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Acer Swift three (2019) Assessment: Discrete Laptop computer Graphics on the Low-cost

Highly effective graphics and reasonably priced value tags don’t often go collectively. That may be an issue for college students or inventive professionals on a funds. Acer’s 2019 refresh of its Swift three 14-inch laptop computer is a chief instance – it’s proper on the premium cutoff of $1,000 and it contains an Nvidia GeForce MX150 that’s ok for mild gaming and dashing up inventive functions.

Acer despatched us the high-end configuration that prices $1,000. It’s well-equipped, sporting an Eighth-gen Whiskey Lake Core i7-8565U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 14-inch IPS Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) show.

The earlier model of the laptop computer — one among our favourite funds choices — price $680 for a similar quantity of RAM and storage however with a Core i5 — and it was restricted to built-in Intel HD graphics. Does the uptick in processor and graphics energy do sufficient to warrant the considerably greater value?

In the event you’ve seen one silver chassis…

Sure, that’s proper: The Acer Swift three has a silver, all-aluminum chassis with chrome chamfered edges, black trim across the show, and a delicate chrome Acer brand on the lid. In different phrases, it’s identical to each different clamshell laptop computer with a silver chassis and related trimmings. It appears lots just like the Acer Swift 5, solely smaller, whereas one other 14-inch laptop computer, the Asus ZenBook 14 UX433, is way extra putting and colourful.

Acer Swift 3 (2019)

Acer Swift 3 (2019)

Acer Swift 3 (2019)

Acer Swift 3 (2019)

Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

Not each all-aluminum chassis is constructed the identical, although. The lid and keyboard deck are only a bit too versatile, giving in to mild stress. There’s not sufficient give to make us doubt its sturdiness, however we just like the ZenBook 14 and Asus ZenBook 13 UX333 for his or her extra stable chassis (and their MIL-STD-810g certification that guarantees sturdiness). Once more, the Swift three is okay, however it’s not the very best we’ve examined — even at related costs.

One other space the place the Swift three loses out to the ZenBook 14 is by way of its chassis measurement. Asus has absolutely embraced the tiny bezel motion, and the ZenBook’s 92 % screen-to-body ratio is a category chief. That makes the Swift three’s aspect bezels – although smaller than the earlier technology – and reasonably massive high and backside bezels appear comically big compared. These bezels let the ZenBook 14 are available in at simply 12.56 inches vast by 7.83 inches deep, in comparison with the Swift three at 12.72 inches by eight.98 inches.

The Swift three resembles each different clamshell laptop computer with a silver chassis and delicate trimming.

The Swift three manages to be thinner than the ZenBook 14, at zero.59 inches versus zero.63 inches, and that’s a plus. It’s heavier, although, at 2.98 kilos in comparison with 2.62 kilos. The dimensions of the Swift three could be very near the Huawei MateBook X Professional with its much less widespread three:2 facet ratio 14-inch show could be very shut at zero.57 inches and a pair of.9 kilos. That makes the Acer three lots skinny and light-weight for a 14-inch laptop computer.

Connectivity is first rate for such a skinny laptop computer, with a USB-C three.1 Gen 2 port supporting show and energy, two USB-A three.zero ports, and a full-size HDMI port. There’s no SD card reader, which is a bummer, however there’s a Kensington Lock slot for the security-conscious. Wi-fi connectivity is state-of-the-art, with an Intel combo chip that gives gigabit Wi-Fi 802.11ac and the most recent Bluetooth 5.zero.

The Swift three’s $1,000 value level is correct on the fringe of the place you may count on Thunderbolt three assist, and sadly, that’s missing right here. You received’t be capable to join an exterior GPU, and so the built-in graphics should swimsuit you.

The keyboard is only a contact too agency

Getting simply the best keyboard really feel should be a problem. Too free or mushy or too tight and agency, and lengthy typing classes may be exhausting. The Swift three’s reasonably typical island keyboard with black chiclet keys falls simply inside that spectrum. It has adequate journey and a pleasant click on, making it exact, however the mechanism is simply the slightest bit too agency. The ZenBook 14 and the Dell XPS 13 have snappy keyboards as properly with a lighter contact, making them barely extra snug.

The Swift three’s plastic touchpad is much less enigmatic. It takes up the obtainable house on the keyboard deck and permits for snug swiping, and its plastic texture supplies simply the best mixture of easy suggestions. It’s a Microsoft Precision touchpad and so it helps the total vary of Home windows 10 multitouch gestures, and it’s fairly exact. It’s the equal of the very best Home windows touchpads round.

Acer Swift 3 (2019) Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

The show isn’t touch-enabled, although, and that’s a bummer. When you’ve gotten used to shortly tapping buttons and scrolling lengthy net pages with a finger and a thumb, it feels odd when a show doesn’t reply. There are some minor weight and energy financial savings, to not point out the price, however at $1,000, the Swift three feels incomplete and not using a touchscreen.

Lastly, the Swift three depends on a fingerprint scanner to the best of the keyboard for Home windows 10 password-less login. We had some problem coaching it, after which it wasn’t all the time responsive in real-life use. Hopefully, that’s one thing Acer can enhance with a software program replace.

One other common Full HD show neither provides or detracts

Acer gives the Swift three with only one show choice: A shiny 14-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 or 157 PPI) display. It’s sharp sufficient for many customers, and as an IPS panel, it guarantees good viewing angles and a nice expertise.

In line with our colorimeter, that’s precisely what you’re getting. The show is correct according to different trendy mainstream laptop computer panels. Meaning it’s a very good show that most individuals will get pleasure from however it possible received’t meet the wants of inventive varieties.

Brightness was under our most well-liked 300 nit threshold, at 260 nits. Will probably be vivid sufficient for the everyday workplace, however harsh overhead lighting and positively daylight will overwhelm issues and make the show laborious to learn. The distinction was simply okay at 710:1, which is correct in the course of our comparability group, forward of the Lenovo Yoga C930 however behind the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and XPS 13.

Except you’re a inventive skilled, the Swift three’s show ought to fulfill.

The colour gamut can be common, at 73 % of AdobeRGB. All however funds shows fall on this vary, and also you’ll need to have a look at extra premium choices to get into the 90 % vary that guarantees the very best colours for photograph and video enhancing. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is barely higher whereas the ZenBook 14 and Yoga C930 are barely worse. Coloration accuracy was 1.34, which is excellent (lower than 1.zero is taken into account glorious) and forward of all of the laptops in our comparability group.

Lastly, gamma is a bit off at 2.1 (2.2 is ideal), which means that Netflix movies shall be a bit brighter than the ought to. Total, although, we discovered the show fairly nice to make use of. It doesn’t stand out, however except you’re a inventive sort in search of a really colourful show, then the Swift three’s panel ought to fulfill.

The audio didn’t impress us a method or one other. The twin downward-firing audio system on the underside of the chassis offered loads of quantity with out important distortion, however the high quality didn’t rise above the everyday laptop computer expertise. There’s no bass to talk of, and so that you’ll need to pull out some headphones to essentially get pleasure from your tunes and Netflix binging.

Stable however not spectacular efficiency

The Swift three runs on the most recent and biggest Intel CPU, the Whiskey Lake Eighth-generation quad-core Core i7-8565U. In our expertise, that sometimes means stable productiveness efficiency and good effectivity.

We utilized our typical benchmark checks and found that the Swift three makes good use of its elements. Within the Geekbench four artificial benchmark, the Acer scored 5,231 within the single-core check and 15,116 within the multi-core check. That’s according to the identical CPU amongst our comparability group within the single-core benchmark, and proper within the center when utilizing a number of cores.

In our Handbrake check that encodes a 420MB video to H.265, the Swift three end in 269 seconds. That’s not as fast because the ZenBook 14 or Dell Inspiron 13 7386, however it matches the XPS 13. The Core i5-8250 within the ThinkPad X1 Carbon was a lot slower at 370 seconds.

The Kingston PCIe SSD, however, was slower than we like. It scored 857 megabytes per second (MB/s) within the CrystalDiskMark 5.x learn check and 765 MB/s within the write check. These scores aren’t nice for PCIe drives, with the Swift three coming near the ZenBook 14’s efficiency however falling properly behind the remainder of the sector in learn efficiency.

Acer Swift 3 (2019) Mark Coppock/Digital Developments

In the event you can step down in efficiency, then there’s a Core i5-8265U choice that may avoid wasting money. Oddly, you possibly can improve to a 512GB SSD with the Core i5 however there’s no choice for the bigger capability to go along with the quicker Core i7. The Swift three is just not user-upgradeable.

Thermal efficiency was an actual power of the Swift three. Throughout our most aggressive testing, together with encoding a video, working our gaming benchmarks, and working 3DMark stress checks, the chassis by no means acquired greater than heat, and the followers have been by no means too loud. The very best temperature we measured was on the underside close to the rear, and that solely reached 101 levels F.

Total, you’re getting loads of efficiency for the laptop computer’s $1,000 value – you would spend tons of extra and never see a significant distinction. The laptop computer is lots fast for no matter productiveness job you throw at it, after which the discrete GPU signifies that inventive functions can get pleasure from an actual increase as properly.

Entry-level gaming is within the playing cards

Nvidia’s GeForce MX150 graphics often promise entry-level gaming efficiency that’s an actual step up from Intel’s built-in GPUs. We have been trying ahead to seeing if the Swift three would make good use of that additional gaming efficiency.

First, we ran the 3DMark Hearth Strike check, the place the Swift three scored 2,607. That’s greater than twice as quick as our comparability laptops with built-in Intel UHD 620 graphics, and barely higher than the MX150-equipped model of the ZenBook 14.

To gauge the Swift three by way of its real-world efficiency, we ran a few gaming benchmarks which might be according to the extent of CPU. In Civilization VI, the Acer managed a playable 37 frames per second (FPS) at 1080p and medium graphics, which dropped to 16 FPS at extremely graphics. In Fortnite, the Swift three hit 32 FPS at 1080p and excessive graphics and 28 FPS at extremely graphics. That makes the Acer barely quicker than the ZenBook 14 in Civilization VI and nearly similar in Fortnite.

Whereas the laptop computer can’t sustain with these working quicker GeForce GTX or RTX GPUs, it’s ok for esports titles and for some trendy titles at 1080p and with the graphical high quality turned down. Extra importantly, it’s considerably higher than laptops which might be restricted to Intel’s built-in graphics.

Battery life is robust in the event you’re not pushing the CPU

The Swift three packs in 50 watt-hours of battery capability, which is just a little mild for a 14-inch laptop computer that doesn’t attempt to be the smallest round. The Whiskey Lake Eighth-gen CPU is environment friendly, and the Full HD decision means the battery received’t be taxed by powering too many pixels.

In our benchmark checks, the Acer did properly, however it didn’t break any information. In our most demanding Basemark net benchmark, for instance, the Swift three managed simply over three hours, which is decrease than the ZenBook 14’s barely greater than 4 hours and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s six hours.

Except you’re pushing the CPU, the Swift three will possible final you a full working day.

In our net shopping check, the Swift three was stronger at 9 hours, beating out the ZenBook 14’s roughly eight hours and destroying the ThinkPad X1 Carbon’s six and a half hours. And when looping our native check Avengers trailer, the Swift three was once more very sturdy at over 15 hours. The ZenBook 14 barely lasted 11 hours, and the ThinkPad X1 Carbon petered out after simply eight hours.

The underside line is that except you’re pushing the CPU, the Swift three will possible final you a full working day after which some. It’s a very sturdy outcome given the comparatively small battery capability, and so Acer labored some actual magic in squeezing out some longevity. Observe that partaking the discrete GPU throughout gaming and whereas working creativity functions will suck down rather more energy.

Our Take

At first look, the Acer Swift three is underwhelming. It’s not nice trying, its construct high quality is sweet however not nice, and its value appears just a little excessive. However then when you think about the discrete GPU, have a look at its sturdy efficiency, after which take into account its excellent battery life – all of a sudden, the Swift three turns into a extra compelling selection.

Is there a greater different?

If we glance completely at 14-inch laptops, the Asus ZenBook 14 is essentially the most direct comparability. It’s a lot smaller due to some tiny bezels, it supplies related efficiency, however its battery life can’t sustain. If you wish to purchase the MX150 model within the US, you then’ll have to purchase it from Costco (for now) at $1,300 with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. In the event you can stay with built-in graphics, then the ZenBook 14 can be $1,000 for a Core i5-8265U CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.

You can additionally take into account the Asus ZenBook 13 in the event you’re keen to drop down a bit in display measurement. The most recent UX333 model sports activities the identical attractiveness because the ZenBook 13. You’ll lose the discrete GPU and also you’ll step down in processor efficiency, however you’ll additionally pay solely $850 for a Core i5-8265U, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. And the ZenBook 13’s show has a lot better distinction and is a really nice panel general.

In the event you’re keen to leap up in value, then the Huawei MateBook X Professional is an efficient choice. It gives a beautiful three:2 show that’s nice for productiveness, suits right into a small footprint due to skinny bezels, and gives stable construct high quality. It’s considerably dearer, although, at over $2,000 for equally geared up system.

How lengthy will it final?

The Acer Swift three isn’t essentially the most sturdy construct round, however it ought to nonetheless final you so long as the elements can sustain. There’s a regular 1-year guarantee that, as typical, is disappointing however an business customary.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. In the event you’re available in the market for a workhorse 14-inch laptop computer with some gaming and inventive chops that retains you working all day lengthy and received’t break the financial institution, then the Swift three is an efficient selection.

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