Design

Acer’s design ethos for the new Swift 3 would make you think this is a much more expensive device. The 14-inch notebook features an all-aluminum design, offering a much more premium feel than what you’d normally expect on a notebook in this price range. At just 1.2 kg / 2.65 lbs, the 14-inch notebook is extremely portable, and with an 83% screen to body ratio, it is easily as compact as a 13.3-inch notebook from a couple of years ago. Acer’s choice of a 16:9 display does mean that the display has a hefty chin, but is almost certainly a choice that was made to keep the device in-budget.

Despite the thin design and the low price, the aluminum chassis is very stout, with little to no flex no matter how you pick it up. Acer has cut in a slot at the front to make opening the laptop easier, although it will not open with a single finger since the hinge is too stiff to allow this. There is no touch support either, so the hinge stiffness does not need to be quite so tight, but it does make for a solid platform once you open it up.

The keyboard provides a great typing experience. The keys themselves have single-level white backlighting, which works well. The white backlighting on silver keys can cause some contrast issues in bright light, but the effect is not as pronounced as it is on some other devices. Typing offers a surprisingly good keyboard feel, with solid keys that have a solid level of pressure and feedback. Acer has the power button as part of the keyboard, which does make it prone to accidentally turning the device off if you miss the delete key, and moving the power button out of the normal keys would be appreciated, but Acer is far from the only manufacturer to do this, and the laptop resumes instantly so even if it did happen it’s not as big of an issue as it was a few years ago, thanks to the new modern standby options built into Windows and the new CPU.

If there was one area where the notebook showcased it was a lower-cost device, it would be the trackpad. Although it offers the Precision touchpad drivers, the material is not as smooth and responsive as some higher-priced notebooks. This is not so much a knock against the device, but a reality of where it is situated in the market. It does offer the expected multi-touch capabilities you’d expect, it just doesn’t quite offer the level of refinement you’d see in more premium notebooks.

Acer has also included a fingerprint reader, which has great response. It unlocks the device in well under a second even if the display is off. It is a nice to see Windows Hello support despite the lower cost of this device, and the chosen reader seems to work very well. There is no IR camera included, and the built-in webcam is only a 1280x720 unit, so do not expect to be the belle of the Teams meeting, but it gets the job done with a properly located webcam in the top bezel.

Acer offers reasonable I/O as well, with a USB Type-C port on the left, which does support power delivery up to 15 Watts output, and support for charging the device via USB-C as well. There is no Thunderbolt 3, but it does offer DisplayPort output. This is in addition to the included HDMI port, and the laptop also has a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port on the left which supports power-off charging, and a USB 2.0 port on the right, along with a headset jack.

Overall, the Acer Swift 3 is a great design, with a modern feel, and premium materials. The 14-inch notebook is compact, thin, and light, and Acer has done a great job with the look and feel of this device. There are enough ports, and the included USB-C port adds the expanded ability to charge as well as I/O. Looking at this device, you could easily mistake it for a notebook that costs hundreds more.

Introduction SPEC: Renoir vs Picasso vs Ice Lake
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  • yeeeeman - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    We're talking here about the whole platform, not the cpu only. What I am saying is that you pay with some shortcomings for that 650$ price. Reply
  • Irata - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    Yes, you do. This is why it would be great to have $600ish Intel review units to compare to rather than $1500 plus devices. LPDDR4 vs. DDR4 may explain a part of the difference.

    Still, it's eight cores vs. four cores and the interesting value that imho is missing is power consumption / battery life during the actual benchmarks.
    Reply
  • Deicidium369 - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    Acer Swift SF314-57-59EY - identical to the review unit - uses Ice Lake i5-1035G1. $679.00.

    Intel shows 10hrs - AMD shows 11 hours.

    https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/model/NX.HJF...
    Reply
  • SolarBear28 - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    Thanks for the link Reply
  • Deicidium369 - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    This is not a premium device - it isn't a premium device with AMD or Intel processors. Regardless of whether you choose AMD or Intel - it's still a low cost device.

    The extra cores are useless and nothing more than a marketing exercise - no one using this laptop will be doing anything that even requires 4 cores. For $649, you get a very good laptop.
    Reply
  • Korguz - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    still believe the BS intel keeps feeding you huh Deicidium369 ? intel shill Reply
  • Deicidium369 - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    still believe the BS amdkeeps feeding you huh Korguz? amd shill.

    Jimmy - have you cleaned up the basement?
    Reply
  • Korguz - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    better then intels, you should work on keeping your personal facts straight, instead of posting BS posts on here. Reply
  • Korguz - Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - link

    but i will talk your comment as you still believe intel and their mainstream only needs 4 cores BS marketing crap Reply
  • schujj07 - Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - link

    Deicidium cannot read the benchmarks. Sure Ice Lake is better in Spec. However, in the application benchmarks the best Ice Lake laptops lose far more than they win against a budget laptop. Reply

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