Home / Reviews / Review: Acer's late-2019 Swift 5 refresh is (mostly) a winner. Here's why.

Review: Acer's late-2019 Swift 5 refresh is (mostly) a winner. Here's why.

Bigger battery, new hinge, and 10th Gen Intel {hardware} make this refresh a sexy, slim Ultrabook choice.

Acer’s Swift lineup of Ultrabooks has at all times been about delivering an ultraportable system for these on the go, however the sacrifices wanted to realize the skinny design turned many away. Heavy thermal throttling, poor battery life, odd port structure, and total high quality issues had been among the main downsides of earlier Swift 5 fashions. For the late-2019 mannequin, nonetheless, Acer has made some notable adjustments that considerably have an effect on the Ultrabook in a great way. Let’s take an in depth have a look at the refreshed Swift 5 to find out whether or not or not it is price a purchase.

Acer Swift 5 (SF514-54T)

Backside line: Acer’s 14-inch Swift 5 has by no means been higher, although the undeniably skinny and lightweight design nonetheless comes with some tradeoffs.



Execs

  • Snug backlit keyboard and Precision touchpad
  • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, Thunderbolt Three connectivity
  • Slim bezel and anti-glare contact show
  • Stable efficiency for on a regular basis duties
  • Extremely skinny and lightweight

Cons

  • Comes with bloatware
  • Nonetheless some thermal throttling
  • Fingerprint reader may very well be higher

From $900 at Newegg

$900 at Amazon

Acer Swift 5 at a look

Acer equipped Home windows Central with a overview unit of the Acer Swift 5. It’s particularly the SF514-54T-76PY mannequin, full with 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor (CPU), 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive (SSD), and 14-inch FHD contact show. This actual mannequin retails for about $1,025, although you may get your palms on an Intel Core i5 mannequin with in any other case related specs beginning at about $900.

Acer has made it comparatively simple to take away the again cowl and get on the SSD for future upgrades. It is a welcome characteristic, as fashions appear to ship with a static SSD with no choice to configure from the manufacturing unit. Sadly, RAM is soldered to the board with no solution to improve after buy.

A mannequin with a devoted NVIDIA MX250 graphics card (GPU) and 16GB of RAM can be floating round someplace in pre-release land. Acer’s web site presently solely lists fashions with 8GB RAM and built-in graphics.

This is a breakdown of the precise {hardware} present in our SF514-54T-76PY overview mannequin.

ClassSpec
OSHome windows 10 Residence
Processor10th Gen
Intel Core i7-1065G7
4 cores
As much as 3.90GHz
RAM8GB LPDDR4
Soldered
GraphicsBuilt-in
Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Storage512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
Kingston
Show14 inches
1920×1080 (FHD)
Contact, IPS
Anti-glare
PortsThunderbolt 3
USB-A 3.1
USB-A 2.0
HDMI
3.5mm audio
AudioTwin Stereo audio system
Acer TrueHarmony
Wi-fiIntel Wi-fi AX201
802.11ax
MU-MIMO (2×2)
Bluetooth 5.0
DigicamEntrance-facing HD
SafetyFingerprint reader
Kensington lock slot
KeyboardBacklit
TouchpadPrecision
Battery54Wh
Dimensions12.55 x 8.29 x 0.59 inches
(318.7mm x 210.5mm x 14.95mm)
Weight2.18 kilos (990g)

What I liked in regards to the Acer Swift 5

The very first thing you may discover in regards to the refreshed Swift 5 is how skinny and lightweight it’s, particularly for a 14-inch system. It weighs simply 2.18 kilos (0.99kg), making it 0.01 kilos (5g) lighter than even the LG gram 14Z990. Should you’re trying to purchase essentially the most moveable 14-inch Ultrabook proper now, that is it. It is much more spectacular contemplating the Swift 5 features a contact show. Coming off of utilizing the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive for a number of weeks, it is usually arduous to inform whether or not or not the Swift 5 made it into my bag.

That total weight is achieved by utilizing a magnesium alloy for the chassis, in addition to plastic bezel across the show. It would not really feel as sturdy as a laptop computer utilizing a normal chunk of aluminum — there may be some flex within the lid and the primary physique — however different laptops with the identical development have stood as much as years of abuse. Should you’re not utilizing this laptop computer exterior of an workplace or residence setting, sturdiness should not actually be a problem.

The Swift 5’s hinges have been tweaked to raised circulate with the remainder of the laptop computer. You’ll be able to not tilt the show again to take a seat flat with the remainder of the chassis, however there is not any longer the broad, seen chunk operating throughout the center of the system. The twin hinges, made to appear to be a single hinge due to a rounded cowl, sit behind the show and act as a little bit of a stand to ship a greater typing angle when on a flat floor. The brand new design appears to be like higher and serves a secondary goal.

Laptops this skinny often must sacrifice some keyboard journey and total consolation to suit the chassis. Whereas the Swift 5 keys definitely do not have the deepest journey, I actually did not thoughts utilizing it for all-day typing periods. It is perhaps a bit loud, however the click on is satisfying, and it has a tender really feel when bottoming out. The three-stage backlight (off, shiny, brighter) helps with working at midnight, and the same old Fn shortcuts are current.

Acer made good use of area under the keyboard to incorporate a moderately sizeable Precision touchpad. It lends itself to simple productiveness, with sturdy presses and no lifeless spots. You’ll be able to bodily left- or right-click on the very prime of the touchpad and nonetheless have them register, which is not as frequent as you may suppose. Down-firing stereo audio system are positioned on the left and proper sides of the laptop computer. Like many laptops this dimension, audio is not precisely spectacular. Should you’re in a busy spot, they seemingly will not get loud sufficient to listen to clearly, however no less than sound stays clear and freed from distortion.

Earlier Swift 5 fashions had some funky port orientation that made connecting peripherals a little bit of a problem, however the late-2019 refresh has largely fastened the difficulty. On the correct facet is a USB-A 2.Zero port and three.5mm audio jack, in addition to a Kensington lock slot to maintain the laptop computer safe in a heavy-traffic workplace. The left facet consists of Thunderbolt 3, USB-A 3.1, HDMI, and a small barrel charging port. A microSD card reader just like the LG gram consists of could be good, however for a laptop computer this skinny, it is arduous to complain in regards to the choice. Particularly contemplating you get Thunderbolt Three for superior docking options.

The Swift 5’s 14-inch FHD contact show is healthier than ever, hitting 99% protection of the sRGB shade gamut and 77% of the AdobeRGB gamut. It is moderately punchy, and distinction appears spot on. Bezel alongside the perimeters measures simply 3.97mm with a bit extra thickness alongside the highest for the front-facing HD webcam, however total you are getting an 86.4% screen-to-body ratio. It is a slick look. I am probably not one to go in for contact perform on a clamshell pocket book, nevertheless it’s there for anybody who needs it. The show has a matte end that helps remove glare, which is an efficient factor because of the restricted brightness.

With energy set to “higher battery” and show brightness cranked as much as simply previous the midway level, you may anticipate the 54Wh battery to final an eight-hour workday with no need a cost. That is with out a devoted NVIDIA MX250 GPU sucking up additional energy. In case you are pushing efficiency with full show brightness and have to plug in, you may anticipate to get virtually 5 hours of battery life from a 30-minute cost.

A part of bettering battery life comes from a bigger battery, however the 10th Gen Intel “Ice Lake” CPUs additionally assist. The Core i7-1065G7 inside carried out admirably alongside 8GB of RAM (soldered) and a 512GB M.2 PCIe SSD (user-upgradeable). The Swift 5 had no issues maintaining with basic workplace productiveness work, and the Intel Iris Plus built-in graphics — in regards to the equal of an NVIDIA MX150 devoted GPU — dealt with some enhancing. 10th Gen {hardware} additionally comes with the added bonus of Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 connectivity, setting you up nicely for the long run. The Swift 5, being a part of Intel’s Challenge Athena, additionally wakes from sleep extremely rapidly. You open the lid, and it is able to go.

I ran some artificial benchmarks to see how nicely Acer’s Swift 5 measures as much as different laptops we have just lately reviewed.

CPU

Geekbench 5.Zero Benchmarks (Increased is healthier)

SystemCPUSingle coreMulti core
Acer Swift 5 (SF514-54T)i7-1065G71,2023,600
Floor Professional 7Core i7-1065G71,2054,852
Floor Laptop computer 3 13.5Core i5-1035G71,1774,413
Floor Laptop computer 3 15Ryzen 57692,720
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 7390Core i7-1065G71,2093,571
Dell XPS 15 7590Core i9-9980HK1,1767,624
Dynabook Portégé X30-Fi7-8665U1,2363,473
Dynabook Tecra X50-Fi7-8665U1,2413,043
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-1i7-8565U1,1112,965

I additionally ran an OpenCL GPU check with Geekbench 5 to see how nicely the built-in Intel Iris Plus Graphics performs. I obtained again a rating of 9,954, which is true round the place it ought to sit. To match, Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390) with the identical built-in graphics scored 10,406. You should not think about the Swift 5 a gaming laptop computer, however you are going to get efficiency someplace round what an NVIDIA MX150 has to supply.

PCMark

PCMark 10 Categorical

SystemRating
Acer Swift 5 (SF514-54T)4,415
Floor Professional 7 (i5)3,992
Floor Laptop computer 3 15 (AMD)4,006
Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (7390)4,427
Dynabook Portégé X30-F3,881
Dynabook Tecra X50-F4,128
Dell Inspiron 13 7390 2-in-13,764
Dell XPS 15 75905,521
Dell Precision 35413,906

The PCMark 10 Categorical check measures how nicely a laptop computer handles quite a few frequent duties. As you may see, the Swift 5 holds its personal amongst far costlier choices.

Cinebench

Cinebench (R20) (Increased is healthier)

SystemCPUVary
Acer Swift 5 (SF514-54T)Core i7-1065G71,361 to 1,400
Dynabook Portégé X30-FCore i7-8665U1,242 to 1,313
Lenovo ThinkPad P53Xeon E-2276M2,686 to 2,701
Floor Laptop computer 3 13.5Core i5-1035G41,584 to 1,606
Floor Laptop computer 3 15Core i7-1065G71,703 to 1,745

Working Cinebench R20 repeatedly can decide how nicely a laptop computer stands as much as sustained load.

SSD

CrystalDiskMark (Increased is healthier)

SystemLearnWrite
Acer Swift 5 (SF514-54T)1,641 MB/s1,025 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive (Gen 2)3,416 MB/s3,016 MB/s
Dynabook Portégé X30-F529 MB/s348 MB/s
Dynabook Tecra X50-F3,400 MB/s1,952 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P533,567.23 MB/s2,813.25 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad P523,120 MB/s1,551.5 MB/s
Dell XPS 15 75903,000 MB/s2,796 MB/s
MSI PS63 Trendy3,300 MB/s1,875 MB/s

Acer features a mid-range Kingston M.2 PCIe SSD within the Swift 5. It places up respectable numbers, nevertheless it may very well be means quicker. Fortunately, you may improve simply after buy. I additionally ran the PCMark 10 knowledge drive benchmark and obtained again a rating of 888. To match, a Samsung PM981 scores someplace across the 2,000 mark.

The ultra-thin chassis of the Swift 5 and the quiet inner fan means it is best minimize out for bursts of efficiency moderately than a sustained load from, say, gaming. A stress check revealed some minor thermal throttling with full CPU utilization, however solely after about 4 minutes of a 100% load. That is an excessive instance, and the Swift 5 did carry out admirably throughout on a regular basis utilization. It is a laptop computer meant for productiveness work on the go, and utilizing it that means shouldn’t trigger any frustration.

What I disliked about Acer’s Swift 5

The Swift 5 has actually by no means regarded higher than on this late-2019 model, however there are nonetheless some downsides to notice apart from the sunshine throttling talked about above. The fingerprint reader — the slender sort that appears extra prefer it ought to require a swipe — is finicky. If you aren’t getting your finger jammed proper down into the area it can seemingly not learn correctly. It is an annoyance that you will have to reside with each time you open the laptop computer, no less than if you wish to make the most of Home windows Whats up.

One different annoyance is the presence of bloatware. Booting up a model new PC solely to see Norton Antivirus popups letting you realize it’s good to take motion now just isn’t enjoyable, and neither are the myriad apps that you will need to uninstall instantly. The Swift 5 is little doubt made cheaper because of the additional software program, nevertheless it’s a ache.

Do you have to purchase Acer’s Swift 5?

The refreshed Acer Swift 5 stands out as a light-weight, quiet Ultrabook with a decent efficiency for most individuals. 10th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU choices ship appreciable energy, and the choice so as to add an NVIDIA MX250 devoted GPU will help with some specialised work. There’s some thermal throttling below excessive circumstances, however for on a regular basis work, the laptop computer stays cool and prepared for no matter you throw its means.

The give attention to productiveness work would not pan with out a useful keyboard and touchpad. The Swift 5 delivers on each accounts, and people who sort all day ought to rapidly get used to what Acer has right here. Ports additionally contribute to productiveness, and the choice affords comparatively simple docking, show, and accent connectivity. Wi-Fi 6 units it up nicely for the long run, and an upgradeable SSD helps with storage issues.

4
out of 5


The addition of bloatware is an annoyance, however no less than it is one thing you may maintain your self. The fingerprint reader, however, is finicky regardless of the way you deal with it. Battery life ought to final by means of a workday on a cost, and the contact show affords good shade and distinction. It may very well be brighter, however the matte end helps minimize down on glare.

The Swift 5 is a laptop computer that I would advocate to anybody who needs to journey mild. The professionals far outweigh the cons, and whereas it is not an ideal system, it is definitely a laptop computer that is shifting in the correct path.

Acer Swift 5 (SF514-54T)

From $900 at Newegg

$900 at Amazon

As mild as they arrive

Acer’s Swift 5 refresh boosts efficiency and battery life whereas remaining extremely skinny and lightweight. Should you’re trying to find an ultraportable 14-inch Ultrabook, this could make a fantastic selection.

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