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Review: Acer Swift 5

by : Matt Weston on : 19 Feb 2020 14:05
Acer

With everyone constantly on the move these days, it’s important to have a device you can rely on that is lightweight, has excellent battery life and that’s also good value for money. In a crowded field, this mid-range notebook stands out as one of the best.

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I’ve been using the Acer Swift 5 for a couple of weeks now and I’ve been surprised by how great the performance is for a lightweight bit of kit. The model I was sent for review came with a 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 quad-core 1GHz.

The best place to start is with the design. Weighing in at just 990g, the 14-inch notebook is one of the lightest devices I have ever used. In fact, the device feels so weightless that you feel like you can actually chuck it up in the air and it will just keep on floating up into space. How they’ve managed this is absolutely baffling.

If portability is one of the most important things you look for when choosing your next laptop, you should definitely look into an Acer Swift 5. It is one of the lightest 14-inch notebooks that money can buy. According to Acer, that’s down to its ultra-light magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminium metal chassis.

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The Swift 5’s size and weight makes it perfect for commuting. At 14.95mm thick, it can easily be stored away in a rucksack, and unlike some chunkier laptops it doesn’t break your back at the same time. In fact, it’s so light that it’s easy to forget the device is even there at all.

Another great thing about this laptop is its 1080p touchscreen. It has an extremely impressive 86.4% screen-to-body ratio. Admittedly, at first it felt very strange moving from my own MacBook Air to this device because of the touchscreen. But when the awkwardness passed, I got comfortable using the screen and did not encounter any issues opening applications or moving items around the screen.

Moving on from the 1920 x 1080 IPS (in-plane switching) display, some other notable specs are the 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. There’s also a USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 3, a HDMI port and a headphone jack. The addition of a Windows Hello fingerprint reader made it easy to log into Windows. After a simple set-up procedure, it took a matter of seconds to authenticate and log me in.

I spent most of my time using this laptop writing articles, watching films, browsing the web and also tested a video call. Whatever I did, I found the performance of the laptop was absolutely fine. For such a small notebook, the device was still very quiet, which was much appreciated. Unless you had a million tabs open at once and held it up to your ear, it was very difficult to actually hear the fan.

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In terms of battery life, Acer promises this machine will give you all the power you need for a full day’s work and entertainment. I can confirm that is accurate. I’ve been happily using the Swift 5 for full days at a time without struggling or needing to rush to plug the laptop in. While being out and about it’s important to have a reliable laptop you can use for several hours. This certainly didn’t disappoint me in that respect.

So far so good in terms of the specs and design. For me personally, I would have liked a slightly bigger keyboard. It feels like the keys are very cluttered and crammed in. Although this might not bother some people, I would prefer the keyboard to feel a bit more spacious. The power button being very close to the delete and backspace button meant I accidentally pressed the wrong key a couple of times. The page up and page down keys are also positioned just above the left and right arrow keys.

The feel of the keys and the trackpad is great, two things I’m usually very critical of. There’s nothing worse than a dodgy trackpad, but I personally didn’t have any problems with this one.

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Before rounding up this review, I think it’s worth remembering the price of this laptop. On Acer’s website, the device will cost you around £899. For a laptop under £1,000, you’re getting really good value for money. In terms of performance quality and portability, it really is hard to fault.

No laptop is perfect, but for a mid-range laptop to be of this quality is a rarity. Would I recommend this laptop to buy? Yes, especially if you’re somebody that’s constantly travelling and demands a reliable machine to accompany them.

Matt Weston

Matt Weston is a lover of electric cars, artificial intelligence and space. From Cornwall, he's a UCLan graduate that still dreams of being a Formula One driver in the very near future. Previously work includes reporting for regional newspapers and freelance video for the International Business Times.

Topics: Technology, Acer, Computer, Laptop, Notebook, Swift 5