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A great 2-in-1 for business ruined by a bad display

Some of the best Windows convertible laptops aren’t just for regular consumers. Businesses looking to treat their employees or executives with a new system often end up buying them, too. Usually, it’s the Lenovo ThinkPads that come to mind for most IT admins who do the shopping, but Acer has the TravelMate line that’s just as good as anything in Acer’s laptop lineup.

A good example is the TravelMate Spin P4, a great system for business or professional users that I used for work for about a month. My model, in particular, was powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 Pro CPU and came outfitted with a Microsoft Pluton Security chip. Combine all of that with the integrated stylus and the plethora of ports, and you get a great 2-in-1 business laptop. You do get a lackluster display, but this is a seriously powerful system that shouldn’t be passed on if a top-notch screen on a Windows convertible isn’t important to you.

About this review: This TravelMate Spin P4 was sent to us on loan from Acer to review. We sent back the unit after our review period. Acer did not see the contents of this review before publishing.

Acer TravelMate Spin P4 (AMD Ryzen 7 Pro)

The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 is a great 2-in-1 for business users. It has a powerful Ryzen 7 Pro CPU, the Microsoft Pluton Security chip, an integrated stylus, and a fantastic design. 

Brand
Acer
Storage
512 GB, PCIe Gen3 8 Gb/s up to 4 lanes, NVMe
CPU
AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U
Memory
16GB DDR5 SDRAM (Upgradable to 32GB)
Operating System
Windows 11 Pro
Battery
56 Wh 3-cell Li-ion battery or 56 Wh 3-cell Li-ion battery
Ports
1x HDMI, 2 x USB-A 3.2, 2x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2, RJ45 Jack, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card slot
Camera
1080P, Windows Hello IR with Shutter
Display (Size, Resolution)
14-inch 1920 x 1200 resolution
Weight
3.48 lb
GPU
Integrated AMD Radeon
Dimension
12.6 x 9.1 x 0.71 inches
Network
Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX201 & Bluetooth 5.1
Speakers
Two built-in stereo speakers
Price
$1,249.99
USI Compatibility
Garaged stylus
Pros Cons
Powerful AMD Ryzen 7 Pro CPU The display isn’t as high-resolution as competing laptops
Integrated Stylus Fan noise when under heavy load
Lots of ports The display isn’t color accurate
Sturdy design

Acer TravelMate Spin P4: Price and availability

  • The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 is listed on Acer’s website
  • I can’t find the specific model I was sent at other mainstream retailers
  • It is for sale on IT-centric websites like Connection

The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 that was sent to me is sold through the Acer Store and is listed for $1,249.99. The specific model I have is the TMP414RN-41-R305 model, which I couldn’t find at other mainstream retailers like Best Buy or Amazon. I did find it at IT-centric websites like Connection, but supplies seem to be limited.

Design: Durable with a lot of ports and an integrated stylus

  • The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 is built tough
  • There are a lot of ports
  • There’s an integrated stylus in the chassis

At quick glance, the Acer TravelMate Spin P4 looks like an ordinary Windows 2-in-1, right down to the magnesium alloy chassis. There isn’t much to the surface design that makes it stand out. However, the ports, long-shaped integrated stylus, and overall durability are what set it apart from other business-class 2-in-1s.

This system looks great when sitting on a desk. It has a sloped design that’s thick in the back to thin in the front. The design has a purpose. Acer says this system has shock-absorbent corners and is tested to meet MIL-STD 810H impact resistance. I didn’t test that, but I’ll take Acer’s word for it. I jammed my fingers in the corners and it seemed especially hard and durable.

Acer TravelMate Spin 2-in-1 P4 on a desk with blinds in the back showing the rear of the laptop.

I noticed the durability when carrying the system around. The TravelMate Spin P4 weighs 3.84 pounds and is 0.71 inches thick. It’s a little thicker and heavier compared to the last business class 2-in-1 I reviewed (the MSI Summit E14 Flip Evo), but you don’t get durability without thickness.

This 2-in-1 is heavier than most, but it has a lot of ports.

Acer also didn’t skip out on connectivity, which is great considering its target audience. No one wants to walk around with dongles in a bag. There are two main USB 3.2 Type-A ports on the right side of the chassis and a headphone jack. The left side has two main USB-C 3.2 ports, an HDMI jack, and even an Ethernet jack. I didn’t have to use my usual Anker USB-C hub when I hooked this 2-in-1 up to my monitor for work.

The most unique aspect of the port selection is the microSD card slot on the front. I’ve never seen that on a Windows convertible before. Usually, it is on the side. As someone who uses microSD for extra storage, I like this more upfront location because it makes it easier to swap out the card.

The last part of the design we want to talk about is the integrated stylus that pulls out from the right side of the chassis near the USB-A ports. I’m used to Lenovo’s integrated stylus in the older Yoga 2-in-1s, and this one is a bit longer than others I’ve used, so I was surprised with how comfortable it was to hold. The stylus even has a button on it that you can configure for certain functions, and it recharges when it is housed.

It was enjoyable to use when I converted this 2-in-1 over to tent and tablet modes. It fit nicely in my hands, and when I didn’t need it, I felt confident that it had a place to stay safe. The pen was quite accurate when I signed PDFs and scribbled in Microsoft Paint, and I didn’t get random lines on the screen.

Display: 16:10, but not nearly as pixel-packed or color accurate

  • The display on the Acer TravelMate Spin P4 feels way too cramped for work
  • It has a 16:10 aspect ratio and only 1920 x 1200 resolution
  • Color accuracy is horrible
  • It has an anti-glare coating

As great as the design and port selection are, the display is another story. This is the worst part of this 2-in-1 and the reason why I didn’t use it more when I had it.

While the display has an impressive anti-glare coating that’ll ensure you almost never see your reflection, along with a newer 16:10 aspect ratio, it has thick bezels on the bottom and feels way too cramped for work. Color accuracy is also horrible, so this isn’t a device for business folks who are into content creation.

Microsoft Edge windows stacked side by side on the screen of the Acer TravelMate Spin P4.

A lot of laptop makers have moved to include higher-resolution panels on their systems, but Acer seems to have forgotten about the TravelMate Spin P4. You’ll only get 1920 x 1200 WUXGA resolution with this $1,200 PC. For this price, not seeing a shift to a higher resolution panel is a shame.

Even though it is a 16:10 aspect ratio and WUXGA resolution, the display isn’t the best for work.

Even with the scaling on the screen adjusted all the way down, the screen felt way too cramped for stacking windows side by side. The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 doesn’t impress in terms of color accuracy, either. Maybe it’s the anti-glare coating impacting things, but this system doesn’t have good color reproduction. I watched a video showing U.S. cities, and the colors felt really washed out. The below 70% scoring I got with my colorimeter backs that up. It’s 44% Adobe RGB 42% NTSC, 44%P3, and 59% sRGB. Brightness peaked at 231 nits.

acer spectrums

Web browsing and primarily dealing with black text on white backgrounds was fine, but once I added colorful images, I saw the video quality wasn’t as good as some other systems, like the MSI Summit E14 Flip Evo or the Dell Latitude 9430 2-in-1. Those business systems score well over the 70% range in all these areas and have higher-resolution displays.

The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 in tent mode showing a video

Atop the display is a 1080p Windows Hello webcam with a privacy shutter. I say this a lot in my reviews, and I’ll say it again: No $1,000 Windows 2-in-1 should have a 720p webcam in 2022, so I’m glad that Acer went with a 1080p webcam here. It outputs clean, clear, and accurate video feeds. I looked my best on my Google Meet calls.

Keyboard and trackpad: Great keyboard, big trackpad

  • The keyboard has chiclet-style keys that aren’t quite tactile
  • The trackpad is large and great for scrolling

For a business 2-in-1, the keyboard on the Acer TravelMate Spin P4 is great. It’s a chiclet-styled keyboard with large, evenly spaced out keys. I didn’t type nearly as fast as I could, though. I had to get used to the keycaps, which aren’t as tactile as I liked, so I hit 74 words per minute in a typing test. That’s below my usual 80 words-per-minute speed.

The keyboard is backlit and has a fingerprint reader integrated into the power button. There’s a cool speaker grille to the left and right of the keyboard as well, which is a nice visual touch.

The keyboard on the Acer TravelMate Spin P4

The trackpad on this system is great, too. I love how smooth it feels when clicking. It doesn’t make a “hard” clicking noise, which is usually distracting. It is quiet, soft, and accurate. It’s also smack in the middle and quite big.

Though I obviously didn’t test it, Acer says the keyboard can withstand humidity and water spills. That’s a win for use in business, where accidents can happen frequently.

Performance: The AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U is a powerful CPU

  • The CPU inside the Acer TravelMate Spin P4 is why you’d want to buy this 2-in-1
  • The AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U is powerful
  • Battery life is great, pushing toward 10 hours

The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 that was sent to me for review features the AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U CPU and 16GB of RAM, and this is the reason you’d want to buy this 2-in-1. This CPU is powerful when put up against Intel’s 12th-generation U-series or P-series chips found in competing devices. It’s also power efficient, which helps with battery life. The chip has 8 cores and 16 threads, and runs at 4.7 GHz.

Task Manager open on the Acer TravelMate Spin P4

For my everyday tasks, plugged into a 4K monitor and with about 15 tabs open in Microsoft Edge, this Acer 2-in-1 was a champion. Even unplugged from my monitor and used to run Windows Insider builds in virtual machines, it ran efficiently. And gaming? Well, I managed to play Fortnite on this system, at medium settings, with a solid gameplay experience. As for editing photos in Photoshop, I was able to apply filters and export photos quite efficiently. The only thing I didn’t like about the performance was the fan noise, which got loud under heavy loads.

Test run Acer TravelMate Spin P4 (AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U) MSI Summit E14 Flip Evo (Intel Core i7-1260P) Dell Latitude 9430 (Intel Core i7-1265U
PC Mark 10 6,271 5,011 5,097
3D Mark: Time Spy 2,498 1,658 1,602
Geekbench 5 (single/multi) 1,560/8,725 1,680/7,296 1,718/6,398
Cinebench R23 (single/multi) 1,493/8,743 1,556/5,822 1,528/5,286
CrossMark (overall/productivity/creativity/responsiveness) 1,478/1,468/1,581/1,235 1,628/1,552/1,740/1,538 Test not run

Other than my real-world tests, I know this CPU is powerful based on the benchmarks you see above. In PC Mark 10, which tests the system for everyday tasks, it outscored two competitors with Intel chips by nearly 1,000 points. When it comes to heavy-duty tasks, you’ll see that in Cinebench, which tests the CPU rendering, the multicore scores are up by nearly 3,000 over competing systems. Even in the gaming benchmark, 3DMark: Time Spy, the score is nearly double the other systems since AMD Radeon’s graphics make a difference for light gaming and photo editing over Intel Iris Xe graphics.

The AMD CPU inside this TravelMate Spin P4 is why you’d want to buy the system.

As far as battery life, I got just south of 10 hours of battery life in my tests. That’s with me working in Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Office and Slack, disconnected from a monitor, with Windows 11 set to Best power efficiency and the brightness to about 30%. AMD’s CPUs are definitely more power-efficient than Intel’s, as on Windows systems, I struggle to get 8 or 9 hours of battery life.

Security: Microsoft’s Pluton Security Chip is included but disabled by default

  • This TravelMate Spin P4 has Microsoft’s Pluton Security chip included
  • It helps keep the device safe from the latest threats, physical and virtual

I never usually mention security in my laptop reviews, but this Acer TravelMate Spin P4’s security chip is quite special. It has the Microsoft Pluton Security chip inside, but it was disabled out of the box. I needed to activate the chip through the BIOS. I asked Acer why this is the case and will update this review when I hear back.

Acer TravelMate Spin P4 Microsoft Pluton BIOS settings

Not many laptops have this chip yet, but it is a huge win for security. It’s like a TPM chip, but it uses chip-to-cloud security to always be updated against the latest threats. It also helps cut physical hardware attacks and hackers that usually tamper with the communication the CPU makes with TPM. This is because Pluton is integrated directly into the CPU. The chip can protect credentials, identities, personal data, and encryption keys. For businesses dealing with sensitive data, this is an added benefit.

Acer TravelMate Spin P4: Should you buy?

You should buy the Acer TravelMate Spin P4 if:

  • You want a 2-in-1 PC for business that’s powerful and has an AMD Ryzen chip
  • You want a long-lasting battery
  • You want a PC with an integrated stylus and a great port selection
  • You want extra security

You shouldn’t buy the Acer TravelMate Spin P4 if:

  • You want a high-resolution, color-accurate display
  • You want a PC that doesn’t make a lot of noise.
  • You don’t like heavy 2-in-1 PCs

The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 is a great 2-in-1 that isn’t really for the everyday consumer, but it is a candidate for the best business laptop. The display is what will limit it for most people, but for business users, it might not make a huge difference. Other than that, the added security benefits that come with the Microsoft Pluton chip, as well as the raw CPU power with the AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 6850U, make this an optimal system for enterprise cases.

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Acer TravelMate Spin P4 (AMD Ryzen 7 Pro)

The Acer TravelMate Spin P4 is a great 2-in-1 for business users. It has a powerful Ryzen 7 Pro CPU, the Microsoft Pluton Security chip, an integrated stylus, and a fantastic design. 

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