Acer chose the Swift 5 as the vehicle for introducing Windows 11, and that was a safe choice. With an initial MSRP of $ 1,100, up to 1TB of storage, good port selection, and a more outstanding keyboard and webcam, it will meet many laptop needs.
But “just good” feels less good when you look at alternatives that go the extra mile. With similarly expensive options that offer slightly more CPU, graphics and even SSD performance than the Swift 5, the eye can easily wander.
(Ars Technica may be compensated for sales through affiliate programs through links in this post.) Sure, the Swift 5 is an affordable machine with a unique, green look, but for those looking for the highest productivity value for their money, the grass will do it end up looking greener elsewhere.
|Technical data at a glance: Acer Swift 5|
|screen||14-inch 1920 × 1080 60 Hz IPS touch screen|
|SHE||Windows 11 start page||Windows 10 start page||Windows 11 start page|
|Central processor||Intel Core i7-1165G7|
|storage||512 GB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD||1 TB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD||512 GB NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe (integrated)|
|Networking||IEEE 802.11 a / g / n / ac / ax, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ports||1x HDMI 2.0, 1x Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (USB-A), 1x 3.5 mm jack|
|size||12.6 x 8.1 x 0.59 in (320.04 x 205.74 x 14.99 mm)|
|weight||2.31 pounds (1.04 kg)||2.29 lbs without antimicrobial, 2.31 lbs with antimicrobial||2.31 pounds (1.04 kg)|
|battery||4-cell Li-Ion 56Wh|
|Price (RRP)||$ 1,100||$ 1,300||$ 1,100|
|miscellaneous Perks||Antimicrobial in mist green||Antimicrobial in mist green or non-antimicrobial in gold||Antimicrobial in mist green|
Slim, green cleaning machine
The Swift 5 only fulfills the above characteristics if you get one of the configurations with an antimicrobial coating that is only available in Acer’s mist green. You can get the machine in the more expensive configuration in gold, but it doesn’t have any antimicrobial properties.
What exactly is the antimicrobial property? Acer told me that 98 percent of the device was coated with an antimicrobial coating that is resistant to bacteria. It focused on high contact areas including the hinge, touchpad, keyboard, and fingerprint reader.
The coating consists of silver ions that research has shown can lead to a 99.9 percent reduction in bacteria based on the International Organization for Standardization test protocol 22196, which includes methods for testing the “antibacterial activity of antibacterial treated plastics and other non-porous” creates surfaces of products. “More specifically, ACS Applied Bio Materials describes silver ions as being able to” easily adsorb to most biomolecules (DNA, membrane protein, enzymes, or intracellular cofactors) in bacteria in order to deactivate their functions. “The coating corresponds Both the environmental protection agency and the biocidal product regulation In addition to the Swift 5, the antimicrobial function of Acer can be found on several PC lines.
It’s hard to test what it’s worth as we don’t have a microscope to compare bacterial concentrations with or without silver ions. But I suppose the coating can bring some security in terms of cleanliness. Because let’s be honest: keyboards and touchscreens get nasty.
The only obvious downside is that the feature resulted in an aggressively tagged logo on the top bezel of the Swift 5 screen.Enlarge / Registered trademarks in case you are wondering.
The term “Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass” is already a long name for something I have to see every day, and the pair of branded icons make it even more intrusive to the PC’s looks.
This branding is also intended to remind you of the durability and scratch resistance of the display. Compared to the similarly priced 14-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro I had on hand, the entire lid of the Swift 5 (not just the glass) felt thinner and gave it more when it was intentionally bent.
I would be remiss if I didn’t go back to “fog green”. It’s topped with a complementary shade of gold in the sharp keyboard legends, Acer and DTS audio logos on the deck, port inscriptions on the sides and the hinge (which is stamped with a thin “SWIFT” stamp) and the reflective Acer logo the lid. Enlarge / The gold back is stamped with “SWIFT”.
If I look closely, I can see tiny speckles that give the green chassis a light, textured look. Acer says this is made with “mixed mother-of-pearl” particles. In a world of silver, black, and gray laptops, a pop of color is always exciting. It’s not the boldest of green, but the gold accents help spice up the look. And because Acer opted for a toned green, the Swift 5 doesn’t immediately look cheap or youthful.
The chassis itself is made from magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminum, which Acer claims is “two to four times stronger than standard aluminum alloys of the same thickness, but weighs up to 20-35% less.” The Swift 5 I’m reviewing weighs 2.31 pounds (1.05 kg) and is 0.59 inches (1.5 cm) thick. For comparison, the aluminum-advertised IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro is 0.57 to 0.67 inches (1.45 to 1.7 cm) thick and starts at 2.87 pounds (1.3 kg).
The clamshell uses a micro-arc oxidation finish for durability. It creates a hard layer that is “almost impervious to scratches, corrosion and other forms of wear and tear,” claims Acer. In the hands, however, the chassis feels like banal, lightweight plastic that is slightly rough. There is some give in to pressure on the pc – but only a few. The surface just feels grainy enough to prevent damage, but it also feels far from invincible. Hard to get past this cheaper texture, even though it supposedly helps with durability.
The port selection includes at least one of everything I want to see in a machine like this one. The left side of the Swift 5 has an HDMI 2.0 (instead of 2.1) port, a USB-A port that can be used to charge other devices when the PC is switched off, a Thunderbolt 4 and the hole for plugging in the power supply. When the adapter is plugged in, a small piece of the silver connector protrudes so that the handle can wobble slightly when moved. I’m afraid the connection might loosen over time, and the simple, slimmer rubber cable tucked in doesn’t make me any better.
On the right side of the device you’ll find another USB-A port and a 3.5mm jack near a Kensington lock that takes up space I’d rather see for a second USB-C port.