Not so long ago we got acquainted with the new line of compact notebooks from the company Acer – Swift 3 , which marked the global update of the entire lineup of laptops from the Taiwanese giant. Acer Swift 5 series considered today is one step higher in the newly created laptop hierarchy and offers its future owner even more mobility and even more compactness for a relatively small difference in price.
The notebook is made in an actively gaining class of 14-inch devices and is equipped with everything necessary to perform a wide range of multimedia and office tasks throughout the working or school day. Depending on the configuration, Acer Swift can carry onboard the Intel Core i5 processor or Intel Core i7 of the latest generation of Kaby Lake, 4 or 8 gigabytes of RAM, high-speed solid-state drive with capacity up to 512 gigabytes and high-quality IPS-matrix with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels.
We got the most accessible version of the device for testing, which you can buy in stores for about $850. The set of technical characteristics offered in this model, fully meets the requirements of a modern user. At the same time, some fear is caused by the presence of only four gigabytes of RAM, which, with all the desire, will not expand by installing an additional RAM strap. This factor will affect this or not at the overall speed of the daily operation of the system, we will take a closer look at the test part of the material.
The laptop Acer Swift 5 comes in a strict black cardboard box with a small amount of branding elements.
Inside the review hero is securely packed, there is a set of paper instructions and conditions for warranty repair, as well as a power supply unit with a capacity of 45W. The latter, due to its compact format, perfectly fit even in the smallest bag for transporting the laptop.
The general appearance of laptop is in the classical style: the color scheme uses a combination of rich black and silver hues, all sharp edges are slightly rounded, color illumination or other trend elements of game design are absent.
At the same time, marketers Acer tried to somehow distinguish their product against the background of competitors and their solution was the relief surface of the top cover of the laptop, which is clearly visible in the photo below. From a practical point of view, this step turned out to be somewhat controversial, since in this version the laptop begins to pick up dust more actively and requires more intensive care.
The dimensions of Acer Swift 5 is 327x228x14.6 mm, with a total weight of 1.3 kg. Here, Acer engineers tried to fit the components into the case of the 13-inch model. The bottom face has several perforated vent holes, which, given the small thickness of the laptop, should help with cooling its internal components. For the stability of the device on the working surface, there are four rubberized legs that are located at the edges of the body.
The quality of the assembly can be described as good, and given the factor of low price – as excellent. All components are fitted without gaps, no backlash. The top cover is subject to slight deflection when pressed, but for a thickness of 14 mm this is understandable. The laptop is nice to hold and it’s nice to work with.
The screen hinge used has a high rigidity, so that in order to open the top cover of the laptop, in most cases the user will have to use both hands. The maximum angle of the display is 135 degrees.
The set of available interfaces for connection is high-grade and has not been restricted in the pursuit of minimizing external dimensions. On the right side of the laptop is the HDMI port, classic USB 3.0 and updated USB 3.1 Type-C.
On the left side is available one more USB 3.0, headphone output and a card reader for SD (XC / HC) format.
The webcam took its place on the upper frame of the display border. The frames themselves are now noticeably thinner than in the previously reviewed Swift 3. Their thickness still does not reach the “boundless” design of the Dell XPS 13, but overall the notebook looks more interesting and relevant.
Acer Swift 5 uses a full-sized island-type keyboard. Of its features it is worth noting the combined arrow keys left / right and the buttons Pg Up / Home / Pg Down / End. At first this can cause some confusion at work and will require some time for getting used to. The keys themselves have a short, quiet and responsive move. After a short adaptation period, typing the text behind Acer Swift is easy and comfortable.
The keyboard Acer Swift 5 is equipped with a two-level illumination of white color and is well read at night.
The large touchpad supports a number of gestures and touches provided by the Windows operating system 10. I have not had any comments or complaints about his work. He does his job well and does not hamper the owner’s work process, if he for some reason left the laptop at home. In the left upper part of the touchpad is located a fingerprint scanner.
In contrast to Swift 3, we have a Full HD matrix with a glossy surface finish. The unconditional plus of such a screen is the complete absence of a crystalline effect, which will be of no small importance for users who work a lot with small text. A natural minus is the mirror image, the reflection of objects and the glare when direct rays of light hit.
Partially correcting the situation with glare helps a large margin of brightness of the panel lighting, the adjustment of which is available in the range from 20 to 282 cd / m². Somewhat strange is the jump in the intensity of the backlight from 191 cd / m² to 282 cd / m² when changing from 90% to 100% of the screen brightness in the notebook’s configuration menu. From the strengths of the matrix, it is also worth noting a consistently high static contrast ratio, which averaged 1394: 1.
Analysis of the matrix by the X-Rite i1Display Pro calibrator showed that the factory settings are at an acceptable level for consumer notebooks. The color coverage covers 89.6% of the sRGB color space and corresponds to the AdobeRGB standard by 64.6%. The color temperature in the entire brightness range is close to the reference value at 6500K. Gamma-curves are located above the reference line, which indicates a slight decrease in the contrast of the output image.
The deviation of DeltaE was significantly lower than one would expect: 0.48 units on average (the norm is up to 1.5) and 1.28 units at the peak (the norm is up to 4).
The viewing angles are close to a maximum of 178 degrees. When the viewpoint is shifted, the picture remains bright, saturated and is not subject to color burnout.
For those customers who are interested in the guaranteed absence of the SHI-modulation screen, we want to confirm that the Acer Swift matrix is devoid of it or the pulse frequency is at such a high level that the camera is unable to fix it. In any case, the user is free to choose any level of brightness of the backlight without fear of harming his eyes.
For the speed of the laptop Acer Swift 5 is responsible for an energy-efficient CPU Intel Core i5-7200U. It belongs to the most recent generation of the microarchitecture Intel – Kaby Lake and manufactured using a 14-nanometer process technology. Two physical cores, thanks to the support of Turbo Boost technology, can increase the clock speed from the base point of 2500 MHz to 3100 MHz, and the presence of Hyper-Threading technology allows processing four streams at once. Four gigabytes of RAM standard DDR3-1600 are wired directly on the motherboard, so, as we mentioned at the beginning of the material, it is not possible to increase the amount of RAM in addition. The memory operates in two-channel mode.
As a system drive is used SSD LiteOn CV3-8D256, the volume of 256 gigabytes. The disk is made in the form factor M.2 2280, the data transfer interface is SATA 6 Gb / s.
In the test part of the review Acer Swift 5, we compare the performance of Acer Swift 5 with its younger brother Swift 3, although if you carefully analyze the technical characteristics table, it turns out that the hero of the review will be the “junior” in this test, because in comparison with other test participants only in his The configuration has a central processor Intel Core i5 and only 4 gigabytes of RAM. Competitors from Dell, Razer and the same Acer have a CPU Intel Core i7 of past generations and twice the amount of RAM, often working at a higher frequency.
In complex benchmarks PCMark 8, Acer Swift took the second place, confidently bypassing Razer Blade Stealth UHD and Dell XPS 13 and a little underdog to Acer Swift 3. Unlike Intel desktop processors, technological differences between mobile processors Core i5 and Core i7 in energy-efficient U -series are minimal and come down to a higher clock speed and an additional megabyte of the third level cache for models with the i7 index. Thus, in the mobile segment, updating the microarchitecture of the processor can have a significant impact on the overall level of system performance and this explains the dominance of the Core i5-7200U over the more expensive predecessors of the past generation: Skylake and Broadwell.
In Cinebench tests, the review hero managed to improve his position – Acer Swift became the leader in two subtests of four. The lag behind the fellow in the remaining test modes is measured 2-17%.
The fixed performance difference for encoding video between Acer Swift 5, Acer Swift 3 and Razer Blade Stealth UHD was minimal. Nominal winner in this test was the Acer Swift 3 notebook, with an average handicap over the pursuers at 4%.
With a real series of tasks for processing photos in the Adobe Photoshop graphics editor, the ultrabook Acer Swift coped in 216 seconds, which is twice as slow as the leader of Razer Blade Stealth UHD. About myself, the difference in the amount of RAM between the test participants made it clear that once again reminds future owners of the need to be careful when choosing a specific PC configuration and take into account the types of workload that they will have to face with the daily use of their device.
RAM Acer Swift 5 operates at a frequency of 1600 MHz with slightly overstated for the DDR3 standard timing. The peak read speed was 23424 MB / s, the records – 23707 MB / s, copying – 22813 MB / s.
The used solid-state drive LiteOn CV3-8D256 demonstrates good, for its volume, performance. Especially, if you take into account that the transfer of data is responsible interface SATA 6 Gb / s. The maximum speed of linear reading exceeded the mark of 552 MB / s, the recording speed was fixed at 472 MB / s. Against the background of the remaining results, a high reading speed of 4K blocks is also allocated, which reached 33.57 MB / s.
In real load scenarios simulated with PCMark 8 Storage benchmark, the average SSD speed was 202.51 MB / s. The fastest LiteOn CV3-8D256 was in the subtests of Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office applications and Adobe InDesign.
The integrated video core Intel HD Graphics 620 received an increase in performance of 10-20% relative to its predecessor, which guaranteed Acer Swift the first place in all 3DMark tests. The final result of 902 points in the most demanding of them – Fire Strike, says that the available power reserve of the built-in graphics will be enough to play in modern, not demanding games.
For a comfortable level of fps, of course you’ll need to lower the screen resolution to 1366×768 pixels and choose the appropriate graphics settings for a particular gaming application. After that, in most popular gaming projects, you can count on an average frame rate of 60 fps or higher.
The cooling system was tested in a room with a stable air temperature of 24 ° C. Measured as the peak values of the internal components of the device, and the heating level of its housing. The required load was provided by the AIDA64 utility.
Acer Swift 5 cooling system consists of only one oblong radiator and one radial fan. Despite this, and also taking into account the compact dimensions of the ultrabook, the complete JV copes well with the task set before it. During the stress test, the outer part of the working surface of the keyboard warmed up to a maximum of 40.5 ° C and the temperature continued to decrease gradually as it moved away from the location of the hottest components of the system. The CPU at peak load worked stably at 2900 MHz, the temperature of the cores did not hear the mark at 80 ° C, which is a very good result. Throttling is missing.
The back side of high performance at low temperatures was the noise level of CO, which can be described as above average. The launch of resource-intensive applications is accompanied by a systematic increase in the fan speed, the rumble of which will be clearly discernible. Everyday tasks like surfing the Internet or watching HD-videos are performed with a minimal acoustic background from the work of CO.
Testing the battery life Acer Swift 5 was held according to the updated methodology. We still used the utility Battery Eater Pro v2.70 and three built-in benchmarks: maximum system load, read mode, idle mode. The role of the source file when watching the video on himself took the film Interstellar (format. Mkv, bitrate 7698 KB / s). During the passage of all tests, the Wi-Fi module was activated. The difference is that now the brightness of the screen was not set as a percentage of the maximum, but fixed at 120 cd / m².
The capacity of the battery in 4670 m · Ah will be more than enough to maintain the performance of the notebook during the standard working day. To be more precise, ten hours of video playback and twelve and a half hours of reading time is the best result among all the notebooks that have been in our laboratory before.
Ultrabook Acer Swift 5 is a universal solution for performing a wide range of multimedia and office tasks. Due to the compact size and small mass, as for the class of 14-inch device, it is perfect for daily use in the modern active world, when the user needs to move around the city regularly or travel for its side-streets. From the strengths of Acer Swift, you need to allocate a good level of performance and a high margin of battery life. Despite our fears, 4 GB of RAM in base configuration of the laptop turned out to be quite enough to perform most of test applications. But if you consider the purchase for the future, then you should pay attention to the models with twice amount of RAM.