Acer Swift X assessment: Content material creation for reasonable?

MSRP $1,100.00

“The Acer Swift X is a performance-first laptop computer that loads of college students and creatives will admire.”

Execs

Excellent efficiency

Superb battery life

Glorious keyboard and touchpad

Strong entry-level gaming

Skinny-and-light body given the ability inside

Cons

Construct high quality could possibly be higher

Show is insufficient for the goal market

Inventive professionals want two issues in an excellent laptop computer greater than anything. First, they want energy, and many it — ideally, each a quick CPU and a quick GPU. Second, they want a show with vast and correct colours and loads of distinction and brightness. Acer’s Swift X is geared toward these creators, regardless of providing configurations as little as $1,100. Is it attainable at that value?

The Acer Swift X’s AMD Ryzen 7 5800U, RTX 3050 Ti, and 14-inch show definitely appear as much as the duty. After placing it by way of its paces, the Swift X is way from an ideal machine — however its implausible efficiency and good worth make it a standout amongst its rivals.

Design

The Acer Swift X options an all-aluminum chassis that was just a little flexible within the lid and suffered from a little bit of keyboard flex. It’s nothing egregious. however Asus, Dell, and HP laptops are inclined to have stiffer builds. The MSI Status 14 Evo, Dell XPS 13, and HP Spectre x360 14 are three laptops that really feel extra strong in hand. The Swift X’s hinge is succesful, virtually permitting for one-handed opening and conserving the show firmly in place when you’re working. If the Swift X had been costlier, I’d have extra of an issue with the construct high quality. We’re simply on the fringe of premium for a well-configured machine, although, and so I’m keen to miss just a little flexibility.

Aesthetically, the Swift X is a conservative laptop computer that comes with just some angles, together with alongside the again of the chassis, so as to add some distinction. It’s accessible in three creatively titled colours, Safari Gold (my assessment unit), Steam Blue, and Prodigy Pink. The XPS 13 and Spectre x360 13 are extra standout laptops by way of their look, with the Dell leaning towards businesslike magnificence and the HP providing a daring, gem-cut design. However there’s loads of room for a extra conventional design that doesn’t draw an excessive amount of consideration to itself, and that’s the Swift X.

I’ll fault it for its plastic show bezels that detract from the general look. They’re not significantly small, both, at an 85.73% screen-to-body ratio — to be thought-about really trendy, this quantity ought to exceed 90% and the show needs to be all glass. The 16:9 show facet ratio can be old-fashioned, with aggressive laptops adopting taller ratios like 16:10 and three:2.

In comparison with another 14-inch laptops, the Swift X is fairly sized. It’s just a little wider than the HP Envy 14, for instance, whereas being shallower as a result of HP’s tall 16:10 show. The Swift X is zero.70 inches thick in comparison with the Envy 14’s zero.71 inches, and it weighs three.06 kilos the place the Envy 14 is available in at a barely heftier three.three kilos. The MSI Status 14 Evo is nearer in width and depth whereas thinner at zero.63 inches and lighter at 2.85 kilos. The Spectre x360 14, with its 13.5-inch three:2 show, is once more narrower however barely deeper, and it’s simply zero.67 inches thick and a couple of.95 kilos. It won’t be the thinnest or lightest laptop computer, however the Swift X continues to be snug sufficient to hold round — significantly given how a lot energy you’re packing.

The Swift X provides satisfactory connectivity, with a proprietary energy connection, USB-C three.2 Gen 2 port, full-size HDMI 1.zero connection, and USB-A three.2 Gen 1 port on the left-hand facet to go along with one other USB-A three.2 Gen 1 port and three.5mm audio adapter on the right-hand facet. Sadly, there’s no SD card reader or, given the AMD chipset, Thunderbolt assist. Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 present wi-fi connectivity.

Efficiency

As talked about earlier, the Ryzen 7 5800U is a quick thin-and-light laptop computer processor that beats out Intel’s equal by a large margin in CPU-intensive duties. Evaluating simply the processors, we should always count on AMD’s providing to be a lot quicker at issues like encoding video and processing giant pictures. Toss in a discrete GPU, even the entry-level Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, and also you achieve further assist for functions that may use the GPU to hurry up sure duties like Adobe’s suite of inventive functions. The Acer, due to this fact, guarantees to be a powerhouse in a thin-and-light bundle.

You’re unlikely to discover a quicker thin-and-light laptop computer on this value vary.

Based on our benchmarks, that’s exactly what Acer has delivered — for essentially the most half. In our Handbrake check that encodes a 420MB video to H.265, the Swift X led our comparability group, together with a number of different laptops with Ryzen chips. It even (barely) beat out the Asus ROG Movement X13 with the quicker Ryzen 9 5900HS processor. The truth is, the Swift X is without doubt one of the quickest laptops we’ve examined in Handbrake, even bettering some machines operating Intel 45-watt CPUs. The Swift X additionally did terribly properly within the Cinebench R23 benchmark, once more taking the lead by a good margin even with the Ryzen 9 within the combine. Each benchmark outcomes point out that if it is advisable carry out prolonged duties like encoding video that push the CPU, the Swift X will ship.

The Swift X wasn’t as dominant in Geekbench 5, however I’ll word right here that Acer does embrace a utility to vary efficiency modes. The utility didn’t make a lot distinction in most assessments once I switched to efficiency mode, and the ends in the desk replicate normal mode. Geekbench 5, although, was one check the place efficiency mode made a distinction — the Swift X scored 1,406 single-core and eight,030 multi-core on this mode, placing it in first place within the multi-core check. The Swift X additionally took first place within the PCMark 10 Full rating (efficiency mode made little distinction right here), and it did properly within the Necessities, Productiveness, and Content material Creation scores.

I additionally ran the PugetBench benchmark that makes use of Adobe Premiere Professional to run by way of numerous show and encoding duties. The benchmark exhibits the influence of a discrete GPU, asthe Swift X scored 333 within the benchmark. Curiously, this isn’t as excessive as I anticipated, coming in behind the HP Envy 14, for instance, which used an Intel Core i5-1135G7 and Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q and scored 432. The Samsung Galaxy E-book Professional 360 with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 and built-in Iris Xe graphics scored 241, whereas the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED with a Ryzen 7 5800U and built-in Radeon graphics scored 180. These outcomes present that Intel has integrated some optimizations that give its chips a greater consequence on this benchmark. The benchmark is damaged out into a number of sections, together with Export, Playback, and GPU, and the Intel machines did worse in Export and GPU however significantly better in Playback, which doubtless inflated their scores.

Regardless of the complicated PugetBench outcomes, the Swift X is a good machine for anybody who wants loads of CPU energy and a GPU that may pace up intensive duties. It’s additionally extraordinarily quick as a productiveness laptop computer, ripping by way of every little thing I threw at it in the course of the assessment course of. You’re unlikely to search out one other thin-and-light laptop computer on this value vary that’s quicker.

Geekbench (single/multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23 (single/multi)
PCMark 10
3DMark Time Spy
Acer Swift X (Ryzen 7 5800U)
1287/6663
99
1437/10135
6247
4073
HP Pavilion Aero 13
(Ryzen 7 5800U)
1373/6430
112
1381/8304
5756
1212
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 5800U)
1423 / 6758
124
1171 / 7824
6034
1342
Asus ROG Movement X13
(Ryzen 9 5900HS)
1415/7592
102
1420/9701
5756
4503
Dell XPS 13 (Core i7-1185G7)
1549 / 5431
204
1399 / 4585
n/a
1380
HP Spectre x360 14 (Core i7-1165G7)
1214 / 4117
236
1389 / 3941
4728
1457
Razer E-book 13 (Core i7-1165G7)
1548 / 5374
210
1508 / 4519
4878
1776
MacBook Professional 13 (M1)
1707 / 7337
n/a
1487 / 7547
n/a
n/a

Gaming was good for a laptop computer that’s not constructed particularly for gaming, with the Swift X scoring properly within the 3DMark Time Spy check (however behind the gaming-oriented Asus ROG Movement X13). It hit 116 frames per second (fps) in Civilization VI at 1080p and medium graphics, and 66 fps with extremely graphics turned on. That’s truly a couple of fps quicker than the ROG Movement X13, which shocked me. In Fortnite, the Swift X managed 64 fps at 1080p and excessive graphics, in comparison with the ROG Movement X13 at 67 fps, and 43 fps in epic graphics in comparison with 47 fps for the ROG. The Swift X is an efficient entry-level gaming machine that may deal with trendy titles on the proper resolutions and graphical particulars.

Show

From a efficiency standpoint, the Swift X is constructed for inventive professionals. As we’ve seen, it has the form of pace that creates a extremely transportable workstation for enhancing video and pictures on the go. A serious a part of that equation, although, is the show — does it present vast and correct colours, loads of brightness, and excessive distinction to accommodate inventive work? In a nutshell, the reply is sadly no for the Swift X’s 14-inch IPS Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) 16:9 show. The subjective show expertise was a blended bag throughout my testing, with colours that appeared correct and nice and with simply sufficient brightness to accommodate the lighting round my home. Blacks on white backgrounds didn’t pop, although, making writing copy a much less nice expertise than I like.

So, I turned to my trusty colorimeter to get a extra goal perspective. The outcomes didn’t shock me in any respect. To start with, shade width got here in at 72% of AdobeRGB and 96% of sRGB, which is consistent with the premium laptop computer common however properly behind the sorts of shows wanted for inventive work. Coloration accuracy was good at a DeltaE of 1.63 (1.zero or much less is taken into account wonderful), in order that’s a plus.

Brightness was barely low at 283 nits, beneath our 300-nit threshold, and distinction got here in at 730:1, properly beneath our most well-liked 1,00zero:1 ratio for premium laptops. Taking a look at one other just lately reviewed 14-inch laptop computer, the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Gen 9 (a costlier machine for certain), we see related colours at 76% of AdobeRGB and 96% of sRGB, higher shade accuracy at zero.99, and better brightness at 306 nits. Whereas nonetheless beneath our threshold, the ThinkPad’s distinction was 970:1, and you can inform from black textual content. The Dell XPS 13 Full HD+ show got here in at 75% of AdobeRGB and 98% of sRGB with a shade accuracy of 1.21, 458 nits of brightness and a 1,350:1 distinction ratio.

These are loads of numbers, however the conclusion is straightforward. The Swift X will let inventive varieties do their work on the highway with some pace, however they received’t need to use the laptop computer for closing manufacturing. Productiveness staff shall be happier with the show, however even then, the low distinction ratio shall be disappointing and the old-school 16:9 distinction ratio can’t evaluate to right this moment’s taller panels. It’s a disgrace that Acer doesn’t supply a higher-quality show for the Swift X with wider colours and higher distinction. That would really elevate the laptop computer as a extremely transportable inventive manufacturing machine.

By way of audio, the 2 downward-firing audio system had been underwhelming. The utmost quantity was moderately low, sufficient for system sounds and a YouTube video however not almost sufficient for music or Netflix bingeing. Mids and highs had been clear, however there was no bass (not stunning for a laptop computer), and there was no distortion when turned all the best way up. You’ll need headphones or a Bluetooth speaker.

Keyboard and touchpad

The Swift X sports activities a keyboard with properly sized silver keycaps and full-size spacing. The important thing switches are mild and clicky, with a cushty bottoming motion that gives a exact really feel. I nonetheless favor the HP Spectre keyboard that gives a contact extra suggestions, however the Swift X keyboard is up there with the perfect Home windows 10 has to supply. It’s backlit, after all, however I did discover that the sunshine shining by way of the gayish letters was distorted and troublesome to learn. That’s choosing a nit, although. Most contact typists will love this keyboard.

The touchpad takes up many of the accessible area on the palm relaxation, however the high of the keyboard deck is pushed again by an extension housing the hinge and rear vent. Meaning the touchpad is a bit smaller than it is perhaps. It provides a cushty floor, although, and Microsoft Precision touchpad drivers, so utilizing Home windows 10 multitouch gestures is environment friendly and exact. There’s no contact show possibility, which is disappointing.

A fingerprint reader supplies Home windows 10 Hey password-free assist within the upper-right nook of the palm relaxation. It labored shortly and responsively throughout my testing, which has turn out to be the norm for contemporary laptops.

Battery life

Acer packed 59 watt-hours of battery within the Swift X, an honest — however not nice — quantity for a 14-inch laptop computer with such high-powered elements. The Full HD show would assist, I anticipated, however I wasn’t anticipating nice battery life.

I used to be shocked. The Swift X managed virtually 12 hours in our web-browsing check, which is a powerful rating. The MSI Status 14 Evo hit simply over seven hours on this check, whereas the HP Envy 14 was higher than each at simply over 12.5 hours. In our video check that loops an area Full HD Avengers trailer, the Swift X achieved 12.75 hours, properly beneath the Status 14 Evo’s 16.three hours and the HP Envy’s 14.5 hours. I’ve seen that Ryzen laptops don’t have the identical enhance from the web-browsing check to the video check, demonstrating that Intel machines are extra environment friendly at taking part in video.

Within the PCMark 10 Purposes battery benchmark, the perfect indication of productiveness longevity, the Swift X did properly at simply over 12 hours. The Status 14 Evo couldn’t fairly handle 10.5 hours on this check, whereas the HP Envy 14 wouldn’t full the benchmark. Lastly, within the PCMark 10 Gaming battery check, the Swift X shut down at just below 1.5 hours, tied for the bottom consequence we’ve seen. The Status 14 Evo lasted simply 10 minutes longer, whereas the HP Envy 14 is the opposite laptop computer that matched the Swift X’s rating. This check appears to display how a lot a laptop computer throttles down on battery, that means the Swift X works laborious when unplugged and so burns by way of its battery fairly shortly.

Total, these outcomes point out that the Swift X will get you thru a full day’s work with a couple of hours to spare. If you happen to push the CPU and GPU laborious sufficient, you’ll get far much less battery life, however that’s to be anticipated. If you happen to’re going to be encoding video on the highway, carry your energy adapter with you.

Our take

The Acer Swift X lives as much as its promise of packing loads of efficiency right into a thin-and-light body. It’s one of many quickest 14-inch laptops we’ve examined, and it’s an excellent alternative for inventive professionals who want energy on the go. Battery life was additionally a energy, making this an excellent productiveness laptop computer to tackle the highway.

The most important draw back to the Swift X is its show. It’s not unhealthy sufficient to fully eradicate it from consideration by inventive professionals, however they need to have a greater exterior show within the workplace for finalizing their work. Acer would have been sensible to supply a higher-quality show for many who will need it essentially the most.

Are there any alternate options?

There aren’t many laptops that mix a quick Ryzen CPU with a discrete GPU. One which’s just lately turn out to be accessible is the Asus ROG Movement 13, which is a smaller machine however almost as quick. Setting apart the Asus’ gaming aesthetic, it’s different for anybody who wants transportable efficiency.

The HP Envy 14 is an possibility for somebody who can stay with an Intel Core CPU to go along with discrete graphics, and it carried out properly in Adobe functions. It, too, suffers from a lesser show, however it provides good efficiency and higher construct high quality.

How lengthy will it final?

The Swift X is constructed properly sufficient which you could count on it to final by way of years of high-powered computing. The elements are trendy and may sustain with the instances, and demanding customers ought to get their cash’s price. The one-year industry-standard guarantee is disappointing, as at all times.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, for the efficiency and battery life. Simply be sure to can stay with the show earlier than pulling out your bank card.

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