Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!

JT JT 30 October 2020 Follow
Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!

Acer’s Swift 3 is a smaller 14-inch laptop that  still packs in an 8 core Ryzen 7 processor,   offering CPU performance in a smaller  machine that wasn’t previously possible. Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!

Build quality is fine, it’s  plastic with a silver finish,   nothing amazing but no sharp corners or edges. Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!

It can’t be opened up with one finger  as I guess it’s not heavy enough,   but the screen goes the full  180 degrees back for sharing. Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!The lid didn’t flex too much, but doing this  revealed that it’s fairly easy for the laptop   to slide around on a flat surface. This is  partly due to it being on the lighter side,   but the feet underneath also  didn’t feel that grippy.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650! There’s some flex to the keyboard  and lid if you push hard,   but it felt sturdy enough during regular use.

Acer lists the weight as 1.2 kg or 2.6lb  which is close to what I got. With the   small 65w power brick and cables the  total rises to under 1.5 kg or 3.3lb.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650! It’s less than 1.6 cm thick and the smaller 14”  footprint results in just 7 mm thin screen bezels.

The 14” 1080p IPS screen wasn’t amazing, I  measured color gamut at 61% of sRGB, 44% of NTSC,   46% of AdobeRGB, and 45% of DCI-P3. It wasn’t as  bright as I’d like either, maxing out at around   266 nits at full brightness, though the 1080:1  contrast ratio was decent.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!I can’t recommend it   for content creation or color accurate work, but  for office tasks or browsing the web it’s fine. Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!No problems with backlight bleed in my  unit, but this will vary between panels.

The 720p camera is above the display in  the center, no IR for face unlock though. 

The keyboard has white backlighting which  illuminates all keys and secondary key functions,   though in a lit room it looks a bit patchy, but  it was less of an issue in a darker environment.   Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!There’s no brightness control, you can only  turn it on or off with the F8 shortcut key.   The power button is part of the keyboard, and  an accidental press puts it straight to sleep,   so you might want to change this through the  Windows power options. Typing was an average   experience, no problems there.

The precision touchpad clicks down  anywhere and works without issue.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650! I found the fingerprint scanner just below the  keyboard on the right to work fast and accurately. The silver finish prevents  fingerprints and dirt showing up,   but it’s easy to clean in any  case due to the smooth surface.  Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650! On the left from the back there’s the small  power input, USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-C port which   can also be used to charge the laptop instead,  HDMI 2.0 output, and USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A port.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650! On the right from the front  there’s a 3.5 mm audio combo jack,   USB 2.0 Type-A port, status  LEDs and Kensington lock. There’s nothing on the back, air  is instead exhausted below the   screen.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!

The front has an indentation  in the center so you can open the lid. Underneath just has some air intake vents  towards the back, the bottom panel wasn’t   too hard to remove after taking out 10 Phillips  head screws.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650! Inside we’ve got the battery taking   up the front half of the machine, single fan and  single heatpipe for the Ryzen 7 4700U processor,   Wi-Fi 6 card in the middle of those, and the  single M.2 storage slot on the far right,   memory is soldered to the motherboard, but that’s  pretty standard for a machine of this size.

There are two speakers on the  left and right towards the front,   they sounded pretty decent with a little bass,   but there was some distortion at higher volume  levels, and the latencymon results looked good.

The Swift 3 is powered by a 3-Cell 48Wh  battery, and in my YouTube playback test   it lasted for just under 10 hours, so  quite good for the size of the battery.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!

It was cool to the touch at idle, below the  usual 30 degrees Celsius that I typically see.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!   With a CPU only stress test running it’s  still quite cool considering I’ve tested   other laptops that idle around these  temps.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!

It sounded silent to me at idle, then it’s still  not loud even with the fans going at what I assume   is full speed during the stress test.

The CPU was  averaging around 73 degrees Celsius With Aida64   going with the four default options checked, and  running at around 2.85GHz on all 8 CPU cores. It   seemed to be capped to an 18 watt power limit, I  tried boosting this with Ryzen controller software   and while temperatures rose to 90 degrees  the clock speeds were behaving strangely,   constantly dipping down to 400MHz, but I  didn’t spend much time trying to tune it.

Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!When looking at the Cinebench R20 results I  wasn’t seeing a difference with or without   Ryzen controller anyway. Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!It looks good when  compared against other laptops though, keep   in mind this is a 14” thin and light laptop, it’s  beating larger more expensive machines with ease.

Although not a gaming laptop by any means,  you can get away with some light 720p   gaming with the Radeon graphics at lower settingsAcer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!  but don’t expect miracles due to lack of discrete   graphics.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650! For the same reason, it’s difficult to  recommend for photo or video editing workloads,   if the screen wasn’t already enough of a reason.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!

I’ve used Crystal Disk Mark to  test the storage, and the 512gb   NVMe M.2 SSD was alright, though the write  speed was less than half the read speed.Acer Swift 3 Review - Ryzen 8 Core Laptop For $650!

As for prices, it’s around $650  USD for the configuration I’ve tested here,   but there’s also a 4500U model for $50 less.  Meanwhile, here in Australia we’re looking   at around $1900 AUD through Acer’s store,  though this one has twice the storage space. With all of that in mind let’s  conclude by considering the good   and the bad to help you decide if  the Acer Swift 3 is worth buying. The price point is nice in terms of the  CPU performance on offer thanks to AMD’s   Zen2 processors.

The performance from  a 14-inch machine is far ahead of what   was available just one generation ago.  This also allows for great battery life,   and the machine is fairly  lightweight and portable. The keyboard and touchpad were fine, though the  white lighting wasn’t even in a lit room.

The   fingerprint scanner was fast, and the screen  was nothing special but fine for office work   or browsing the internet indoors. There’s not  really any killer features, but for $650 I think   you’re getting a capable laptop. Of course if you  need more power with discrete graphics, Acer also   have the Nitro 5 gaming laptop, though that is  bigger, so just depends on what you’re after.

Let me know what you thought about Acer’s Ryzen  based Swift 3 laptop down in the comments.

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