Acer Swift X (SFX14-41G) Review: A Rare Beast


The Acer Swift collection is the corporate’s line of premium thin-and-light laptops, and right this moment we’ll be testing the newest Acer Swift X mannequin, which launched in India in September. The Swift X is particular as a result of Acer has managed to pack a robust AMD CPU and a discrete Nvidia GPU inside a 14-inch laptop computer physique measuring solely round 18.8mm in thickness. It is a power-packed machine for positive, with nice portability, however with costs beginning at Rs. 84,999, is it good worth? I have been utilizing it for the previous week and that is what I believe.

Acer Swift X design

The Acer Swift X has a reasonably customary laptop computer type issue however the dual-tone physique color helps it stand out a bit. The silver and champagne gold trim on the unit that I’ve seems to be good. It isn’t too flashy and but doesn’t look boring. The match and end of the chassis is nice, and there is not a number of flex across the palm-rest space. The lid does have a little bit of flex however the display appears nicely protected and does not warp when gentle stress is utilized.

Weighing roughly 1.39kg, the Acer Swift X isn’t too heavy, and its general compact measurement makes it very transportable. You get a wide selection of ports for a 14-inch laptop computer. These embrace a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.2 Gen1 Kind-A port with power-off charging, a USB 3.2 Gen2 Kind-C port which may additionally cost the laptop computer, and a full-sized HDMI port. There’s additionally a headphone jack, kensington lock slot, and a round-pin charging port. There is not an SD card slot on the Swift X. There are stereo audio system on the underside, and loads of air consumption vents. The exhaust vent is positioned between the hinges of the lid.

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The course keys really feel cramped on an in any other case snug keyboard

 

The keys on the keyboard are nicely spaced and are not very noisy. There’s white backlighting which illuminates all of the letters evenly. The arrow key cluster is a bit cramped because of the Pg Up and Pg Dn keys being positioned proper above it. The Acer Swift X has a fingerprint scanner positioned slightly below the keyboard space. It is responsive and works nicely for logging in to Home windows. The trackpad is roomy and works nicely, though it isn’t as exact as a glass trackpad.

The 14-inch show on the Acer Swift X is an IPS panel with a 16:9 side ratio and a full-HD decision. It has a claimed brightness of 300nits and this was greater than sufficient for my utilization. The show additionally has slim borders on three of its 4 sides, together with a webcam on the highest. Within the field, you will see a 90W energy adapter and the consumer handbook.

Acer Swift X specs and software program

The configuration of the Swift X that I acquired from Acer is on the market on its India web site, on the time of scripting this overview. It options an AMD Ryzen 5 5600U CPU with built-in Radeon graphics, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, and a discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU. That is fairly the spec listing for a compact, 14-inch laptop computer. This configuration is priced at Rs. 86,990 on Acer’s web site, down from its Rs. 1,09,999 sticker value. There’s one other variant of the Swift X with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU, however I could not discover this or one other color variant on-line.

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The Acer Swift X provides a wide selection of ports however it’s lacking an SD card slot

 

Acer claims to have made provisions to deal with all the warmth from such highly effective parts fitted right into a compact chassis. Air could be pulled in from the gaps between keys on the keyboard, and there is a specifically designed and positioned exhaust fan which is claimed to extend airflow by 10 p.c. You’ll be able to cycle via varied cooling modes with the Fn+F key combo.

The Swift X additionally has Acer’s PurifiedVoice system which is claimed to suppress background noise when on a video name. You get Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, a 720p webcam, and a 4-cell 59WHr battery. The stereo audio system work with the DTSsound app which provides varied listening modes and equaliser presets to play with.

My unit got here with Home windows 10, however I used to be given the choice to improve to Home windows 11 in the course of the preliminary setup course of, which I did. A number of the preinstalled apps embrace a limited-time subscription to Norton Safety Extremely and a full model of Microsoft Workplace 2021 Residence & Scholar. The everyday Acer apps akin to Care Centre are additionally current.

Acer Swift X efficiency and battery life

The Acer Swift X was nothing in need of a trooper within the time I used it, and actually, I anticipated nothing much less. The highly effective specs make Home windows 11 really feel snappy and all the things works very nicely. It boots and masses apps shortly, and the show makes all the things look sharp and vivid. The truth is, I hardly ever discovered myself growing the brightness past 60 p.c when indoors. Vertical viewing angles are additionally fairly first rate. The show has a matte end so reflections aren’t a lot of an issue.

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Efficiency of the Acer Swift X is excellent because of the beefy CPU and GPU

 

Webcam high quality was strictly common. Even when your face is nicely lit, highlights can look overexposed and darker areas are very grainy. The colors are nonetheless higher than what you get from a MacBook Air (M1), however common general. The keyboard is mostly snug for typing on however the proximity of the Pg Up and Pg Down keys to the course pad means I’d by accident press the incorrect key just about each single time, which was annoying.

Watching movies on the Acer Swift X is pleasant however the stereo audio system will not be nice and sound tinny. The quantity is not loud sufficient for gaming, however they’re alright for informal use.

Talking of gaming, the Swift X manages to carry its personal even in demanding video games. Far Cry 5’s in-built benchmark averaged 51fps with the Extremely graphics preset and the show’s native decision. There have been instances when the body price briefly dipped to the 30s throughout precise gameplay, however general, the sport ran very easily. Within the Shadow of The Tomb Raider, the sport’s benchmark returned a median body price of 49fps on the ‘Highest’ high quality setting with DLSS enabled.

When taking part in Doom Everlasting, the sport restricted texture high quality to the ‘medium’ setting as a consequence of inadequate video reminiscence (there’s 4GB of GDDR6 RAM on the GeForce RTX 3050) however I used to be capable of push the opposite sliders to ‘extremely’. Right here, I used to be averaging 65-70fps throughout precise gameplay.

Whereas it is nice to see such a compact laptop computer deal with reasonably heavy gaming, one large facet impact is extreme heating. Inside minutes of beginning a sport, the exhaust fan ramps up and is audible. Extra worryingly, the underside portion and many of the keyboard space will get highly regarded, fairly shortly. The suitable palm relaxation is the one space that stays cool, however many of the keys, left palm relaxation, and the area above the keyboard will get highly regarded. Until you are utilizing a controller, gaming does turn out to be uncomfortable after a degree due to this. Even with all of the heating although, video games ran nice and I by no means actually felt that efficiency was being throttled.

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The Acer Swift X’s chassis isn’t designed to deal with a robust GPU, which is why it will get very, highly regarded when gaming

 

The CPU and SSD efficiency was strong too, based on a number of artificial benchmarks. SiSoft Sandra’s file system take a look at suite recorded sequential learn and write speeds of two.3GBps and 448MBps respectively, and random learn and write speeds of two.24GBps and 377MBps respectively. In Cinebench R20’s single- and multi-threaded CPU checks, the Acer Swift X delivered 517 and a pair of,761 factors, beating the Intel Core i5-1135G7 as seen in our current MSI Fashionable 14 overview by a small margin.

This brings us to battery life. Acer claims the Swift X can ship as much as 17 hours of video playback, however real-world use is not that easy. With Home windows 11’s battery profile set to ‘Balanced’, I barely received round 4 and a half hours of runtime, and this was with intermittent use with largely Internet apps in Firefox, music from Spotify streaming to a Bluetooth headset, and a few movies within the Prime Video app.

Nevertheless, when the battery profile is ready to ‘Energy Effectivity’ mode, I used to be capable of get almost double the runtime with an identical workload. Efficiency did not appear to be impacted an excessive amount of, no less than when utilizing primary apps for Internet looking or music playback. Even Photoshop CC 2020 ran nice beneath this setting. I did run Battery Eater Professional too, which ran for an honest 1 hour, 50 minutes, with out utilizing the discrete GPU. Realistically, you possibly can count on round eight to 9 hours of runtime with medium utilization beneath the battery saver profile in Home windows 11, which isn’t dangerous in any respect contemplating the specs of this laptop computer.

Verdict

The Acer Swift X is uniquely positioned to supply superb efficiency for creators whereas nonetheless being extremely transportable and compact, which is uncommon to seek out. It seems to be good, performs nicely, and has a snug keyboard in addition to a shiny and vivid show. Battery life can be fairly passable, although it does not fairly reside as much as Acer’s claims.

If I needed to knock a number of factors off, then that will be for the common high quality webcam and lack of an SD card slot. I am not an enormous fan of the cramped course pad both. The Swift X runs highly regarded when careworn, significantly when gaming, which is to be anticipated since this chassis wasn’t precisely designed with gaming in thoughts.

The Acer Swift X could possibly be an excellent choice if you would like an ultraportable with cheap battery life that may deal with content material creation software program and even some video games if the event requires it. Nevertheless, if gaming is a precedence, then I would suggest taking a look at Acer’s Nitro or Asus’ TUF collection of laptops, which provide extra aggressive specs and higher cooling for roughly the identical and even decrease costs.

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