Review of the laptop Acer Swift X: high power and autonomy in a compact package
• Today we have a review of a compact novelty from Acer – Swift X. This is a new laptop that complements the Swift line, which includes popular models 1, 3 and 5. An important difference between Swift X is an updated case design and near-flagship performance in a small size. How the combination of an AMD processor and an Nvidia graphics card works, what features a laptop can boast of and whether it pulls for the title of an ideal device for working outside the home – let's figure it out in the review.
Specifications Acer Swift X SFX14-41G
• When you read the specifications of a laptop, you involuntarily wonder how the manufacturer could fit such powerful hardware in a device that costs about 80.
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
|Display||14 inches, IPS, Full HD 1920x1080, 60 Hz, matte|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 7 5800U 1.9/4.4 GHz|
|RAM||16 GB, DDR4 4266 MHz|
|Video card||discrete, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti, 4 GB, GDDR6|
|Drive||SSD M.2 1TB, NWMe|
|Interfaces and connectors||HDMI, USB 3.2, USB C, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Banners||720p webcam, 2.0 DTS audio, fingerprint reader|
|Battery||59 Wh, max. operating time 17 h, fast charging|
|The weight||1.39 kg|
Appearance: metal or plastic
When you take the laptop out of the box, you seem to find the answer: despite the fact that the case is made of high-quality aluminum, the tactile sensations from using competitor laptops are often better. It’s hard to say whether it’s the body’s spraying, which makes the material more reminiscent of plastic, or the plastic elements themselves around the touchpad and screen. Warms only the realization that you have a really powerful and productive machine in your hands, for which you paid far from record money at the present time.
• Acer allows you to choose between three colors of the Swift X body: blue (rather gray-blue), pink, gold. The hues of the case are not very bright, and even the bold pink color does not draw much attention to itself. However, if you don’t want to stand out at all, the gray-blue case will be the perfect solution – in the photo the color looks calm and strict. We had a gold-colored model on the test, so we can only judge other shades by the pictures on the Internet.
• However, the feeling of cheapness ends with the quality of the metal and plastic frames: the laptop is assembled soundly, nothing creaks, does not walk and does not bend from pressing a finger. There are no complaints about the quality of the hinge – it opens quite softly and evenly, for the convenience of opening there is a special slot in the lid. It feels like the body of the Swift X is slightly thicker than that of the older models of the line, which is not surprising, because the novelty surpasses its younger brothers by a head in terms of hardware.
Possibilities for connection
On the side faces of the case there are many connectors. On the left is USB Type-C, HDMI, the usual USB Type-A and a charging connector. On the right side is another Type-C, a Jack 3.5 slot and a Kensington lock. In general, there is a necessary minimum, except that a memory card slot would not hurt – this is necessary for people in creative professions.
Full HD display
The laptop's display is optimal for devices in this price range. No 4K and OLED – instead, a time-tested and fairly high-quality 14-inch IPS matrix. With resolution and aspect ratio, too, they didn’t get smart: 1080p, 16:9. IPS-matrices are good because they have been produced for more than a dozen years, and manufacturers have learned to squeeze the maximum out of them. Swift X is a good example here: the colors are very close to natural, the detail is not bad for 1080p, and the brightness is high. For any work tasks and for work outside the home, the screen is enough – we tested it in the bright sun, at the maximum brightness value, all elements on the display are perfectly visible.
• With a webcam, the situation is as follows: the image is enough to indicate your presence at the meeting, but you can’t count on more. The resolution here is 720p, this is no longer enough for a high-quality picture in 2021.
sound to sound
• The speakers here have rather a formal meaning – it is unlikely that you will be able to enjoy high-quality sound with them. It is better to connect headphones via a 3.5 jack or Bluetooth – both are provided here.
The keyboard is a matter of habit
The amplitude of the keys on the keyboard is small – if you like a large key travel, you will have to get used to it. In principle, this is a matter of taste – in the editorial office, opinions were divided exactly in half: half liked the keyboard and feedback from it, the other half wanted more key travel. At the same time, we agreed that the pressing sound is pleasant, the characteristic click is not loud. Two important disadvantages: firstly, the keyboard arrows are quite small, it's easy to miss them, and secondly, the shutdown button is located where you usually see the Del button. We expect the result – during the test, the computer “went to sleep” several times instead of deleting the character.
Hardware and performance
Let's move on to the most interesting – to performance. Our configuration (SFX14-41G) has an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U processor and an Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti video chip. It has 16 GB of RAM on board, which ensures good performance even when multitasking. Dozens of tabs in the browser, listening to music, broadcasting, office applications – all this can comfortably work simultaneously without lag or other inconvenience. This is facilitated by a fast 512 GB SSD – the read speed is about 1 GB / s, and the write speed is 1050 MB / s. For competitors from HP or Lenovo, this figure is twice, and sometimes three times lower.
• A separate plus of the laptop is in a good discrete graphics card, which, it seems, even has nowhere to fit in such a compact case. But Acer succeeded, and users will be grateful: demanding titles like the 6th “Civilization” consistently give out at least 60 FPS, and there’s no need to even talk about Dota 2 and CS: GO – they fly on “ultra”.
- GTA 5 High Full HD – 129 fps
- GTA 5 ultra Full HD – 73 fps
- GTA 5 Ultra HD 4K – 60 fps
- The Witcher 3 high Full HD – 103 fps
- The Witcher 3 ultra Full HD – 56 fps
- The Witcher 3 Ultra HD 4K – 38 fps
- PUBG High Full HD – 182 fps
- PUBG Ultra Full HD – 131 fps
- PUBG Ultra HD 4K – 46 fps
- Metro Exodus High Full HD – 55 fps
- Metro Exodus ultra Full HD – 43 fps
- Metro Exodus Ultra HD 4K – 21 fps
• Having received such results, you begin to think, where is the catch. Perhaps stuffed like sprats in a jar, chips and other components will heat up under load? It turns out that they cope well with it, including thanks to the aluminum case: on the bottom panel, the surface warmed up to 38 degrees, the keyboard and touchpad remained around 30 degrees. Quite worthy.
• Then, perhaps, autonomy will have to pay for this performance? If yes, then just a little: the charge of Swift X is enough for 9 hours of real work, which is quite enough for one working day. Of course, the conditional Envy 14 from HP is capable of delivering 10 hours, but its power cannot be compared with the performance of the new product from Acer.
• As always, there are no miracles, just as there are no perfect laptops for 80. Swift X is a device with a strong bias towards performance: if design is not so important to you, and you can sacrifice the quality of sound and image on a webcam, model you won't disappoint. As a device that you will work on during the day and play (sometimes new games) in the evening, it is almost perfect. Those who are looking for a pleasant tactile sensation and design will have a hard time with Swift X. On the other hand, for uncompromising power, which will last for the next 3-4 years, a novelty from a Taiwanese manufacturer can be an excellent option.