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Acer Swift 5 (2020) review


Ever owned a 1.3kg laptop computer and thought, “I like this factor however want it was 30% lighter”?

Us neither, however the Acer Swift 5 solves that exact downside for the weak-shouldered and perennially encumbered. It’s a 13-inch laptop computer that weighs simply 990g, round 300g lower than the slim laptop computer norm.

You lose a little bit of stiffness within the deal, however the Acer Swift 5 has nearly all the things you may ask for from considered one of our favorite Windowss classes: laptops which can be a bit like MacBooks however less expensive.

Our review Acer Swift 5 can be the precise mannequin we would advocate to most. At £799 it prices £500 lower than the MacBook Air, and is much extra highly effective too.

Design: Weight loss

Weight has been the main target of the Swift 5 sequence since 2017. In that 12 months Acer switched from making it lower-cost different to the Dell XPS 13 and MacBook Pro, to aiming for the “lightest at school” award.

The 2020 Acer Swift 5 is extraordinarily gentle at 998g. To shave off the additional 300-350g most slim and light-weight 13-inch laptops carry, Acer makes use of barely uncommon metallic alloys.

Aluminium is the highest choose for laptops like this. It appears to be like good, feels good and is robust. The Acer Swift 5 makes use of magnesium-aluminium and magnesium-lithium alloys as a substitute, in a nice darkish blue.

These are gentle and robust, however they do not have the identical instantly metallic really feel because the aluminium alloys utilized in MacBooks. Lots of people may mistake the Swift 5 for a plastic laptop computer. But really run your finger throughout the lid or keyboard encompass and you will realise that is one thing else. Something a lot nicer.

It’s largely stiff too. Pick the Acer Swift 5 up by a nook and it would not bend like a laptop computer made too skinny, or utilizing low cost plastics. There’s little flex to the keyboard too, which is the place you discover barely dodgy construct high quality essentially the most.

Any points with the Swift 5’s development are largely about notion. A laptop computer this gentle won’t appear sturdy initially. You may miss the cool really feel of aluminium too in case you are upgrading from an older aluminium laptop computer. But this factor isn’t just well-made, it is higher than among the Acers on this class of the final couple of years. The firm went via a part of creating barely too flex-y keyboards.

The real-world practicality of the Swift 5 can be off the charts. Its footprint is small, the low weight is good for portability and the connections cowl all of the fundamentals.

You get a USB-C 3.1 port for brand new peripherals, a full-size USB 3.zero and a slower USB 2.zero on your mouse. The Swift 5 additionally has a full-size HDMI, to plug in a monitor or TV with zero fuss.

It’s even fairly slim at 14.95mm. At this sort of value – not low cost however not eye-wateringly costly – you typically have to decide on between very low weight or excessive thin-ness. You get each right here.

Screen: Made for the outside

Acer additionally goals for practiality with the Swift 5 screeen. This is a 14-inch IPS LCD panel of 1080p decision, and the slim surrounds imply you could not actually slot in far more show with out making the laptop computer greater.

You could have observed this is not a pure flat display screen, the place a pane of glass covers all the entrance. But that is, partly, as a result of the Swift 5 has a matt sreen, somewhat than a shiny one.

This scatters reflections, useful for those who’ll use the laptop computer open air or on trains, the place solar blasting via home windows can spoil your expertise.

You are likely to see matt screens in enterprise and gaming laptops, which additionally have a tendency to depart out the touchscreen half. But it is a touchscreen: you get the very best of each approaches.

This show additionally appears to be like nice. Blacks are deep, color is wealthy. And whereas the resolutions is just not excessive sufficient to make characters fully easy, hardly any laptops with this sort of energy, at this value, are any sharper.

Acer says the Swift 5 covers 99.9% of the sRGB customary. Our colorimeter says it manages 93.8% by protection, 102.5% by quantity. This means it simply misses out on on among the deepest tones of sure colors, however can really go deeper than sRGB in different tones. The bit that issues: it appears to be like nice.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is one different. It’s sharper, and has the hybrid advantages the Swift 5 lacks. This laptop computer display screen solely tilts again the same old 130 degrees-ish and there is no stylus. But you get much more tech on your cash right here. A Surface Pro 7 with keyboard, Core i5 CPU and 256GB storage will set you again £1293.99. Ouch.

Keyboard and trackpad: Ready for work, zero tech flexing

This can be simply the type of laptop computer we would need to tackle a piece journey overseas, partly becauce the Swift 5’s keyboard earns a strong B+ grade. Its keys have first rate journey and strong tactile suggestions.

The highest keyboards are chunkier nonetheless, and the character here’s a little gentle. But switching to this from a basic 2013 MacBook Pro, earlier than Apple keyboards went unhealthy, was painless. It additionally has a backlight, with two brighness ranges.

The potential unhealthy bits are discovered within the trackpad and finger scanner, not the keyboard. The Acer Swift 5 has a scanner slightly below the keyboard’s proper facet. And like most Windows scanners, it refuses to recognise your finger half the time.

And the pad issues? The trackpad is pretty well-behaved. No phantom gestures or ghost clicks. But it is a plastic trackpad, not the extra fascinating glass form. There’s additionally a bit of little bit of give to it. You can boucne the pad up and down a contact together with your finger earlier than you attain the clicker.

Bad touchpads get in your nerves, and begin misinterpreting your actions, like household family members at Christmas. The Acer Swift 5’s pad would not do any of that, nevertheless it might be higher. It’s quite common for laptops across the £800 mark to have pad compromises, although.

Let’s cowl the audio system whereas we’re coping with the Swift 5’s unhealthy bits. They aren’t very loud, have zero bass and easily sound too weak and well mannered. Want to observe a film? Plug in headphones or some audio system.

Performance: 10th Gen energy on the proper value

There are not any main compromises on efficiency, although. Our Acer Swift 5 has a 10th technology Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD.

This is the entry-level Swift 5 spec within the UK on the time of review, nevertheless it’s removed from entry-level {hardware}. The Swift 5 runs Windows 10 completely, wakes from sleep shortly and is all-round responsive.

We’re additionally impressed by the noise this laptop computer makes. There’s barely any of it. Write paperwork or browse web sites and it is successfully silent.

Even once we began enjoying video games on a Swift 5 it did not grow to be loud. There is a fan, in fact, and like most slim and light-weight laptop computer techniques it has a high-pitch tone. But even after 30 minutes of maxing-out efficiency, the noise stage was unusually low.

Intel’s 10th Gen processors have an element to play right here, however any laptop computer producer may break this with a poorly managed fan. The Swift 5’s is nice, not less than when it comes to noise.

Gaming is the apparent weak space of this laptop computer. Buy the Core i7 model of the Swift 5 and also you get considered one of Intel’s Iris Plus GPUs, which bridges the hole between devoted {hardware} and the bog-standard built-in stuff. But our Core i5 simply has a plain outdated Intel UHD graphics chipset. It’s not an enormous improve from that of an eighth Gen CPU laptop computer.

To get Skyrim to play comfortably, with body charges of 30fps and up, it’s good to run it at 900p decision and use the “medium” graphics setting. Use “High” at 1080p and the ensuing 16-18fps will probably be too stuttery for many.

The newer Subnautica is playable at 900p, “low” graphics. But this title loses numerous visible energy while you drop under “medium”, as numerous post-processing choices are switched off. Its underwater world abruptly turns into a lot much less atmospheric.

We additionally dipped into the distant previous with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It runs at 1080p, draw distance maxed, racing alongside at 115-150fps. No worries there.

The Acer Swift 5 can play numerous current video games, however you’ll typically must strip again the visuals and decrease the decision. Acer’s website reveals there are variations of the Swift 5 with Nvidia MX 250 graphics {hardware}, which might enhance issues vastly. We do not get that possibility within the UK, on the time of review.

However, at this value, at this weight, we’ve few complaints. We additionally observed video games appear to load in a short time, so we examined the SSD. It’s a fantastic little performer for a mid-range laptop computer, with learn speeds of as much as 1600MB/s and writes of 890MB/s.

Battery life: No extra time allowed

The Acer Swift 5 has a 54Wh battery, barely greater capability than the newest Dell XPS 13’s 51Wh. Battery measurement has not been sacrified for low weight. It’s one other reminder of the vital of the metals used within the laptop computer.

Acer says it ought to final for 12.5 hours of internet shopping. We put it via a few checks: streaming video off YouTube and utilizing it for regular work, which is a mixture of web analysis and writing.

The Swift 5 will final for round 9 hours of streaming, or round seven hours of blended gentle use, opening a small military of browser tabs. Stick to a phrase processor app, steering away from Facebook and different distractions, and the laptop computer ought to nearly final a full day of labor.

Acer Swift 5 (2020) verdict

Focusing an excessive amount of on one factor is usually a unhealthy thought. Sure, you’ll be able to play piano nicely, however it’s also possible to barely maintain a dialog.

The ultra-light Acer Swift 5 appears the proper sufferer for this type of slim focus, as an ultra-ultra gentle laptop computer. However, in actuality little or no is sacrificed for its sub-1kg weight.

Its display screen is nice, the keyboard is okay, connectivity is extra versatile than many and uncooked efficiency simply beats the MacBook Air. Even the battery can final a full day of sunshine work, simply.

So the place’s the catch? The magnesium-rich casing could really feel nearer to plastic than aluminium to some fingers. If you’ll be able to shrug off the superficial, solely the trackpad may do with a level-up. But that is one motive the worth begins at beneath £800, somewhat than nearer to £1000


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