Acer Swift 7 Review
Leading the Trend in Style
Taiwanese multinational electronics corporation Acer has taken the center-stage in unprecedented portability. The makers of the eMachines, Gateway, and Packard Bell has made a breakthrough in the 13-inch laptop category. They just released Acer Swift 7 is a stylish and ultra-thin notebook that they say is the thinnest laptop.
At first glance, the Acer Swift 7 looks to be a hands down choice for its elegant design and ultra-thin appearance packed with all the best internal components from the manufacturer. However, small and portable doesn’t always mean powerful.
Acer’s Swift 7 is powered by the latest processor from Intel, the 7th-generation Core i5 processor with preinstalled Windows 10. It is almost the same size as the HP Spectre and wider than the Dell XPS 13. It weighs about 1.1 kg making it effortless to carry and easily toted around in one hand. It has an all-aluminum chassis with 13.3-inch full HD IPS display protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and delivers crisp and sharp images. The Intel processor is paired with 8GB RAM and 256 HDD for storage with a battery that is rumored to last up to nine hours.
All in all, the two-toned black and gold slick finish is eye catching and stands out elegantly. It retails at $1,100 stealing the spotlight form MacBook Air that now seem to be the heftier choice.
• Only 9.98mm thin.
• Very light
• Big trackpad
• Intel Core i5 processor on a laptop
• Still bigger and slower than other laptops in the same price range
• No Thunderbolt 3 port
• Resolution at only 1920×1080
• Only 256GB storage on SSD
Acer Swift 7 Specification
Acer set out to create the thinnest notebook that they can do. In doing so, they had a lot of compromises. It is thin, but otherwise large. It has a 13.3 inch screen and a large trackpad which does not work as good as hoped, which is a fairly common problem with trackpads. It promises a 9 hour battery and ends up with 4-5 working hours of battery use. It has a 256GB SSD running Windows 10. It uses USB-C to charge, and another USB-C for everything else including external monitor and storage.
Noticeably, the Acer Swift 7 has no Thuderbolt port. It relies on the 2 USB-C ports for expansion and connectivity. It also has only 256GB of SSD memory. This may be fast but on a machine running Windows 10, you would need at least 512GB. If you have an external drive, you would need a dongle for additional USB ports. In addition, the dongles that shipped with the Swift 7 are dedicated for one use only. There is the USB-C to standard USB and the USB-C to HDMI. With only one working USB-C port, you would be forced to choose between an extra monitor or an extra drive. This is a glaring problem.
It also has problems with heat dissipation. This super slim laptop does not have a cooling pad and the size limitations does not allow space for active cooling either. What you end up with is an aluminum cased-laptop which gets very hot after hours of use.
The 13.3 inch screen has a fairly large bezel, which makes the whole ultra-thin notebook wider than other notebooks which are almost just as thin. Acer should use a page from smartphone designers who are trending towards bezel-less devices. The MacBook Air has always leaned towards seamless screen and bezel, leading to a smaller, and not just thinner notebooks. The Swift 7 also does not have a touchscreen, which would have been a nice consolation.
The Spectre may cost a little more and is slightly bigger and heavier, but it might still be the wiser choice when it comes to ultra-thin laptops. You get the same specifications between the Swift 7 and the Spectre including the Intel Core i5 processor which puts it on the top of the list for speed in a small package. However, tests have shown that the processor throttles down a lot when it gets hot. The power that the processor promises is lost because it only delivers less than 2GHz when doing intensive processing for complex processes which take a long time.
The cause of alarm comes from the glaring gap in the connectivity design where it only has two USB ports side-by-side sitting at the edge of the laptop. These two ports will be your peripheral connection as well as your power source which, in reality, will leave you with just one. It can connect to your WiFi network with WiFi 802.11ac and comes with an additional dongle to convert your USB-C port to either the standard USB or an HDMI.
Though the speed and performance may not be as ground breaking as others have expected, it performs decently enough for basic office work and simple everyday tasks.
Acer Swift 7 obvious competition are HP Spectre, Macbook Air, and Del XPS 13. Among all four machines, the Swift 7 comes in first when it comes to size and weight which is impressively thin in its own class. The outside may be a head turner with its aluminum body and elegant finish, but results show that Swift 7 isn’t as swift as the rest of the competition.
The Spectre’s $200 additional price to the Swift’s starting price of $1,100 is not a total loss since, HP’s thinnest still out guns Acer’s offering, while MacBook’s Air still retails at the same price, has also out-performed the Swift 7 on the more complex processes.
All in all, the Swift 7 is all bark and lacks a little bit more bite to compete with the big dogs in the yard. When pitted together with the Air, the Macbook still has advantages over its newer competitor when it comes to connectivity options. The older Core M of the Macbook is still ideal for professionals who need a heavy duty device all day working with photos and videos.