Acer Swift Three 13 (2019) Assessment: There’s not a lot room for mediocrity

We took an extended have a look at Acer’s Swift Three with a 14-inch show, and we appreciated its mixture of efficiency, battery life, and engaging pricing. Acer added one other mannequin to its 2019 Swift Three lineup, a 13.Three-inch model that appears lots like its bigger sibling and that additionally is available in at a gorgeous worth level.

Acer despatched us a well-equipped configuration that options an Eighth-gen (however not Whiskey Lake) quad-core Core i7-8550U, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 13.Three-inch IPS show. That’s a stable set of parts for $900 at Amazon.

However there are a number of stable 13-inch rivals on the similar worth level, and so the Swift Three will probably be swimming upstream. Does it deliver sufficient worth to make its technique to the entrance?

One other in a line of non-descript silver chassis

As with many Acer laptops from the identical traces, the 13.Three-inch Swift Three seems to be lots just like the 14-inch model. It’s the identical all-aluminum chassis in a conservative silver shade with some chrome chamfered edges, it has the identical black trim across the show, and it sports activities an analogous subdued chrome Acer brand on the lid. It, too, seems to be lots like many different silver clamshell laptops, and it doesn’t maintain a candle to the far more hanging Dell XPS 13 and gem-but HP Spectre x360 13.

acer swift 3 13 2019 review acerswift3132019 6 Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

As with the bigger model, this mannequin of the Swift Three additionally suffers from some flexibility within the lid and keyboard deck. It’s doesn’t really feel as sturdy as its most reasonable competitor, the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333, which isn’t solely extra inflexible however comes with MIL-STD-810g testing to offer further confidence in its sturdiness. You gained’t be apprehensive that the Swift Three will collapse in your arms, nevertheless it doesn’t give off fairly the identical long-lasting vibe.

The Swift Three additionally isn’t almost as small as its newer rivals. Its bezels are moderately sized, however they’re not as tiny as these on the ZenBook 13 or Dell XPS 13. The Swift Three’s chassis measures 12.16 inches broad by eight.43 inches deep by zero.63 inches thick, and it weighs 2.87 kilos. That compares to the ZenBook 13 at 11.89 by 7.44 by zero.67 inches and a couple of.62 kilos, and the XPS 13 at 11.9 by 7.eight by zero.46 inches and a couple of.7 kilos.

Connectivity is a combined bag. There’s loads of legacy help with USB-A and USB-A ports and a full-size HDMI connection. However the single USB-C Three.1 Gen 1 port doesn’t help Thunderbolt Three, and it gained’t cost the laptop computer. You’ll want to make use of the proprietary charger, which is a disappointment. The XPS 13 provides a Thunderbolt Three port, which supplies it the sting for future connectivity. It’s good that Acer outfitted the newest in wi-fi connectivity, due to an Intel combo chip that gives gigabit Wi-Fi 802.11ac and the newest Bluetooth

An excellent keyboard and touchpad stand out

We discovered the keyboard on the 14-inch Swift Three to be simply the slightest bit too agency, even whereas it prevented being mushy and offered a satisfying click on. The keyboard on our 13-inch Swift Three was even higher, offering the identical exact really feel with out being too stiff. It’s nearly as good because the keyboards on the ZenBook 13 and XPS 13, and really comfy for lengthy typing periods.

acer swift 3 13 2019 review acerswift3132019 9 Mark Coppock/Digital Tendencies

The touchpad was additionally superb. It has a big sufficient plastic floor that’s simply on the nice aspect of being too sticky, and it’s a Microsoft Precision touchpad with nice help for Home windows 10’s multitouch gestures. It, too, is nearly as good because the touchpads on its closest rivals.

There’s no contact show, although, though that’s extra forgivable on the 13-inch mannequin’s worth in comparison with the 14-inch Swift Three. We’re beginning to name out a show’s lack of contact as a adverse, as a result of having contact supplies some actual worth for swiping by way of lengthy net pages and tapping the occasional on-screen button.

Lastly, the Swift Three has a fingerprint scanner on the keyboard deck that helps Home windows 10 password-less login. It was troublesome to coach, and it wasn’t at all times responsive. In comparison with different Home windows 10 Hi there options, Acer’s is mediocre.

A Full HD show that’s adequate for productiveness work

The Swift Three comes with a 13.Three-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS show. That’s de rigueur for all however essentially the most budget-oriented laptops right now, the place you may discover decrease resolutions or TF know-how that doesn’t present the identical broad viewing angles.

Primarily based on our colorimeter outcomes, Acer selected a panel that’s acceptable for the worth, however that doesn’t stand out, even amongst its equally priced alternate options. For instance, whereas brightness exceeded our 300 nit threshold at 306 nits, the distinction was a little bit beneath common at 680:1. Examine that to the ZenBook 13 UX333 that wasn’t fairly as shiny at 265 nits however sported a superb distinction ratio of 1360:1. The XPS 13 Full HD hit a brighter 336 nits and a distinction ratio of 970:1, just under our most popular 1000:1 ratio.

Wanting on the show’s colours, we noticed shade gamut protection of 73 p.c of AdobeRGB and 95 p.c of sRGB, which is on the larger aspect of common however nicely beneath the 77 p.c and 99 p.c achieved by the ZenBook 13. Nevertheless, accuracy was beneath common at 2.84 (the place or much less is taken into account wonderful), one other space the place the ZenBook 13 was higher at 1.68. The XPS 13’s Full HD show got here in at 73 and 95 p.c protection and 1.41 accuracy.

Subjectively, the show was productiveness expertise, with sufficient brightness to beat most ambient lighting (particularly given the anti-glare panel) and colours that had been adequate for doc enhancing. It wouldn’t be nice for inventive sorts who want broad and correct colours, however that’s true of most productiveness laptops right now. So far as binging Netflix goes, gamma was good at 2.2, and so video was neither too shiny nor too darkish.

The audio high quality wasn’t significantly better than we anticipated. Quantity was loud sufficient with out important distortion, and sound was a bit skinny with little bass to flesh out motion films and music. We recommend set of headphones if you wish to rock out or take pleasure in your TV and film periods.

Good efficiency for getting your work achieved

Our overview Swift Three outfitted the Eighth-gen quad-core Core i7-8550U. That’s not absolutely the newest Whiskey Lake model, however we’ve discovered that it tends to nonetheless carry out nicely in our benchmark assessments.

Wanting on the Geekbench four artificial benchmark, the Swift Three fell behind these laptops with absolutely the newest Core i7. It scored four,676 within the single-core take a look at and 14,226 within the multi-core take a look at, in comparison with the Swift Three 14’s 5,231 and 15,116, respectively. The ZenBook 13 UX333 with its Core i5-8265U was a bit slower, whereas the Dell XPS entry-level mannequin (equally priced to the Swift Three) scored a poor four,025 and eight,146 with its Core i3-8145U.

After we examined the laptops real-world efficiency, through the use of Handbrake to encode a 420MB video to H.265, the Swift Three 13 was the quickest amongst our comparability group. It completed the take a look at in 260 seconds, in comparison with the Swift Three 14 at 269 seconds and the Lenovo ThinkPad X390 at 272 seconds. The slower XPS 13 took virtually twice as lengthy at 467 seconds, whereas the ZenBook 13 precisely matched the Swift Three’s efficiency.

Acer used a quick Western Digital PCIe SSD within the Swift Three 13, that managed 1,098 megabytes per second (MB/s) within the CrystalDiskMark 6 learn take a look at and 982 MB/s within the write take a look at. That’s considerably sooner than the Kingston PCIe SSD Acer put into the 14-inch Swift Three and likewise sooner than some other SSD in our comparability group.

Total, the Swift Three was a lot quick for productiveness work, and it punches barely above its worth. It’s as quick because the ZenBook 13 and far sooner than the XPS 13 at an equal value.

Thermal efficiency was additionally constructive. We by no means noticed the chassis get hotter than 104 levels F throughout our most aggressive testing, and the followers had been moderately loud and spun up primarily when it made sense.

You’ll desire a totally different laptop computer should you’re a gamer

Not like its bigger sibling, the 14-inch Swift Three that enjoys the entry-level Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU, the 13-inch mannequin is restricted to Intel’s built-in UHD 620 graphics. That tells us it’s not going to be an excellent gaming laptop computer.

Our benchmarks confirmed our suspicions. First, the Swift Three scored 1,155 within the 3DMark Fireplace Strike take a look at, proper according to our comparability group and nicely behind the 14-inch mannequin. Second, we ran Fortnite at 1080p and each excessive and extremely graphics, the place the Swift Three managed simply 14 frames per second (FPS) and 9 FPS respectively.

The Swift Three is as quick (or as sluggish) at gaming as different equally outfitted laptops. However that’s not saying a lot.

Sadly, battery life is disappointing

The Swift Three 13 has 48 watt-hours of battery capability packed inside its chassis, which is lower than a lot of its 13-inch contemporaries. Plus, whereas the Core i7-8550U is a 15-watt CPU that gives first rate effectivity, fairly as environment friendly as among the different CPUs you’ll discover on this class of laptop computer.

In our benchmark assessments, the Swift Three was disappointing. In our most demanding Basemark net benchmark, it managed just below three hours, which is lower than the 14-inch model and nicely beneath the ZenBook 13’s virtually 5 hours and the XPS 13’s over 5 hours.

When shopping the net, the Swift Three fell in need of seven hours, nicely beneath its bigger sibling’s 9 hours and crushed by the ZenBook 13’s 12 hours and the XPS 15’s 11 hours. Then, whereas looping our native take a look at Avengers 1080p trailer, the Swift Three barely managed 11 hours whereas the 14-inch mannequin went for over 15 hours, the ZenBook 13 made it to over 13.5 hours, and the XPS 13 lasted for a whopping 16 hours.

Merely put, the Swift Three 13 suffered from combining a quick CPU with a small battery. It in all probability gained’t final you a full working day, which in comparison with different latest 13-inch laptops is an actual disappointment.

Our Take

The Swift Three 13-inch doesn’t have the sooner graphics or longer battery lifetime of the 14-inch mannequin, and so it’s a lot more durable to advocate. It does present good efficiency for $900, in a chassis that’s constructed nicely sufficient for the worth however that’s not too thrilling to have a look at. In the long run, we predict the Swift Three is a bit underwhelming.

Is there a greater various?

The clearest various is the Asus ZenBook 13 UX333FA. It has a barely slower CPU that however manages to maintain up with the Swift Three in real-world use, and its battery life and show are significantly better. It’s additionally $50 much less, at $850 for a Core i5-8265U, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. You get twice the storage with the Swift Three at simply $50 extra, which might be its solely benefit.

You would step up $100 in worth and an inch in measurement and contemplate the 14-inch model of the Swift Three. You’ll spend $1,000 for a Whiskey Lake Core i7-8565U, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, however you’ll additionally get a barely higher show and far sooner graphics. You’ll additionally take pleasure in higher battery life with a chassis that’s nearly as moveable.

Lastly, the entry-level Dell XPS 13 is one other viable possibility. It’s slower due to its Eighth-gen Core i3-8145U CPU, however its battery life is considerably higher. You’ll get a greater show and a smaller chassis, for round $880 with 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD, and a non-touch Full HD show. Sure, the RAM and storage are much less, however the laptop computer’s higher total.

How lengthy will it final?

The Acer Swift Three isn’t so strong that you simply think about it’ll final for many years, nevertheless it additionally doesn’t really feel like it’ll collapse lengthy earlier than you’ve gotten your cash’s price out of it. The usual 1-year guarantee is disappointing, as regular, however stays an trade commonplace.

Do you have to purchase it?

No. There are higher 13-inch laptops out there at comparable costs, that can get you higher battery life and comparable efficiency.

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