Whereas the Acer Swift 1 delivers what it guarantees—a slim and lightweight chassis, loads of battery life, a solid-state drive and even a fingerprint reader, all for lower than $350—it makes painful pace and storage compromises to get there. In case you’re a discount hunter who does not thoughts counting on cloud providers and you may tolerate merely ample efficiency, by all means, give the Swift 1 a glance. However in case you’re searching for long-term worth, think about both growing your finances or tolerating a thicker, heavier laptop computer with extra pep.
Value and specs
Measuring 12.58 x eight.86 x zero.59 inches and weighing simply 2.9 kilos, the Swift 1 makes for a is pleasingly mild, skinny, but sturdy, for a Home windows 10 pocket book. The Swift 1’s show barely wobbles when you’re choosing the laptop computer up or placing it down, and the smooth, tapered shell belies the laptop computer’s finances value.
We examined the $329 model of the Acer Swift 1, which comes with a Pentium N4200 processor, a quad-core Apollo Lake-generation CPU designed for finances laptops. As we’ll quickly see, the N4200 is ample (effectively, barely) for on a regular basis productiveness duties, nevertheless it buckles below any form of severe processing load.
Additionally inside: 4GB of low-voltage DDR3L RAM and a meager 64GB solid-state drive, which leaves you with solely about 20GB of obtainable storage. That is likely to be positive for these planning to make use of the Swift 1 primarily for browsing the online, working Workplace and dealing from their cloud accounts. An Acer consultant even instructed me the Swift 1 is aimed toward “people who find themselves seemingly to make use of cloud-based storage”). However if you wish to set up extra applications or retailer even a modest quantity of media on the Swift 1, I would strongly recommend you to cough up one other $70 for the 128GB SSD improve.
The Swift 1 depends on an built-in Intel HD Graphics 505 core for mild show duties similar to video streaming, looking and common productiveness. Unsurprisingly (and as its benchmark outcomes will present), the Swift 1 is not a lot of a gaming machine. Anticipate all however essentially the most fundamental video games to chug alongside at body charges effectively south of 30 per second.
The Acer Swift 1’s 1920×1080 display screen appears pleasingly vivid and sharp, greater than succesful for traditional Workplace duties and even the darkish sci-fi scenes of Tears of Metal (our favourite 4K take a look at video).
Viewing angles on the Swift 1’s IPS show panel are as much as par, with the display screen starting to dim when considered from an angle of about 30 levels or extra. I used to be additionally happy that colours on the Swift 1’s show by no means inverted, even when considered from almost a 90-degree angle.
The Swift 1’s display screen is pretty brilliant, measuring about 286 nits (or calendas) when dialed all the way in which up. We predict laptop computer shows want a brightless of no less than 250 nits for comfy indoor viewing, an ordinary that the Swift 1 clears with an honest cushion, though it falls in need of the 300-plus nit readings we have measured on different laptops.
Keyboard, trackpad, audio system and webcam
The Swift 1’s keyboard felt stable and aware of my fingertips, with the flat chiclet-style keys delivering a satisfying (however not too noisy) click on when struck. There isn’t any devoted numeric keypad (no shock on a 13-inch laptop computer), though there are numeric keys embedded inside the principle letter keys. Keyboard hotkeys embody airplane mode, sleep, secondary shows, and utility menus. Lacking are hotkeys for search and settings.
Sadly, the Swift 1’s in any other case spectacular keyboard comes with a serious caveat: no backlighting, that means that you will have to really feel round for the appropriate keys while you’re typing in the dead of night. An Acer spokesperson tells me that variations of the Swift 1 with backlit keyboards might arrive finally, however “right now” they are not an choice.
The Swift 1’s trackpad will get the job completed with a minimal of fuss, easily registering my faucets and swipes. Close by sits a Home windows Good day-enabled fingerprint sensor, which reliably detected my fingerprint throughout my testing, unlocking the Home windows login display screen in lower than a second.
The stereo audio system embedded within the backside of the Swift 1’s shell aren’t dangerous, producing loud, detailed however (as ordinary for finances laptops) bass-free sound. The audio system cranked “Dwell and Let Die” by Paul McCartney & Wings with none discernible distortion, whereas the busy first motion of Mozart’s 25th Symphony—a monitor that some laptop computer audio system cannot play with out crackling—sounded comparatively crisp.
The Swift’s 640×480 webcam does an honest job, with photographs wanting expectedly grainy and blotchy however in any other case completely positive for fundamental video conferencing.
On the left facet of the Acer Swift 1, you will discover a USB 2.zero port and an SD card reader, whereas on the appropriate facet sits a pair of USB Three.zero ports (considered one of which helps “power-off” charging of different USB units), a USB Three.1 Kind-C Gen 1 port, a headset jack and a full HDMI port. Unsurprisingly for a finances ultra-portable, the Swift 1 lacks Thunderbolt, mini-DisplayPort, VGA and ethernet ports.
Small, quick, and low-cost: These are the three primary qualities we want we may get from any ultra-portable laptop computer, and usually talking, you solely get two. With the $329, 2.9-pound Swift 1, you are getting small and low-cost, which suggests you will have to stint on pace—and on this case, the skimping goes to harm.
Within the efficiency charts under, we have in contrast the Swift 1 to older (2016 to early 2-17) laptops with equally low-end, low-powered Atom and Celeron CPUs. We have additionally thrown in a laptop computer with an older Core m3 cell CPU, so you’ll be able to see the distinction when stepping as much as Intel’s highest-end chip household.
PCMark eight Work Typical
Given the Acer Swift 1’s mission to be a budget-priced ultra-portable for folks trying to get issues completed (transfer alongside, avid gamers), I used to be notably to see how the Swift 1 may deal with each day productiveness chores. The reply, based on our take a look at outcomes: It may, however solely simply.
We use PCMark eight Work Typical to check a laptop computer’s agility with duties like looking the online, working Workplace, and different on a regular basis desktop duties. In our expertise, a pocket book wants a rating of no less than 2,000 to carry out such chores with out noticeable slowdowns.
With its PCMark eight Phrase benchmark rating of 1,934, the quad-core Pentium-powered Swift 1 falls simply shy of our expectations. Even whereas performing such mundane duties as looking the online, I may often really feel the Swift 1 straining with the trouble. Button presses, web page rendering, and menu opening steadily took a second longer than they need to.
Simply to be clear, the Acer Swift 1 is usable for each day productiveness duties—proper now, no less than. However just a few years down the street, as its CPU is pushed tougher by the most recent Home windows updates? That is the query you will want to contemplate earlier than snapping up a super-cheap ultralight like this one.
We transfer on to Cinebench, a 3D-rendering benchmarking app that exams a laptop computer’s efficiency below an intense CPU load.
Quad-core laptops often rating excessive Cinebench outcomes. However the Swift 1 runs on a quad-core Pentium processor, not a full-on Intel Core chip, and its dismal Cinebench determine displays that reality. Once more, there’s nothing damaged contained in the Swift 1; that is merely the worth you pay for a 2.9-pound laptop computer that is so low-cost. Anybody who expects to quickly render 3D photographs on a $329 ultraportable just like the Swift is just barking up the unsuitable tree.
3DMark Sky Diver 1.zero
It is nearly unfair to topic the finances Acer Swift 1 and its built-in Intel HD Graphics 505 core to gaming-oriented benchmarking apps like 3DMark Sky Diver 1.zero. Not surprisingly, the Swift 1’s total rating is among the many lowest we have ever recorded. Once more, although, one thing has to go in case you’re solely going to pay $329 for a 2.9-pound laptop computer, and on this case, it is “Overwatch.”
The image will get somewhat brighter as we flip to the Acer Swift 1’s battery efficiency. To check how lengthy its battery would maintain out, I loaded a 4K video file onto the Swift and looped it utilizing the built-in Home windows media participant, with display screen brightness at about 262 nits and the quantity up midway.
The end result: a median of about 448 minutes, or nearly 7.5 hours. That is shy of Acer’s marketed 10 hours of battery life for the Swift 1, nevertheless it’s nonetheless not dangerous contemplating the Swift’s Three-cell, 42,000 mWh battery.
Conclusion: At the least improve the SSD
The Acer Swift 1 is an ultra-portable that hits the sub-$350 value level by making just a few onerous decisions. In case you do not thoughts a puny solid-state drive and common efficiency, the Acer Swift 1 is likely to be the laptop computer for you. For anybody else, although, I would advocate forking over more money for a sooner ultra-portable (an expense that will repay later in longevity), or settling for an even bigger laptop computer with out such steep pace compromises (like the $350 Acer Aspire E 15). On the very least, Swift 1 buyers ought to improve to the $400 model with a roomier 128GB SSD.