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Acer Swift 7 review: thinness above all else demands many compromises

Acer Swift 7 review: thinness above all else demands many compromises

Valentina Palladino

The tech business is obsessive about making issues skinny, and Acer is not any exception. The corporate payments the brand new Swift 7 because the world’s thinnest laptop computer, measuring eight.98mm thick at its widest level. Designed for professionals and frequent vacationers, this yr’s Swift 7 tries to beat its competitors by being ultra-thin and by fixing a number of the issues present in its older fashions, like the shortage of touchscreen, keyboard backlight, and PCIe SSD storage.

However as units get thinner, they typically need to sacrifice efficiency, battery life, and different essential options. It begs the query: what is the optimum stability of utmost slimness and energy? Finally, that is as much as every consumer and their particular person wants. Acer’s Swift 7 makes some concessions that those that worth efficiency will not recognize, however it’s all within the identify of thinness—and there are some decisions that prioritize that above all else.

Feel and appear

The Acer Swift 7 could also be extremely skinny, however it does not really feel fragile. Its 2.6-pound (1.18kg) weight virtually betrays its thinness as a result of I anticipated the system to be a lot lighter than it truly is. Nevertheless it’s not too heavy, and its weight and dimensions ought to make it fairly straightforward to hold round.

Specs at a look: Acer Swift 7 2018 (as reviewed) Display 14-inch 1920×1080 IPS touchscreen OS Home windows 10 Residence CPU Intel Core i7-7Y54 RAM 8GB LPDDR3 GPU Intel HD Graphics 615 Storage 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD Networking 4G LTE (nano SIM and eSIM), Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth four.1 Ports 2 x USB-C three.1 Gen 1, nano SIM card slot Measurement 12.91 x 9.33 x zero.35 inches (328 x 237 x eight.98 mm) Weight 2.6 kilos (1.2 kg) Battery 35.2 Wh 4580 mAh 7.7 V 2-cell Li-ion battery pack Guarantee One yr Beginning worth $1,699 Worth as reviewed $1,699 Different perks 720p webcam, fingerprint reader, Dolby Audio Premium

You will need to take a look at the gadget’s profile to really respect how skinny the Swift 7 truly is. It is simply broad sufficient to incorporate its ports on the again corners: two USB-C three.1 ports and a headphone jack sit on the left aspect whereas the nano SIM card slot and the facility button sit on the fitting aspect.

I want Acer had included one Thunderbolt three port at the very least—and sadly in a tool this measurement, there is no approach Acer might have included a USB-A port. However its slim profile is hanging, and it felt like a heavy clipboard once I carried the gadget round. I additionally just like the obsidian black end as a result of it does not maintain onto many fingerprints or smudges.

However the Swift 7 is bigger than I anticipate a tool like this to be. Most OEMs champion their 13-inch notebooks as their greatest thin-and-light choices, whereas 15-inch laptops are reserved for many who are prepared to sacrifice measurement and weight for energy. The Swift 7 lies in between these two sizes with its 14-inch FHD IPS touchscreen, so my mind took some additional time adjusting to the gadget’s bigger footprint.

Whereas the newly shrunken bezel create a extra immersive display expertise, I want Acer had upped the standard of the show. This FHD panel is as daring and vibrant as some other 1920×1080-resolution display, and it responds to the touch nicely, however most competing units in the identical worth vary have QHD or UHD shows. Admittedly, most of us do not want a 4K show, however the choice has turn into ubiquitous on most ultrabooks and many have adopted QHD panels as commonplace. The Swift 7’s $1,699 price ticket ought to have included a QHD panel on the very least.

The underside bezel beneath the show is the widest, and it holds the system’s webcam. Sure, Acer pulled a Dell and caught the webcam in a location that will provide you with probably the most unflattering up-nose angle whenever you’re video chatting. I did not like this webcam place on the XPS 13, and I do not prefer it on the Swift 7 both. Whereas I recognize skinny bezels, each for a way they permit the display to be the star of the present and for a way they exhibit the OEMs industrial design prowess, making the highest bezel so skinny that there isn’t any room for a webcam is a baffling determination to me.

There’s an argument for eradicating the webcam completely—some individuals not often use them on their laptops. Whereas I would not nix it utterly, I might see it being an elective function that those that take plenty of video convention calls would need. However putting it under the display defeats the aim of getting a webcam at all, particularly on a laptop computer that is not a versatile 2-in-1.

Constructed-in LTE helps the Swift 7 stand out from the ultrabook crowd, though that will not final. LTE connectivity is extra generally discovered on detachables and tablets, however HP lately introduced that it will supply an LTE model of its Spectre x360 13. With the sluggish adoption of eSIMs, we might see extra ultrabooks supply non-compulsory LTE sooner or later.

Within the case of the Swift 7, it comes with an embedded eSIM and a nano SIM card slot by default. Acer partnered with Transatel/Ubigi to offer service to the gadget’s eSIM, which gives every day, weekly, and month-to-month plans, relying on the area. Customers can insert their very own nano SIM playing cards into the Swift 7 to make use of service from different mobile suppliers.

I am fortunate sufficient to reside in an space with (principally) dependable public Wi-Fi at cafes, eating places, libraries, public parks, and different locations. If I am working outdoors my house, I’ve quite a few choices to get on-line. Nevertheless, not everybody has that luxurious, and a few discover themselves working remotely extra typically, too. LTE lets these customers join virtually anyplace, making it a terrific complementary function for a tool as moveable because the Swift 7.

Keyboard and trackpad

Acer put a regular, full-sized keyboard on the Swift 7, so there’s not a lot of notice right here. The chiclet-style keys are clicky, snug, and never too noisy to sort on, and there is loads of palm area on which to relaxation your arms when you sort. Acer additionally added a backlight beneath the keyboard, one thing earlier Swift 7 fashions did not have, and that may make working in low-light environments simpler.

I want Acer included a full Fn key row—all Perform controls are current, however they’re mixed with different keys. I like having devoted brightness and quantity management keys, however these aren’t included on the Swift 7. As an alternative, the arrow keys change brightness and quantity once you press the Fn button.

On the left aspect of the keys, subsequent to left Tab key, lies the fingerprint reader that works with Home windows Hey. Contemplating the location of the webcam, Acer did not embrace an IR digital camera on this system. I am used to seeing fingerprint readers both on the prime of the keyboard or on one of many palm rests, so this placement struck me as odd. It really works as anticipated, although, and I presume it’s going to be particularly handy for left-handed customers.

The glass Precision trackpad is clean and high quality for Home windows gestures like pinch-to-zoom. Nevertheless, this trackpad has no bodily clicking talents and solely helps mild faucets as clicks. Whilst my time with the Swift 7 got here to an finish, I nonetheless wasn’t used to its trackpad. I a lot choose seen or hidden buttons that I can press which might be both beneath the trackpad, or positioned under the touch-sensitive pad on the chassis. Acer’s mechanism made it a lot more durable to make use of the trackpad to pick or copy textual content. I relied on the touchscreen to do such issues more often than not, which additionally felt alien on pocket book that is not a convertible.

Efficiency

The Swift 7 runs on a Seventh-gen Core i7-7Y54 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. We in contrast the Swift 7 to units with comparable designs and processors, each Seventh-generation and Y-series. The Y-series processor on this laptop computer permits it to be fanless, run on much less energy, and supply “on the go” efficiency in a slim body. I did not run into any points utilizing the Swift 7 as my main work laptop computer for a couple of days. Nevertheless, I did not should edit pictures in Photoshop or do something extra laborious than web-based work in Edge or Chrome.

Whereas the Y-series processor has its advantages when an OEM targets type somewhat than perform, the $1,699 worth of the Swift 7 suggests it must be extra highly effective than it truly is. It was out-performed by most machines we in contrast it to in our benchmark charts, and it did not stand an opportunity when in comparison with ultrabooks just like the HP Spectre 13 (our evaluation unit ran on a Core i7-8850U CPU, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and price $1,399).

Battery life

Acer put a two-cell battery pack contained in the Swift 7 that measures simply three.2mm thick, and it offers the pocket book with an honest quantity of juice. The Swift 7 lasted a mean of 590 minutes, or simply underneath 10 hours, on our Wi-Fi battery check. On our WebGL check, it lasted 530 minutes, or simply underneath 9 hours. That is not dangerous contemplating the Swift 7’s measurement, however it in all probability might have lasted an hour or two extra if Acer hadn’t gone for thinness above all else. Whereas the Swift 7 beat out a lot of the competitors on our graphics-intensive check, units together with the XPS 13 and the Spectre 13 lasted longer on our Wi-Fi check.

Too skinny (and costly) for its personal good

The Acer Swift 7 has the potential to be a strong choice for many who are continuously on the go. Acer achieved rather a lot within the pocket book’s design, and its slim profile will encourage lust in many. Its twin LTE choices will converse to those that want connectivity all the time, however continually discover themselves in unfamiliar environments—it is the function that would persuade some to purchase the Swift 7. The corporate additionally fastened a number of the massive issues within the earlier Swift 7 by including a keyboard backlight, a touchscreen, and PCIe storage.

The brand new Swift 7 is definitely a greater gadget than its predecessor, however that does not imply it stands up properly to competing units. That is the place thinness betrays it: Acer sacrificed efficiency to succeed in this degree of svelte, however that may be okay if the laptop computer wasn’t priced at $1,699. OEMs make efficiency trade-offs all the time when designing for portability quite than energy, however the remaining worth often displays that sacrifice. The Swift 7 is just too costly for what it’s. Acer both wants give the Swift 7 a more moderen, higher-powered processor (which might probably nix the “thinnest laptop in the world” title), or drop the worth by $300-400.

Twin LTE connectivity makes the Swift 7 distinctive, and people are are most intrigued by that function might need to think about the Swift 7 critically. Nevertheless, there are different units that may be outfitted with LTE, specifically the forthcoming HP Spectre x360 13 that begins at $1,149, so the mixture of thin-and-light and all the time related may be discovered elsewhere. Others who do not completely want the thinnest laptop computer ever ought to think about extra reasonably priced and extra highly effective choices just like the $999 XPS 13, the $1,299 Spectre 13, or the $1,299 Lenovo C930 2-in-1.

The Good

  • Engaging skinny design.
  • LTE connectivity by means of nano SIM and eSIM help.
  • Fingerprint reader for Home windows Whats up.
  • Backlit keyboard.
  • Now consists of PCIe storage.
  • Respectable battery life.

The Dangerous

  • No Thunderbolt three.
  • Solely comes with an FHD display.
  • Webcam positioned underneath the display.
  • Trackpad does not bodily click on.
  • Low-power Y-series processor.

The Ugly

  • Too expensive for what it’s.