When it comes to aggressive laptop pricing, it’s hard to beat Acer. The Taiwanese manufacturer has always offered cut-throat prices in India, especially when it comes to its premium offerings. The company’s new Swift 3 is yet another example of this. Acer sells a top-end variant of its new ultra-portable laptop for under Rs. 65,000, which is significantly lower than what similarly configured laptops from the competition cost.
The Swift 3 is essentially a Windows version of Apple’s MacBook Air but it also competes with other Windows offerings like HP’s Envy line, the Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo’s IdeaPad 500 series. This laptop comes across as a very good value offering for students and professionals looking for a thin and light laptop that doesn’t skimp on performance. So how has Acer managed to achieve this? And what sort of compromises has it made along the way?
Acer Swift 3 design and build quality
The Swift 3 uses high-quality materials for its construction which makes it durable, and also a bit heavy. The matte aluminium body offers decent grip and there’s no flex to the lid or in the keyboard area, which is very good. The display tilts 180 degrees backwards and the hinge has very good torsion so it can hold the lid firmly in pretty much any position.
The lower half of the Acer Sift 3 is wedge-shaped, but it’s thick enough to accommodate full-sized ports. On the left, we have HDMI, USB 3.0, and USB Type-C (Gen1, 5Gbps) ports along with the charging connector and LEDs for hard drive activity and charging. On the right, we have an SD card reader, headphone/ microphone combo socket, a USB 2.0 port and a Kensington lock. Acer has cleverly placed the intake and exhaust vents near the hinge so you never accidentally hamper air circulation. The edges of the Swift 3 are rounded so you don’t feel anything sharp when using it.
The 14-inch LED-backlit display is one area in which Acer has had to compromise. Sadly, the resolution is also just 1366×768 and not full-HD or higher, which according to Acer, was a choice it made in order to keep the price as aggressive as possible. It’s disappointing that we don’t even have a full-HD option in India like most other countries. Colour reproduction is quite average and vertical viewing angles are weak. Thankfully, brightness is good enough and the matte finish means that reflections won’t interfere with your work. The display has fairly thick borders all around, which increases the footprint of the laptop a bit.
We like the chiclet style keys on the Acer Swift 3 as they are well spaced and are slightly sculpted so that your fingers don’t slip off when typing. Key travel is also good and they aren’t too noisy. We wish the spacing of the direction keys had been better. Also, the power button shouldn’t have been part of the standard keyboard cluster as it’s easy to mistake it for the Del key. The trackpad is large and spacious and you even get a fingerprint sensor on the right palm rest area. The stereo speakers are placed on the bottom of the Swift 3. The four rubber feet give the laptop decent elevation and grip when used on a flat surface.
Acer Swift 3 specifications and features
The top-end variant of the Swift 3 in India has an Intel Core i7-7500U processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 256GB SSD. These are pretty solid core specifications for a thin-and-light laptop. Other specifications include Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, an HD webcam, and a 4-cell battery. The Swift 3 isn’t easily upgradeable as it would require you to open up the entire base. You’re better off heading to an Acer service centre to avoid any warranty issues.