Acer Swift 7 hands-on review

LAS VEGAS: AT THIS YEAR’S CES, Acer unveiled a new version of its Swift 7 laptop that’s even tinier than it’s already impressively-skinny predecessor.

Not only is it slimmer, but it also offers more screen real estate; the laptop now offers a 92 to per cent screen to body ratio thanks to its “super-narrow” edging, despite packing a larger 14in display than last year’s 13.3in model.

We got our hands on the Acer Swift 7 at the Las Vegas tech show; read on for our first impressions. 

Design and display
The Acer Swift 7 is impossibly small, measuring in at just 9.95mm thin and tipping the scales at 890g, the latter thanks to its magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminium alloy construction which offers a premium, MacBook-esque aesthetic and feels cool to touch. Acer claims that while these materials are up to 20 to 35 per cent lighter than standard aluminium, they are two to four times tougher. 

With such a thin design, it’s no surprise that the Swift 7 is light on ports. You will find, however, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a DisplayPort 2.1 connection and a built-in headphone jack. 

Even more impressive than its wafer-thin dimensions are the Swift 7’s barely-there bezels that surround the laptop’s 1080p 14in display. They’re seriously small, with Acer ridding of the unsightly chin found on the last-gen Swift 7. Unfortunately, these narrow bezels are too small to house the laptop’s webcam, which instead arrives as a MacBook Pro X-esque retractable lens which comes baked into the laptop’s deck, offering an unsightly glimpse into your nose.

The screen itself, while not the highest-resolution on the market, is plenty crisp enough; Acer claims the Full HD touchscreen can cover 100 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut and reach 300 nits of brightness, while its IPS tech means viewing angles were impressive even on the garishly-lit CES show floor. The Acer Swift 7 is also one of the first laptops to use Gorilla Glass 6. 

The keyboard remains largely unchanged from last year’s model, but Acer also introducing a redesigned touchpad, integrating a satisfying physical clicking mechanism into the glass panel. 

Performance and availability
The Swift 7 is powered by the latest 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8500Y CPU, alongside up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB SSD storage; this isn’t a laptop designed for gaming or video editing, but it should be sufficient for web browsing and document editing. While we’re yet to put the laptop fully through its paces, Acer says users should expect up to 10 hours of battery life on a charge, which should get most users through the working day.

The Acer Swift 7 will be available in Europe starting in April priced at $1,699 and Europe in April, at €1,799. Specific UK pricing details have not yet been announced. 

First impressions
While it’s far from the highest-spec laptop we’ve seen announced at this year’s CES, it’s impossibly-thin design and barely-there bezels make it one of the most impressive we’ve seen in Las Vegas. However, it remains to be seen whether Intel’s middling Y-Series CPU will offer the 10-hours of battery life Acer is promising; something we’d expect given the laptop’s lofty price-tag. µ

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