This is the Acer Swift 5. It’s an ultrabook that Acer made and it weighs less than a kilogram. And a very thin laptop too. So how did Acer create this thin laptop?
It’s a fantastic laptop to use – but nothing is perfect. For the price of RM3,999, is the Acer Swift 5 the unique laptop that we can recommend?
Taking out everything, there are only a few things in the box. The most important contents are the charger and the laptop itself.
Sleek matte white finish
Once I unboxed this laptop, I immediately took notice of its aesthetics. It’s completely white in color but with a hint of gold on the Acer logo.
But, this is not the typical high-gloss or brushed aluminium finish. Instead, Acer opted for what seems to be a leather texture that’s printed. It definitely feels unique and premium at the same.
The entire laptop feels the same, by the way. Even the inside and the bottom part of the laptop feels the same.
Opening up the lid, we are immediately greeted by a 14-inch IPS LCD screen. It has good color accuracy and also fantastic brightness. Combined with its matte finish and has thin bezels for all 4 sides, this laptop is suitable for all situations and venues.
And since it has a matte finish and the entire display is indented, we did not think that this is a touch-sensitive screen, until we accidentally touch screen once.
And yes – through that accident, we discovered that the Acer Swift 5’s indented matte display is indeed a touch screen. That’s quite weird as laptops with a touchscreen usually have a layer of glass on top of the display instead.
Since the screen isn’t covered in glass, swiping across the screen is a very different experience.
One thing I find to be rather interesting is the use of a very tiny cutout for the webcam. That makes it so that the webcam is tiny and the bezels can be thin.
Trackpad and keyboard
I think Acer did a pretty good job here. For some reason, Acer did not use Windows Precision Touchpad drivers but instead opted for Synaptics instead. The trackpad performs well enough for me to not complain… other than its palm rejection.
The palm rejection is finicky. Sometimes when I want to scroll a webpage up or down, it detected my palm and took it as a triple finger swipe gesture instead and showed me my desktop. But palm rejection issues are prevalent in Windows Precision Touchpad drivers as well.
As for the keyboard, I’m okay with it. Generally, I like the keycap surfaces to be a bit rough, but the Acer Swift 5’s keycaps are pretty much smooth.
The layout is also quite weird as there is no function lock key. By default, pressing the function row will change its brightness and whatnot – but I use keys like F2 and F5 for quick navigation. Without the function lock key, I’ll need some time to get used to it.
The keyboard has three levels of backlight brightness too. It’s either dim, bright, or off. Backlights are important for laptops as the keyboard layout changes constantly. However, the backlight on the Acer Swift 5 is very uneven.
I’d like to see an improvement in the next generation of the Acer Swift 5. Firstly, the backlight uniformity. Secondly, integrating the fingerprint scanner and the power button together, and place it outside the keyboard array.
Speaking of the fingerprint scanner, this scanner only works like… half of the time? It’s quite inconsistent – yet it’s placed very far away from where any fingers would reach.
Specs and performance
As for the specs, we have:
- 14-inch IPS LCD
- 1920×1080 pixels in resolution
- Intel Core i5-1035G1
- NVIDIA GeForce MX250
- 8GB DDR4-2666 (soldered)
- 256GB PCIe Gen 3 x2 SSD
- 56Wh battery
While this processor is meant to prolong battery life, its performance isn’t affected that much. Throughout my usage of this laptop, I can get quite a good performance overall.
Here are the performance numbers.
I can still do some lightweight Photoshop with a lot of Chrome tabs at the same time, while Spotify is running. I had a good time doing my work on the Acer Swift 5.
Maintenance and upgradability
Unfortunately, the Acer Swift 5 is sealed off with a warranty sticker on top of one of the screws. We did ask Acer Malaysia if we can void the warranty just to show you what’s inside, but they said no.
However, Acer Malaysia did tell us what can and cannot be upgraded.
The RAMs are soldered but the SSD can be swapped out if you want to do so. I don’t think anyone wants to swap out a high-speed 512GB SSD, though.
Throughout our usage of heavy Chrome browsing, Spotify, some YouTube videos, and some lightweight Photoshop work, the Acer Swift 5 can last about 6 hours in a single charge.
I’d say that’s very good considering that this is an impossibly thin and light laptop.
It’s quite okay. It takes about 1.5 hours to charge from 15% to 100%. I do like the fact that the Acer Swift 5 does support USB-C charging as well, so you can plug in a power bank if you want to do so.
Wrapping up the Acer Swift 5 review
For the variant that we have for review, its price is at RM3,999. With all things considered, this is a fairly good deal. We get an impossibly thin and light laptop with decent specs to match.
I do like the fact that there is a Thunderbolt 3 port so that we can use USB-PD chargers like the Innergie 60C to charge it up during emergencies. Heck, even power banks like the Ugreen or Tronsmart one works fine too.
There are certainly a few things to improve. To me, many of the issues are minor, but cannot be ignored. Still, this laptop is mindblowingly thin and light.