Acer Swift 7 (2019) Evaluation: A Laptop computer So Skinny, There Wasn’t Room For Energy

Acer Swift 7 review

“The Acer Swift 7 is spectacularly skinny, gentle, and small, however the compromises are too important to disregard.”

Insanely skinny, gentle, and small

Surprisingly good battery life

Excellent touchpad

Thunderbolt three included

Chassis is just too versatile

Efficiency is disappointing

Awkward keyboard and webcam format

Simply because you are able to do one thing, it doesn’t imply it is best to. The 2018 Acer Swift 7 proved that. It was an incredibly skinny laptop computer at simply zero.35 inches – about as skinny as an iPhone — however it demanded some important compromises. Acer needs to rectify that with the 2019 Swift 7, which isn’t fairly as skinny however seeks to handle the earlier model’s shortcomings.

We reviewed the only configuration of the Swift 7, with a dual-core, low-power Eighth-gen Intel Core i7-8500Y CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) show. The value for this configuration is $1,700, making the Swift 7 a premium laptop computer.

The Swift 7 lives as much as its billing as an extremely skinny and lightweight laptop computer, as we’ll see. However is that sufficient to justify its comparatively excessive worth?

A stunning sliver of a laptop computer

Okay, so, let’s get the superlatives out of the best way: This can be a spectacularly skinny, compact, and lightweight laptop computer. The earlier model of the Swift 7 was simply barely thinner – zero.35 inches in comparison with zero.39 inches within the new mannequin – however it was additionally bigger due to comparatively chunky bezels surrounding the 14-inch show. For 2019, Acer jumped on the tiny bezel bandwagon with each ft – the Swift 7’s 92 p.c screen-to-body ratio rivals the Lenovo IdeaPad S940 and Asus ZenBook S13.

That implies that the Swift 7 is as small as these two tiny-bezel class-leaders, however it’s a lot thinner. The ZenBook S13 is zero.67 inches thick and the IdeaPad S940 zero.55 inches. Belief us – you’ll discover simply how skinny the Swift 7 is the second you decide it up. As we stated concerning the 2018 model, the Swift 7 looks like somebody ripped off a standard laptop computer’s show and handed you again what’s left over.

The Swift 7 can be extremely gentle at simply 1.96 kilos. You discover that instantly as effectively, and it’s virtually three-quarters of a pound lighter than the ZenBook S13 and the IdeaPad S940. Even the tiny Dell XPS 13 is considerably heavier at 2.7 kilos. The Swift 7’s gentle weight is possibly extra spectacular than its thinness.

So, it is a skinny, small, and lightweight laptop computer – among the many thinnest, lightest, and smallest round. And that’s a great factor if you happen to’re a critical street warrior and don’t wish to be weighed down however nonetheless desire a bigger show. However are there any compromises, as there have been with final 12 months’s Swift 7?

Yep. First, the 2019 Swift 7 isn’t practically as inflexible as you may like, particularly contemplating its use of magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminum alloys. The show is kind of flexible, there’s important keyboard flex, and the underside of the chassis doesn’t really feel as stiff because it ought to. This can be a departure from the earlier model, which was among the many most strong we’ve examined. It’s effectively behind the competitors on this space.

The Swift 7’s keyboard format is funky and exhausting to get used to.

We’re not saying it gained’t maintain as much as the same old productiveness employee’s abuse — it’s in no way the flimsiest we’ve examined. Nevertheless, it doesn’t really feel as sturdy as another premium laptops on this worth vary (the IdeaPad S940 being one instance). It most likely will final simply advantageous, due to the power of the supplies used, however it merely doesn’t evoke the identical type of confidence as extra strong laptops.

Aesthetically, the Swift 7 is a pointy machine. We reviewed the white model (a black mannequin can be accessible), and it’s modern, trendy, and understated. It’s simply the equal of different premium laptops just like the ZenBook S13, IdeaPad S940, and XPS 13. We’ll additionally notice that the floor stays fingerprint-free due to the coating Asus makes use of to assist resist scratches.

One other compromise is that connectivity is restricted. There are two USB-C three.1 Gen 2 ports with Thunderbolt three help, and that’s it apart from a three.5mm combo audio jack. Energy is supplied by USB-C, which is welcome, and wi-fi connectivity is supplied by an Intel combo gigabit 802.11ac 2X2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapter. Like Asus does with its ZenBooks, Acer throws in a USB-C hub offering a USB-A three.1, USB-C, and full-size HDMI port.

A cool keyboard, however an actual touchpad

By way of its really feel, the Swift 7’s keyboard isn’t dangerous for such a skinny laptop computer. It has extra journey than you’d count on – simply barely extra, by contact, than the MacBook’s butterfly keyboard – and it’s fairly snappy and exact. In case you hate shallow keyboards, you then most likely gained’t like this one, however if you happen to can dwell with rather less depth, you then’ll get used to it very quickly. It’s additionally backlit, which is predicted in a premium laptop computer, however sadly, there aren’t any ranges of brightness. On or off.

The place the keyboard actually disappoints is in its format, which carries over from the earlier model. Merely put, it’s funky, primarily as a result of it doesn’t have a row of devoted operate/function keys on the prime. These keys are thus scattered across the keyboard in odd, virtually random locations, and it takes method an excessive amount of time to determine find out how to do one thing easy like toggle the backlight. Possibly it’s a first-world drawback and others would decide it up fairly shortly, however it’s fairly jarring at first.

Acer Swift 7 reviewMark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

One large enchancment from the 2018 Swift 7 is that the brand new model now has an actual touchpad. The previous model had only a flat floor with out buttons or haptic suggestions, making it troublesome and uncomfortable to make use of. The brand new model, although, has a large touchpad with a glass floor and purposeful buttons. It’s a dramatic enchancment over the earlier mannequin, particularly because it consists of Microsoft Precision help for excellent Home windows 10 multitouch gestures.

As we talked about already, the Swift 7 has very small bezels, roughly as small because the IdeaPad S940 and the ZenBook S13. In contrast to these laptops, although, the Swift 7 doesn’t have a reverse notch to deal with the webcam. So, Acer caught it in a pop-up mechanism above the keyboard, and it’s simply as you may think – nice for privateness as a result of you’ll be able to merely shut it to stay invisible, however it has the identical unflattering up-the-nose angle as all such cameras. You most likely gained’t prefer it if you happen to depend on the built-in webcam for video conferencing.

Lastly, the Swift 7 has a really responsive fingerprint reader constructed into the facility button, situated to the upper-left of the keyboard. It really works very effectively with Home windows 10 Good day to login and not using a password – it was fast and correct in all of our testing.

The common show doesn’t stand out

There’s just one show choice with the Swift 7, a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) contact panel. Acer needed to pull some engineering rabbits out of a hat to suit a touchscreen into such a skinny show, however they managed. Did they handle to equip a great show as effectively?

In response to our colorimeter, they did – within the sense that the common show on premium laptops at the moment is superb in comparison with a 12 months in the past. There are higher shows accessible, however the common supplies a strong mixture of brightness, distinction, and colours which might be going to please the common particular person. That’s virtually precisely the place the Swift 7’s show lands.

It is available in at 273 nits of brightness, which is beneath our most well-liked 300 nits however – you guessed it – roughly common for the category. The HP Envy 13 is brighter at 369 nits, and the IdeaPad S940 is far brighter at 470 nits, however most laptops in our comparability group are available at across the similar because the Swift 7.

If there’s a metric the place the Swift 7’s show disappoints, it’s in its distinction ratio. It managed only a 790:1 ratio, which is on the low finish of our comparability group and effectively beneath the 1,000:1 ratio we wish to see from trendy premium laptops. The HP Spectre Folio exceeds that threshold and the Asus ZenBook S13 comes shut. The Swift 7 isn’t dangerous, thoughts you, however we’ve come to count on higher.

The Swift 7 felt the tiniest bit sluggish after we had too many browser tabs and apps operating.

Shade gamut and accuracy present the Swift 7 smack dab within the center at 72 p.c of AdobeRGB, besides the excellent IdeaPad S940’s 83 p.c. You must step as much as machines just like the Dell XPS 15 4K show and the HP Spectre x360 15 AMOLED panel to get 90 p.c of AdobeRGB or higher.

In real-life use, we’ve no complaints. The Swift 7’s show supplies all the colours and distinction we want for comfy productiveness work, and its gamma is barely a little bit darkish at 2.three (2.2 is ideal), and so Netflix and different video seems to be simply advantageous. The Swift 7 isn’t essentially a laptop computer for inventive professionals, however then once more, the efficiency limitations seemingly disqualify it anyway.

Audio efficiency is one other sufferer of the tiny chassis. Quantity doesn’t go significantly excessive, actually, it’s one of many quietest laptops we’ve heard in current reminiscence. It’s clear sufficient, with out distortion, and mids and highs are nice (bass is non-existent, as anticipated). However if you wish to entertain a number of associates, you’ll be upset. Maintain a pair of headphones or a Bluetooth speaker helpful.

A low-power processor that’s a step behind

The Swift 7 equips an Eighth-gen Intel Core i7-8500Y, which is a fanless dual-core CPU that’s geared toward extending batteries and decreasing warmth. As we skilled with the Spectre Folio, this processor is absolutely able to strong productiveness efficiency – did Acer get the most effective out of it?

In brief, no. The Swift 7 falls behind the Spectre Folio in our testing, which makes it significantly slower than laptops operating Intel’s Eighth-gen quad-core U-series CPUs. Within the Geekbench four artificial benchmark, for instance, the Swift 7 managed four,031 within the single-core check and simply 6,449 within the multi-core check. That’s simply barely quicker than the 2018 Swift 7 with the older Core i7-7Y75 processor, and considerably behind the Spectre Folio.

After we ran the Swift 7 via our Handbrake check that encodes a 420MB video to H.265, the laptop computer took 607 seconds to complete. That’s 40 seconds behind the Spectre Folio and 10 seconds slower than the 2018 Swift 7. The ZenBook S13, with its full-power CPU completed in a a lot quicker 212 seconds.

Acer Swift 7 reviewMark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

We suspect that Acer tuned the system to keep away from producing an excessive amount of warmth. That is smart in a fanless laptop computer with such a skinny chassis. And certainly, we by no means felt the laptop computer get a lot hotter than round 100 levels F on the underside of the chassis. However the tradeoff is diminished efficiency, to the purpose the place – not like the Spectre Folio – the Swift 7 did really feel the tiniest bit sluggish after we had many browser tabs open and ran Microsoft Workplace purposes. That’s not a great signal.

The Hynix PCIe SSD was loads quick. It achieved 1,173 megabytes per second (MB/s) within the CrystalDiskMark 5 learn check and 1,177 in the fitting check. That’s aggressive with the opposite laptops in our comparability group and many quick for every little thing you’ll ask this laptop computer to do.

The Swift 7 goes to be a good performer for productiveness work, however if you happen to push it too exhausting, you then may discover some delay. In case you primarily work in an internet browser, electronic mail, and Workplace apps, you then’ll most likely be advantageous with the Swift 7’s efficiency. However if you happen to are inclined to push issues, it’s prone to fall behind.

Gaming? I don’t suppose so

We already know that the Swift 7 has restricted efficiency due to a low-power CPU. Anticipating any type of gaming efficiency out of the built-in Intel UHD 615 graphics is unrealistic.

Merely put, the Swift 7 isn’t going to be good for something however the oldest titles and the lightest esports and indie video games. It scored a paltry 688 on the 3DMark Hearth Strike check, which is on the backside in our comparability group. And after we ran Fortnite at 1080p and each excessive and epics graphics, we watched a slideshow at simply three frames per second (FPS).

There’s not rather more to say. If you wish to play greater than informal video games, then this isn’t the laptop computer for you.

Surprisingly good battery life

The 2019 Swift 7 has 32 watt-hours of battery packed inside, which is three watt-hours lower than the 2018 model. Despite the low-power CPU that guarantees elevated battery life, we weren’t too hopeful.

We have been stunned at how lengthy the Swift 7 managed to run away from a charger. First, in our most demanding Basemark internet benchmark, the Swift 7 ran for a little bit over three and a half hours. That’s not a spectacular rating, and although the battery champion HP Spectre Folio beat it soundly, it’s aggressive with the remainder of our comparability group.

The Swift 7 has a great likelihood of staying productive all day lengthy away from a plug.

In our internet searching check that runs via a collection of well-liked websites till it dies, the Swift 7 managed virtually eight hours. Once more, that’s not world-beating, and it falls behind the Spectre Folio’s 10 hours, however it’ll final you thru the day, most significantly. Lastly, when looping our native check 1080p video clip, the Swift 7 lasted for nearly 13 hours. That’s a robust rating, however once more, in several league than the 17 hours managed by the Spectre Folio.

We suspect that the Swift 7 advantages from Acer maintaining the efficiency tamped down. The 2019 model beat the 2018 model regardless of having much less battery capability (albeit a theoretically extra environment friendly CPU), and it has a great likelihood of staying productive for a complete work day. You’ll simply have to just accept the compromise of lowered efficiency for the privilege.

The Swift 7 lives as much as its billing as a remarkably skinny, gentle, and small laptop computer. It’s trivial to hold round, and it seems to be good. However it’s a little bit too bendable, and its efficiency is disappointing. It’s nice for somebody who needs as little laptop computer as doable of their backpack – and powerful battery life makes it doable to go away the charger behind – however for anybody else, there are simply too many compromises.

Is there a greater various?

There isn’t one other laptop computer that’s going to match the Swift 7’s svelte chassis. So, we’ll take into account laptops which might be simply as small due to equally tiny bezels however gained’t be practically as skinny or gentle.

First is the Dell XPS 13, which isn’t solely a superb laptop computer however is sufficiently small that you simply most likely gained’t thoughts the distinction. It gives a lot better efficiency, construct high quality, and show choices, and it’s cheaper as configured. You’ll spend $1,749 ($1,519 on sale) for a similar Core i7, 16GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a 4K contact show.

Subsequent, there’s the Lenovo IdeaPad S940. It, too, has a 14-inch show fitted into a really small chassis, and it’s not significantly thick or heavy on prime of it. It additionally performs a lot better and has a superb 4K show accessible. It’s additionally costly, although, at $1,600 for a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 4K show.

Lastly, you’ll be able to select the Asus ZenBook S13 UX392FN and achieve a lot better efficiency and even a discrete GPU for some gentle gaming. It, too, is rather more solidly constructed, has a really good Full HD show, and did we point out it’s quicker? You’ll additionally avoid wasting cash, at $1,400 for a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB GB SSD.

How lengthy will it final?

The Swift 7 is made of contemporary supplies that promise a protracted lifespan. We couldn’t get previous the impression of flimsiness, although, and so that you’ll be counting on Acer’s engineers for any confidence within the laptop computer’s lifespan. And the usual 1-year guarantee, whereas equal to the competitors, gained’t make you’re feeling a lot better.

Must you purchase it?

No. You will get quicker, better-built laptops for much less cash. They’ll be heavier and a bit thicker, however you gained’t really feel such as you’re making too many compromises.

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