Design, features, performance
Acer Swift 1 is one of the new models that Acer showed this spring and which are now starting to be available in Swedish stores. It’s a slim 13-incher in delicious pink aluminum. The computer is 1.5 centimeters thick, 1.3 kilos heavy, and comes with most of what we expect from a thin and light portable PC of class.
It is equipped with an HD web camera, a backlit keyboard with a short stroke height but a really pleasant typing feel, a large mousepad with multitouch support and good control, an IPS screen with 1080p resolution, and fanless cooling. In addition, the Acer Swift 1 has a usb type-c connector, support for 802.11 Wi-Fi, discrete but really good-sounding speakers and a long battery life.
Budget computer with a stylish exterior
The first impression of the Acer Swift 1 is that it is a computer in the same class as an Asus Zenbook or an HP Spectre. But the Swift 1 is in fact a true budget PC. In fact, it’s the cheapest 13-incher we’ve seen in quite some time. But Acer has managed to mask the low price tag very well. The only thing that immediately feels budget about it is its performance. This is not a Core i7 or i5 computer, not even a Core m.
Performance only for the basics
Here instead sits a one-year-old Pentium processor from the almost forgotten Apollo Lake family. It has four processor cores with a relatively low clock frequency. The processor is accompanied by an older Intel graphics chip, four gigabytes of memory and a 128 gigabyte emmc type ssd. There is also a version with 64 gigabytes which is a few hundred Swedish kroner cheaper. However, it does not appear to be available in the same delicious color, but only in silver gray.
That doesn’t mean Swift 1 is helplessly slow. It handles normal surfing, Office work, media playback and similar tasks just fine. Occasional heavier documents or content-rich web pages can mean that scrolling becomes difficult. Sometimes when the antivirus program (pre-installed 30-day trial version from Norton) starts a system scan, the Windows interface also runs slowly.
System, facts, judgment, rating
Small debris settles down
Here, Acer’s penchant for extra programs and bloatware is also a real problem. The Acer Swift 1 is preloaded with everything that more powerful Acer computers come with, and unfortunately it’s a bit too much for the hardware to keep up with. It is weighed down by Acer’s own quite heavy programs, along with the virus protection and a whole bunch of unwanted third-party apps.
Everything, or at least most of it, can be uninstalled, with a clearly more active system as a result. Had Acer been a bit braver here and released the Swift 1 as a Signature Edition computer, it would have been a notch higher.
If we look more closely, it is also budget class in some other things, such as the moderate brightness of the screen, and its color range. It is fine for office work, but if you want to be able to edit photos or the like, you need a better screen. And then you will also need more performance. The webcam is also a bit slow and also has problems in backlight, although the image quality is otherwise acceptable.
Despite a low base performance and a screen that doesn’t hold up to more advanced demands (or too much sunlight), the Acer Swift 1 is a really interesting computer. If you just want to have a computer to surf and run Office or similar programs on, are aware of the limitations, and know how to clean the system of junk, this is a smart purchase.
Facts Acer Swift 1 SF113-31 (NX.GPRED.002)
Processor: Intel Pentium N4200, 1.1 GHz quad core
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 505
Memory: 4 GB ddr3
Storage: 128 GB emmc ssd
Screen: 13.3 inch matte ips, 1920×1080 pixels
Connections: Usb 3.0, usb 3.1 type c, usb 2.0, hdmi, headset
Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, bluetooth 4.0
Operating system: Windows 10 Home
Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader
Battery life: 5h 5min (high load), 11h 30min (low load)
Size: 32.3 x 22.5 x 1.5 cm
Weight: 1.3 kg
Award: SEK 5,000
Cinebench 11.5, cpu: 1.72 points
Cinebench 11.5, graphics: 8.63 fps
Disk, reading: 196.2 MB/s
Disk, search: 0.2 ms
Luxurious design and high build quality
Many smart functions
Surprisingly good screen and sound
Good battery life
Clearly limited performance
Slightly dim screen
Too much bloatware