Acer Swift 5 Review – Driving the Productivity
The Acer Swift 5 is one of those laptops that gives you everything you need in an ultraportable laptop, and then some. Is it worth your money? Let's find out.
+ Good build quality
+ Hinge gives slight lift for better aiflow
+ Thunderbolt 4
+ Has touchscreen support
+ USB-C PD charging as an alternative solution
+ RAM and storage configuration is perfect to start off with
+ Easy to bring around
+ Fingerprint scanner works fast and reliably
- Speakers are subpar
- No SD card reader
- A little pricey
Unboxing the Acer Swift 5
Let’s kick off our Acer Swift 5 review with the unboxing. There’s nothing much out of the usual with the box itself. Inside the box, you will find the following items:
- 65W power adapter
- Power cable
- User guide and warranty
- The Acer Swift 5 laptop itself
The Acer Swift 5 follows the same design philosophy that the Swift series is known for which is a more simple, elegant design that is suited for this type of laptop. The lid has a rather solid, metallic build with the Acer logo in the center. For our Acer Swift 5 review unit, we have the Mist Green colour option, but you can also choose Moonstone White and Charcoal Blue if either of those suits you more.
Open up the lid and you’ll see the 14-inch Full HD IPS display with relatively slim bezels. The top and bottom bezels are thicker, albeit still very thin, with the top housing the built-in webcam and the bottom having the Acer logo. You also get a backlit chiclet keyboard, trackpad, fingerprint scanner, and product stickers.
On the left side, you have the proprietary charging port, HDMI port, USB-A port, and USB-C port (Thunderbolt 4). As for the right side, you have a 3.5mm combo audio jack, another USB-A port, LED indicators, and a Kensington Lock. It’s worth noting that if open up the lid, the bottom part of the display will give the laptop a bit of a lift for improved airflow.
Moving over to the bottom, you have five air vents, four rubberized stands, two speaker grilles, and product stickers. There are 10 exposed screws here, with one screw hidden behind a “Warranty Void” sticker.
Overall, the Acer Swift 5 still has the same modern design that can easily fit in with office and study environments. I’m hoping we’ll get to see some major design changes with newer iterations later this year as it’s starting to feel outdated.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-1165G7 @ 2.4 GHz (up to 4.7 GHz Boost), 4C/8T, 10nm SuperFin, 28W TDP|
|RAM||16GB LPDDR4X 4266MHz|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|Storage||512GB PCIe NVMe SSD (SK Hynix BC511)|
|Software||Microsoft Windows 10 Home|
1 x RJ45 LAN
2 x USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A
1 x Thunderbolt 4
1 x HDMI 2.0
|Display||14″ (1920 x 1080) 60Hz IPS Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit LCD display|
|Audio||2 x speakers
4 x digital microphones
1 x 3.5mm combo audio jack
|Power||65W power adapter
56 WHr 4-cell Li-ion battery
|Dimensions||318.9 x 206.98 x 14.95 mm|
Starting off with CrystalDiskMark, the storage drive in the Acer Swift 5 performed more than adequately. It should be more than enough for most people so you can expect fast boot ups and minimal loading times, if any. In case you’re wondering, it is the 512GB SK Hynix BC511 SSD.
On Cinebench R15, the Acer Swift 5 performed pretty well. The single core score of the Intel Core i7-1165G7 is very high but the multi-core score is clearly lagging behind the competition. This isn’t a surprise given that the CPU isn’t designed for high performance.
As for Cinebench R20, the Acer Swift 5 is starting to look like one of the best in its segment. Among ultraportable laptops, it has a high score for single core and the best one for multi-core performance.
On Unigine SuperPosition’s 4K Optimized benchmark, the score is relatively low but typically, a laptop of this kind would score less than 1000 points. This shows that the Intel Iris Xe Graphics is a noticeable upgrade over the older Intel UHD Graphics. However, it will still be dwarfed by something like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650, which isn’t exactly a strong performer on its own.
The same can be said with 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark, with the Acer Swift 5 scoring low for the same reason. It’s still an admirable score given what’s powering the laptop but essentially, don’t expect too much from this laptop in terms of graphics processing.
Moving on PCMark, it showed some rather promising scores, with Essentials breaking the 10,000 milestone. While Digital Content Creation isn’t particularly high, it’s definitely higher than your typical ultraportable laptop.
Lastly for battery life, the Acer Swift 5 managed to last 12 hours and 52 minutes (772 minutes) in PCMark’s Modern Office endurance test before it died out. This is actually pretty good, and you should be able to get a full day or near full day’s worth of use provided it’s not anything too intensive like gaming.
Looking for a gaming laptop instead? Check out our review of the Acer Predator Triton 500 2020 by clicking right here.
The Acer Swift 5 is an ultraportable laptop powered by the Intel Core i7-1165G7 with Intel Iris Xe Graphics. On the memory side, you get a speedy 512GB SSD storage, SK Hynix BC511, and 16GB LPDDR4X RAM with a clock speed of 4266MHz. It runs rather quietly and I didn’t get any thermal issues throughout. I have no complaints here as it has everything you need to get started and you won’t need to upgrade anything anytime soon.
As for the display, the 14-inch screen works great. You get good viewing angles and vibrant colours with it. Full HD resolution is a reasonable expectation with this, although it would be nice if it came with a 1440p resolution display. Compared to the Acer Swift 3X we reviewed recently, this is certainly brighter, and while not by much, it’s certainly within adequate levels. What I really like is the fact that this comes with touchscreen support, which is a major plus.
The Acer Swift 5 has a decent array of ports. You get a Thunderbolt 4 port, two USB-A ports, and a 3.5mm combo audio jack. Similar laptops tend to have lesser ports, such as having multiple USB-C ports and no USB-A ports, so I’m fine with this. It also supports USB-C PD charging, which is incredibly handy. What would have been nice is if they included an SD card reader. Given that it includes a Thunderbolt 4 port, you have better expandability potential with this as you can transfer files faster, connect up to two 4K displays with it, more dock / hub options, and more.
As for the keyboard, we have a white backlit chiclet keyboard with no Numpad. It’s a decent enough experience with short travel distance and large key size so it’s easy to press. It seems to have slightly more tactility compared to the Swift 3X, which I personally like. The trackpad works fine but there’s nothing much to say about it. You’re better off using your own mouse.
Not to forget, this laptop does come with a fingerprint scanner. It works reliably and fast, so I would recommend sticking to this for security and convenience. I’ve only had it fail to read my fingerprint once after using it for 2 weeks, so it should work great for everyone else as well.
In the sound department, you have the DTS Audio Processing software where you can optimize your listening experience on speakers and with your headset. It has four presets that you can use; Music, Movies, Games, and Custom Audio. You can also tailor your experience further using the graphic equalizer. As for the speakers themselves, it’s a little soft even at max volume.
While the sound is still rather hollow, there is a little bit of bass being pumped compared to the Swift 3X. It’s not the difference between heaven and earth so I wouldn’t pay any mind to it. It’s best to use your favourite pair of headphones or external speakers for a more immersive audio experience.
If you’re looking for something similar to consider your options, check out our review of the Acer Swift 3X by clicking right here.
Acer Swift 5 Verdict
The Acer Swift 5 is a solid ultraportable productivity laptop that can easily suit anyone’s lifestyle. It has good build quality, the CPU performs well, Thunderbolt 4 is great to have, it supports USB-C PD charging, you get touchscreen support, the RAM and storage configuration is perfect to start off with, it’s easy to bring around, and the fingerprint scanner is both fast and reliable.
However, the speakers are subpar and it has no SD card reader built in. At RM4,799, it may be a little pricey but it’s definitely worth the money for what you are getting. At the end of our Acer Swift 5 review, I award this with our coveted Gold Pokdeward.
Big thanks to Acer Malaysia for letting us use this laptop for the purpose of this review.