Hands-On, Laptop

Acer Swift 3 OLED Hands-On: More Powerful, More Vibrant, More Compelling

Announced back at Acer’s [email protected] Global Press Conference 2022 a couple of weeks ago, the Acer Swift 3 OLED is the latest iteration of the Taiwanese company’s popular (and quite affordable) productivity laptop. As its name suggests, the Swift 3 OLED now sports a bright and vibrant OLED panel.

That alone is quite a big selling point for the productivity-focused laptop. But on top of the higher quality panel, the new Swift 3 is also packing Intel’s 12th generation H-series processors, which is usually reserved for gaming laptops.

Thanks to this, you’ve got ample processing power with the Swift 3 OLED. If you want to take it a step further, you can even pair it with an external GPU to turn the laptop into a capable gaming machine. If this piqued your interest, keep on reading this hands-on of the Swift 3.

The processor powering the Swift 3 OLED really is quite an interesting choice on Acer’s part. Instead of a 12th gen Intel P-series or U-series mobile chip, Acer’s decision to use the higher performance H-series processors for this laptop makes it that much more compelling, in my opinion.

Granted, it’s also more power-hungry, which may affect the battery life of the Swift 3. But it’s worth noting that Acer promises up to 10 hours of “real-world battery life” with this laptop. The company added that a 30-minute charge can provide up to 4 hours of use as well.

Nonetheless, even if the Swift 3 OLED could return better battery life with a different processor, I think the Intel H-series processor is a worthy tradeoff for more performance, After all, it opens up the possibility of turning the productivity laptop into a…well, gaming laptop.

Now, while the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics of the Swift 3 can do some casual gaming, pairing the laptop with the aforementioned external GPU via the laptop’s Thunderbolt 4 connection will really improve its gaming performance. The 12th gen Intel H-series chip should be able to provide enough processing power to not be a bottleneck either.

Okay, beyond performance, the Swift 3 OLED has other winning qualities too, including a 14-inch 2880 x 1800 OLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate. This refresh rate is high enough for a smooth, responsive user experience, and the 16:10 aspect ratio is also great for productivity tasks with the extra vertical screen real estate.

As for the screen quality itself, it’s great! Not only does it have a peak brightness of 500 nits – more than bright enough for comfortable use under sunlight – it also covers 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. Basically, this is a very pleasant screen to look at, and this being an OLED panel, it also has deep, true blacks.

And then there’s the portability of the Swift 3 OLED. Measuring 17.9mm thin with a 1.4kg chassis, it’s really quite a compact, lightweight productivity laptop. I definitely wouldn’t mind lugging around this laptop in my backpack.

Portability aside, one of the most important aspects of a productivity-focused laptop are the input devices. In this regard, the Swift 3 performs admirably. The keyboard, for one, is quite comfortable to type on.

Although the keys don’t have a lot of travel – which lends to a slightly shallow typing experience – the keyboard has a good amount of tactility for improved typing accuracy. Plus, the standard layout takes little to no time to get used to as well; I certainly wouldn’t mind doing a lot of typing with this keyboard.

I’m also impressed with the OceanGlass trackpad of the Swift 3. Naturally, it can track my fingers accurately, and despite the fact that it’s made out of recycled plastic, it still has a nice, smooth surface. I don’t feel the need to use a mouse with the laptop at all.

All things considered, the Acer Swift 3 OLED is a great improvement over its predecessor. Not only does it feature a more powerful processor, it also has a stunning OLED panel while retaining one of the Swift series’ best quality: portability.

Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on the Malaysian availability of the Swift 3 OLED. But if it does eventually arrive here – it should, given Acer’s notable presence in our market – it has the potential to be a real winner for the Taiwanese company, especially if it’s priced right.

For the sake of context, the previous Swift 3 retailed from RM4,199 when it was first launched in Malaysia. If the new Swift 3 OLED is priced within this price range, I reckon it will be a compelling laptop.

Anyway, the Swift 3 OLED is currently on sale in China, while other regions (including the US and EMEA) will get it sometime in July 2022. In the US, the laptop starts at $900, which comes up to about RM3,940.

Here’s hoping the Swift 3 OLED will be priced similarly in the Malaysian market once it is officially launched here. Rest assured, we will keep a close eye on the local availability of this productivity laptop.

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