What Is the Acer Swift 3?
As a budget ultraportable laptop, the Acer Swift 3 places No. 9 in our rating of the Best Laptops of 2023 (tied with the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio). With a taller 3:2 ratio screen wrapped in a slim aluminum-magnesium case, the Swift 3 is best used for business tasks that don’t require the fastest or most advanced hardware.
Acer Swift 3 Review
3.2U.S. News Rating
Ranked #9 in Best Laptops of 2023 (tie)
Ranked #4 in Best Laptops for College of 2023
Ranked #4 in Best Business Laptops of 2023 (tie)
- Low cost
- High-res IPS screen
- Good quality
- Basic style
- Tactile feel of keyboard and trackpad
- Discontinued model
At under $1000, the Acer Swift 3 (13.5-inch) offers good performance in a lightweight and compact design. While it’s a relatively basic laptop compared to similar models from Dell and Apple, professional reviewers like the the Swift 3’s long battery life, full array of ports, and display that’s taller than most 13-inch laptops. Acer currently limits the Swift 3 (13.5-inch) to only two models that differ by CPU, GPU, and hard drive capacity. More Swift 3 models are available in the newer 14-inch display size (which actually has fewer pixels and features) and a larger 16-inch display, but this review rates only the 13.5-inch model.
Acer lists the Swift 3 (13.5-inch) at $729 and the upgraded model at $799. For these prices, it’s a considerable value if you can overlook the low tactile quality of the keyboard and trackpad. Those demerits, according to reviewers, detract from the Swift 3’s otherwise premium feel.
Acer Swift 3: The Bottom Line
Business professionals and college students who need above-average performance in the smallest possible size at the lowest cost should consider an Acer Swift 3 (13.5-inch). The display resolution and the screen’s taller size are better than the narrower, high-definition displays that most laptops in this segment offer. But for anyone serious about graphics or gaming, the integrated Intel GPU and the dated Intel Core i5 CPUs are immediate deal breakers.
Acer Swift 3: Price
The $729 model (SF313-52-526M) comes with an Intel Core i5-1035G4 that runs at a peak of 3.7 GHz, Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 8 GB DD4 memory, 256 GB SSD, 802.11ax wireless, fingerprint reader, and a 13.5-inch IPS display running at 2256 x 1504 resolution. What’s better is everything else you get for $799 (SF313-53-56UU), including a 4.2-GHz Core i5-1135G7 with a larger 8 MB cache, Iris Xe graphics, and a 512 GB SSD.
Reviewers say the Swift 3 (13.5-inch) can easily handle cloud docs, multiple browser tabs, email, and other basic apps without slowing down. In general, the Swift 3 (13.5-inch) performed among its peers in most benchmarks, but the quicker Swift 3X performed better in 3D graphics testing. However, reviewers say it’s relatively slow in writing files to the SSD. The MacBook Air and Dell XPS 13 cost more but outperform the Swift 3.
Acer includes a fingerprint scanner that is compatible with Windows Hello sign-in and a dual-band Intel Wi-Fi 6 controller that it claims is more secure than previous versions. All the other standard security features on Windows 10 or Windows 11 come included.
The Swift 3 (13.5-inch) is rated by Acer at either 14 or 16 hours of battery life depending on which model you choose. Reviewers were either able to come close or match Acer’s rating. While good, the battery life trails behind the MacBook Air, which can easily crest more than 20 hours per charge. The four-cell lithium-ion battery can be recharged via a 65-watt power supply.