The status of «the lightest laptop in the class» has long lost its former appeal in the eyes of the average buyer. Today, the choice of ultrabooks is so wide, and their similarity in size is so great that it is not difficult to find a model that is comfortable in size and the difference in weight of 50-100 grams has ceased to be a significant choice factor. But, sometimes there are breakthroughs of “psychological barriers” in the market that make you draw attention to yourself. Meet the Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T, the first 15-inch laptop to weigh less than 1kg.
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T
In the current Acer lineup, the Swift 5 line has moved from the mid-mid+ segment to the premium segment. This is evidenced by advanced device configurations, premium case finishing materials and a pricing policy that starts from $1000 already for basic versions. Acer emphasizes that the Swift 5 lineup delivers unparalleled levels of mobility combined with high performance. In other words, it is aimed at people who are looking for an alternative to MacBook Air laptops on Windows.
|Model||Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8565U, 4 cores, 1800 MHz (up to 4600 MHz in Turbo Boost mode)|
|RAM||16 in, DDR4-2400 (BGA)|
|Display||15.6″, 1920×1080, touchscreen, glossy, IPS (LG LP156WFA-SPG2)|
|Video card||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|Disk subsystem||SSD 512 ГБ, Skhynix BC501 (NVMe 1.2, BGA)|
|I/O ports||HDMI, USB 3.1 Type C, 2x USB 3.0 Type A, combo audio port|
|Communications||IEEE 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0|
|Multimedia||Audio system 2.0, web camera|
|Power adapter, W||45|
|Dimensions, mm||358 x 230 x 15,9|
We were given a top-end version based on an Intel Core i7 processor, 16 gigabytes of RAM and a capacious 512 gigabyte SSD for testing. The retail price in Ukrainian online stores at the time of writing is $1,700.
Contents of delivery
The package bundle of a laptop is typically minimal: a charger, paper instructions and a warranty card. Subjectively, such solutions should already be equipped with a branded carrying case out of the box. The minimum dimensions of the laptop predispose the user to carry it in his everyday backpack or bag and in such a situation of use, the chance that the body of the device comes into contact with another metal object (keys, inner pocket zipper slider, pen, paper clip on a folder with documents and etc.) is extremely high.
The dimensions of the power adapter are comparable to a matchbox, which corresponds to the concept of the minimum size of the laptop itself. The output power of the adapter is 45W.
In terms of design, Acer decided not to experiment and implemented Swift 5 in a classic style. The body is rectangular with slightly rounded corners. The main material is magnesium alloy. The surface is smooth and matte.
The choice of the buyer provided two colors: silver and rich blue. In the case of the second option, some of the finishing elements, such as the manufacturer’s logo on the top cover and the engraving of the keyboard keys, are made in a golden hue, which should enhance the effect of the premium and high status of the device.
Case dimensions are 358x230x15.9 mm. Weight — 0.99 kilograms. In the hands of the laptop feels almost airy. At the same time, the overall design has sufficient rigidity to prevent excessive deflection of the top cover. The build quality is at a high level.
The manufacturer used the screen bezel with a minimum thickness, due to which the inside of the laptop has a modern and pleasing look. The thickness of the frames at the side faces is only 5.9 mm.
The top cover can be tilted as much as possible by 180 degrees, which will allow you to comfortably work with the laptop from almost any position.
The set of interfaces for connecting peripherals can be described as basic and necessary. An HDMI port, two USB 3.0 Type-A connectors (with offline charging function) and one multifunctional USB 3.1 Type-C are available on the left side.
On the right side are the combined audio port and Kensington lock.
A standard webcam and a pair of microphones have taken their place in the center of the top frame of the screen.
The hero of the review received a full-size island-type keyboard without a dedicated numeric keypad, but with a separate row of Home/Pg Up/Pg Dn/End function keys. A fingerprint scanner is available just below the keyboard block.
The laptop power button, typical for Acer products, is located in the upper right corner.
As for the tactile sensations from working with the keyboard, I was somewhat surprised by the rather short and hard key travel. They require more effort than you expect to work, and fast typing will require a certain period of adaptation. There are two white backlight modes available for the keyboard.
The medium-sized touchpad is made in the form of a solid surface without separate buttons. It supports all the gestures available to the Windows 10 operating system, and in most ordinary tasks it is quite capable of replacing a standard mouse.
The Swift 5 SF515-51T display received a very high-quality 15.6-inch IPS-matrix manufactured by LG Display (LG 156WFA-SPG2). The maximum screen resolution is 1920×1080 pixels, the refresh rate is 60 Hz.
The screen itself is touch-sensitive, that is, we are dealing with a glossy surface without the use of a matte film. As a consequence, the crystalline effect is absent.
The brightness range is adjustable over a wide range from 20 to 320 cd/m². You can easily work behind a laptop both in salty weather and in low light conditions. The contrast ratio is stable and averages 1081:1.
The color gamut covers 98.5% of the sRGB color space and 70.0% of the AdobeRGB space. Gamma curves run close to the reference curve, although slightly scattered. The color temperature is close to 6000K, as a result the screen tends to produce a warmer picture.
Pleased with the color accuracy. Without additional calibration, the average DeltaE deviation was only 2.01 units, with a maximum deviation of 6.74 units.
The use of IPS-matrix guarantees wide viewing angles in both horizontal and vertical planes. When the viewpoint is shifted, color fading is minimal. People who are susceptible to SHI modulation can also be calm — the LG 156WFA-SPG2 does not have it.
As a result, Swift 5 SF515-51T has at its disposal an excellent versatile display that is well suited for working with any kind of content, including photo or video editing.
In terms of technical equipment, the hero of the review is ready to offer the user the maximum level of performance that you can count on when buying a modern ultrabook. It is based on the Intel Core i7-8565U central processor, which is endowed with 4 physical cores with support for Hyper-Threading technology. The base clock frequency of the CPU is 1.8 GHz, and the maximum, with proper cooling, can reach 4.6 GHz. Complements the processor 16 gigabytes of RAM standard DDR4-2400.
The integrated graphics core Intel HD Graphics 620 is responsible for working with graphics.
The role of the disk subsystem was taken over by the Skhynix BC501 solid-state drive, with a capacity of 512 gigabytes (440 gigabytes are available to the user). This SSD uses the PCIe Gen3x2 data transfer interface and is capable of a maximum read/write speed of 1600/860 MB/s.
Interestingly, in the case of the Swift 5 SF515-51T, we are dealing with a BGA SSD form factor. That is, the drive is soldered to the motherboard. The same fate befell other key components of the system: the processor, RAM, and even the Wi-Fi module. Of the possibilities for further modification, only an empty M.2 2280 slot is available, where, if necessary, you can install a second drive.