The Acer Swift 5 series had always offered a good balance between premium features and value for money. Though the latest Swift 5 now sits at a higher price bracket – no thanks to inflation – it does retain its premium appeal, not to mention much improved battery life.
While it does have its shortcomings, the Swift 5 is easily the best update in the series yet. It has all the makings of a premium productivity laptop, and it’s not priced as exorbitantly as its competition either – a winning formula that worked well for previous Swift 5 laptops.
What It Is
|Display||14-inch WQXGA IPS (2560 x 1600), 60Hz|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-1260P (12C/16T, 2.1GHz with boost up to 4.7GHz)|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Storage||1TB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Dimensions||310.5 x 213.3 x 14.95 mm|
|Audio||Bottom-firing stereo speakers|
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 4|
2x USB-A 3.2
1x HDMI 2.1
The Swift 5 in this review is the RM6,599 range-topping model with a fast Core i7-1260P processor, generous 1TB SSD, and a sharp 2560 x 1600 IPS touch-enabled display. There’s also a more affordable RM4,699 variant with a Core i5-1240P chip, 8GB of RAM, 512GB SSD, and a 1920 x 1200 panel.
If you want a configuration that’s a mix of the two models above, there’s the mid-tier Swift 5. It has the same Core i7-1260P processor, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD of the highest-end variant, though it retains the 1920 x 1200 display of the base i5 model; all for RM5,999.
The Good Stuff
What makes or breaks a productivity laptop (in my opinion) is its keyboard, and in this regard, the Swift 5 delivers! It is by no means the best laptop keyboard I’ve ever tried, but it is comfortable to do a lot of typing on with just enough key travel, very pronounced tactile feedback, and a layout that’s easy to get accustomed to.
Surprisingly enough, despite being made out of plastic – recycled plastic, at that – the Swift 5’s OceanGlass trackpad still feels smooth to the touch. Of course, it can also track my fingers accurately; never did I feel the need to use a mouse with this laptop for productivity tasks, and that’s a good thing.
Performance wise, the Swift 5 can keep up with my tasks without any issue. Whether it’s juggling in excess of 15 Chrome tabs at any given time with some light photo editing, there’s no noticeable slowdown at all. The Intel Iris Xe can do some light gaming as well, so it won’t have any trouble running games like Dota 2 or Diablo Immortal.
And then there’s the long battery life of the Swift 5. On a single charge, I can get about nine hours of use before the laptop runs out of juice. To get this level of battery life, I set the power plan to battery saver with the display dimmed to a comfortable (but still quite bright) level.
Though I haven’t tested it out myself, I’m confident other variants of the Swift 5 with a more power-efficient 1920 x 1200 screen can deliver even better battery life.
Speaking of which, the Swift 5’s 14-inch 2560 x 1600 IPS display looks great too with vibrant colours, wide viewing angles, and good brightness. The fact that this is also a touch-enabled display is an added bonus, though I personally don’t use it much. I definitely appreciate the 16:10 aspect ratio though, as it allows for more vertical screen real estate for productivity tasks.
Last but not least is the build quality of the Swift 5, which is premium through and through. The aluminium chassis feels and looks great, there’s no creaking at all with added pressure, and there’s minimal screen flex as well.
Tipping the scales at 1.2kg with a 14.95mm thin side profile, it’s also a portable laptop that I don’t mind lugging around in my backpack.
The Bad Stuff
As much as I enjoy looking at the bright and vibrant display of the Swift 5, I’m not crazy about the glossy finish of the screen. It’s fine when I’m using the laptop indoors with minimal outdoor lighting, but when I’m working in a cafe outdoor, for example, the reflective nature of the panel can be quite distracting.
And then there’s the finicky fingerprint sensor of the Swift 5. Throughout my time with the laptop, the sensor couldn’t recognise my fingerprint consistently enough. When it does work, it’s fast and seamless. But when it doesn’t (which happens more often), I need to key in my password instead to get into the laptop; not a very pleasant experience.
Is It Worth It?
Definitely. Yes, I would’ve loved for the Acer Swift 5 to come with a matte display instead – along with a fingerprint sensor that works as intended – but the other winning qualities of the laptop more than make up for these shortcomings. Plus, with a RM4,699 starting price, it’s definitely one of the most affordable premium-tier Windows laptops.
Beyond its value proposition, the Swift 5 is also a long-lasting productivity laptop with very respectable performance level and comfortable keyboard for long typing sessions. Paired with its premium build quality, the Swift 5 is an easy recommendation for those who are shopping for a refined productivity laptop without breaking the bank.