Acer Swift 5 Review - A Super Light 14" best low price Laptop Review 2020

 The Acer Swift 5 is a thin and lightweight

14 inch laptop, but what sacrifices have to

be made for this level of portability? I’ll

help you decide if this laptop is worth considering

"laptop review"


in this detailed review!

For the specs mine has an Intel 10th gen Ice

Lake i7-1065G7 quad core processor, which

has Intel Iris Plus graphics, there’s no

discrete GPU here. There’s 16gb of LPDDR4X

memory in dual channel, a 512gb NVMe M.2 SSD,

and a 14” 1080p IPS touchscreen.

There’s WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5 for network

connectivity, however it’s far too thin


for an ethernet port.

The Swift 5 has a matte blue finish on top

with gold Acer logo in the center. The interior

has the same blue finish, and the keys have

a similar gold. Overall the laptop felt pretty

sturdy due to the metal build, and all corners

and edges were rounded and smooth.

The weight is impressive, it comes in under

a kilogram, or less than 2.1 pounds. With

the small 65 watt power brick and cables for

charging this rises to 1.2kg, so quite lightweight


for travel.

It’s on the smaller side for a 14 inch machine

and is also quite thin. This makes it a portable

package, and means that the screen bezels

are just 6mm on the sides.

Despite the smaller bezels, the 720p camera

is found above the display, no Windows Hello

support though.

The camera and microphone are both pretty

average and typing on the keyboard isn’t


too obtrusive.

The keyboard has white backlighting which

illuminates all keys and secondary key functions.

The brightness can be adjusted between two

levels or turned off completely by using the

F8 key.

I found the keyboard good to type with, however

I wasn’t personally a fan of the small arrow

keys, and as the power button is right above

the backspace key you’ll probably want to

change the settings in Windows so that a mispress

doesn’t put it to sleep, which is the default.


Here’s how typing sounds to give you an

idea of what to expect.

The rear of the laptop raises up a little

bit when you open the lid, which gives the

keyboard an ever so slight incline. We can

see on the back there are just a couple of

rubber feet which come into contact with the

desk, and with that combined with the super

low weight I found that it very easy to slide

around on a flat surface, despite the rubber

feet underneath.


There was some keyboard flex while pushing

down hard, some would be due to the lift design

as there are less contact points between it

and the desk, however I never had an issue

with this during normal use. Screen flex also

seemed pretty average, but it was hard to

try and bend it without the machine sliding

around for the reason just discussed.

The precision touchpad clicks down anywhere

and worked well, I thought the size was decent


considering the available space.

There’s a small fingerprint scanner to the

right just below the arrow keys, I tried adding

different fingers multiple times but never

got it to properly recognize my fingers during

the setup process, so I wasn’t able to test

it out.

The 14” 1080p IPS touchscreen worked fine

and the screen didn’t tilt back when pressing

on it.

I’ve measured colour gamut with the Spyder

5, and got 99% of sRGB, 70% of NTSC, and 76%


of AdobeRGB. At 100% brightness I measured

316 nits in the center with a 890:1 contrast

ratio, so fair results, about average brightness

and above average colours.

Backlight bleed was minimal in this worst

case scenario, I never had any issues when

viewing darker content, but this will vary

between laptop and panel.

On the left from the back there’s the power

input, HDMI output, the version wasn’t specified


however I confirmed I could use a 4K monitor

at 60Hz so it’s probably 2.0, USB 3.1 Gen1

Type-A port, and a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port

supporting DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3, and

I confirmed Type-C charging works too.

On the right from the front there’s a 3.5mm

audio combo jack, USB 2.0 Type-A port, status

LEDs and Kensington lock.


There’s nothing on the back other than some

subtle swift branding, while the front just

has a groove to help you open the lid.

Fingerprints and dirt show up on the matte

finish, both on the interior and lid, however

as a smooth surface it's easy to clean.

Underneath just has some air ventilation towards

the back. Getting inside was very easy, just


remove 11 TR5 screws and the bottom panel

comes right off.

Inside we’ve got the battery down the front,

single M.2 storage drive to the right of that,

WiFi card right in the middle, and single

fan and heat pipe for cooling, we’ll check

thermals shortly. It’s worth noting the

memory is soldered to the motherboard and

cannot be upgraded, so you need to buy it

with what you need.


The speakers are found towards the front left

and right corners, I thought they sounded

pretty decent considering the size of the

laptop, not amazing but definitely above average

for a laptop. They got loud enough at maximum

volume, and the latencymon results looked

good.

The Swift 5 is powered by a 4 cell 56wh battery.

Despite not being that large, it lasted for

almost 7 and a half hours when just watching

YouTube with the screen on 50% brightness


and keyboard lighting off, a great result

when compared to others I’ve tested. I didn’t

bother testing the usual game I use for battery

life though due to the Iris graphics.

Thermal testing was completed with an ambient

room temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately

Hardware Info didn’t report details regarding

the Iris graphics, so I’ve just got CPU

temperatures while running my usual Aida64

CPU stress test and Heaven GPU benchmark,


and this represents a worst case heavy load.

The CPU temperature at idle was good, and

even under this heavy load it was still fine,

no thermal throttling. The clock speeds look

low, however the i7-1065G7 operates at 1.3GHz

base clock with a 15W TDP. The 3.9GHz speed

listed on the spec sheet is only for brief

single core turbo boosts. I don’t have undervolting

results, as even a small -0.05v undervolt

was unstable.


Here’s what the CPU performance was looking

like in Cinebnech. All of these are quad core

CPUs, however the top two have much higher

power limits and are larger machines, so better

performance is expected. This is only the

second time I’ve had a laptop with this

CPU, however it was performing better than

the Razer Blade Stealth 13 with same processor


- granted that one does also have higher powered

- Nvidia GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics.

As for the areas where you’ll actually be

touching, it was well below the usual 30 degrees

Celsius I usually see at idle. Even with the

CPU and GPU stress test going, it’s in the


mid 30s on the keyboard, so hardly even warm,

absolutely no issues at all. Let’s have

a listen to fan noise.

It was completely silent at idle, and then

with the stress tests running it was still

extremely quiet, I’ve had gaming laptops

that idle louder than this for comparison.

All things considered, there were no issues

with the thermal performance at all. CPU temperatures


didn’t get hot as the CPU is capped to a

15 watt limit under heavy load, and this is

being reached. This results in a system that’s

cool to the touch even when you’re hitting

it hard, with that single fan hardly making

much noise at all.

Although definitely not a gaming laptop, the

Intel Iris graphics should still be capable

of some lightweight gaming, so let’s see

how well it holds up.


I’ve tested these games at 900p with the

lowest settings available. Dota 2 was easily

playable without issue, Overwatch felt a bit

stuttery, and the CS:GO results were lower,

so those two would probably benefit more from

a lower 720p resolution.

You can still play less demanding esports

titles at lower settings on the Intel graphics,

just be prepared to drop the resolution.


I’ve used Adobe Premiere to export one of

my laptop review videos at 4K. This is the

first laptop I’ve had that only has the

Intel Iris graphics, so I don’t really have

much else in a similar league to fairly compare

it to. As a result, the Swift 5 is in last

place out of the machines I’ve recently

tested due to not having discrete graphics.

I’ve used Crystal Disk Mark to test the

512gb NVMe M.2 SSD, and the speeds were respectable.


For updated pricing check the links in the

description, as prices will change over time.

At the time of recording, you can get the

Acer Swift 5 for just over $1000 USD, however

this one has half the memory of the one I

tested, I couldn’t find a 16gb model on

Amazon or Newegg. The i5 model is also available

for $900 USD.


Here in Australia, the same spec I’ve tested

seems to go for $2000 AUD, however it’s

currently on sale for $300 less, while the

i5 model typically goes for $500 less, but

it’s on sale too.

With all of that in mind, let’s conclude

by going through the good and bad aspects

of the 10th gen Acer Swift 5 laptop.

Overall I thought the build quality was decent

when you consider the smaller form factor.

Yes it does have some flex if you go out of

your way to try and bend it, but it’s perfectly


adequate during normal use and feels quite

sturdy.

Even for a 14 inch laptop, the Swift 5 is

on the smaller side, and at less than 1 kilogram,

the weight is impressive if portability is

your priority. As you’d expect though, this

does mean there’s less performance on offer

compared to other larger options at this price

point. This does however mean that it doesn’t

get hot, it ran cool and quiet even under

worst case stress test.


That said I thought the CPU performance was

fair, but tasks that would benefit from discrete

graphics such as video exporting were slower,

but that’s part of the trade off with such

a slim machine. The Iris graphics are an improvement

over what Intel had before, however at this

time they’re still below what we’d see

from a dedicated Nvidia solution. I suspect

that wasn’t possible here due to the smaller

footprint of the Swift 5, and other laptops


around the same weight only make use of the

Intel graphics too.

Another downside of smaller laptops like this

is a lack of upgradeability, you can only

change the WiFi card or single storage slot.

Memory is soldered to the motherboard, so

you’ll need to buy with that in mind as

you can’t upgrade later.

The touchscreen was decent with above average

colour gamut and average brightness. The keyboard


and touchpad worked well, it was shame that

I wasn’t able to test the fingerprint scanner

though, hopefully it’s just some issue with

my specific unit or fingers.

Considering the size, there’s a decent range

of I/O, though USB 2.0 in 2020 seems suboptimal.

The Type-C port with DisplayPort, Thunderbolt

3, and Type-C charging in particular was nice

to have.

The battery life was also quite good, again

considering the size of both the machine and


battery, but I suppose that’s expected when

there’s no discrete graphics.

With the Swift 5, you’re absolutely paying

extra to have such a thin, light and portable

laptop. Some people, myself included, are

happy to pay this price though, even if there

are better performing options for less money

if they come at the expense of heavier and

thicker profiles.

I think the Swift 5 would be a good option

for a business user that travels frequently


with a laptop, but doesn’t need discrete

graphics power.

Let me know what you thought about the 10th

gen Acer Swift 5 laptop down in the comments,

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