How light do you need your laptop to be, and how much are you willing to sacrifice to reduce the weight? Acer has decided to test where the answers to those questions lie with its new Swift 7, a 14-inch laptop that weighs just 890 grams and is only 9.95mm thick. Yes, it is thinner and lighter than some magazines. This is a far cry from the 4kg+ laptops that were common a few years ago, and will stand out even compared to today’s 1-2kg ultrabooks. Apart from reducing back pain, it is also quite a style statement.
A remarkable amount of engineering has gone into achieving all of this, but the end result isn’t something everyone would agree is the best way to go. We are reviewing the Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T, which is priced at Rs. 1,39,990 in India, to find out who should buy it and who shouldn’t. Read on to find out what you can expect if you decide you want to skip the bulk.
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T Design
Arguably the most important aspect of the Swift 7’s design is how slim and light it is. Once we flip our hands several times, we have to try to see if it means very little. We were pleasantly surprised at how rigid the lid is—Acer says it uses magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminum alloys that give it strength without making it heavy. When we tried to flex the lid, the screen didn’t budge at all, which is noteworthy.
Swift 7 is available in two colors – White and Black. Our black unit had a matte finish that looks great, and there are no attention-grabbing flowers anywhere. The lines are clean and the overall design is minimal. The lid and bottom half are both made of metal.
The hinge is rather stiff and you’ll need one hand to steady the base while the other opens the lid, or you’ll wind up pushing the entire laptop backwards. From the inside you’ll see that the screen occupies almost the entire surface, with only the thinnest borders around it. It’s a glossy, touch-enabled 14-inch panel and we were very impressed with how Acer has made it fit into such a small laptop.
It is designed as a pop-up module on the keyboard deck below, with no room for a webcam above the screen. You’ll also notice the power button on the left side of the keyboard, though it doesn’t look like one as it has been integrated into a fingerprint sensor. The placement is unusual, but for once, left-handed users will be happy.
The usefulness of the keyboard is often sacrificed when powering down a laptop, and Acer is no stranger to awkward layouts. Swift 7 dispenses entirely with an Fn key row, placing the Esc key in the number row and using Fn key combinations for not only missing keys, but their alternative uses such as toggling Wi-Fi. and adjusting the keyboard backlight level. Even PrintScrn has been demoted to the combo.
The arrow keys are narrower vertically, but at least they’re somewhat wide enough to let your fingers rest somewhere. The space for the Del key is drawn from Backspace, and the displaced tilde finds itself next to Caps Lock.
Pro users who rely on a lot of keyboard shortcuts will be very disappointed. Needless to say, touch typists will also have to deal with a lot of mistakes and accidents. Still, this layout isn’t actually as bad as some of the bigger laptops we’ve seen.
There isn’t much room for your wrists as the keyboard has been moved forward. We did notice that the area on the right side of the trackpad gets quite hot when the Swift 7 is charging and when there is a heavy program or test running, which is unfortunate.
The trackpad is also relatively small, but Acer has tried to compensate for that by making it extra wide. It has a physical click mechanism and Windows 10’s multi-finger gestures work fine. Overall, usability is a bit of a challenge, but we got used to it over time.
However, the webcam is a disaster. Opening it, we were seen as a view of our neck and nothing more. The angle isn’t adjustable and you’ll have to hold this laptop awkwardly like a tablet if you want to see someone else. Image quality is also pretty awful, and the plastic pop-up mechanism felt a bit cheap. We hate when laptops shun webcams for style, but in this case it might be better not to have one at all.
As for connectivity, we weren’t expecting more than two Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports on the right and a 3.5mm audio port on the left. Acer includes at least one dongle that houses a full-size HDMI and USB port, as well as a Type-C port. Keep in mind that this laptop is so thin that the Type-C adapter won’t fit when laid flat on a table. The bottom of this laptop has a channel for liquid leakage and a pin-hole reset button.
The included 45W charger is very small and lightweight, but if you don’t need a quick charge, you can get away with using a smaller charger. One of the two Thunderbolt ports will be occupied when charging this laptop.
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T Specifications & Software
Primarily, Acer has gone with Intel’s lowest-powered offerings, the Y-series Core family. Formerly known as Core M, these processors can run without a fan and only have a 5W TDP rating for heat dissipation, but are not very heavy lifters. Swift 7 Intel K8 . Uses the top-end model ofth The Gen Amber Lake-Y series, which is the Core i7-8500Y. It’s still just a dual-core CPU with Hyper-Threading, with a base speed of 1.5GHz and a turbo speed of 4.2GHz.
The touchscreen has full-HD resolution and runs from Intel UHD Graphics 615 GPU integrated into the CPU. Keep in mind that other premium compact laptops offer 4K screens with HDR, but not the Swift 7. Windows 10’s scaling was set to 150 percent which is fine if you’re using the Touch a lot, but we’ll lower that for everyday use.
Our review unit has 8GB of RAM, though we think this premium machine should have at least 16GB, especially since it’s not upgradeable. The 512GB SSD also appears to be mixed on the bottom. Effectively, nothing is user-serviceable or upgradeable, and no other variant with more storage or RAM is available in India. The battery capacity is 31.9Wh and Acer claims a runtime of 11.5 hours. You also get Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5 and stereo speakers. There is no card slot of any kind and not even a Kensington security slot.
You get Windows 10 Pro with some preloaded programs. There’s CyberLink’s PhotoDirector and PowerDirector that might come in handy, but then there’s Norton Security that kept bothering us to pay for a subscription. The Acer Collection S is an app store that provides promotional content, while the Care Center shows you system information and lets you run diagnostics and update drivers.
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T Performance
As expected, the Core i7 sticker doesn’t mean much because the CPU inside this laptop is still a low-power, fanless model that really can’t handle heavy continuous loads. We noticed a slight overall sluggishness with basic actions like opening the Start menu, and apps took a little longer to load than we’d like. However, for day-to-day use, you will not notice much on it and it is not enough to be disappointing.
If you stick to normal daily tasks like surfing the web, using office applications and basic communications, and streaming HD video, you’ll be fine. We struggled a bit with editing high-resolution photos, and we wouldn’t attempt anything as heavy as video or creative work.
Our real-world benchmarks also showed that the Acer Swift 7 hit a wall—it took 10 minutes, 5 seconds to compress a 3.24GB folder of mixed files, which is twice what a standard budget laptop would require. It took 5 minutes, 19 seconds to transcode the 1.3GB AVI file to H.265, which is even longer than average. These are not unreasonable scenarios for the average computer user, especially for someone who works while traveling.
For overall system benchmarks, PCMark 10 gave us 2,133 and 1,850 points in its standard and extended runs. The Cinebench R20’s single-core and multi-core tests only returned 193 and 306 points, respectively. POVRay took 12 minutes, 11 seconds to complete its internal benchmark. All these figures are far below what most mainstream and ultraportable laptops are capable of.
The 3DMark graphics benchmark managed 2,258 points in Night Raid DX12 scene and 762 points in Fire Strike. We tried playing the relatively old Rise of Tomb Raider, but even on the lowest settings and dialing down the resolution, it looked like a frame-by-frame slideshow. The Core i7-8500Y’s integrated graphics capabilities are too weak for anything compared to basic casual games.
The screen is bright and pleasant, though not as crisp as the 4K options on some other ultraportable laptops at this price level. The speakers are tiny and barely good enough for anything more than notification sound. We felt that the comfort zone of the right wrist became very hot when we were doing anything intense.
One area in which the Acer Swift 7 did well was battery life. This is the advantage of low-power CPUs. We were able to use this laptop for almost a full 8-hour workday on a single charge. The Battery Eater Pro drain test lasted an impressive 3 hours, 33 minutes. The bundled charger is relatively small and you should be able to use any third-party Type-C charger that meets the USB Power Delivery standard, but we were unable to test it for ourselves.
So are all these compromises worth it, is the Acer Swift 7 really a useful machine, and should you pay Rs. 1,39,990 for this? Our answers are not, for the most part, with a few caveats. Sure, it’s lighter and arguably more work-friendly than the iPad Pro with a keyboard case, but do we really need to lose that much weight and sacrifice that much?
Similarly priced options like the excellent Dell XPS 13, HP Specter x360 13, and even LG’s Gram series (which we haven’t reviewed yet) aren’t too bulky and still have more mainstream power. level as well as offer a more practical design. , They have more usable keyboards and webcams, as well as better flexibility, and yet they weigh a lot less. They’ll keep your shoulder pain under control and won’t require drastic adjustments.
Still, Swift 7 can be useful for you if you want the feeling of complete freedom with a device that weighs very little, yet has a bigger screen and full functionality of Windows 10. This would be great for getting light work done. While traveling, flying economy class, or juggling lots of other things in your bag. If that sounds cool, we’d say you should consider whether you can adjust to the keyboard layout and live with the limited CPU. We just wouldn’t want anyone to have to use this laptop for all their work, all the time.