Acer Swift X3 review: Solid specs, including Intel’s dGPU, but build quality disappoints Review

The fourteen-inch Acer Swift 3X, announced in Oct very last calendar year, was an early adopter of Intel’s 11th era Core processors, and amongst the initial with Iris Xe MAX discrete graphics. This marked the Swift 3X as a system to glance out for. It has taken a while to get there in the British isles, but starting at £899 (inc. VAT £749.sixteen ex. VAT, or $899.99 in the US), does this laptop present superior benefit for revenue for understanding workers and — many thanks to the dGPU — creators? 

The Acer Swift 3X will come in two color variants, Steam Blue and Safari Gold. My Steam Blue variant had a metallic sheen to its blue/grey end, which was relatively desirable. The two color schemes have a vivid inexperienced/blue strip all the way along the outer edge of the hinge, with capitalised Swift branding in the middle giving an eye-catching ‘designer’ contact. 

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Acer’s fourteen-inch Swift 3X runs on 11th era Intel Core i5 or i7 processors with discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics.


Illustrations or photos: Acer

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The ‘Swift ‘branding on the outside of the monitor hinge gives a designer contact.


Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

If you want to carry this laptop all around, its one.37kg weight is appropriate for a fourteen-inch system. It’s a little on the thick facet at 17.95mm, despite the fact that the desktop footprint is tidy at 322.8mm large by 212.2mm deep. When you raise the lid the hinge mechanism leads to the back to press down and the base to increase, presenting the keyboard at a slight angle. The monitor hinges back to about a hundred thirty five levels, which is plenty for doing the job comfortably, but you will not be in a position to lie the monitor flat on a desk. 

The establish contains plenty of metallic, but it isn’t going to really feel all that robust. Urgent down even carefully on the lid of my shut evaluate unit was adequate to force it inwards, and I would not recommend sitting anything on prime of this laptop when it is really not in use. I was in a position to flex the lid a little in my hands when the laptop was open and in use, but not to a regarding degree. The base is reasonably agency all around the wrist rest spot, and as a gentle-contact typist I only skilled flex in the keyboard spot when mimicking a large-handed typing motion. 

The keyboard’s backlit keys are bouncy, with plenty of travel, and the gentle ‘thunky’ sound created by typing is not intrusive. The double-top Enter vital butts correct up to the hash/tilde vital, which is a little odd, but did not produce any accuracy concerns for me. The arrow keys are pleasant and large. There is certainly a Fn vital that disables the touchpad, which could be helpful, despite the fact that there is no substitute for cursor control as the monitor is not contact-responsive. There is certainly a fingerprint sensor in the wrist rest and a 720p webcam above the monitor which lacks each IR/Home windows Hi there functionality and a security address.   

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The backlit keyboard sits at a at ease typing angle, but large-handed typists may notice some flex. 


Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The fourteen-inch monitor sits in slim but not minimum bezels: I measured the facet bezels at about five.5mm, the prime bezel at about eight.5mm and the base bezel at all around thirteen.5mm. Having said that, there is a narrow black border amongst the monitor edge and the bezels. On my evaluate unit this border was of equal dimensions on still left and correct sides, and just a couple of pixels large. On the prime and base edges it was skewed so that it was (to me) visibly further on the upper correct than the upper still left, and further on the reduced still left than the reduced correct. I know that in everyday use this would irritate me considerably. 

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The non-contact IPS screen is matte relatively than reflective, which is welcome. Its FHD (one,920 x one,080, sixteen:nine, 157.3ppi) resolution permitted me to work with two files open facet by facet, despite the fact that a further sixteen:10 aspect ratio would be even superior. 

The stereo speakers produce plenty of quantity and respectable audio high quality. There is certainly very little excellent below, but the speakers are surely superior adequate for video phone calls and occasional soon after-hrs multimedia use. 

My Acer Swift 3X evaluate unit ran on an 11th era Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Its checklist price tag is presently £1,199 (inc. VAT £999.99 ex. VAT) at Acer’s British isles on the net retail outlet. If that’s much too steep, you can find a Core i5-primarily based design on Amazon for £899, with 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.

Acer has executed an intricate cooling system to cope with the 11th era processor and its discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics, which has 4GB of focused video RAM. There is certainly a distinguished grille at the prime of the keyboard portion, which isn’t going to glance terrific but is there to allow warmth out. There is certainly also a large grilled spot on the underside, and while the aforementioned base-lifting hinge offers the keyboard at a at ease angle, it also promotes airflow. 

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A Fn-F vital combo cycles you through a few ‘performance’ modes, which will adjust the processor loading. This could be helpful if you are irritated by supporter sound: I only located the supporter kicked in when I powered up, but it is very noisy, which could irritate people who consistently operate demanding workloads. 

Acer gives the Swift 3X with a realistic established of ports and connectors. There is certainly 1 USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, along with a pair of USB three.two ports, a comprehensive-dimensions HDMI connector and a three.5mm headset jack. Luckily, the one USB-C port is not necessary for charging, as there is a proprietary round-pin connector for that. There is certainly a small charge indicator LED on the correct edge, as well as 1 that allows you know when the laptop is switched on — handy if you’ve got just shut the lid relatively than powered down. 

Acer prices a headline battery lifestyle of 17.five hrs for the Swift 3X assortment, but fourteen hrs for my Core i7/Iris Xe MAX evaluate configuration. Even the latter may perhaps be a bit optimistic beneath serious-globe workloads. My regular test, doing the job into creating applications while streaming audio and occasional video, and with many open browser home windows, observed the fifty seven.8Wh battery drain from comprehensive to seventy five% over a few hrs, providing an estimate of twelve hrs. Nevertheless, that’s at ease all-day battery lifestyle for most understanding workers, and even some creators earning use of the discrete Iris Xe MAX GPU with more demanding workloads. Acer claims the battery will quickly-charge to supply four hrs of use in 30 minutes. Regrettably my evaluate unit came with no an Asus charger, so I wasn’t in a position to test this. 

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Graphic: Acer

Conclusions 

Acer’s Swift 3X is a well-specified laptop with the newest Intel Core processors and discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics. The Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage in my evaluate unit executed well, and even the entry-degree Core i5 design delivers 8GB and 512GB. We like the matte monitor, and despite the fact that its ‘blingy’ hinge will not charm to every person, it does incorporate some pizzazz to the style. It would have been superior to see two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, and that wonky screen panel in my evaluate unit is a fret hopefully it was just a glitch. 

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