Acer Swift 7: Can Ultrabooks Get Any Thinner Than This?
Vinu Varughese Oommen
Acer is one of the few brands in the market who focuses on bringing premium ultrabooks at a price that’s quite friendly for the masses, and today we have with us for review is the latest Acer Swift 7. Let’s take a look at what this super-thin and fan-less ultrabook can offer.
Design and Features
Let’s make one thing clear. Acer has seriously stepped up their game in the design department and the materials used for building the ultrabook as compared to the Acer Aspire S13 ultrabook that we reviewed almost a year ago. The construction of the Swift 7 comprises of an all-body aluminum build. The front aluminum lid features a black matte finish with the golden “acer” insignia in the middle. However, the bezels surrounding the display are quite large when compared to today’s standards with the fact that many laptop makers are switching to thin or bezel-less designs like the LG Gram or the Dell XPS 13. But that’s what you get for a laptop that’s quite affordable. That said, the corners of the display feature a smooth curve. The front camera is seen above the display.
I must mention that back when had we reviewed the Acer Aspire S13, we found the build quality of the lid wasn’t up to the mark, as it would slightly open up at times. The good news is that the lid of the Acer Swift 7 is very strong and there are no such issues. The 13.3-inch IPS display features a gracious Full HD resolution and the brightness is quite high enough. The viewing angles of the screen are pretty good too and the colors are perfect in-between cool and warm. Although to reduce eye strain, you can activate the Bluelight Shield via the quick access application. The fact that the display isn’t touchscreen might disappoint some of the users who were hoping for extra input methods. That said, Acer has featured the screen with the Corning Gorilla Glass Generation 3 protection. Moving down, you will find the plastic hinge that connects to the inner golden aluminum keyboard area. The surface that holds the two LED indicators for battery and system status is levitated from the main keyboard area. The keyboard itself is based on a chiclet design. However, the tactile feedback of the keys is not so great due to the short key travel and there are not backlit, which is quite disappointing. That said, I was able to easily type this review on the Swift 7 with no issues in getting used to they keyboard arrangement. Keep in mind that the power button is a part of the keyboard itself on the top right, instead of a separate button. I guess most notebook makers are following the footsteps of Apple.
The wide touchpad feels great to use thanks to its smooth surface and lots of space to move your fingers around to guide the cursor and to perform multiple-finger gestures. However, there were instances when you would initiate the left click instead of the right click. This is kind of a flaw due to the wide touchpad design, so users will need to know the exact portion to tap on for right clicks.The sound from the Dolby Audio certified speakers that are located on the back panel, are surprisingly very loud and somewhat sharp for most of the audio that we heard. It may not be the best speakers, but it’s certainly good. That said, while the aluminum back panel doesn’t have any cooling vents, the surface easily attracts fingerprints and smudges.
As for the Swift 7’s heat management, the device stays cool for most of the normal functions. However, the area above the keyboard and its exact bottom panel heat up a lot at one point while streaming a high-resolution video from YouTube. Designing an ultra-thin notebook requires some sacrifice in productivity. One such is the omission of full sized USB ports and HDMI outputs in favor of USB Type-C ports. The Swift 7 only has two USB Type-C ports that are located on the right side. The USB Type-C port from the right is used for charging the Swift 7. Fortunately, there is a headphone jack included on the right side. The left side of the ultrabook has no ports at all. The device doesn’t feature an SD card or microSD card reader.
That being said, Acer did provide a USB Type-C to female USB Type-A converter and so I was able to connect standard USB drives. However, the ultrabook doesn’t seem to recognize a Bluetooth receiver/transmitter via the adaptor for my Logitech M330 mouse. Connecting a normal mouse with the adapter did solve the issue for the time being, but the mouse kept disconnecting and reconnecting itself every few minutes. This problem occurs for both the Type-C ports. The most important design aspect of the Swift 7 is its thickness that measures only 9.98mm and with an impressive weight of just 1.084 kg. This certainly puts most of the ultrabooks on the market to shame.
Specifications and Performance
Powering the Acer Swift 7 is the Kaby Lake-U based Intel i5-7Y54 dual-core processor with four computing threads that’s clocked at 1.2 GHz speed. The system comes with 8GB RAM and a 256GB Kingston 2242 M.2 SATA SSD drive with the Windows 10 Home edition preinstalled. As per my usage that includes writing articles, watching videos and basic image editing, the Swift 7 performed quite well. The most intriguing part that surprised me was that the device is capable of handling Chrome much better than my Dell Inspiron 13 7000 for heavy loading websites like Facebook, even on low-power mode.
The Kingston SSD is capable of delivering copy speeds up to 290MB/s at tops and an average speed of 110MB/s while I was manually copying files. We got a sequential read speed of 540MB/s and write speeds of 304MB/s. There are some Acer applications already preinstalled but that didn’t affect the performance of the system. I also ran the PC Mark 8 benchmark test and achieved a score of 3534 points.
Ultra-thin notebooks and ultrabooks are known to deliver longer battery hours and the Swift 7 does quite decent in that department, featuring a 4-cell Li-ion battery with a capacity of 2770 mAh. After using the ultrabook for hours, I can say that the device can last up to 4 and half hours while I surfed the internet for research, wrote the review and watching some YouTube on the balanced battery settings. The standby time of the Swift 7 can go even further, thanks to the low-power i5 processor in the system.
ACER SWIFT 7 REVIEW VERDICT:
Buying a premium ultrabook doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend on the most expensive models in the market that can tear your pockets. The Acer Swift 7 is one of the few examples that offers premium construction and design with performance that acceptable for most of the common usages. It’s also fan-less so you don’t need to worry about unwanted noise. But one of the few disadvantages is that the Swift 7 doesn’t feature the necessary full-sized USB and HDMI ports, and the included USB Type-C adaptor compatibility needs some fixing to be done. The battery is also quite good.
If you’re on the lookout for a super-thin ultrabook that doesn’t hold a price tag that requires you to break the bank and if you don’t mind the omission of a few ports, then the Acer Swift 7 is worth trying. The Acer Swift 7 is currently priced at AED 4499 in Dubai, UAE.