Should you Buy the Acer Swift 3 Laptop?
Acer Swift 3 Review:
I was one of the people who felt that Apple neutered their Macbook Pro.
There were too few ports, the hardware Apple used became weaker and weaker and eventually every component was soldered to the electronics. Where before the top-end models came with Core i7 processors, loads of memory and fast graphics chipsets, the current models were nowhere near as well specced out. That move opened up a gap in the market for players like Acer, who had the opportunity build fast and exceptionally mobile laptops. When we got our hands on the new Swift 3, my first impression was that it looked and felt like a Macbook. It was heavy with plenty touchpad space and had an all aluminium chassis. After the first few hours that I realised it would become the first Acer laptop I loved in a long time.
Using the Acer Swift 3:
The model we received had a Core i7 7th generation processor, 8GB of RAM and a 250GB solid-state drive. It also had an NVIDIA Geforce MX150 graphics chip and a 1TB mechanical disk. The 14-inch screen resolution sat at a pretty 1080p (Full HD).
There were also far more connectivity options than any Macbook I’ve seen lately. Not only did it have an HDMI port, but there were also 2 USB 3.0b ports and USB 3.0c. That’s the fancy new connector new phones use. If that wasn’t enough, the battery life I got out of it was impressive as hell too. It even managed to play somewhat demanding games.
I won’t get into the numbers because most people who’ll buy this laptop won’t look at that. Instead, I’ll focus on what worked and didn’t work during my time of testing.
Since the Swift 3 was so well kitted out, it meant that the laptop could do more than most high-end units. The Core i7 processor had no issue working with complex Excel spreadsheets. Having 8GB of memory meant multitasking with plenty of tabs open. The NVIDIA graphics chipset could run games like Far Cry 3 at almost 60 frames per second on full HD resolution. The battery impressed me the most. Despite having demanding components onboard, average run time on battery sat between 6-9 hours. It meant that if I started working at 8 a.m., I’d only need to plug in at 2 p.m.
The keyboard wasn’t as responsive as I’d hoped, though this was a minor concern. It felt too spongy and soft – where I hoped for less travel time on key presses. It was still quite serviceable and did everything I needed, though. I loved the fact that the LED backlighting on the keys only turned on when I typed too. The touchpad was great, though far less generous than Acer’s Swift 7. By default, I found that the sensitivity settings worked fine, and the acceleration curve sharp enough for everyday use.
We received the Rose Gold unit which caught more attention than anticipated. It wasn’t the ladies who loved the Swift 3. The men around me also found the lines and curves quite attractive. The Swift 3 had a presence that many laptops I’ve tested never had.
Running between meetings, working on documentation and doing some support calls were a breeze. I’d pick up the laptop and go to another floor, laptop on hand for whatever work I needed to do. When my workday ended, it slotted into my bag and I was off home again. After doing some after hours work, I’d boot up Far Cry 3 and play a little. The game ran well enough with almost all details turned up. After leaving the laptop to charge at night, it’d be ready for work the next day.
What wasn’t so great?
I’d say that there were too many sharp edges around the all aluminium chassis. It felt a little too heavy at times as well, making it a little less portable than it couldn’t have been. I also found that there was a little too much glare on the screen when working in bright-lit rooms in the morning.
This is, however, nitpicking and minor issues in the face of a well-executed and designed laptop.
In the end, I loved using the Swift 3.
The well-rounded functionality made it a pleasure to use and the battery life matched the unit’s mobility and weight. As a balanced performance package, there are few laptops I’d recommend at the price point of R12000 and upward for the Core i5 model. This is a great laptop, and well worth your consideration if you’re in the market for it.
I’d seriously consider the Swift 3 over a Macbook Pro.