Review: Acer Swift 7
The world’s thinnest laptop has middling specifications and the poor battery life isn’t appealing
A while ago, HP Spectre 13 claimed the mantle of the world’s thinnest laptop. Now it is Acer’s turn to lay claim to the title with the Swift 7. While the Spectre measured 10.4mm at its thickest point, the Swift 7 measures only 10mm. The matt black colour on the lid and the golden shade on the keyboard deck give it a classy look, and the aluminium chassis is of good quality. The Swift 7 may not have a standout visual element, such as the Spectre’s piston-inspired display hinge but it does feel better built, something the Spectre had struggled with in areas such as the quality of the keyboard.
Acer has managed to squeeze in an Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor, with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB solid state drive (SSD). The SSD has the task of enhancing performance while using apps, and is slim enough (compared to a conventional hard drive) to fit into these ultra-slim dimensions. Its processor is the low-power version, the idea being to keep heat emission and battery usage minimal.
These aren’t very powerful specifications but, surprisingly enough, the Swift 7 is able to handle a considerable amount of multitasking though we did notice the underside of the laptop heating up when stressed.
The real disappointment is the battery life. With heavy use, the battery discharges completely after three-and-a-half hours. This means that even with moderate use, it’ll be hard to stretch it beyond 5 hours on a single charge. The HP Spectre’s battery, with the same usage, lasted 5 hours. Both, however, are significantly inferior to the Apple MacBook, which regularly registers up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge.
It takes some time to get used to the keyboard, because the keys are too spaced out. Beyond that, the key response is crisp and the big touch pad ensures a smooth ride.
The 13.3-inch IPS display (1,920x1,080 resolution) is bright, offers good viewing angles with minimal reflections, and the colours look quite accurate too. However, this is not a touch-screen—adding the touch hardware would have added thickness to the overall design.
The Acer Swift 7 is an ultra-slim Windows laptop that has aspirations of competing against the Apple MacBook. While Apple has faced considerable criticism for the limited connectivity options in the new MacBook line-up, the Swift 7 seems to be treading the same path. It features two USB-C ports, one of which has to be used for charging the laptop.
It is impossible to dispute the Swift 7’s slimness and lightness, and Acer has done a fantastic job with the overall dimensions. However, for a laptop that attempts to blend ultra-portability with premium performance at a premium price point, it suffers from middling specifications, an inadequate number of connectivity ports, and poor battery life.
The HP Spectre 13 (Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD; Rs1,10,290) remains the better bet if you aren’t considering the Apple MacBook.