What I look for most in devices is how fit they are for the purpose they’re intended. Acer’s new TravelMate Spin B3 is designed for the classroom … and I can safely say it definitely ticks the fit-for-purpose box.
Straight out of the box, it has a solid, reassuring, robust feel. Officially, the Spin B3 complies with the MIL-STD 810G military standard, meaning that it’s certified strong enough to survive the bumps and spills that are part of daily student life. On closer inspection, Acer’s added some nice touches to achieve this. A shock-absorbent rubber bumper runs all around, the corners are all reinforced, and there’s a pressure-resistant top cover (up to 60kg) that add to the overall durability.
The keyboard is both splash proof for accidents that might occur in the classroom, with a couple of drop holes that form a unique drainage design, and boasts mechanically anchored keys that help to stop students pulling them off too easily.
The 11.6-inch touchscreen is plenty big enough for regular schoolwork. The Gorilla Glass offers its usual durability, scratch resistance and chemically-induced toughness but also comes with an antimicrobial finish that maker Corning claims will keep the glass surface clean of stain and odour-causing bacteria (which is no bad thing in these COVID-19 times).
This is a convertible device with four modes: students can write essays in clamshell mode, watch videos or lectures in display mode, make space on a desk in tent mode when they want to work by hand, and make use of tablet mode when they need to.
It come with a good battery life – 12.5 hours – that will get students through the school day. Plus, there’s now a battery indicator on the front of the lid, so it’s easy to see if it’s running out of juice.
At the centre top of the keyboard is a world facing 5MP HDR camera, so you can see on the screen what you’re recording when in tablet mode. The second of the Spin B3’s two cameras is top centre of the screen, facing the student for things like chat and video conferencing. Here Acer’s added a new feature called a ‘camera door’, which is basically a sliding block that lets students easily turn the camera on and off to protect their privacy.
Specs and ports
This review device came with an Intel Celeron N4120 chip, Intel UHD Graphics, 4GB RAM, and 128GB SSD. All perfectly adequate for school use.
The weight’s about average, 1.49kg, there are all the ports necessary, USB 3.2, HDMI, USB Type-C, microSD Card Reader, and Gigabit Ethernet Port, and it comes with a 3-year warranty.
The TravelMate Spin B3 has clearly been created with learning in mind. It’s a flexible device that can ably meet and adapt to the demands of a school day.
By Greg Adams, Editor, INTERFACE Magazine
For more about the Acer TravelMate Spin B3 contact firstname.lastname@example.org
© INTERFACE Magazine, November 2020