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  • Cheryl Tan

Acer Swift 5 Review: Hitting All The Right Notes

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

There are tons of laptops out there, and honestly, as consumers, we’re really spoilt for choice. There is however one series of laptops that have been around for quite some time and has built a reputation befitting its name.

Today we’re taking a look at the new and improved Acer Swift 5 and this is a laptop that hits all the right notes.

The first thing that you’ll notice when you pick up this laptop, is the sheer weight, or rather, the lack of it. 

Despite being a 14-inch laptop, the Swift 5 weighs a mere 1 kilogram. This is thanks to the use of magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminium to craft the chassis. To be frank, we already knew the specs before we even got our hands on it. But the weight really catches you off guard, especially when it doesn’t look like it’s skipping out on anything physically. Slip it in a bag, carry it around in a sleeve, you name it. It’s light enough that you might not even notice it at all.

We also do really like this colourway, which Acer calls Mist Green. We would say that it’s a rather classy colour that shows a hint of personality while being quite subdued. The colour is also paired with a hint of gold, which can be found on the hinge, the logo itself, and right down to the legends on the keycaps. We would say that in this industry where laptops are mostly greyscale, green is a nice touch.

With a 14-inch laptop, you, of course, get a 14-inch display. This is an IPS panel featuring a Full HD resolution, up to 100% sRGB coverage, up to 340 nits in max brightness, and it also has touch support. To keep it simple, it is a fantastic display be it for light browsing, videos on YouTube, or even simple creative work in Lightroom or Photoshop.

Despite having relative thin bezels, Acer still places the webcam at the right spot. It’s a standard 720p webcam, and we would say that image quality is passable, just like most other laptops. The microphones are also just about the same. All in all, if you just need a webcam, it is there at the right spot and it simply works.

This next point would be a familiar sight to you if you’ve ever used Acer laptops. It’s pretty much their standard keyboard layout that they use for a number of models. Nothing more, nothing less. Our only gripe would be the arrow key cluster and the position of the power button. But those are honestly pretty minor, and it’s ultimately up to individual preference. You’ll get used to it with time. 

As for the trackpad, it’s the same story. It performs great and is of a decent size, no complaints whatsoever.

Now, though the webcam doesn’t support facial recognition via Windows Hello, Acer does have a fingerprint scanner located right below the arrow cluster, so that’s a nice touch.

As for ports, you’ll get a standard USB 3.2 and your 3.5mm combo jack on the right side, while you’ll get an additional USB 3.2, full-size HDMI, Thunderbolt 4 and a small barrel plug for the included charger on the left.

Speaking of battery life, Acer claims an all-day battery of up to 17 hours. Obviously, you won’t get anywhere close with actual usage. But with that said, this honestly surprised me. With that 56Wh battery, the Swift 5 was able to last me almost 10 hours on a single charge. Compared to other laptops in the same class, this is above average. For those of you in school, you might be able to get away with not having your charger with you for the day.

We then come to the performance, and for our model, the Swift 5 is equipped with an Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of NVMe SSD storage. 

It scored a solid 1442 and 501 in Cinebench R20 for both multi-thread and single-thread respectively, while also being able to render our standard project in DaVinci Resolve in 23 minutes for the 1080p and 43 minutes for the 4K.

If you’re interested in gaming, it can handle and provide a decent entry-level experience, with most games hitting at least 30 frames per second. 

Thus far, you might’ve noticed that not all Core i7-1165G7(s) are the same. There are 15 and 28-watt variants, and it also depends on the manufacturer to decide the kind of thermal solutions and performance profiles for their laptops. 

For the Swift 5, it is the 15-watt variant and while it does have slightly lower performance, the advantage to that is the temperature. The chip barely hit 80 degrees celsius in extended workloads, mostly hovering in the mid-70s at best. The fans weren’t running at full speed either, so it was a rather quiet experience throughout. 

If I’m looking for a laptop to be my daily driver to do basic tasks for school, or even for work. This honestly hits that sweet spot, and that’s really the conclusion to this laptop. 

Apart from the refreshing colourway, strictly speaking, there isn’t anything unique about this. It is simply a great laptop that has everything you would want for a daily driver. The weight is arguably the best factor since it’s really light. But of course, it also has a good IPS display, a no-nonsense keyboard and trackpad, plenty of ports, support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, and despite all that, it still has great battery life with ample performance for light tasks.

The Acer Swift 5 is a laptop that hits all the right notes, and it really shows. If I’m a student or perhaps an office worker, this is a laptop that would really entice me.


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