Acer Swift 7 review: This slender ultrabook focuses on just the basics

PCWorld | Nov 15, 2016

Thin may be in, but you can get more bang for your buck.

PC vendors love to sell the idea of thin. But the Swift 7 shows that it’s possible to focus too much on slenderness. This notebook looks good, but Acer prioritizes form over function.


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To make a laptop less than 10 millimeters thick, Acer spread out the frame over a greater amount of space. It makes the notebook less travel-friendly, but that strategy is logical. Components and cooling need a certain amount of room.


The choice of processor is a little surprising, given the Swift 7’s cost. Though this notebook sports a brand-new Kaby Lake chip, it’s a low-wattage part that delivers less performance than what you’d find in comparable machines. So while the Swift 7 can handle basic home and office work, it crawls during content creation.


Most people won’t use an ultrabook for video encoding or heavy photo editing, but for those who need more processing power, they’ll get it from competition like the Spectre 13.3, which is about the same size and virtually just as thin, and Dell’s fatter but more compact XPS 13. Both offer the more powerful versions of Intel’s Core i5 and i7 CPUs. The Spectre 13.3 also currently starts at a lower price, too.


With a battery life that matches the Spectre 13.3’s, the Swift 7’s greatest appeal is for folks who like its looks and how quiet it is under heavy workload. That might be enough for some, but it’s a lower-value proposition for most people who spend this much money on a laptop.