Saturday, December 4, 2021

Acer Swift 3 (2021) Review

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ACER SWIFT 3 (2021) SPECS

Laptop computer ClassUltraportable
ProcessorIntel Core i7-1165G7
Processor Pace2. Eight GHz
RAM (as Examined)16 GB
Boot Drive KindSSD
Boot Drive Capability (as Examined)512 GB
Display screen Measurement14 inches
Native Show Decision1,920 by 1,080
Contact Display screenNo
Panel Know-howIPS
Variable Refresh HelpNone
Display screen Refresh Charge60 Hz
Graphics ProcessorIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Wi-fi Networking802.11ax, Bluetooth
Dimensions (HWD)0.63 by 12.7 by 8. four inches
Weight2.71 lbs
Examined Battery Life (Hours: Minutes)16:47

After we finally noticed the Acer Swift 3 in July 2020, it was an ultraportable laptop computer packing a 13.5-inch show with a boxy 3:2 facet ratio that made us declare it was hip to be sq… The 2021 version of the Swift 3 (begins at $749.99; $999.99 as examined) reverses course with a 14-inch display that options the extra widespread and rectangular 16:9 ratio. It has us pining for the final yr’s taller view and decreased scrolling. For those who do not thoughts the broader show (or expressly need it since you watch numerous films on your laptop computer), there’s instead a lot to love in regards to the new Swift 3, from its all-metal chassis and Thunderbolt four assist to its luxuriously lengthy battery life and mean value. Nonetheless, it does not bump the Dell XPS 13 and its stellar 16:10 show from our ultraportable Editors’ Selection honors listing.


Glossy, Sturdy, and Silver

The 14-inch Swift Three begins at $699.99 with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB solid-state drive. Our $999.99 test system bumps up the processor to a Core i7 and doubles the reminiscence. Whereas getting a 512GB SSD within the base mannequin is appreciated (256GB is beginning to feel cramped today), it makes the $300 improvement much less attractive because it does not web you with any extra storage. All fashions function as a non-touch show with full HD (1,920-by-1,080-pixel) decision and the 16:9 facet ratio.

Acer Swift 3 (2021) Review
Amazon

The Swift Three is research in silver. The all-aluminum chassis encompasses a silver lid, a silver keyboard deck with silver keys, and a silver back side panel. The one components of the laptop computer that are not silver are the matte black plastic bezels framing the show. It provides an understated, if one-note, aesthetic that appears equally at dwelling in a boardroom or an espresso store.

The metallic chassis feels stable. The lid is inflexible, lending good safety for the show, and the keyboard deck feels agency. There’s little flex to the chassis, and the show hinge is freed from the dreaded display wobble. This Swift Three measures 0.63 by 12.7 by 8. four inches and weighs 2.71 kilos, broader and shallower than the Swift Three mannequin we examined final yr due to the distinction in display facet ratio. This yr’s mannequin can be barely heavier than last yr’s 2.62-pound machine; however, it’s very transportable (and lighter than the two.8-pound Dell XPS 13).

The keyboard is snug, with a shallow journey that makes the keys feel fast and responsive however is not as unyielding as an older MacBook “butterfly” keyboard. The most crucial downside is the diminutive cursor arrow keys: The up and down arrows share the area of a single key, and the left and proper arrow keys are half-height as a result of Acer squeezed in Web page Up and Web page Down keys above them. It’s going to take some getting used to earlier than you cease hitting the improper keys. 

The keyboard is backlit; however, there’s just one brightness degree. At this value, it is cheap to anticipate two- or three-level backlighting that permits you to modify for ambient mild. The silver keys with grey lettering do not create the very best distinction, making it troublesome to see which secrets beneath certain lighting situations.

A fingerprint reader sits under the cursor arrows. Without an IR webcam for face recognition, the fingerprint reader is your only choice for logging in with Home windows Howdy as an alternative to typing passwords.

Acer Swift 3 (2021) Review
Amazon

In distinction to the keys, the touchpad affords a hair an excessive journey, making clicks feel a step sluggish. That is a minor gripe, nevertheless, and on the entire, the touchpad is more significant than acceptable, with easy gliding and correct recording of mouse gestures.


An Extensive, However Nonetheless Cramped, Show

As talked about, the most significant departure from the final yr’s Swift Three is the return to a 16:9 show. On a 14-inch display, I felt the pinch of this broad facet ratio. It is a pure match for watching movies; however, the restricted vertical area leads to extra scrolling via net pages and paperwork. A 16:9 display is a more significant match for 15.6- and 17.3-inch laptops, which not solely supply different show actual property however are extra typically used for leisure functions. With a 14-inch or smaller panel, a 16:10 or 3:2 facet ratio lends extra versatility and makes the show appear more prominent than it’s.

The facet ratio is just one of three modifications to the show that makes us like this yr’s Swift Three much less. Additionally, the decision has dropped from 2,256 by 1,504 pixels to the acquainted 1,920 by 1,080 pixels. Full HD is ample on a 14-inch display; nevertheless, textual content and pictures look sharp. Colors look correct, as nicely; Acer claims the presentation covers 100% of the sRGB coloration gamut. (Extra on the quantitative display testing close to the tip of this evaluation.)

Acer Swift 3 (2021) Review
Amazon

Whereas the decrease decision is tolerable at this dimension, our third criticism is that the display’s rated brightness has fallen from 400 to 300 nits with this yr’s mannequin. About show brightness, you may discover 250-nit panels on price range laptops and will be capable of anticipating 350 to 400 nits on a $1,000 pocketbook. I had the Swift 3’s display set to most brightness for the entire time I used the system, principally in a reasonably lit room. The show seemed dim in my sunny breakfast nook, and I would not advocate utilizing it outside for any size of time.

The 720p webcam above the display captured a relatively short video; however, its movies seemed grainy, except lighting situations have been splendid. The digital camera’s colors appeared oversaturated with pores and skin tones tending towards purple no matter the lighting.

The audio system fireplace downward—by no means the very best place due to their output being directed away from your ears—however, it produces surprisingly rich sound for a laptop computer. There is a modest bass response to present music playback a little bit of a punch. The audio system attains a reasonably loud degree at most quantities without shedding a lot of readability.

You will not want to hold any dongles with the Swift 3. The laptop computer options each Kind-A and Kind-C USB ports; there’s one USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4 assist on the left edge, together with a USB 3.2 Kind-A port and an HDMI video output. 

One other USB-A 3.2 port and a mixture headphone/microphone jack be part of a safety lock slot on the appropriate facet.

Testing the Acer Swift 3: ‘Tiger Lake’ Sedate

Acer Swift 3 (2021) Review
Amazon

Our Swift 3 test system encompasses a quad-core Intel Core i7-1165G7 “Tiger Lake” CPU that runs at 2.8GHz and options Iris Xe built-in graphics, together with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB NVMe solid-state drive. For our benchmark charts, I contrast the system to different ultraportables together with Acer’s personal Swift 3X, which options the identical 11th Era CPU however makes use of Intel’s not often seen Iris Xe Max discrete graphics. The Microsoft Surface Pro 8 encompasses a barely sooner Core i7, whereas the HP Pavilion Aero flaunts AMD’s eight-core Ryzen 7 5800U. The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 depends on an 11th Gen Core i5 chip. All programs function 16GB of reminiscence and (apart from the Swift 3X) built-in graphics.

Test System Configurations

PROCESSORGRAPHICSRAMSTORAGE
Acer Swift 3 (2021)Intel Core i7-1165G7 (2.8GHz)Intel Iris Xe Graphics16GB RAM512GB SSD
Acer Swift 3XIntel Core i7-1165G7 (2.8GHz)Intel Iris Xe Max Graphics16GB RAM1TB SSD
HP Pavilion AeroAMD Ryzen 7 5800U (1.9GHz)AMD Radeon Graphics16GB RAM512GB SSD
Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2Intel Core i5-1135G7 (2.4GHz)Intel Iris Xe Graphics16GB RAM256GB SSD
Microsoft Floor Professional 8Intel Core i7-1185G7 (3.0GHz)Intel Iris Xe Graphics16GB RAM256GB SSD

Productiveness Checks 

The primary benchmark of UL’s PCMark 10 simulates a wide range of real-world productiveness and content-creation workflows to measure general efficiency for office-centric duties reminiscent of phrase processing, spreadsheeting, net looking, and videoconferencing. We additionally run PCMark 10’s Full System Drive test to evaluate the load time and throughput of a laptop computer’s storage. 

Acer Swift 3 (2021) Review
Amazon

Three benchmarks highlight the CPU, utilizing all accessible cores and threads, to fee a PC’s suitability for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 makes use of that firm’s Cinema 4D engine to render a posh scene. In contrast, Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5. four Professional simulates widespread apps, from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine studying. Lastly, we use the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1. four to transform a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p decision (decrease instances are higher). 

Our final productiveness test is Puget Techniques’ PugetBench for Photoshop, which makes use of the Inventive Cloud model 22 of Adobe’s well-known picture editor to fee a PC’s efficiency for content material creation and multimedia functions. It is an automatic extension that executes a wide range of standard and GPU-accelerated Photoshop duties starting from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving a picture to using masks, gradient fills, and filters.

The Swift Three and the opposite quad-core Intel laptops have been left wanting up on the eight-core, AMD-powered Pavilion Aero in most of our CPU-focused exams. The Swift Three did nicely among the many Intel programs, apart from trailing in PCMark 10’s storage test; actually, it eked out wins within the Geekbench and Photoshop benchmarks.

Graphics Checks

We test Home windows PCs’ graphics with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Evening Raid (extra modest, appropriate for laptops with built-in graphics), and Time Spy (extra demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs). 

We additionally run two exams from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which stresses each low-level routine like texturing and high-level, game-like picture rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Automotive Chase exams, rendered offscreen to accommodate different show resolutions, train graphics, and compute shaders utilizing the OpenGL programming interface and hardware tessellation, respectively. The extra frames per second (fps), the higher.

None of those ultraportables set our graphics exams on the fireplace, together with the Swift 3X with its Iris Xe Max graphics. That Intel GPU shines in some situations reminiscent of AI-assisted photograph modifying; however, it affords little or no benefit for gaming and 3D graphics. The Swift Three did reasonably nicely; however, neither it nor another system right here has the pixel-pushing muscle to play greater than casual or browser-based video games. See our examination of laptop integrated graphics efficiency.

Battery and Show Checks

Acer Swift 3 (2021) Review
Amazon

We test laptops’ battery life by taking part in a regionally saved 720p video file (the open-source Blender film Tears of Steel) that show brightness at 50% and audio quantity at 100%. We are confident that the battery is charged earlier than the test, with Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting turned off. 

We additionally use a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Home windows software program to measure a laptop computer display’s coloration saturation—what share of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 coloration gamuts or palettes the show can present—and its 50% and peak brightness in nits (candelas per sq. meter).

Acer Swift 3 (2021) Review
Amazon

The Swift Three excelled in our battery rundown, lasting almost 17 hours. That is a decisive outcome even amongst environment-friendly ultraportables. Its display brightness rating of 330 nits surpassed its 300-nit score; however, as I stated, I do not consider the Swift 3’s display to be greater than typical at finest. It was additionally a tick away from complete protection of sRGB together with creditable protection of the DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB area, giving artistic professionals one thing to work with (if they’re content material with a 1080p reasonably than 4K show).


Verdict: Wider Is not All the time Higher

The Acer Swift Three has several good factors—it is an ultraportable that gives a wealth of options, a pinch of fashion, and aggressive efficiency (particularly its excellent battery life) for the mean value of $999.99. It is no gaming laptop computer; nevertheless, it’s it checks the bins you’d need for a touring productiveness accomplice.

What prevents more robust advice is Acer’s transfer from final yr’s squarer 3:2 facet ratio display to the marginally retro 16:9 panel of this yr’s version. For a 14-inch laptop computer that is meant to take you thru your work or college day, a 16:10 or ideally 3:2 show gives a roomier workspace than a 16:9 display that is good for watching films; however, much less helpful for navigating net pages, email inboxes, and Microsoft Workplace docs.

PROS

  • Excellent battery life
  • Sturdy all-metal chassis
  • Thunderbolt four assist

CONS

  • 16:9 show feels cramped
  • Webcam is under par

THE BOTTOM LINE

An unwelcome return to a broader show tempers our enthusiasm for the refreshed Acer Swift 3, in any other case, admirable ultraportable.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.


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