Acer has always done relatively well in the notebook market, but the last couple of years have been especially good for it. This was achieved not only by constantly updating the lineup and improving the quality in general, but also because the range of their laptops is presented in all segments, from the most budgetary to the most expensive. In particular, the Swift line is built around the concept of a light and elegant case, and a filling that does not differ in particular performance, but has a high autonomy. These laptops will not be able to play modern games (there is no discrete video adapter), but they successfully perform all other trivial tasks. And most importantly, thanks to their compactness, there is no desire to leave them at home. In this review, we will review the Acer Swift 1 model, built on the basis of the Intel Pentium N5000 processor with an integrated HD Graphics 605 video core, equipped with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB solid state drive.
Acer Swift 1 (SF114-32)
The model provided to us for testing is made in the soft turquoise Aqua Green color. In addition to this coloring, you can find gray, gold and even a glamorous pink version on sale. However, what I could not find in domestic stores was this particular modification, marked as P0PJ. Its main difference is a 256 GB solid state drive, which was not found in any retail offer.
|Model||Acer Swift 1 (SF114-32)|
|Processor||Intel Pentium Silver N5000, 1100 MHz (up to 2700 MHz in Turbo mode)|
|RAM||8 GB, DDR4-2400|
|Display||14″, 1920×1080, matte, IPS (ComfyView)|
|Video card||Intel HD Graphics 605|
|Disk subsystem||SSD 256 GB, Micron MTFDDAV256TBN (M2 2280, TLC, SATA 6Gb/s)|
|I/O ports||HDMI, USB 3.1 Type C, 2x USB 3.0 Type A, SD Card Reader, combo headphone out, USB 2.0 Type A, Kensington Lock|
|Communications||Intel Dual Band Wireless AC-9560 NGW (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, BT 5.0)|
|Cartridge reader||SD (XC/HC)|
|Multimedia||Audio system 2.0, webcam with two microphones|
|Power adapter, W||45|
|Dimensions, mm||323 x 228 x 15|
Contents of delivery
The laptop comes in a regular cardboard box without a handle, which is noticeably larger than its contents. There is a very useful sticker on the edge with full information about the serial number and model configuration. Inside, most of the space is occupied by the device itself, wrapped in two cardboard dampers and a soft fabric bag. The power supply is hidden in the box on the right. No documentation was found inside, which is not surprising, because we are clearly not the first to whom this device came for review.
The power supply is small and neat. Its size is 90x53x36 mm, and it weighs only 160 grams inclusive with a cable that is 1.8 meters long. The power connector is L-shaped, the wire has Velcro for collecting excess cord length, a ferrite ring with kink protection on both sides and a clip on which another thin cable can be attached in parallel. Despite the fact that this PSU is not much larger than charging for smartphones, it will not be difficult to carry it with you if necessary.
In addition to the intriguing coloring, a significant degree of charm of the Acer Swift 1 is its dimensions. The laptop has a thickness slightly less than 15 mm, length and width 323×228 mm. At the same time, it remains quite strong in bending, since the entire body is made of metal that is smooth to the touch. There are no sharp corners, all edges are smoothed.
Despite the metal, the total weight of the device slightly exceeds 1.3 kg. In this regard, the Swift 1 can easily compete with the MacBook Air 13″, and the screen is even slightly larger.
On the left side there is a small round charging connector, an external HDMI output, a USB 3.1 Type C connector (without the ability to charge the battery) and two USB 3.0 ports, one of which supports charging mobile devices in the off state.
On the right is an SD / SDHC / SDXC card reader slot, a combined 3.5 mm headset output, a USB 2.0 port, a dot indicator of system activity (blue / red), and another power indicator. On the edge on the right is a Kensington lock slot. In general, all external ports are quite convenient and ergonomic to use, although the audio output would have looked better in my opinion on the left side.
There are no ports on the front. In the center there is a small plastic protrusion from the screen frame, which makes it easier to lift the laptop lid. The «Macbook» Swift 1 test fails, its hinge is slightly tighter, so lifting the lid with one hand without supporting the bottom of the device will not work.
Behind us is also empty. The only thing is that the hinge body, although painted in the same color with everything else, is actually not metal, but plastic. However, this can only be determined by touch, visually the material looks like metal.
The top cover is flat and even, one relief element on it is the silver Acer logo. The thickness of the lid in profile, in combination with the metal panel and the plastic edging of the display, is 5 mm.
The bottom panel has a rounded shape at the front. There are four rubber feet on the corners. There are no air vents as the laptop has a passive cooling system. Speaker grilles are located on the sides near the front legs. Near the right rear there is an inconspicuous hole in which the battery reset button is hidden, in case the system freezes completely. Serial number stickers are on the back center. The manufacturer did not try to disguise nine service screws.
It’s time to open the laptop. As mentioned above, this will require two hands — if the hinge was a little less tight, you could simply pull the lid up. The difference in comparison with previous iterations of this model in the form of heavily emaciated side frames immediately catches the eye. Now their thickness on the sides is 6.3 mm, which made it possible to insert a 14″ screen into the case, where only 13.3″ previously fit.
The screen cover is matte, the reflections on it are certainly visible, but rather weakly. On the top, thin frame in the center there is a webcam eye, a green indicator of its activity and two microphones. Two more additional microphones, which are used for the correct operation of the voice assistant at a distance of up to 4 meters, are shifted to the upper right part of the frame. On the lower wide edge in the center is the Acer logo, and even lower, on the hinge body, the inscription Swift.
A notable feature of the Acer Swift 1 is the ability to open almost 180 degrees. It’s hard for me to come up with real use cases for this.
But, on the other hand, the chances of breaking the screen fasteners are greatly reduced by tilting it further than the usual 45 degrees from the vertical. Yes, and sometimes it will be more convenient to work in a prone position.
The keyboard in this device is an island type with a scissor mechanism. Keystrokes are clear, short and tactilely distinguishable at the time of operation. There is no digital block, but its functions, if necessary, can be connected to the numbers «7», «8», «9» and the letters «UIOJKLM». The system start button is located in the upper right corner. I note that it was made thoughtfully: when pressed in the off state, it starts the system. And when the system is running, you need to hold it for a few seconds, after which a dialog appears on the screen prompting you to choose to turn off the display, sleep, hibernate, or turn off the power. There is an option to turn off without a dialog appearing, for this you should select the appropriate menu item. All this helps to avoid accidental shutdown of the PC when you accidentally press Power instead of Backspace while working. The keyboard block, as in principle the entire top panel, can sag when pressed hard.
In our copy, the keyboard has only English engraving, the characters of which are shifted to the upper left corner. The thin white font is easy to read in daylight. For operation in the dark, white LED backlighting of the keys is provided with one fixed level of brightness, which illuminates the symbols and the outline of the switches. It is enabled and disabled with the F8 key. If you do not touch the keyboard, the backlight automatically turns off after 30 seconds of inactivity and lights up again when you press any key.
The touchpad is plastic, slippery, slightly recessed into the metal case. Its dimensions are 105×77 mm. Standard Windows gestures are supported, such as scrolling, zooming in and out of windows, and up to four simultaneous finger taps to perform different functions. In the lower left and right corners of the panel, the mechanical LMB and RMB buttons are hidden.
To the right under the keyboard is a fingerprint scanner. It is not very sensitive, but it works quite reliably if you slowly run a dry finger over it.
The Acer Swift 1 uses a 14″ AU Optronics sensor model B140HAN04.0. The maximum supported resolution is 1920×1080 pixels. Of the pleasant features, it is worth noting IPS technology, which provides wide viewing angles, no PWM flicker, and a fairly rich and bright screen gamut. On the other hand, color accuracy is far from ideal.
The display has an impressive margin of brightness, which, combined with the matte finish of the screen, makes it perfectly visible even in a well-lit room, or outdoors on a sunny day. The maximum that we managed to see is 275 cd/m², and the minimum value of the screen on the backlight in the «0» position was 17 cd/m². The static contrast ratio is stable over most of the brightness range and averages 1465:1. It sags slightly only after reducing the brightness to less than 20% of the nominal value.
The coverage of the sRGB color space is 56%. The gamma curves of the base colors are below the reference curve, although the gray level is close to ideal. When the backlight intensity is between 20% and 90%, the color temperature is in the middle range of 6300 Kelvin, which makes the screen image warmer.
The image on the screen can be viewed from almost any angle. If the angle is too sharp, the screen loses brightness, but color inversion does not occur.
The display in general on the Acer Swift 1 is quite pleasant from the point of view of the average user. However, you should not engage in graphic design on this device, it is clearly intended for cases where the quality of color reproduction is not critical.
In order to access the insides of the Acer Swift 1, you will need a Torx T06 screwdriver. With its help, nine clearly visible screws are unscrewed from the bottom panel of the case, then the cover must be carefully pry in the front and removed, opening the plastic clips in turn. A lot of plastic fasteners and insulating elements were glued on the inside of the bottom panel.
The motherboard occupies less than 30% of the total space in the laptop, and quite a few elements are connected to it via cables, and not soldered directly.
Exactly half of the front of the case is occupied by a three-cell battery with a total capacity of 54 Wh. If necessary, it can be easily replaced with a similar one. In front, on both sides of the battery, are stereo speakers. Their connecting wire is laid along the front face.
The main part of the motherboard is located in the upper left corner of the case. There is no usual fan here, instead, the processor, chipset and RAM are covered with a massive copper heat distribution plate, which provides passive heat dissipation from the processor with a TDP of 6 watts. Removing the cooler to replace the thermal interface will not cause problems, but the RAM cannot be upgraded. However, 8 GB is already the maximum amount of memory that the Intel Pentium Silver N5000 installed here supports. The main advantage of passive cooling for a laptop is, on the one hand, the complete absence of noise, and on the other hand, that dust does not get inside, therefore it does not need to be cleaned regularly. However, there is also a drawback. If the user still manages to exceed the cooling capacity, the processor will start to drop the frequency, which will significantly affect performance.
The filling of this laptop, although it stepped forward in comparison with the previous model of the series, still does not impress with its performance. The algorithm of the central processor is that most of the time it maintains a frequency of 1100 MHz, for a short time raising it to 2700 MHz when performing single-threaded tasks. Thus, it fits into a given thermal package.
On the left, an Intel Dual Band Wireless AC-9560 Wi-Fi module and a 256 GB M.2 2280 Micron MTFDDAV256TBN drive are connected to the board. If in the future the volume of the drive is not enough, it can be easily changed, for example, to something with a capacity of 1 TB. The Wi-Fi module is also replaceable in case of failure. Attached to the module is a lithium battery responsible for powering the CMOS memory. The metal hinge of the screen is well reinforced on both sides, which will allow it to withstand many hardships of fate.