Acer Swift 7 review: thin at all costs
- Laptop Reviews
The Swift 7 is the lightest computer I’ve ever reviewed, but it makes many compromises to get there
By Dan Seifert, an editor overseeing The Verge’s product reviews and service journalism programs. Dan has covered the technology world for over a decade at The Verge.
Photography by Amelia Holowaty Krales
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The Acer Swift 7 is the thinnest and lightest laptop I’ve ever reviewed. At 1.96 lbs (890 grams) and 0.39 inches (9.95mm), it beats out Apple’s recently departed 12-inch MacBook for portability. It’s even a full third of a pound lighter than an iPad Pro with Apple’s Smart Keyboard attached.
The Swift 7 also one-ups the MacBook with a 14-inch touchscreen display. This isn’t a tiny laptop for occasional use — it’s designed to be a primary computer for someone looking for the ultimate thin-and-light laptop.
On paper, the Swift 7 has everything else that would make it the ultimate thin-and-light: a dual-core Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of NVMe storage, and two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports. In the box, Acer includes a thin pouch and a dongle that adds a USB-A port and HDMI. Despite its diminutive size, the Swift 7 is a lot of computer for its $1,699.99 price tag.
But it doesn’t take long living with the Swift 7 to learn it makes some significant compromises to enable its form factor.
Acer Swift 7
- Incredibly thin and light
- Large display for its size
- Fanless design keeps things quiet
- Awkward keyboard layout
- Poor palm rejection on the trackpad
- Thin, wimpy speakers
- Doesn’t like to charge with standard USB-C adapters
- Webcam is virtually useless
- Display has a slow touch response
- Doesn’t take much to overwhelm the processor
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The Swift 7 is available in two colors, white or black, and I strongly prefer the white model. Unlike the black version, the white model doesn’t show any fingerprints or smudges and looks much cleaner as a result.
As you might expect from the specs I mentioned above, the Swift 7 is incredibly light to carry and very easy to transport from one place to another — so much so that I often didn’t even realize it was in my bag. But it also lacks the solid feel of other laptops, with more flex and flimsiness in its chassis than you’d expect or want from a laptop that costs this much. Acer insists that the magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminum alloys used in its construction “are lighter and stronger than aluminum alone at the same thickness,” but the experience of using the laptop doesn’t inspire much confidence that it can take a beating.
That feeling was amplified by my initial review device: the first Swift 7 I had in for review developed a screen flicker out of the blue, despite never having been dropped or mishandled. The replacement unit Acer sent me did not exhibit the same problem after a few weeks of use, but I’m still a little wary of carelessly tossing this laptop into my bag.
Aside from the issue I had with the first model, the Swift 7’s screen is impressive. It’s a large, 14-inch panel with the tiniest of bezels above and on the sides. It has 1080p resolution, which is plenty sharp at this size, and is rich and vibrant with good viewing angles.
The display is a touchscreen, but oddly, the panel is not very responsive. I frequently have to tap the screen twice for it to register my touches, especially if I’m not actively using the touchscreen to navigate. It’s almost like the touch controller goes to sleep and needs to be awakened before it will start responding.
The pop-up webcam is equally useless as it is clever
Around the screen is where you’ll find another feature that was compromised to make the Swift 7 as small as possible: there’s no webcam. Instead, Acer has hidden the camera in a pop-out module on the left side of the keyboard deck, combining the approaches of Dell’s older XPS 13 laptops and Huawei’s MateBook X Pro. The camera, unsurprisingly, provides a terrible experience, capturing either my fingers typing on the keyboard or the middle of my chest when on a call. It’s essentially useless for any practical purposes.
Since the camera can’t be used for facial login, Acer has built a fingerprint scanner into the power button, located just to the left of the keyboard. This worked fine in my tests, until a rogue Windows Update caused the computer to “forget” the fingerprint scanner existed at all. Rolling back the update and reinstalling it fixed the problem, but troubleshooting it did waste half a day.
The Swift 7’s keyboard is another example of compromise. In an effort to cram as many keys into the layout as possible, Acer made some unorthodox key placement decisions that I was unable to get accustomed to, even with weeks of use. The caps lock key is half size, the arrow keys are surrounded by home and end keys, and worst of all, the delete key is found right next to the backspace key, with no space between them. Needless to say, I constantly hit the delete key when I intended to hit backspace, and would land on the home and end keys instead of the arrow keys when I wanted to scroll or move the cursor around.
Aside from the layout issues, typing on the keyboard is fine, but it’s not the best I’ve ever used. The Swift 7’s keys have very little travel, as you’d expect, and they feel a bit mushy, but they are backlit and have adequate spacing between them.
I could never get used to the Swift 7’s keyboard layout
Similarly, although the trackpad is weirdly wide, it tracks nicely and feels smooth under my fingers. But it has poor palm rejection, which, combined with its unusually wide shape, means the cursor jumps around a lot when I’m typing.
Inside, the Swift 7 is using a fanless 8th Gen Core i7 processor paired with 16GB of RAM. As we’ve seen in laptops with similar Y-Series chips, it’s not hard to find the limits of this processor, even with everyday productivity tasks like web browsing, email, Slack, and using Office. If you’re not a heavy multitasker, the processor is probably fine, but if you bounce between different tasks frequently, it won’t be hard to make the Swift 7 sweat.
The fanless design means the computer stays quiet, but it also means the deck gets rather warm, especially on the right side when the laptop is charging. (The charging ports are on the right side of the computer.) It’s not enough to burn my fingers or stop me from using it, but it’s definitely less comfortable to use than a more actively cooled computer.
Underneath the laptop are two small speakers, which sound about as good as you might expect them to. They are thin and squawky, and don’t provide much volume, not to mention any bass. You’ll definitely want to use a set of headphones more often than not.
Finally, the Swift 7 has merely average battery life, hitting just under six hours between charges in my real-world usage tests. I don’t typically expect much more from a laptop this thin, but it does mean that you can’t really rely on it to last a whole day of work, and you might have issues using it for a full cross-country flight. Exacerbating the matter is the pickiness of the USB-C ports: the Swift 7 did not like powering up with any other charger than the one it came with. Even if I used a USB-C cable and charger that were rated for well above the 45W of the stock charger, the Swift 7 would refuse to accept a charge. That means that even though the Swift 7 is extremely light, you’ll also be carrying its power brick around with you everywhere since it won’t reliably charge off of a USB-C battery or other adapter.
The goal of the Swift 7 is noble: make a standard clamshell laptop as thin and light as possible in order to make it as portable as it can be. As a regular commuter, it’s something I’d typically appreciate — anything that makes my backpack or shoulder bag lighter makes me happier. But the number of compromises the Swift 7 has to make to hit its level of thinness and lightness are just too much for me. I’d rather put up with an extra half pound of weight and quarter inch of thickness for a better keyboard, better performance, more reliable build quality, and a usable webcam.
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Acer Swift 7 | TechRadar
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The world’s thinnest laptop is back for another go
(Image: © Future)
Acer has overhauled the Swift 7 with an upgraded design. It is the slimmest and lightest Intel-based laptop we’ve ever tested, but it also comes with a few too many compromises.
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The Acer Swift 7 2019 is a flagship Ultrabook that is so thin and light it makes other slimline laptops feel incredibly clunky. Last year’s iteration was already the thinnest laptop in the world, and it’s no surprise that the latest model continues that winning streak.
Seriously – it’s rather rare that when we unbox a new laptop for review, we promptly pass it around the office for people to feel, but the Acer Swift 7 2019 is so sleek and light that you really need to get your hands on it to actually appreciate what Acer has accomplished here.
However, while fashioning an unbelievably thin and feathery laptop is undoubtedly impressive, last year’s model proves that laptops require more than just a svelte design to win over customers. In our review of the previous model, we valued the size and weight, but it just came with too many downsides.
This year’s model, on the other hand, seems like it could fix a lot of the issues we had with last year’s edition. If it does – then Acer will truly have a hit on its hands.
The Acer Swift 7 really is impressively thin (Image credit: Future)
Here is the Acer Swift 7 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: 1.5GHz Intel Core i7-8500Y (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 4.2GHz)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615
RAM: 8GB LPDDR3
Screen: 14-inch, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) CineCrystal IPS touch display
Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), headset jack
Connectivity: Intel Wireless-AC 9260 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Camera: HD (720p) webcam with dual microphones
Weight: 1. 96 pounds (0.89kg)
Size: 12.48 x 7.55 x 0.39 inches (31.7 x 19.2 x 0.99cm; W x D x H)
Price and availability
As a flagship Ultrabook that’s furnished with some of the latest mobile tech in an extremely thin body, you should be ready to spend a chunk of change – and it’s a doozy at $1,699.99 (about £1,300, AU$2,400).
For that price, the Swift 7 is fitted with 8GB of DDR3 memory and a 256GB PCIe SSD, as well as an 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8500Y processor and a 14-inch, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) touchscreen.
Now, that is quite a price tag, which is significantly higher than its competitors like the Dell XPS 13, Asus ZenBook 3 and even the 13-inch MacBook Pro. These are some of the best laptops in the world, so Acer will need to put it all on the line for the Swift 7 (2019) to compete.
While it definitely comes with a premium price, it is at least no more expensive than the Swift 7 of 2018, which means you get updated components and a refreshed design without shelling out more cash. Still, as we mentioned in our review of the 2018 model, the high price tag isn’t entirely justified. Sure, it’s the thinnest laptop on the market, but how much are you really willing to spend to trim off a few milliliters and grams?
Once again, Acer has come up with a lovely design (Image credit: Future)
Far and away the chief selling point of the Acer Swift 7 is the astoundingly slim and light design. Now, you may think your current laptop is thin and light, but we can guarantee it won’t be as svelte as the latest Acer Swift 7. This device is exceptionally lean, and you really need to see (and feel) this laptop to truly appreciate it.
At just 12.51 inches (317.9mm) wide and 7.53 inches (191.5mm) deep, Acer has somehow managed to cut the depth by almost 20%. While it is slightly thicker than last year’s model at 0.39 inches (9.95mm) – but that’s still extraordinarily thin.
Acer has somehow decreased the overall size of this year’s Swift 7 by making the screen bezels as thin as possible, which brings the laptop’s screen-to-body ratio to an impressive 92%.
The bezels are incredibly thin (Image credit: Future)
This means Acer has removed the webcam from the top of the screen. It doesn’t mean the webcam has been totally removed, however, only moved to the lower half of the device.
On the top-left corner of the bottom of the Swift 7, just above the keyboard, is a small rectangle. Push it down and the webcam pops up. It’s a pretty good way to slim down the size of the Swift 7 without completely losing the webcam.
The webcam itself is a 720p offering with super high dynamic range (SHDR) imaging. So, it doesn’t look like there’s been much sacrificing with the repositioning of the camera when it comes to hardware – and it looks decent enough when used to video call. However, its positioning does mean it records at a rather unflattering angle, looking up rather than straight at you.
This isn’t an angle many people will enjoy – we’re not fans. In fact, there was enough of an outcry when Dell moved the webcam of the XPS 13 to a similar position that the company eventually reverted it back.
The webcam pops up from above the keyboard (Image credit: Future)
So, you’ll have to think about how essential the angle of the webcam is to you. If you do a lot of video calls and you’re not a fan of people looking up at your nose, then this might be a reason to avoid the new Swift 7. However, for many other people, this may be a reasonable trade-off to get such a compact laptop.
One thing we noted is that if you push the camera down during a video call, the webcam doesn’t turn off. Instead, it just shows a blackened screen while the camera still records. So, while it does offer you some privacy, we’d rather the camera turn off completely.
Because of the svelte design, there’s not much room for ports, so the Acer Swift 7 only comes with two USB-C ports on the right-hand side, and an audio jack port on the left. It’s reasonable that ports are going to be left behind to keep the size of the laptop down, and USB-C is at least pretty versatile as ports go – and they can double up as a charging port as well.
As you’d imagine on a laptop this thin, ports are limited (Image credit: Future)
It’s a nice touch that Acer has added a USB-C adapter as well, and it includes a standard USB port, USB-C and HDMI port. Its small enough to carry around with you, and we like the fact that it’s included for free, where many of the Swift 7’s competitors don’t follow suit.
One hitch we found is that by placing both USB-C ports on the right-hand side of the laptop, you don’t have a choice of where to plug in the charger. This can make it a bit awkward if the power adapter needs to be plugged in to a socket on the other side.
In regards to the screen, it’s touch-enabled with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 to protect it. The full HD (1,920 x 1,080) resolution is a bit on the low-end these days, especially when considering the price. However, you could argue that you don’t need much higher resolution on a compact 14-inch screen.
It also meets 100% of the sRGB color gamut, which means colors are both rich and accurate. The screen is also pretty bright at 400 nits, and the touchscreen is great and responsive.
The keyboard is small, but not too uncomfortable to use (Image credit: Future)
Keyboard and trackpad
Because of the size of the Acer Swift 7, the keyboard isn’t the biggest. However, to be fair, most of the keys are a decent size so they don’t feel too difficult to press, even if you’re a fast typer. There are a few keys – like Esc and Caps Lock – that were shrunk to fit in the Swift 7’s small form factor, so keep in mind that these can be a little more difficult to use.
The thinness of the Swift 7 also means that key travel – which is the amount of distance the keys sink when pressed – is very shallow. This means they don’t feel as tactile as other keyboards, and it might take some adjusting to – particularly if you’re coming from a desktop PC. But, like the lack of ports and repositioned webcam, these are all compromises made to get such a remarkably thin laptop.
Thankfully, the trackpad has been improved with the 2019 model (Image credit: Future)
The trackpad has also been upgraded over last year’s model. One of our biggest issues about the 2018 Swift 7 model was the clickless trackpad, which essentially meant you could only tap on the trackpad, not press it down to mirror a mouse click.
While this allowed Acer to trim off even more thickness from the Swift 7 2018, it also meant that the trackpad lacked any kind of physical response when clicking and selecting items in Windows 10. It also made selecting something, then scrolling with the trackpad – just as you would when dragging and dropping files – much harder.
So, we’re happy that the trackpad on the Swift 7 2019 brings that click back. It makes it that much more comfortable – not to mention, much easier – to use. And, while it means this year’s model is slightly thicker than last year’s, we think this is unquestionably the right move by Acer.
Image credits: TechRadar
Acer Swift 7 (2019): Price Comparison
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Introduction, price, design and display
Next Page Performance, battery life and verdict
Matt is TechRadar’s Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there’s no aspect of technology that Matt isn’t passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he’s loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.
Swift 7 Ultra Light and Thin Laptop Review For many laptop users, portability is the number one priority. You don’t want to travel far with a heavy laptop, and work or personal tasks still sometimes require a computer with you. This is how ultrabooks appeared, which sacrificed a little performance in favor of portability. There were also enough other compromises, but this class of laptops still continued to find its fans, and at the same time increase power and get rid of “childhood diseases”. In today’s material, we will look at the evolution of the Acer Swift 7 (we already had reviews of previous models: 1, 2), which, with a 14-inch screen, weighs less than a kilogram and looks more like a folder for papers than a laptop.
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- 1 Package contents and first impressions
- 2 Design and usability
- 3 Display
- 4 Keyboard, touchpad, multimedia
- 5 Performance and software
- 6 Autonomy
Package and first impressions
Since such an ultrabook is bought for constant movement, the manufacturer provided in the kit (except for the usual set of the device itself and the power supply) a stylish envelope case. It’s tough enough to protect the case from minor annoyances that might happen on the road. The cover will be useful in a bag or backpack, it is also quite convenient to just carry it in your hand (for example, if you just need to walk from home to the car, taking a laptop backpack with you is not necessary at all). Also included is an adapter for USB-A, HDMI and with an additional USB-C connector, but the test sample came to us without it.
When you turn on the computer for the first time, there is a separate item for setting the fingerprint scanner, but otherwise the start of work is familiar to Windows. Additionally, there is a small bonus in the form of 25 GB for a year in the Dropbox cloud storage. After setting up, attention will turn to the little things in ergonomics, which the laptop has a lot of, and some of them will require getting used to.
Design and ease of use
By the size of the case, it is immediately clear that this is an ultrabook. Indeed, 317.9×191.5×9.95 mm – not enough for a 14-inch laptop. And the weight does seem to be something not quite real, because it is only 890 grams. This is impressive, because there are only a few competitors that, with such a screen, weigh less than a kilogram. This immediately speaks of the purpose of Swift 7 – to be the most portable computer that is with the owner all the time.
And at the same time it looks quite stylish, although very concise. There are no special design frills in the design, just a matte surface and a couple of cuts on the sides (they help the case look a little thinner than it actually is). The laptop is made of magnesium alloy and comes in white or black color options. There are also a couple of logos on the case that will help you recognize the manufacturer. There are five rubber feet on the bottom cover, assisted by a couple more on a hinge. All of them are quite grippy, but due to not much clamping force, it is relatively easy to move the laptop. True, during normal operation, there were no random movements.
There are only two USB-C connectors and a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the case. Next to the latter are two activity indicator diodes. To connect conventional flash drives and a monitor, there is an adapter included. It is likely that for most users this will be enough. But as soon as you need Ethernet or it comes to memory cards, you will have to look for an additional adapter, or better a hub, which, depending on the set of features and quality, will cost an additional $50-150.
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In use, such an ultrabook, of course, is very pleasant, but not without weaknesses: the case is rather frail and flexes even from slight pressure, and opening it is not always convenient, because the “visor” on the lid is small. But these little things are completely easy to say goodbye due to their compact size and portability. In comparison, the MacBook Air is equipped with a smaller display (albeit not very important, but still smaller), and its body is larger. There’s also a noticeable difference in weight, with the Air weighing more than the Swift 7 on the iPad mini.
The screen here will especially appeal to lovers of thin frames. In this model, they are really very small, they even forced out the webcam on the top case, and the screen area on the panel was 92%. But it played a cruel joke, because the display is touch-sensitive. Each time, adjusting the angle of the display in front of me, I touched it, and the touch was counted. It seems to be a trifle, but accidentally it turned out to move the focus of an open application or call the context menu on the desktop, which slightly distracted from the current task.
I liked the display itself. The 14″ format is great. Full HD-resolution is enough for him, but there are no other options. The pivot angle will allow you to find a comfortable position in almost any situation, but it will not work completely.
IPS-matrix installed under the glass. Color gamut, temperature and gamma in Swift 7 are close to the template. The same is clearly seen in everyday use. The image is good and in this regard, the screen only pleases. It is quite suitable even for working with photos, for example. I don’t think that the average user of an ultrabook will be able to somehow find fault with color reproduction.
The brightness level varies in the range of 17-243 cd/m², which is often enough indoors, even with the glossy screen coating, but not enough for open space on a sunny day. The backlight is not automatically adjusted.
Keyboard, touchpad, multimedia
Since last time, the keyboard has not been changed, as well as its distinctive features: there is still no F-key row, and their functionality has remained on a number of numbers with access via Fn; Caps Lock shares space with tilde, and Backspace has been replaced with Delete; the block of arrows is also supplemented with the keys PgUp and PgDn. All these solutions will take a little time to remember the positions, but they practically do not interfere with blind typing. Using only this keyboard, of course, is easy to get used to, but if this is not the only computer, there may be conflicts with other key placement.
Under the keyboard is a stretched trackpad. He is good with sensitivity and accuracy of work, he also correctly recognizes gestures. But he doesn’t have a clique. So, for example, to grab and drag a file, you will need to double-tap and drag the file to the right place. You can also quickly get used to this, but with a click, it’s much more convenient for me personally. In any case, some actions can be added/replaced using the touch screen.
Next to the buttons there is a fingerprint scanner, which also acts as a power button. It was placed on the left at the top edge of the keyboard. It is configured immediately at the start of work and in the future you can not enter its parameters. The sensor works mostly accurately and practically does not make you wait, which significantly speeds up the speed of logging into the system.
The sound is produced by two speakers directed “to the floor”. They are not very loud and practically do not win back the bass, so the sound will not have volume. This is detrimental to music. But even at maximum volume, the speakers do not start to wheeze, which will slightly improve the situation in the case of watching a video on the Web or a movie. Nothing prevents you from connecting headphones or external speakers to listen to music, there is a standard connector and Bluetooth.
The webcam has got its own feature. The new Swift 7 has it in the top case and can be opened at the right time. This should appeal to those who tape the camera, but will not appeal to those who often use it. Due to this position, she looks at the user’s chin, and the left hand on the keyboard can cover most of the image. Yes, and its quality is standardly weak, like most laptop cameras. The microphones are close and transmit the voice well. During a conversation, it is better to refrain from typing, because the interlocutor will perfectly hear the keystrokes.
If you leave the camera open and close the lid of the laptop, this may also leave a mark on the glass over time, but this should not affect the mechanism itself.
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Performance and software
Although small dimensions have an excellent effect on portability, the negative effect of them is manifested in limited performance. Our test unit is powered by a dual-core Intel Core i7-8500Y (1.6GHz) processor with Intel UHD Graphics 615, 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, and a 512GB SSD. For communication, the Wi-Fi 802.11ac standard and Bluetooth 5.0 are used.
The cooling is passive, which makes the notebook very quiet, but also unnecessarily warm under load. During simple work with documents and the browser, the sensors showed up to 40 ° C, but once the computer is loaded, the temperature will increase significantly (up to 80-90 ° C), and you can feel it by touching the right edge of the topcase (approximately a quarter of the case heats up like from above , as well as below). It is clear why this happens, although I’m not sure that users of such computers often load them to such an extent, and office tasks and watching movies practically do not affect the case temperature.
Not much performance. The laptop needs an extra couple of seconds to launch applications and fully load, not all even simple processes are as fast as more powerful machines do. But it cannot be said that everything works very slowly and this speed is not enough for undemanding tasks. Not at all. And not all users will feel these small delays. Although for those who want to play during breaks this is obviously not the solution they are looking for, there is no question of a comfortable game even at low graphics settings.
Windows 10 is preinstalled with a set of Booking, Netflix, LinkedIn and other applications, including antivirus, which can slow down the computer’s response time. Among other things, there is a proprietary Acer Care Center utility that will minimally help with maintenance and support.
The manufacturer claims that the 2770 mAh battery should last for 12 hours of operation. The test sample shows more modest results. In the PCMark test, it lasted 4 hours and 44 minutes. During normal office work, 15-20% of the charge is lost per hour, and a two-hour movie on average will require more than 20%. Such figures are obtained if you do not completely limit yourself in the level of backlight and sound volume (and these are values \u200b\u200bclose to the maximum).
If you still need to leave your usual workplace for a long period of time, then taking the power supply with you will not be difficult at all, it is small and light. In addition, if there is another adapter with USB Type-C nearby, then it will also work (for example, Swift 7 arranged a power supply unit from my MacBook Pro). A full charge of the battery will take a little over two hours.
Very small body with a fairly large screen; touch screen and image quality; Fingerprint’s scanner; silent operation; USB-A to HDMI adapter included
Keyboard features; a small margin of performance; sound; heating under load
Portability is one of the main advantages of laptops over stationary computers. At the same time, the class of ultrabooks places maximum emphasis on this criterion. The Acer Swift 7 is a good example of such an ultrabook. But as is often the case, in the pursuit of lightening the case, the laptop loses performance points and may heat up unnecessarily under load. Also, the sound of the speakers is not very pleased, and you need to get used to the keyboard. But for everyday simple tasks, it is suitable, it is pleasant to work with and very easy to navigate, and a beautiful touch screen has become an excellent bonus to this.
Acer Swift 7 (2019) review – The world’s thinnest and lightest laptop at a mind-blowing price
The laptop market is not as boring as it used to be. There are also the most powerful gaming laptops with a thickness of less than 20 mm, and computers almost the size of a tablet. Acer, for example, listened to those who need a working computer, but do not agree to carry a single extra gram with them. Thus was born the new Acer Swift 7 – not a mass, but the thinnest and lightest ultrabook in the world. 890 grams per 14 inches. How do you like that?
Design and materials
Design and materials
Swift 7 (2019) is not a laptop for everyone .Do not expect high performance in professional applications or an exemplary balance of price and quality from it. This is a kind of demonstration of “how easy you can make a laptop.” And such experiments are not cheap.
Acer Swift 7 will cost 159,990 rubles in the top configuration , with 512 GB SSD, Intel Core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM. For this money, we get the world’s thinnest and lightest 14-inch ultrabook with a touch screen and a capacious battery. The perfect computer for business travel: is no thicker or heavier than paper folders. Sounds good, but there are plenty of compromises.
Slim. A triumph of portability
When creating the Acer Swift 7, the engineers (and the marketing department at the same time) were driven by only one thought – to break all conceivable records for compactness and lightness, to create the most attractive ultrabook companion that you can take with you everywhere. It seems to work.
The device produces a genuine “wow” effect on anyone who picks it up. It seems that this is a hollow layout without filling, it is so light. Because of this, it doesn’t even pass the one-handed opening test.
According to the manufacturer, the tiny ultrabook weighs 0.89 kg, but our scales showed even less, 832 grams. For comparison, the iPad Pro with a 12.9-inch screen weighs 633 grams on its own, and about 1040 grams with a keyboard case.
Its maximum closed thickness including legs is 9.95 mm, about the size of a pencil. Impressive.
Thanks to the very thin bezels, the area of a 14-inch laptop is very small – it comes out a little narrower and a couple of centimeters longer than an A4 sheet. If we continue this analogy, then in terms of weight, Swift 7 is comparable to a glossy magazine with a thickness of 300 pages.
This performance was achieved thanks to the use of special materials. The case is made entirely of metal, and not just aluminum, but a special magnesium alloy, which is mainly used in the defense industry, aviation and cycling as an incredibly light, but durable and reliable material. This partly justifies the high price.
For added protection, the metal has a “ceramic” coating on top, similar to that used on the Nokia 7 Plus and Google Pixel 2. At first glance, this coating gives a “plastic” impression and, moreover, quickly collects fingerprints and smudges. But with prolonged use, you begin to appreciate the non-slip matte surface, on which the wrists do not sweat.
Slim. But very technological
Acer Swift 7 is equipped with the latest technology.
The heart of the system is an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, complemented by 8 GB of modern DDR4 RAM and fast NVMe storage. Windows 10 loads and works instantly: waking up from hibernation usually takes 5-10 seconds, and MS Office takes even less.
Peripherals are also in line with all the trends – there is an IPS touch screen, and a fingerprint scanner with Window Hello support, and a universal Thunderbolt 3 port for connecting any peripherals, and even a retractable webcam in a secret compartment next to the keyboard, which made it possible to make frames the screen is very thin.
The screen makes a good impression – The 14-inch IPS panel occupies 92% of the lid, and Full HD resolution is more than enough for acceptable clarity and smoothness of fonts. For such money, one would expect at least 2K, but here the manufacturer opted for energy efficiency.
The color rendition did not disappoint either – thanks to the glass coating, the shades are displayed bright and juicy, and given the high contrast during the day, it completely looks like an OLED matrix. Only a not very high margin of brightness and all the same glass fails – on the street the display turns into a mirror and it will not work on a conditional summer veranda.
And the screen is touch-sensitive – it does not bend 360 degrees and does not support pen input, but sometimes it is more convenient to scroll a long article or switch between tabs with your finger. And it’s easy to read too! In Windows settings, you can flip the image to portrait mode, hold Swift 7 by the hinge like a book, and read by flipping pages with your finger. With other laptops, this is also possible, but only here the hand almost does not get tired.
Minimum required ports. One combo port for a headset, one USB-C (3.2), and one Thunderbolt 3 for charging and connecting all kinds of peripherals through adapters. One, by the way, is immediately included in the kit – for HDMI, regular USB-A and another Type-C.
The 2770 mAh battery doesn’t sound like much, but notebook standards are different from those of the smartphone industry. The laptop battery has a significantly higher voltage. The manufacturer claims for Swift 7 up to 11.5 hours of battery life , and this is close to the truth – with a screen brightness of 75% and an “optimal” performance mode, the laptop “lives” for about 9 hours and 40 minutes on a single charge, this is more than a worthy result . Of course, we are talking about watching videos in Full HD and light browsing – if you strain all four computing threads with four or five simultaneously open programs, and even connect an external monitor, the charge will last for 5 hours maximum.
Slim. Too thin
But the Swift 7’s ultra-slim chassis isn’t designed to house high-performance components, they simply won’t be able to cool properly. If you look closely at the specification of the processor, then the Intel Core i7-8500Y is used here – a dual-core ultra-power-efficient “stone”. This version of the Core i7 is significantly different not only from those used in desktop PCs, but also from laptop -U and -H series. It uses only 2 cores with 4 logical threads, and the frequency does not exceed 3.9GHz. In comparison, a similar i7-8750H processor, which is usually used in gaming solutions, has 6 cores, 12 threads and runs at significantly higher frequencies.
As a result, Swift 7 is maximally sharpened for using a browser, a text editor or making presentations, simple photo editing. It’s a faithful companion for office work and media content, but for more demanding tasks, you’ll need a separate desktop or bulkier laptop. In theory, you can connect an external video card to Thunderbolt 3, but this makes little sense, a weak processor and a small amount of memory will still not allow anything more powerful than the Radeon RX 480 or GeForce GTX 1050Ti to “open up”.
On the other hand, the power consumption and heat dissipation of Y-processors are much lower – only 5 W versus 45 W for “adult” laptop processors and up to 90 W for desktop ones. For such a thin case, this is critical – most of the time the laptop is cooled passively and, accordingly, it works absolutely silently . When the load increases, a tiny fan is activated, which dumps heat through a small grill on the bottom panel. Even in this mode, the laptop emits only a barely noticeable rustle.
Unfortunately, the loudness of the Swift 7’s speakers has also fallen victim to its compactness. The sound is clear, but next to a window overlooking a busy street, the sound has to be turned up almost to the maximum. However, you can use wired or wireless headphones, an external speaker, since there is a combo port for a headset and Bluetooth 5.0.
The world’s thinnest and lightest case has another unfortunate side effect. The design lacks rigidity and the deck is easy, but flexes perceptibly under the fingers in the central part of the keyboard. If you are used to resting your wrists on a laptop while typing, then you will have to retrain – there is not enough space, the body flexes and you will constantly touch the disproportionately wide touchpad. When printing with “floating fingers” there is less discomfort.
The keyboard layout is also hard to call ideal. The narrow arrow keys, PgUp and PgDown are collected in a tight rectangular block, for some reason CapsLock is adjacent to the “e”, which is usually placed two rows higher, and the F-key block was abolished and moved to the Fn-pressing of the number row. A special “thank you” to all typing users will say for the Del and Backspace keys that are tightly fitted to each other, which cannot be confused even after considerable practice. But at least the keys themselves have been kept at a normal size, and both Shift and Enter have sufficient width.
The touchpad is also ambiguous. On the one hand, it’s responsive, with a smooth “glassy” finish, and supports Windows Precision multi-finger gestures. On the other hand, with the optimal width, it lacks height – due to the dimensions of the laptop, there is almost no space under the keyboard. Why does this problem not occur on other ultrabooks? Apple, for example, uses a more “square” 16:10 aspect ratio for the same diagonal, and some other Windows laptops leave a wide bezel below the display. But Acer decided to stick with the standard 16:9 aspect ratio.with minimal bezels for the sake of compactness.
Competitors – Acer against the world
The Acer Swift 7 has few direct competitors, especially after Apple discontinued the 12-inch MacBook .
Essentially, the Swift 7 takes the same concept and elevates it to the absolute: minimum ports, weight less than a kilogram, thin aluminum body (Acer is thinner by about 25%). But at the same time, the screen of the novelty is touch-sensitive and as much as 2 inches larger, there is a fingerprint scanner and a processor, although it is the same dual-core, it is still significantly more powerful than Apple’s outdated Core m3.
This is the most compact solution for traveling to meetings, working on business trips and doing business correspondence, sitting at a table in a coffee shop – and at the same time not suffering from back pain at the end of the day due to extra pounds in a backpack. Here everything is decided by your range of tasks and willingness to invest in your own comfort.
But in the same price category, the choice is huge. Here and Macbook Pro, and many flagship laptops on Windows in all their diversity. From stylish transforming ultrabooks like HP Specter x360 with swivel screen and stylus to compact “monsters” for creativity and games like MSI P65 Creator . All of them will be incomparably more powerful, with 4-6 core processors and modern video cards up to the GeForce RTX 2070. But at the same time, of course, one and a half to two times heavier and thicker – even if such a laptop fits into a lady’s handbag, it will delay it decently.
iPad Pro 12.9 stands apart. Complete with an Apple Pencil 2 pen, a branded keyboard case and the same 512 GB drive, an Apple tablet will cost about the same 160 thousand, but here the choice is completely ambiguous. On the side of the laptop is a larger diagonal screen, a comfortable keyboard and a full-fledged Windows 10 OS, which iPad OS is not able to compete in functionality even after recent updates. The tablet, on the other hand, has longer battery life, an excellent camera, and incomparably more creative potential thanks to a great stylus and a processor that, paradoxically, is much better at processing photos and editing videos in perfectly optimized programs.
Opinion Hi-Tech Mail.