running Linux the traditional way--in its own partition--would make any difference. Probably not.

    Can you believe yours is the first review of this machine that gave me any information on this topic? Sad!

    What a waste of beautiful hardware.

    I blame Wacom for its petty greed, and Google for its obliviousness.

    Why aren't more Linux people bothered (as far as I can tell) that they still don't have an all-in-one art machine (as opposed to tablet displays, which do work)? Given the amazing progress an app like Krita has made in recent years, it seems a terrible waste; desktop Linux is so much more powerful than android.

    Re: the s3, with the s6 coming up, I wonder if Samsung's implementation of Linux ("Linux on Galaxy" or some such) might be better than Google's.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  7. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Google is not oblivious. In addition to developing Linux support, there was Project Campfire which would allow native dual-booting to Windows through "AltOS Mode".

    However, they decided to shutter the project:
    [​IMG]

    In other words, there was a change in strategy to move away from multi OS value-add on Chromebooks. Why? Who can say... :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
  8. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    I haven't seen Google make a decent move since....since....??? Looks like the DOJ may be the only hope for forcing them to be something other than a massive extortionist/printing press :mad:
     
  9. Cuberdon75

    Cuberdon75 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Thought you might want to know that Krita is apparently coming to Android!

    Which might just be a better way of running it on the Spin.
     
  10. Cuberdon75

    Cuberdon75 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Did you end up returning the Spin?
     
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