Acer Swift 3 Review
Acer billed the Swift 3 as a budget laptop, but without looking at its price tag, you might be forgiven for tagging it as a more high-end laptop. For one thing, it looks nothing like a budget laptop, all lightweight glamor that reminds one uncannily of a Macbook. There’s nothing second rate about its performance too, which, as a matter of fact, trumps most other laptops it’s ranked in the same category with. Hold this ultralight laptop in your hands for a few moments and it’s clear that Acer found the right balance between price and performance with the Swift 3.
That’s not to suggest that everything about the Swift 3 is peachy though. The Acer Swift 3 may be a superpowered budget ultrabook, but essentially, it’s still a budget ultrabook. Naturally, it falls short of some standards set by the pricier options.
Nevertheless, this laptop ticks a lot more positives than negatives. It packs a fantastic AMD Ryzen 7 Octa-Core processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage (you may want to read our guide to the best laptops with SSD), which are enough to execute most normal tasks with accomplished panache. We particularly love its looks and form factor, and the price is just right. For a mid-range laptop, the Swift 3 scores up a lot of wins in our estimation.
Acer Swift 3 – Review & Verdict
Design and Appearance
Acer has always impressed with the design of laptops in its Swift series as well as the Nitro series such as the Acer Nitro 5, for example, and it comes as no surprise to see the Swift 3 sporting a similarly stunning appearance. Its grey aluminum and magnesium-alloy chassis emphasizes elegance and suggests durability. You get the feeling that despite being lightweight (it weighs a mere 2.5 pounds), the Swift 3 can take a fair few heavy knocks.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication and the spartan outlook of this laptop, coupled with its impressive lack of bulk gives it a certain charm when closed. Open it up, however, and it is no less remarkable.
Under the hood, you’ll find a backlit, island-style keyboard with responsive chiclet keys that make typing a pleasure, even in low light conditions. Right underneath the keyboard is a similarly responsive trackpad, which we found to be just the right size too. There’s also a fingerprint sensor located underneath the keyboard, below the arrow keys on the right.
A point to note about the trackpad. It will generally work flawlessly during your everyday tasks. It tends to struggle a bit with heavier applications, though, so you may need to get an external mouse for the more intense programs.
Ports and Connectivity
The Acer Swift 3 offers a pretty decent number of ports on its slim frame. Distributed along both flanks are two USB-A ports, one USB-C port, an HDMI port, and a headphone jack. The USB-C port supports Thunderbolt, but there is neither a Kensington lock for additional safety nor an SD card reader. The Acer Swift 3 ultrabook had to do away with those, in addition to an Ethernet port, to support its slim profile. For connectivity, the Swift 3 offers Wi-Fi 6.
Display and Audio
With a 14-inch Full HD (1920 X 1980) display, the Swift 3 is a joy to watch movies or edit pictures with. Even if you’re not engaged in any of those tasks at any point, the slim bezels on this laptop’s screen make it great to look at regardless.
While the screen color profile is not the best you can find on the market, it does render images with better than passable clarity. Its matte screen does a good job of supporting visibility and the screen is bright enough to remain visible anywhere apart from directly under the full glare of the sun.
If you’re a Twitch Streamer or YouTuber using this laptop’s webcam, your fans will most likely protest against the grainy images they’ll be forced to endure. However, for those functions that do not require a high level of graphic detail, it’ll work just fine.
The laptop’s downward-facing speakers are placed on either side of the chassis. They get the job done, but they’ll never be the subject of epic poems.
The Acer Swift 3’s AMD Ryzen 7 Octa-Core processor is its most impressive feature and with hardware like this, you’re entitled to expect solid levels of performance from the laptop. Does it deliver? You bet.
We passed this laptop through several benchmark tests and it passed all of them pretty comfortably, exceeding the category averages on some of the tasks.
The Swift 3 packs an AMD Radeon Vega GPU, meaning that it can handle some of the most graphic-intensive tasks with accomplished ease. This translates to faster speed and better performance when you’re editing or transcribing videos and pictures, or creating presentations on PowerPoint.
Multitasking is another of the Swift 3’s strong suits. It can handle as many as 20 open Google Chrome tabs and still run other programs in the background without any noticeable slowing.
Gaming does seem to have an impact on the Swift 3’s performance. While it can handle most of the low-powered and lower-level games without any issues, it will struggle with the AAA titles, even when the game’s graphics settings have been dialed back.
Heat and Noise Emission
The Acer Swift 3 works almost silently and runs remarkably coolly until it has to execute really intense commands. The laptop tends to get all heated up when handling heavy tasks, forcing the laptop’s fans into action. The fans are not particularly loud, although they are noticeable when they start to work.
Thankfully, the Swift 3 never gets too hot that it becomes toasty, even when it’s handling the hard tasks.
In terms of battery performance, the Acer Swift 3 works as well as can be expected from laptops in its category, without posting extravagant numbers. When we tested it, this Ultrabook lasted a little over seven hours. As we said, the Swift 3’s battery performance will hardly set the world alight, but it works well enough that you don’t spend a significant part of your day parked close to a power outlet.
The Acer Swift 3 Ultrabook is not as slim and light as some of the leading names in this category. Its webcam and battery are simply passable, and Acer has not yet found a way to deal with the elephant in the room that is its speakers. Gamers may also need to look elsewhere. But that’s about where the negatives end.
The Acer Swift 3 boasts a refined appearance that manages to turn heads. Its screen makes streaming videos a pleasure, and for more productive pursuits, typing on this laptop’s keyboard is a delightful experience. Remarkably, the Acer Swift 3 costs a fraction of the price of other big-hitting Ultrabooks in its category.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for a budget laptop that looks uncannily like a premium laptop and acts it too, the Swift 3 could have been tailor-made just for you. Especially if you don’t mind the typically unexemplary battery life this laptop delivers.