|Acer Swift 5|
If you are buying the Acer Swift 5, you are buying it for the size.
Specifically, this 14-inch laptop weighs just over two pounds. By context, it is more than half a pound lighter than the 13.3-inch Macbook Air or Dell XPS 13. It is lighter than the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop 3. You’ll only find a few lighter 14-inch models on the market, including the LG Gram, Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon, and Acer’s own two-pound Swift 7.
This is all to say: almost everything about the new Swift 5 is fine. The display is beautiful, the performance is excellent, the battery life is fine, and the price ($ 899.99 to start, $ 999.99 as tested) is not outrageous for the included specs. There’s not much to complain about here, but the Swift 5 isn’t the best of its kind in these categories. What stands out is the portability, and compared to previous Swift models, in exchange, it asks for very few sacrifices.
I’m used to 12 and 13-inch laptops feeling light, but I’m still in the process of convincing myself that a 14-inch device can be this light. Every time I pick up this laptop, I am amazed that it is not heavier. I carry it with one hand, and I can’t say I hold it. When it’s in my backpack, I forget it’s there. I often find myself lifting it up and down on my desk to make sure it hasn’t somehow gained the extra weight my brain thinks it should have.
Buy for $ 999.99 from Amazon
The Swift 5 in late 2019 certainly has seen an aesthetic update to the 15-inch Swift 5 in early 2019, sporting a design that Verge editor Chris Welch described as “soulless.” It was silver, sterile, and totally bland.
There are a few new features that make the 14-inch model look a little better. Gray is gone: The new 14 has a more elegant shade that is technically dark blue, although it looks very black to me, and several passing Verge employees have insisted it is dark green. The Acer logo and hinge are now gold, and look subtly elegant against the dark background. (Unfortunately, the colored part of the hinge folds under the platform when the laptop is open, so it is not visible most of the time.)
That said, as compact and powerful as this machine is, calling it an “ultrabook” doesn’t feel right. There’s no other way to say it – it just doesn’t feel premium. The chassis is made of what Acer calls “advanced alloys”; the upper and lower covers are made of magnesium-lithium, the palm rests magnesium-aluminum. They look and feel like cheap plastic. The keyboard flexes inward if you press it with some effort, and the screen is so weak that I have no doubt you could easily break it.
Both materials also retain fingerprints like a sponge retains water. After a day with the Swift 5, the interior and exterior were already covered invisible stains.
Again, it’s not that the laptop is ugly; if you can handle stubborn fingerprints, that’s fine. It just lacks the premium look you might expect from a $ 1,000 machine.
Inside our review sample is a quad-core 1.3Ghz tenth-generation Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, Intel Iris Plus graphics, and a variety of ports including a USB-C Thunderbolt 3, a USB- A 3.1 Gen 1, a USB-A 2.0, an HDMI and an audio connector. That model costs $ 999.99. You can also get set up with Core i5 and Intel UHD Graphics for $ 899.99. Acer says that a model with a discrete GPU will be available sometime.
It would be nice to see an SD card reader, but Thunderbolt 3 support, which was missing from the last Swift 5, is a welcome addition.
In another departure from the previous model, Acer has put a matte touchscreen on the new Swift 5. It’s a 1920 x 1080 IPS panel in a 16: 9 aspect ratio with a maximum brightness of 300 nits, which is roughly what you would expect. . for an ultrabook at this price, but lower than what you would get from an XPS 13 or MacBook Air. The 3.97mm bezels are remarkable (Acer claims it has an 86.4 percent screen-to-body ratio), but it didn’t intrude on my experience. There is still a lot of display in this relatively small chassis.
The screen looks good. Blacks are very black, even at maximum brightness, and colors are strong, though you won’t see the same vibrant detail as on a machine like the MacBook Pro. Creators may want a screen that gets a little brighter, but this It should adapt to daily navigation and transmit perfectly.
However, what is really nice about the matte screen is that it produces almost no glare. While watching the Game of Thrones episode “The Long Night” (you know, the frustratingly dark one) in a very bright room, I was able to make out most of the action and detail. Watching the same episode on the shiny MacBook Pro, I was able to clearly see my reflection on the screen, making it difficult to watch the episode, despite the richer image.
|Acer Swift 5 Image source Amazon|
THE MATE SCREEN
The panel is also very capable as a touch screen; I never had a problem navigating or opening tabs. I also like the smooth feel of the matte surface, but some people prefer the friction of a shiny screen.
One thing to note: The Swift 5’s screen, as its chassis, is a hell of a fingerprint. It was dirty after just a week of use, and no amount of cleaning could fully clean it. The screen is bright enough that the spots are not visible from the front, but anyone looking from one side will notice them.
The Swift 5 has an 1280 x 720 front camera, and it’s actually usable. That feels like a blessing since the Acer Swift 7’s webcam was packed with a pop-up module on the left side of the keyboard deck, and it could only photograph people’s fingers and chest.
Camera images are a bit grainy but well lit. Technically it supports HDR, but the only difference I noticed with HDR enabled was that my skin looked a little whiter.
Unfortunately, the webcam does not support Windows Hello face recognition. Fortunately, if you want to use Windows Hello, you can sign in with the Swift 5 fingerprint reader, which is located under the arrow keys.
We found the Swift 5 fingerprint reader meticulous above, but this one is pretty accurate; setup took less than a minute, I registered my print correctly every time, and usually took 0.5-1.5 seconds to authenticate and log in. Note that you must press moderately to get your fingerprint registered; you can’t just play like you would on a smartphone.
|Acer Swift 5 Image source Amazon|
The Swift 5‘s keyboard is a bit flatter than my favorite keyboards, but it offers a decent ride and satisfying click, and it’s not too loud. I used to score between 120 and 130 on the typing tests, which is close to but slightly below my average speed.
As is often the case with compact machines, Acer had to be creative to enter all the keys. None of the unorthodox locations kept me from buying the laptop, but they were a little annoying. For example, the Page Up and Page Down buttons are right above the identical-sized left and right arrow keys, and I accidentally pressed the previous keys a few times when I wanted to press the last one. The power button, shaped like a function key, is also right above Backspace, and I accidentally hit it a couple of times as well, which was even more complicated. I will also notice that I have very small fingers; people with bigger hands may have more problems.
The Windows Precision touchpad is smooth and responsive, and I never had a problem with palm rejection (an issue we faced with the Swift 7). However, the integrated button is stronger and heavier than most of the touch panels I have used. I often found myself resorting to taps or the touch screen; clicking felt laborious compared …
|Acer Swift 5 Image source Amazon|
Our Acer Swift 5 10th Generation Core i7 processor had no trouble performing all of the multiple tasks of my typical workday, not to mention my streaming and browsing after business hours. Even with over 25 Chrome, Spotify, and Slack tabs running, I never noticed a significant slowdown. With that said, don’t expect to play demanding games on this machine; You’ll want a discrete GPU for that.
It was also difficult to get this to heat up noticeably. I didn’t notice any temperature change until I was running the device at full brightness with Slack, Word and 28 Chrome tabs open. Even then, only the left side of the bottom of the chassis was hot: the heat was very tolerable in my lap and the palm rests remained cool. And the only cooling fan is very quiet; I couldn’t hear it unless I held the laptop up to my ear.
Acer placed a Dolby Audio sticker on our unit, but be under no illusions. The dual down-firing stereo speakers are fine, especially for a box of this size, but expect to use the Swift 5’s audio jack if you’re listening to music regularly.
I played a number of heavy percussion melodies, including Diplo’s Lonely and Ed Sheeran’s Beautiful People, and while the vocals sounded good and actually had decent surround sound quality, the percussion was a weak afterthought and the bass was inaudible. The Swift 5 is also not as loud as I would like; Even at maximum volume, I had a hard time hearing much of the quieter dialogue in a movie I was watching. But this is all understandable: Acer doesn’t have much room to work.
|Acer Swift 5 Image source Amazon|
The Acer Swift 5‘s 56Wh battery resistance was disappointing. Acer claims up to 12 hours: I got about six hours of online multitasking, Slack, and occasional Spotify streaming with 50 percent brightness and default power settings. This is not a disastrous result for a battery of this size, and it is on par with the Swift 7, which also lasts about six hours, but is worse than the previous Swift 5, which reached between eight and nine hours in our tests. , and means that it cannot last a working day. It took me about two hours to turn on the Swift 5 during daily use.
I like that you can charge the Swift 5 with USB-C, so if you carry a Switch, MacBook Pro, or other devices with a USB-C charger, you can leave the brick of the Swift’s barrel port at home.
Also, the laptop makes a strange sound every time it starts or stops charging. It’s not strong enough to be a serious disruption in a public place, but I still found it more annoying than helpful.
The Swift 5 price made me worry about being bombarded with bloatware, but I’ve found surprisingly little. Occasional pop-ups from Norton Security appear, but they are easy to dismiss and not very annoying. I found a couple of sticky programs installed, including some games from Random Salad Games LLC, as well as some things you could really use, like Dropbox, LinkedIn, Netflix apps, and third-party peripheral software backends. It is non-intrusive and does not take up a ton of disk space, so I am not concerned about that. (This, by the way, is a far cry from the previous Swift 5, which was packed with McAfee, Candy Crush, pop-up ads, and other crap.)
All ultralight laptops require some sacrifice. Previous members of the Swift line have been no exception – we’ve gotten useless webcams, weak speakers, limited ports, and uninspired designs.
But while there are certain areas in which the new Swift 5 could improve, the trade-offs to be made for compact construction are comparatively few. Acer has made subtle, but notable improvements in areas that matter. The new matte display looks and feels better, the fingerprint reader is better, and while the design doesn’t look premium, it’s no longer an eyesore. Ports are still limited, but we finally have Thunderbolt 3. The keyboard is imperfect but fine. The speakers are imperfect but fine. The touchpad is imperfect but fine. Everything is basically fine.
Would you recommend this laptop if it weighed four pounds and $ 1600? No, but with outstanding portability, good performance, and a price tag of $ 999, I think it comes to ahead.
Acer Swift 5 Specification
- 14-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS touchscreen
- 10th-gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 quad-core 1GHz or i7-1065G7 quad-core 1.3GHz
- 8GB of RAM
- 512GB SSD
- Weight 1 kg
- Ports: one USB-C (supporting), one USB-A 3.1, one USB-A 2.0, one HDMI, one headphone jack
- Fingerprint reader
- Starts at $899.99
- Buy From Amazon