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Acer Swift 3 Review: New-Age Laptop That Fits The Bill
Acer is one of the few laptop brands that have pioneered laptops of all kinds. The company has various laptop lineups, catering to different demographics. The Swift series of laptops are known for offering the latest specifications with a thin-and-light form factor. The company recently launched the Acer Swift 3, powered by the 11th Gen Intel processors.
- Thin and light design
- QHD display
- Good number of I/O
- No touch screen support
We have been testing the mid-range variant of the Acer Swift 3, powered by the Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU with the integrated Intel Iris Xe GPU, which retails for Rs. 59,999 in India. How does this laptop fair against the other mid-range Windows laptops? How is the performance of this machine, and how long does the battery on the Swift 3 lasts? I have answered all these questions along with a few more on my full review of the Acer Swift 3.
Acer Swift 3 Specifications
- CPU: Intel Core i5-1135G7
- Display: 13.5-inch IPS 2256 x 1504, 60Hz
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe
- Memory: 8GB LPDDR4x
- Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen3 SSD
- Battery: Up to 14 hours (claimed)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit
Acer Swift 3 Design: Modern And Practical
There is nothing special about the design of the Acer Swift 3, and it is a good thing. This is a laptop that feels familiar to most users, while still offering all the features that one might expect from a modern thin-and-light laptop. The device weighs 1.19KG, and it is definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum with a maximum thickness of 1.59CM.
The laptop has a USB-A port, USB Type-C port, full-sized HDMI port, RJ45 ethernet jack, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a charging connector. The USB Type-C port also doubles as a Thunderbolt 4 port, which can be used to connect external accessories and even monitors using a single cable. The I/O on the Acer Swift 3 is above average, as one can easily use most accessories on this device without using an adapter.
The Acer Swift 3 is built using plastic, which does help to make it lighter. However, it does miss out on that premium feel that we get on laptops with metal body designs. Though it does not have a major practical drawback, I just felt that devices like the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go feel a lot more premium than the Acer Swift 3.
Acer Swift 3 Display: Almost Hits Home Run
The Acer Swift 3 comes with a 13.5-inch IPS TFT LCD screen with QHD resolution (2256 x 1504p) with a locked refresh rate of 60Hz. This panel has some notable features like the Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit panel, which is said to offer a better multimedia consumption experience. Unlike most laptops of this price range, the Swift 3 offers QHD resolution, offering higher pixel density.
One pain point of this display is that it lacks touch support. After testing a plethora of ultrabooks with touch screens, I felt not having that feature on the Acer Swift 3 a letdown. Other than that, the screen on this machine offers a good amount of brightness for indoor usage and offers puncher colors.
Overall, this is a great laptop for watching movies and videos. However, do note that this is just an 8-bit panel and there are some drawbacks that we expect from the TFT panel like a narrow viewing angle, where, colors look slightly off when looking from sides.
Acer Swift 3 Keyboard And Trackpad: Gets The Job Done
Unlike some of the mid-range laptops, Acer hasn't cut corners when it comes to the basic features. The Swift 3 has a backlit keyboard and offers good key travel, enhancing the overall typing experience. However, when compared to laptops like Dell XPS 13 and the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, the keys on the Swift 3 do feel a bit mushy.
The same goes for the trackpad as well, it is a fairly large trackpad and on the right side of the trackpad, there is an optical fingerprint sensor, which helps you to protect the laptop using biometric authentication. In my usage, I didn't face any issue when it comes to the performance of the fingerprint sensor, as it did recognize my sensor nine out of ten times.
Acer Swift 3 Performance: Another Evo Certified Laptop
Out of all the laptops that we have reviewed with the 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake processor, most of those machines did cost a lot more, as they are powered by the higher tier Core i7 processor. In this case, the Acer Swift 3 is based on the Intel Core i5-1135G7 quad-core processor with a peak turbo clock speed of 4.2GHz.
This is again a scalable processor with a peak TPD of 28W and 8MB Intel smart cache. On to the graphics, the processor has the Intel Iris Xe graphics with 1.3GHz clock speed, which should be able to handle basic gaming needs, probably at 720p resolution.
As claimed earlier, the Evo certification does confirm that the Swift 3 does deliver almost an all-day battery life, fast wireless connectivity (support for WiFi 6) and the device is also thin and offers good thermals for normal day-to-day usage. So, this badge does put the Swift 3 ahead of the other mid-range thin-and-light laptops available in India.
This quad-core eight-thread processor can handle normal day-to-day tasks like browsing the web or even working on a spreadsheet without any issue. This model comes with 8GB LPDDR4x RAM, which means, you can actually open a fair bit of apps and keep them in the background.
Coming to the synthetic benchmarks, on the Cinebench R23, the laptop posted 1354 points on the single-core rendering test and 3965 points on the multi-core CPU rendering test. In the contest, the Swift 3 outperforms products like the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go, which is powered by a slightly lower-tiered 11th Gen Intel Core i5 processor.
Acer Swift 3 Battery Life: Build To Last
The Acer Swift 3 comes with a 56Whr battery and a 65W charger in the box. Do note that, this laptop does not use USB Type-C charging port for charging, which is a drawback. The company claims that the Acer Swift 3 can offer up to 14 days of battery life. However, in our testing, we weren't able to replicate those numbers, as it just lasted around six to seven hours with continuous usage.
Depending on the brightness level and the types of software usage, the battery mileage might vary a bit. However, most users should be able to get at least 6 hours of battery life per charge. Windows laptops have improved a lot in terms of battery life in the last few years, and the Swift 3 is definitely one such laptop.
Conclusion: Value-For-Money Offering
The Acer Swift 3 is one such laptop that just works for most users and doesn't have any gimmick or a hefty price that is always associated with those kinds of products. For Rs. 60,000, the Acer Swift 3 is a great laptop that has a high-resolution display, capable processor, and a compact form factor, and this combo makes it a good device for regular usage.
At this price, you can also opt for the products like the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 or even the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go. And the Acer Swift 3 is definitely a more round-off device, which makes it a no-brainer laptop for most users.