The manufacturer’s obsession with making svelte laptops seems not to end any time soon. Acer touts to have pushed thin to the limits with the release of the Acer Swift 7 (SF713-51-M90J) that is being billed as the world’s thinnest laptop at a mere 0.39” thin. In the process, it compromises on performance as it comes with a low-powered processor and shuns the touchscreen but the stakes for this laptop are still high. It packs a decent 7th-generation Intel Core i5-7Y54 dual-core processor, 8GB DDR3 of RAM, a 256GB solid state drive, and a 1080p display with Gorilla Glass finish. The 13.3-Inch IPS display laptop includes the latest Intel HD 615 graphics for smooth performance and impressive visuals with up to 9 hours of battery life. If great looks, portability and slimness is your thing then you can take a chance with the Swift. But if you value computing performance then you might think looking sideways for alternatives with better features at this price point with exchange for a bit thicker laptop.
The Acer Swift 7 has a matte black aluminum exterior with a gold interior that is bolder and assertive thereby giving it a premium look. The laptop measures 12.78 x 9.04 x 0.39 inches and weighs 2.5 pounds, at 0.39” it disappear easily into your backpack. Its 13.3 inch screen has larger bezels which does mean it is broader than Asus Zenbook 3 or an Apple MacBook but overall it is among the smallest laptops ever made. It is the battery life in this laptop that qualifies it to be your daily companion with its 9 hours and 40 minutes of usage time that will ideally see you through the day. It however does not outlast some of the laptops in the competition such as the Apple MacBook Air that lasted 11 hours and 35 minutes on our battery run down test.
The Swift 7 SF713-51-M90J is powered by a 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7Y54 dual-core Processor clocked at 1.2GHZ that can run up to 3.5GHZ with turbo boost technology. This is a low powered 4.5 watt processor compared to the 15 watt core i5-7200U that we expected. This is a power sipping processor therefore the system runs seamlessly without a fan but it shouldn’t be confused with the full-strength” Core i5 processor that is more powerful. Normal multitasking works well in this machine but introducing editing of photos and videos will slow down this machine. It is also coupled with 8GB RAM for smooth performance and multitasking. Storage comes by way of a fast 256 GB that delivers quick boot times and opening of applications. The storage is relatively enough for storage of your basic stuff such as videos, movies, photos and files.
There is Intel HD graphics that is not great in any way when it comes to playing modern games and even struggles with some old titles. It was capable of playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive at low settings producing an average of 51frames per second. This is fast enough to be playable but maximizing the detail grounds the system to a halt producing an average of 14frames per second. As such, it should be left alone to handle the basic day to day tasks such as Microsoft office and internet browsing.
The laptop features a headset jack and two 5 Gbps USB 3.1 Type C ports on the right panel for both charging and connecting other accessories. Acer includes two adapters, a USB-C–to–HDMI and a USB-C–to–USB-Type-A; they may be inconvenient to carry around, but at least you won’t have to buy a dock to use the Swift 7 with external drives and displays. We don’t have to talk about a DVD drive, because definitely being the world’s thinnest laptop we don’t expect it. But you can purchase separately an external Optical drive if you really need one. Internet connectivity is available through wireless technology (2×2 802.11ac with MU-MIMO) for up to three times faster connections than older wireless standards, even at longer ranges and Bluetooth 4.0.
The 13.3 comes with a resolution of 1920×1080 non-touchscreen that is bright enough with an edge-to-edge sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 4 that protects the IPS panel. The IPS technology offers for wide viewing angles thereby crystal clear in viewing movies and photos. The colors in this laptop are also bold and vibrant. The pixel density is at a low 165 ppi compared to the 220ppi displays found on the Apple MacBook with Retina display. It also trails behind other laptops in the competition in terms of resolution such as the Dell XPS 13 with a resolution of 3200×1800 (QHD) or the Razer Blade Stealth that packs a resolution of 3840×2160 (4K). There is a 720p webcam on the bezel that is on top of the display that is ideal for video chats via skype with friends and family.
The non-backlit keyboard is less impressive, though still functional. Key travel feels robust, and there’s plenty of space between each key.
It is rare to find a thin device with an amazing audio. This is the case in the swift 7 though it makes some effort to improve on its audio quality. The speakers sound distorts as the volume increases, though they sound crisp at moderate volume. As such, you might need the services of an external woofer or speaker via the Audio jack to pump up your volume and enjoy the music.
The Acer Swift 7 is undoubtedly the thinnest windows laptop at the moment. It comes with a beautiful screen and an impressive battery life but falters when it comes performance. You should therefore be ready to make a compromise on performance for its ultraportable design. The swift is a favorite when compared to the Razer Blade Stealth and HP Spectre 13 in terms of portability, but it is dwarfed by the two when performance is the priority. If you are not on a budget and portability is all you need, then the swift 7 is a good bet for you. However, considering the price it could be more ideal to settle on the Razer Blade Stealth, the top spot midrange ultraportable laptop, with a higher-powered core i7 processor, higher resolution screen with a 4K option, RGB backlit keyboard among other niceties.