Acer’s design ethos for the new Swift 3 would make you think this is a much more expensive device. The 14-inch notebook features an all-aluminum design, offering a much more premium feel than what you’d normally expect on a notebook in this price range. At just 1.2 kg / 2.65 lbs, the 14-inch notebook is extremely portable, and with an 83% screen to body ratio, it is easily as compact as a 13.3-inch notebook from a couple of years ago. Acer’s choice of a 16:9 display does mean that the display has a hefty chin, but is almost certainly a choice that was made to keep the device in-budget.

Despite the thin design and the low price, the aluminum chassis is very stout, with little to no flex no matter how you pick it up. Acer has cut in a slot at the front to make opening the laptop easier, although it will not open with a single finger since the hinge is too stiff to allow this. There is no touch support either, so the hinge stiffness does not need to be quite so tight, but it does make for a solid platform once you open it up.

The keyboard provides a great typing experience. The keys themselves have single-level white backlighting, which works well. The white backlighting on silver keys can cause some contrast issues in bright light, but the effect is not as pronounced as it is on some other devices. Typing offers a surprisingly good keyboard feel, with solid keys that have a solid level of pressure and feedback. Acer has the power button as part of the keyboard, which does make it prone to accidentally turning the device off if you miss the delete key, and moving the power button out of the normal keys would be appreciated, but Acer is far from the only manufacturer to do this, and the laptop resumes instantly so even if it did happen it’s not as big of an issue as it was a few years ago, thanks to the new modern standby options built into Windows and the new CPU.

If there was one area where the notebook showcased it was a lower-cost device, it would be the trackpad. Although it offers the Precision touchpad drivers, the material is not as smooth and responsive as some higher-priced notebooks. This is not so much a knock against the device, but a reality of where it is situated in the market. It does offer the expected multi-touch capabilities you’d expect, it just doesn’t quite offer the level of refinement you’d see in more premium notebooks.

Acer has also included a fingerprint reader, which has great response. It unlocks the device in well under a second even if the display is off. It is a nice to see Windows Hello support despite the lower cost of this device, and the chosen reader seems to work very well. There is no IR camera included, and the built-in webcam is only a 1280x720 unit, so do not expect to be the belle of the Teams meeting, but it gets the job done with a properly located webcam in the top bezel.

Acer offers reasonable I/O as well, with a USB Type-C port on the left, which does support power delivery up to 15 Watts output, and support for charging the device via USB-C as well. There is no Thunderbolt 3, but it does offer DisplayPort output. This is in addition to the included HDMI port, and the laptop also has a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port on the left which supports power-off charging, and a USB 2.0 port on the right, along with a headset jack.

Overall, the Acer Swift 3 is a great design, with a modern feel, and premium materials. The 14-inch notebook is compact, thin, and light, and Acer has done a great job with the look and feel of this device. There are enough ports, and the included USB-C port adds the expanded ability to charge as well as I/O. Looking at this device, you could easily mistake it for a notebook that costs hundreds more.

Introduction SPEC: Renoir vs Picasso vs Ice Lake
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  • Potatonoot - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    This integrated graphics is very impressive, and the performance is just amazing for a 650 USD laptop.

    It isnt intended for gaming tho, we all know that. I am mostly impressed that it is an 8 core laptop.

    I am mostly happy things are getting cheaper and more powerful.
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    Throttling a CPU to 8 watts is amazing? Not being able to cover the ancient sRGB color space with even somewhat-decent accuracy is amazing?
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    So, this laptop apparently doesn't show the performance of the AMD processor at all, because it has garbage cooling.

    "The laptop really struggled with its thermals, dropping the framerate into single digits often. The device attempted to run at around 18 Watts of power draw, slightly over the 15 Watt TDP, but in fact only averaged around 8 Watts during this run."

    8 watts versus Intel's 25?

    "performance here will be strongly impacted by the TDP as well as cooling of the systems. Both AMD parts are 15W TDP designs, while the Intel chip sustains 25W."

    Does it sustain 25 watts or is that merely the TDP? Knowing Intel, I assume it goes beyond that.

    "The generational improvements here aren’t enough to catch up to Intel’s Sunny Cove cores in the Ice Lake i7-1065G7. Although that core might be running at higher single-core TDPs and power consumption, it still makes for a big gap in some of the more instruction pressure and cache pressure high workloads such as 500.perlbench_r and 502.gcc_r where the Intel chip still has a considerable lead in."

  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    It seems that your "15W" information in the article graphic is inaccurate.

    Shouldn't it be 8+ watts?
  • mazz7 - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    What do you expect from 600ish dollars guys, cmon get reality check, this product is clearly punching above it's own weight.
  • Nikhil Reddy - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    What's the exact price of this thing in India? When it will be available?
  • Oingles - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    They have packed in a lot for the price, I would buy this if it had a much better display option. 16GB would be good too. Happy to pay more for that.
  • defaultluser - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    Does anyone know if this thing has a sodimm upgrade slot?

    8GB ram is so last-year for a $700 laptop (especially one where you have to share ram with the APU)!
  • Dug - Thursday, May 7, 2020 - link

    Did you guys ever consider you got a bad unit?

    I don't see any of the issues you had in other reviews.
    If you did, it would be prudent to announce that at the beginning of a re-review.
  • zodiacfml - Friday, May 8, 2020 - link

    Forgot to leave a comment. This laptop is almost perfect for me, 8 core and I don't need discrete. But, the cooling is abysmal. It reaches 100 degrees and stays at 90C?! I have a cheaper Lenovo but its cooling is overkill for an Intel-U TDP SoC.

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