Along with the Acer's Spin series of convertible laptops, I've also managed to try out the line of Swift series laptops which Acer are releasing in 2017. The Swift lineup are ultra thin laptops which look excellent right from the entry through to the best model. The model number and name follows the same style as the Spin series, with the Spin 3 being the entry level laptop, the Swift 5 being the better or mid-range and the Swift 7 being the best, packing some impressive specifications into one thin machine.
I have typed the introduction of this blog post on the Acer Swift 7 and I must say I'm very impressed with the design and functionality. I will go indepth into my first impressions of each of these machines within this article.
Acer Swift 3
The Acer Swift 3 is the entry level range to the series. The laptop has an all metal chassis which is lightweight weighing in at 1.5kg and is 17.7mm thin which makes it the thickest laptop of this series. Opening the lid, you will be presented with a crisp 14" Full HD display and powered by a Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB of Solid State (SSD) storage. It uses the newly introduced USB-C for data transfer, connecting external displays and charging should you forget to pack the supplied mains charger. If you're away from a power outlet, you can expect to see up to 10 hours of battery life, depending on your usage. The Swift 3 also has 2x USB 3 ports and 1 HDMI port. It is the only laptop of this series to feature an SD card reader, which is something to note should you edit photos or transfer files using SD cards.
The design of the Swift 3 can be compared to the Acer Chromebook 14 because of its size and how lightweight it is. Using the laptop to write this section, I can certainly say that the keyboard is a great size and the travel on the keys is almost perfect, although I am making a few mistakes here and there at my relatively quick typing speed. The display is crisp and great for reading text, especially when editing this blog post as well as watching HD video streamed from BBC, YouTube etc.
The Swift 3 also has a fingerprint reader installed and Windows Hello to speed up the login process. However, the unit I'm using to write this article doesn't have the reader installed so I'm unable to give any opinions on how well it works.
Even though the Acer Swift 3 has 2 USB 3.1 ports, the third USB port is of the type C variety. Although I'm open to new technology and using new ports, consumers who purchase this laptop will find themselves needing to purchase dongles to utilise this port. However, it may be the case that many consumers will purchase a USB-C monitor which often have standard USB ports installed on them, which would be ideal in a work environment.
This is certainly a great entry level laptop for a consumer or business professional to get their work done quickly who may not have a lot of space on a train or inside a bag to store a slightly larger laptop.
Pricing: £529.99 available from Very.co.uk and Amazon.
Acer Swift 5
The Acer Swift 5 is the midrange of the Swift laptop series. It has a 14" IPS Full HD display within its 13.3" chassis with thin bezels although I would have loved to see an edge to edge display. Thicker than the Swift 7 coming in at 14.58mm, it is less dense at 1.36kg, it does have a bigger battery and Acer claims that the Swift 5 will last up to 13 hours off one charge.
Inside, it uses Intel's 7th generation core i5 processor and this particular model I'm using has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, although there are models which have 512GB SSD hard drives. The Swift 5 also has 2x USB 3.1 ports, one USB-C port and one HDMI port. There are options for a fingerprint reader and touch screen display. Whilst I would be great to say that this model had the fingerprint reader, it sadly doesn't and instead, it has been filled in which makes the laptop almost look incomplete, referencing the photo to the right.
During testing, the Acer Swift 5 does incredibly well at casual internet browsing and streaming HD video sources such as BBC, ITV, YouTube etc. I'm currently writing this section of the article using it and it has a fantastic backlit keyword, although it misses the numerical keys on the right side, and the travel on the keys makes it excellent to type on with barely a mistake made.
Overall, the Acer Swift 5 looks fantastic and performs likewise. I would be a tough decision to make but I'm between the Acer Swift 5 and the Acer Spin 5. If you're looking for touch screen capabilities, go for the Spin 5 but if you're looking for a solid, all round laptop which can get the job done whilst looking stylish, I highly recommend the Swift 5. The decision is entirely up to you based on your budget.
Pricing: £699.99 available from Very.co.uk and Amazon.
Acer Swift 7
The Acer Swift 7 is the best of the Swift lineup. It is one of the first laptops to make use of Intel's 7th generation of Core 'i' processors. Its ultra thin body measures at 9.98mm at its thickest point making it the thinnest laptop of the series. Opening the lid, you'll find it packs a vibrant 13" display which is Full HD. Text is incredibly easy to read as it is crisp and graphics on streamed HD videos pop.
Placing this on a table, its an immediate head turner with its black and gold body, which complements its thin form factor. It also houses a rather large touchpad, not big enough to rival the latest MacBook Pro's but it is certainly wide enough. However, it does make the keyboard slightly smaller than the Spin units I have tested and the Swift models have backlit keyboards, which is fantastic when working in conditions with poor lighting.
Connectivity wise, it comes with a pair of USB-C ports and one headphone port. This is a hinderance for those who are looking at this laptop to be their on the go driver and may be carrying a large amount of USB devices including hard drives, chargers etc. As this is USB-C only, you will need to buy connectors in order to use traditional USB devices, including any memory cards as this also doesn't have a card reader installed.
When looking at the Swift 7, its certainly going for style and not functionality. It has a standard resolution non-touch display and performance for everyday use. However, I wouldn't recommend it for any major processor intensive tasks such as gaming but video editing would be completely fine, especially with the wide trackpad I mentioned earlier. One thing I would like to see on the Swift 7 is a 14" screen with a slightly higher resolution as I would compare this laptop to the Apple MacBook Pro for instance which have retina displays capable of displaying resolutions up to 2560x1600 on the 13" model.
Pricing: £999.99 available from Very.co.uk and Amazon
All in all, the Acer Swift lineup is a fantastic range of Windows 10 laptops which not only look great but also perform tasks very easily and efficiently. The Swift 3 is a great laptop for the casual user whereas the Swift 7 is certainly a laptop for someone who is constantly on the go, working with video, photo or writes a lot and is looking for something stylish. The Swift 5 comfortably lies between the two, offering the best of both worlds but is slightly thicker and heavier than the Swift 7. Depending on your budget, you will certainly get a great laptop on a very competitive price structure.