Acer’s slim and light Swift laptop range just got some new recruits at CES 2023, with a trio of new additions, and a new, more straightforward naming convention to boot.
These include the entry-level Swift Go (available in both 14- and 16-inch screen sizes - a refresh of last year’s Swift 3), the Swift X 14 for the power users out there and the flagship model - the Acer Swift 14 - with its premium design and finish.
It certainly caught our eye at our CES 2023 prebrief, but as this year’s take on the Swift 5 - one of our favourite laptops of last year - that's really not a surprise. We didn't get any time to judge the performance in our hands on time, but here are our first impressions from seeing it in the flesh.
- Unibody aluminium chassis
- 14.95mm thick, 1.2kg
- Steam Blue or Mist Green colourways
Quite simply, the Swift 14 is gorgeous to look at. It packs a stylish unibody chassis, made from aerospace-grade aluminium, with diamond-cut edges and double-anodised materials.
In the 'Steam Blue' matte dark blue colourway we saw (it’s also available in Mist Green), this uncovers a gold accent around the edge of the touchpad and along the sides of the laptop that really complement its main chassis colour, giving it a really eye-catching, premium finish.
As we’ve come to expect from this range, the Swift 14 is slim and light for easy portability, measuring 14.95mm (0.59in) when closed, and weighing just 1.2kg/2.64lbs - about the same weight as a MacBook Air M2. When you open the lid of the laptop it raises the back end up slightly, to give the keyboard a more comfortable typing position.
It’s not just about good looks though - there’s purpose here too. The OceanGlass touchpad, which feels and looks like glass, has been made from ocean-bound plastic waste, as has its power button fingerprint reader (which supports Windows Hello).
- 14-inch touchscreen
- WQXGA or WUXGA options
- Corning Gorilla Glass coated
As its name would suggest, the Acer Swift 14 offers two 14-inch 16:10 touchscreen display options – either a 2.5k WQXGA (2560x1600) or 1080p+ WUXGA (1920x1200). We saw the 2.5K WQXGA version during our hands on time, and it looked bright and sharp with a plenty of punch to colours.
Either option will be covered with Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass to ensure durability and provide scratch resistance, while also keeping pesky germs at bay.
Acer decided to stick with the 16:10 aspect ratio across the whole Swift range to ensure thinner bezels and more screen real estate for vertical scrolling, offering a 90% screen-to-body ratio.
Performance and features
- 13th Generation Intel Core H Series processor
- 1440p QHD webcam
- 9.5 hours battery life
As you might expect, one of the biggest upgrades on the Swift 14 laptop is happening on the inside, with the new 13th Generation Intel Core H-series processors. This promises more than 9.5 hours of battery life, making it eligible for Intel Evo certification.
Another new feature this year is the Swift 14’s 1440p QHD webcam, up from 1080p FHD on the Swift 5. That is complemented by Acer’s PurifiedVoice technology for clean, clear call quality and dual speakers enhanced with DTS Audio.
To keep things cool under pressure, the Swift 14 features Acer’s TwinAir dual-fan system and D6 copper heat pipes to increase airflow, as well as its air inlet keyboard that draws air through the keys.
From a connectivity perspective, Acer hasn’t put this Swift 14’s thin and light credentials ahead of functionality, and there is a good selection of full ports here, including two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 posts and an HDMI 2.1.
Finally, up to 1TB storage is available, alongside up to 32GB RAM.
How does it compare with Swift Go and Swift X?
The Swift 14 is considered the flagship machine of the 2023 range, but there is also the Swift Go and Swift X to consider - with two defined audiences in mind.
In a lot of ways, the Swift Go is the "mainstream" machine. It lacks the the design flourishes of the Swift 14 and offers a more functional finish, but one that is still slim, light and attractive. The 14in version is very similar in its weight and dimensions to the Swift 14, with a bit of expected extra heft if you want the 16-inch version.
It does offer more options to tweak the specs to your liking though. As well as the choice of 14- or 16-inch screen sizes, there is an option for a 2.8K or 3.2K OLED non-touch display with 120Hz refresh rate, as well as the touchscreen options of the Swift 14.
The 14-inch version will also allow users the ability to choose between Intel and AMD internals, while the 16-inch is Intel only.
The Swift X 14, on the other hand, is aimed at performance junkies, and includes everything from the Go models alongside a dedicated GPU (up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU) and a larger fan to help keep it cool under added performance pressure.