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Computers and Technology

Acer Swift 3 Laptop (2021) Review

Back in July 2020, we declared it was hip to be square when the Acer Swift 3 Laptop arrived with a boxy 3:2 aspect ratio and a 13.5-inch screen. With its 14-inch screen and 16:9 aspect ratio, the Swift 3 2021 reverses course from last year’s taller view and reduced scrolling, but we still pining for it. From its all-metal chassis and Thunderbolt 4 support to its luxuriously long battery life and reasonable price, the Swift 3 has a lot to like if you don’t mind the wider display (or expressly want it because you watch a lot of movies on your laptop). In spite of its impressive 16:10 display, it does not replace our Editors’ Choice for ultraportables, the Dell XPS 13.

Silver, sleek, and sturdy

Featuring an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB storage, the Swift 3 starts at Rs 156,447. With our Rs 223,497 test system, the processor has been upgraded to a Core i7 and memory has been doubled. Since the base model comes with just 256GB of storage, the Rs 67,050 upgrade becomes less appealing since you won’t get any more. A 16:9 aspect ratio display with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels is available on all models.

Silver is the focus of the Swift 3. Silver lids, silver keyboard decks, and silver bottom panels adorn the all-aluminum chassis. Besides the matte black plastic bezel framing the display, the laptop is all silver. A coffee shop or a boardroom could easily accommodate this understated aesthetic, even if it’s one note.

It’s a wide display, but it’s still crowded

Compared to last year’s Swift 3, the biggest change is the return of a 16:9 display. Despite the wide aspect ratio, I felt the pinch on a 14-inch screen. Watching videos is easy, but scrolling through web pages and documents is more difficult due to the limited vertical space. Screens with a 16:9 aspect ratio are the most suitable for 15.6- and 17.3-inch laptops, as they not only offer more display space but are also more frequently used for entertainment. An aspect ratio of 16:10 or 3:2 makes the display appear larger when it is used with a 14-inch or smaller display.

Sedate Acer Swift 3 testing: ‘Tiger Lake’

With 16GB of RAM, a 512GB solid-state drive, and a quad-core Intel Core i7-1165G7 “Tiger Lake” CPU running at 2.8GHz, our Swift 3 testing system features Iris Xe integrated graphics as well as 16GB of RAM. Among the ultraportables, we benchmarked included Acer’s Swift 3X, which also uses Intel’s 11th Generation CPU but boasts its rare Iris Xe Max discrete graphics. Compared to the HP Pavilion Aero, the Surface Pro 8’s CPU is AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800U, which is slightly faster. An 11th-generation Core i5 processor powers the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2. The Swift 3X is the only system with integrated graphics (except for 16GB of memory).

Tests of productivity 

To benchmark, the performance of office-centric tasks such as word processing, spreadsheeting, web browsing, and videoconferencing, UL’s PCMark 10 simulates a variety of real-world productivity and content-creation workflows. The Full System Drive test of PCMark 10 is also used to assess a laptop’s storage performance. 

Tests of graphics

We test the graphics of Windows PCs with two of UL’s 3DMark’s DirectX 12 gaming simulations, Night Raid and Time Spy. Night Raid is a more modest simulation that is suitable for laptops in Pakistan with integrated graphics and Time Spy is more demanding, so it is best suited for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs. 

In Furthermore, run two GFXBench 5 tests which cover both high-level images and low-level routines like tiling. For Aztec Ruins and the Car Chase exercises, OpenGL and hardware tessellation are used, as well as a rendering offscreen to accommodate different display resolutions. A higher frame rate (fps) is better.

Tests of the battery and display

With display brightness set to 50% and audio volume set to 100%, you can test laptop battery life by playing a locally stored 720p video (Tears of Steel, an open-source Blender movie). It is important to charge the battery fully and turn off the Wi-Fi and keyboard backlighting before we perform the test. 

A laptop screen’s color saturation can be measured using a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Windows software as well as its maximum and 50% brightness (candelas per square meter) using a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and Windows software.

The verdict is: Wider is not always better

Despite its ultra-portability and competitive performance, the Acer Swift 3 laptop has several good points—it’s a well-rounded laptop that’s also stylish and provides a secure connection for its price of Rs 223,497. Despite being a laptop for productivity, the Swift 3 doesn’t make a good gaming machine.

In this year’s edition, Acer has opted for a slightly retro 16:9 panel rather than last year’s squarer 3:2. 16:10 or ideally 3:2 is better for navigating web pages, email inboxes, and Microsoft Office documents on a 14-inch laptop meant for your work or school day.

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