Review: Acer Swift 3 SF314-51 offers a fine mix of style and substance
Acer’s new ultrabook has a lot going for it, but it is not without shortcomings
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Acer’s Swift series caters to professionals looking for a light and rugged notebook which can handle most tasks with ease and can be carried around without making the user’s bag feel like a load. The latest notebook in the series called the Swift 3 SF314-51 lives up to those standards very well. It is priced at Rs75,990, which puts it in the category of a premium notebook.
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Design: Light and metal clad
Swift 3 is a premium notebook and it looks the part. The metal body inspires confidence while the gold finish and the slightly angled design on the side panel give it a jazzy look. The display has been designed uniquely. It looks crafted inside a metal lid.
It weighs just 1.5kg and is 17.95mm thick with the lid down. The side panel includes all the necessary ports without looking cluttered. Acer has put them closer to each other. It offers two USB 3.0 connectors, a HDMI port, USB type-C and a multi-format card reader.
The speaker is placed on the base. However, to ensure the sound doesn’t get muffled when the notebook is placed on a flat surface Acer has added four rubber stands. They provide proper elevation and also offer better grip to the laptop on a smooth surface.
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Keyboard: Big and soft keys
The keyboard looks clearly inspired from the Macbook Pro. The black plastic keys are lodged inside a metal frame. They are big and there is ample space between them so one can type without straying over to neighbouring keys. Typing is fun and enjoyable as the keys are amazingly responsive and do not require pressure. They are also backlit so you can type or access shortcut keys faster in dim light. Acer has managed to have ample space for palm rest and track pad. The track pad is cut out of a single piece of a metal and the left and right click buttons have not been marked separately, yet the clicks land right almost every time.
Display: Slightly dull affair
The 14-inch display is good with colours and also comes with a layer of non reflective coating to keep the visibility levels high in bright sunny conditions or in rooms with a light source right behind the user. The only niggle in the display is the 1,366x768p resolution, which makes watching movies a slightly dull experience. Text in webpages and documents doesn’t look crisp either.
Performance: Powerful and smooth
What impressed us most about the notebook after its design is the performance and battery backup. Powered by Intel’s 7th Gen Core i7-7500U processor with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD, the Swift 3 delivers blazing fast performance. Apps load faster, the notebook boots up in a matter of seconds and there is no noise when you are running resource-intensive tasks on it. In terms of battery backup, it provides up to 10 hours of backup on modest use, and 3 to 4 hours on rigorous use. It runs Windows 10 Home edition.
Acer Swift S3 has a few limitations, but impresses with its stylish looks, ergonomic design, battery backup and smooth performance. It is ideal for travellers who need a light and dependable notebook for work-related tasks. If you are looking for a notebook with a better screen, you can try the Dell Inspiron 14-7460 (Rs72,685). It has a 14-inch display with resolution of 1,920x1,080p. However, it runs on Intel’s 7th Gen Core i5-7200 chipset with 8GB RAM and Nvidia GeForce 940 (2GB) Graphics card. It doesn’t have SSD but offers 1TB HDD. It has a metal finish too and weighs just 1.6kg.