Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The Swift range seeks to get the attention of users looking for ultraslim elegant notebooks for use in both home and office environments, with prices lower than top-of-the-range competitors. Of the available versions, the one we have reviewed is almost the top, with a Core i7-7500U processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
Design and connectivity
Despite the low starting price compared to many competitors, one of the first things you notice when handling the Swift 3 is its build quality: the whole chassis is coated with metal alloys, which give it a good sturdy structure and an attractive appearance. The only elements of a different color are the large center hinges, the rubber contour of the cover itself and the isle keys of the keyboard.
These highlights were well thought: many people at first look thought that this notebook was a MacBook Air. Since this is a 14-inch screen, it is also light and thin: 1.5 kilos (3.30 pounds) for a thickness of 17,95 mm (0.70 inches). It is not as thin and light as Dell’s XPS 13, but that model has a 13.3-inch bezel-less screen.
Its thickness has made it possible to include a good number of connections: in addition to the standard HDMI video output, there are three USB ports (1 USB2, 1 USB3, and 1 USB Type-C) and a standard slot for the SD cards.
Keyboard and touchpad
The Swift 3 sports the same keyboard of many other Acer Ultrabooks. The defining feature is that the Home, End, Page-Up and Page-Down buttons are arranged in a column on the right: a position that we find very comfortable when we type.
Overall, typing is also comfortable due to the cushioned end-stroke of the keys and their slightly concave shape that allows you to immediately understand when your fingertip is in the optimal position. It should also be pointed out that there is a backlight to allow you to work even at night. You can enable or disable this function using the Fn+F9 key combination.
The touchpad has a spacious sensitive area (10,5×7,6 cm – 4×3 in) that allows you to easily use multitouch gestures.
The swift 3 comes with a 14-inch Full-HD IPS display with a mat finish. It’s not the best IPS panel we’ve ever come across, but for the sake of productivity, it’s more than fine. The brightness reaches 243 nits, which is a fairly low value for the medium price range, and the color coverage is only up to a total of 69% of the sRGB color gamut. On the other hand, the “DeltaE” is 1.2 compared to an optimal value of 0, which is a good result.
The use of a next-gen Core i7 ensures a rather “swift” experience. We were not therefore surprised when during our test we did not experience any slowdowns despite having 15 tabs on Chrome®, while listening to Spotify, replying to Messenger, working on Word and having other apps open in the background.
On the Geekbench 3 synthetic benchmark, which measures the overall performance of the system, we scored 7,530 points, which is a good result. The 256GB SSD scored instead 398 MB/s, which is in the middle of the range.
Regarding the graphics, let’s not get any illusions: the integrated Intel HD 620 is not able to handle last-gen games at an acceptable framerate, as confirmed by the score on 3DMark 11, where it scored just 1,638 points.
Battery life is above the mean of the category but does not reach the 10-12 hour autonomy of the most pricey devices. In fact, during our test of Wi-Fi web-browsing with the screen brightness set at 100 nits, it reached a total of 7 hours and 20 minutes.
Let’s speak now about heat dissipation: in the center of the keyboard, we measured a temperature of 30.7 °C (87 °F), 29.4 °C (85 °F) on the touchpad and 38 °C (100 °F) on the bottom which is not a high enough value to alert us or become a nuisance for the user.
The problem is that the two cooling fans switch on more frequently than we would like, and if the room is quiet you can hear a low but consistent hum.
The Swift 3 is available in three core configurations, with a Core i3, a Core i5, and a Core i7 processor. The cheapest model comes with the 2.4GHz Core i3-7100U CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB SSD and an HD display. Prices start from (Check on Amazon.com).
The middle of the range models has a 2.5GHz Core i5-720U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a Full-HD display. At the top of the range, there is a Core i7 CPU, like the one we tested, with 512GB SSD.
Swift 3 is a cost-effective ultrabook that offers a slim yet sturdy chassis, good performance thanks to the Core i7 processor and autonomy that is not record-breaking but still acceptable.
Both the keyboard and touchpad are comfortable, the screen does not shine for its brightness but is opaque, so it is readable even under intense ambient light.
If you’re looking for a more compact and lighter model, with better battery life to boot, take a look at the XPS 13 from DELL. However, if what you are looking for is a budget ultrabook the Swift 3 (Check on Amazon.com) is an excellent choice.