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15 Mar, 2017 ,
The Acer Swift 7 was showcased at IFA 2016 claiming to be the world’s thinnest laptop measuring less than a centimetre. Sure it is the thinnest laptop in the world currently and this title was snatched from the HP Spectre 13, which for a brief moment was in the spotlight for being the thinnest laptop in the world. The Swift 7 is the best that Acer has to offer and it aims to be the ultimate portable Windows laptop. Priced at Rs 99,999 the world’s thinnest laptop comes with its share of compromises, but is it worth it? Let’s figure it out.
Looks & Design
The body on the Swift 7 is all aluminium which is quite sturdy and durable. Fit and finishing of the panels is top notch. The Matte gold and black accents give the laptop premium feel. The base of the laptop gives an illusion of being razor thin with its smart design and weighs just over 1kg making it a perfect ravel companion.The 13.6 inch is rectangular and wide but also feels well proportioned. The aluminium lid is heavy and the laptop tends to lose balance when pushed back.
The trackpad we felt is overly wide and there is enough space for your palms to ploy. The sloping edges around the trackpad add to the overall premium design of the laptop. Although being so big in size you can only use the bottom edges of left and right mouse clicks. The keys on the keyboard are well spaced out and are well within the reach. We feel that Acer should have given backlighting for the keyboard considering the price. On the hinge you will find the LED indicators for the battery status which are visible irrespective of the lid being open or closed. There are no vents below the laptop thanks to the low-voltage Intel CPU being used. Then there are USB Type-C ports (USB 3.1 Gen 1) and a headphone-microphone combo port on the right edge. Overall the design and feel factor of the Swift 7 is spot on!
The Acer Swift 7 has dual-channel 8GB LPDDR3 RAM, a 256GB SATA SSD and runs on Windows 10 Home 64-bit and ships with some Acer utilities preinstalled. The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5-7Y54 SoC designed for 2-in-1s and ultrathin laptops. There is no fan noise thanks to a TDP of just 4.5W and the laptop doesn’t need active cooling. This is a dual-core CPU with HyperThreading, and it sits below the Core i5-7200U in terms of performance on paper. The Acer Care Centre on the laptop lets you manage junk files, keep drivers up to date and manage recovery.
The Acer Swift 7 runs without any heat issues and is very quiet for day to day usage. Despite the all metal body we didn’t feel any heat on the palm rests which is commendable. For basic tasks like browsing, working on documents and video playback the laptop performed well. Booting is fast and the laptop handles multi-tasking duties with aplomb despite the low voltage Kaby Lake CPU. The Swift 7 scored weak in our benchmark scores. In PCMark 8's Home, Creative, and Work test suites, we got scores of 2921, 3499, and 2826 respectively. Cinebench R15 returned 27.4fps in the OpenGL test and 182 points for the CPU test. Thankfully, the SSD puts on a good show, with a sequential read bandwidth of 519MB/s and write bandwidth of 484MB/s.
The Swift 7 has good media playback capabilities and there are no problems that we faced while playing 4K videos with little or no strain put on the CPU. Thanks to the Dolby Audio enhancement the audio quality on this laptop is damn good. The bottom speakers produce quality audio at decent volume. Battery life is one of the outstanding attribute of the Swift 7 and with normal usage; we got nearly 8 hours of runtime. The 4-cell Li-ion unit managed to power the laptop for 3 hours and 7 minutes in Battery Eater Pro which is great.
Display & Resolution
The 13.3inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS display on the Acer Swift 7 ensures punchy colours and good black levels for your video files. Details were sharp and crystal clear while watching movies and videos. The display brightness level also was great and viewing angles are pretty good too. 4K videos played on the laptop looked rich and colour-accurate.
The integrated 1280 x 720 webcam on the Acer Swift 7 captures grainy images and stills that are kind of colour accurate. The camera also produced decent details on video calls given good ambient lighting.
Networking & Connectivity
The Acer Swift 7 comes with Bluetooth 4.0, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac with 2x2 MU-MIMO antennas for fast and effective connectivity. Downloading and streaming speeds were quite good. In terms of connectivity, the Swift 7 has two USB Type-C ports (USB 3.1 Gen 1) and a headphone-microphone combo port. Acer provides a Type-C to Type-A adapter in the box, which is handy for most common USB devices. The Type-C ports only work at USB 3.1 Gen 1 speed (5Gbps) instead of the 10Gbps that's possible with Gen 2. Acer says you will be able to use HDMI and other adaptors to get more functionality out of the Type-c ports even though there being no Thunderbolt 3 controller. But then you will have to purchase these adapters or cables separately.
The Acer Swift 7 comes with 1 year limited warranty.
Acer Swift 7 is being sold on Flipkart and in selected stores at Rs 99,999 which is pitted against the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre 13. Both of the laptops have now have refreshed Kaby Lake Core i5 processors but cost 10,000 more than their original prices. We would suggest you putting in that extra money and go for either the Dell or HP. Not that Acer Swift 7 is a bad product but we feel that its not competitive enough. The Acer has its advantages when it comes to noise-free design and great battery life but it also has its shortcomings such as the lack of keyboard backlighting and USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, if not Thunderbolt 3. You also get slightly more powerful CPUs if you choose either the Dell or the HP models, compared to the low-voltage one in the Swift 7. Sure Acer has showcased its technological competence with the Acer Swift 7 but due to its compromises its better to give this a pass and consider its rivals.
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