Laptop, Review

Acer Swift 3 Quick Review: Relatively Affordable Thin & Light Laptop

More often than not, thin and light productivity laptops cost quite a bit of money. After all, a laptop with a slim profile and lightweight chassis usually sits in the higher-end, more premium price range. But that’s not entirely true of this laptop: the new Acer Swift 3.

Measuring only 15.95mm thin with a 1.2kg chassis, the Swift 3 is quite a portable productivity laptop with a price tag that’s not too exorbitant. If you want a thin and light laptop that is relatively affordable, the Swift 3 is a good option, even if there are certain aspects of the laptop that could be better.

What It Is

Display14-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)
ProcessorIntel Core i7-1165G7 (4C/8T, 2.8GHz with boost up to 4.7GHz)
GPUIntel Iris Xe Graphics
Storage512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Dimensions323.4 x 218.9 x 15.95 mm
AudioBottom-firing stereo speakers
Ports1x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (DisplayPort)
1x HDMI 2.0
2x USB-A 3.2

For this review, we received the range-topping Swift 3 with Intel’s latest 11th generation Core i7-1165G7 processor paired with 16GB of RAM. The more affordable Core i5-1135G7 model with 8GB of RAM, on the other hand, carries a lower RM3,299 price tag. Beyond the different RAM capacity and processor, both variants share the same hardware.

The Good Stuff

Acer’s line of Swift laptops are usually slim and light, so it goes without saying that the same applies to the Swift 3. Granted, tipping the scales at 1.2kg with a 15.95mm thin chassis, it’s not the slimmest or lightest productivity laptop in the market now. But given its relatively affordable price point, we can’t exactly expect too much here.

Powered by an 11th generation Core i7-1165G7 processor paired with 16GB of RAM, the Swift 3 can easily meet the needs of a regular consumer looking to get a productivity laptop for college or office work. Throughout my time with the laptop as my daily driver, it feels very fast and responsive with no noticeable slowdown.

Light photo editing proved to be a non-issue with the Swift 3, and I’m also happy to report that this laptop can do some gaming on the side. I’ve tested Genshin Impact on this machine, and although I can’t quite max out the graphics settings at 1080p, the Iris Xe integrated GPU can certainly run the game quite well.

And then there’s the battery life of the Swift 3. Acer claims that this laptop can return up to 11 hours of battery life on a single charge, but for my use case, it “only” lasted me about seven to eight hours of use before needing to be charged. Still, this is very respectable battery life.

Last but definitely not least is the Swift 3’s connectivity options. It has two full-size USB-A ports, a USB-C connection with DisplayPort support, and also an HDMI 2.0 output. Given that most thin and light laptops in the market now are removing the USB-A port, it’s great to see that Acer is retaining this connectivity option on the Swift 3.

The Bad Stuff

Considering the fact that the Swift 3 is quite a budget-friendly productivity laptop, there are some key areas where it proved to be a little lacklustre. Its 14-inch 1080p IPS screen, for one, looks more muted than its competition with dull-looking colours. Thankfully, this being an IPS panel, its viewing angles are still quite good, and it can get reasonably bright too.

Aside from that, there’s the keyboard of the Swift 3. As is the case with most thin and light laptops, the keyboard doesn’t offer a lot of key travel, lending to a shallow typing experience that isn’t very pleasant. While the tactility of the keys somewhat improve the typing experience, the harsh bottom out negates this.

Beyond these two shortcomings, however, other aspects of the Swift 3 are really up to par for a laptop in this price range. But if you’re particular about a laptop’s keyboard or screen quality, you may want to check out the Swift 3 in person first before considering to purchase it.

Is It Worth It?

Even though the Acer Swift 3’s display and keyboard aren’t particularly great, it’s still a competent productivity laptop with a thin and light chassis. Plus, retailing from RM3,299, it offers reasonably good value for money too, though the range-topping RM4,199 model doesn’t quite offer the same value proposition.

With its slim, lightweight chassis, long battery life, good performance, and adequate connectivity options, the Swift 3 is a compelling productivity laptop for college or office work. Not many of its competition can match the feature set of this laptop for the same amount of money.

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