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Review: Acer’s Swift 5 is an affordable ultralight with remarkable offerings

Review: Acer’s Swift 5 is an affordable ultralight with remarkable offerings

Acer Swift 5
Enlarge / Acers 2022 Swift 5 laptop.

Scharon Harding

Instant Specifications: Acer Swift 5 (SF514-56T-797T)
Screen 14-inch 2560 × 1600 60 Hz IPS touch screen
OS Windows 11 Home
processor Intel Core i7-1260P
Storage 1 TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
GPU Intel Iris Xe (integrated)
Network Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Harbors 2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 2x USB-A (3.2 Gen 1), 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x 3.5mm connector
Size 12.22 x 8.4 x 0.59 inches
(310.5 x 213.3 x 14.95 mm)
Weight 2.65 lbs (1.2 kg)
Battery 56 Wh
Warranty 1 year
Price (MSRP) $ 1500

The Acer Swift 5 ($ 1500 MSRP) may not be the ultra-lightweight laptop dream, but it’s not bad. You do not want to squeeze the most performance out of Swift, and the touchpad still bothers me after several weeks of use. But with benefits like a good port selection and a strong keyboard, the laptop is worth a look if you want to save money. Although there are some compromises, it is a decent option with a lower price tag than similarly specified options.

Colorful design

Swift 5 is priced lower than other ultralights with 12th generation CPUs, a fact that is clear when you hold it. According to Acer, the chassis is made of 6053 aluminum alloy with a hardness of 75 HV and anodizing to combat degradation (the gold accent is double-anodized). But instead of a luxurious metallic-like finish, worn by Lenovo’s Yoga 9i, it looks and feels like lightweight plastic that can still fall victim to scratches.

Subtle texturing helps the design, and prevents the laptop from feeling too slippery during use. The keyboard showed subtle flex when I typed aggressively, and that flexing became clearer when I pressed the keyboard.

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Despite these shortcomings, the Swift 5 does not look bad. It comes in a forest green with a gold center (Acer told me that it may become a blue alternative eventually). The green finish showed a subtly sparkling finish, and the deep color and brushed finish on the gold sides looked especially attractive. If you are tired of gray, silver and black laptops, the Swift 5 gives a refreshing look.

The spine supports the top of the keyboard.
Enlarge / The spine supports the top of the keyboard.

Scharon Harding

However, Swift’s decorative backbone is more about form than function. I prefer to be able to slide the screen of the laptop far enough backwards to make it level with the keyboard, but that is not possible. This may not be a problem for some buyers, but it prevented me from using the laptop on the couch or on my lap with maximum comfort. Since it is an ultralight laptop that weighs only 2.65 lbs, more flexibility would make sense.

This is as far back as the top goes.
Enlarge / This is as far back as the top goes.

Scharon Harding

One place Acer did not spare is port selection, especially when you compare the Swift 5 with the many laptops that skip anything but USB-C these days. The Swift 5 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left side, including one for charging, plus an HDMI 2.1 port and USB-A on the left. The right side has another USB-A port, a headphone jack and a Kensington lock.

A note: There are two lights on the side of the laptop that represent battery and power. I found their colored lights (one of which is always on) easily distracting in dark rooms or when I used the laptop connected to my TV for entertainment.

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