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It is always lots of fun getting new things to review. That includes playing on them, working with them, and then stress-testing them, and this is what we did with the Acer Swift 3 laptop. We had just over three weeks to test the Swift 3 out; during that time, we ran some benchmarks on it. So in this article, we are going to look at the Acer Swift 3, what it offers, and how it runs. If you would prefer to watch the review, you can do so below.



In this article, we’re going to take a look at what the Acer Swift 3 comes with; we will then break those specifications down briefly. We will take a look at the benchmarks, how the laptop did when working on it, and then will look at some of the gaming aspects of the laptop. Lastly, we’ll go through some of the pros and cons.

Specifications:

  • CPU: 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U (2 cores, 4 threads @ 2.91GHz)
  • Graphics: GeForce MX150/PCIE/SSE2 2GB VRAM
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Screen: 14-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) ComfyView IPS
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  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • USB Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C
  • Video Port: 1 x HDMI
  • Audio Ports: 1 x Headset jack
  • Memory Card Slot: SD card slot
  • Connectivity: 802.11ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Camera: 720p HD webcam
  • Weight: 1.6kg
  • Size: 33.81 x 23.39 x 1.8cm (W x D x H)

This specific model we reviewed is fitted with an i7, dual-core CPU running at 2.7GHz, and a 512GB SSD. For a cheaper alternative, there is the i5 version, which comes with a 256GB SSD as well. The CPU running at 2.7GHz was just right. The CPU is powerful enough to make this the ideal working laptop. You could look at doing some minor video edits, and even picture edits with Photoshop, should you need to; however, as a laptop for Outlook, Excel, and Word, you can’t go wrong.

acer-swift-3-review-pic4The MX150 2GB graphics card is adequate. The 14″ IPS monitor looks great when watching movies and when working. The sound is excellent, too, with minimal distortion when turned up to the max. The headset jack is for both voice and sound and works well.

With regards to the total amount of available USB ports, it would have been ideal to have at least one additional USB 3 port, as it feels like having the USB C at this time is taking up valuable space. Having said that, though, the ports are well porportioned and work as well as can be expected from them.

How did it do on the benchmarks?

So in all, the internal specifications are adequate for a working laptop; however, what do the benchmarks suggest? We ran five benchmarks in total: TimeSpy, Heavenbench, Cinebench, PCMark10, and Cloud Gate. We also played PUBG, Dota 2 and CS:GO to test the graphics capabilities of the laptop. These are not the most graphic-intensive games; we know that. However, we wanted to get a feel of mid to low graphics games that some might look at playing casually on this laptop in their spare time. So let’s have a look at the benchmarks first:

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  • TimeSpy: The Acer Swift 3 struggled in the TimeSpy test with a result of 1141 points, putting it at the lower bracket of laptops with the same specifications. TimeSpy is a CPU stress test, pushing the CPU to achieve its best potential. Having this score was a bit disappointing, mainly because we are dealing with an i7. However, we also realized that since this is running the “U” model Intel CPU, we couldn’t expect miracles.
  • Cloud Gate: In the Cloud Gate benchmark, I was impressed with the performance of the Swift 3. This test does not overload the GPU and the CPU as some other benchmarks would, with the primary purpose to test the CPU and GPU in what could be a real-world test. The Swift 3 scored a total of 9215, which put it in the upper half bracket of the Laptops with similar hardware.
  • Heavenbench: We ran the Unigine Heaven Benchmark to monitor how the GPU handles. We used the DirectX 11 software, and the results were what you would expect from a laptop like the Swift 3. The max FPS being just over 60FPS, but averaging out at just under 30FPS.
  • Cinebench: We ran that purely for the “on-the-go” video or photo editor. The Swift 3 did not perform as well as I’d hope. It came second last in the scoring sheet (742 points), being beaten by laptops with i5 CPU’s. Having said that, though, it wasn’t all terrible, and you could render a video in general – if you have the time.
  • PCMark10: I left this for last, and it’s because the Acer Swift 3 is a working laptop. The PCMark10 benchmark tests how the laptop will react to a working environment by running spreadsheets, documents, and web browsing programs. During this test, I saw the Acer Swift 3 come into its league, what it’s built for. It handled all the tasks with relative ease, and scored in the top percentage of laptops with similar hardware, and earning a total score of 3166. In this test, the video editing scores and the photo editing scores matched that of the Cinebench score, being in the lower bracket compared to the other scores.

Gaming time!

So like I mentioned, we also played a few games, have a look at the in-game fps, and the screenshots for the settings, and we’ll break it down a little:
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  • CS:GO: I played some Dust 2 in CS:GO, to have a look at how the game performed. During my gaming time, the FPS was at a constant 32FPS (according to the Steam Overlay) and 47 (according to CS:GO’s stats). Not bad, but not what you’d want to play with if you would like to take the game seriously. In parts, there were lag spikes, especially when running into lower tunnels to mid (I suspect because of the light changes). We had the settings on medium and very low, running at 1920×1080 Resolution. You could up the FPS by dropping all the settings to lower, but that would hamper the gaming experience.acer-swift-3-review-in-game-cs
  • PUBG: This was an interesting one for me because, at its best, PUBG can be a bit broken with how it renders and how the GPU handles. On the Acer Swift 3, you could play PUBG, as your constant FPS would be around 30FPS. However, during more massive fights in more densely populated areas, I noticed a drop in FPS, which decreased the gaming experience. We had all the settings on lower, with V-Sync and AA disabled, even then, 30FPS was the best we could get out of PUBG.acer-swift-3-review-in-game-pubg
  • Dota 2: MOBA’s would probably be the best games to play on this laptop. During Dota 2, the average FPS was 70FPS, dropping to about 50FPS during team fights. During this test, all the settings were on medium, so that FPS could go up dropping that down lower. I enjoyed playing Dota 2 on this laptop.acer-swift-3-review-in-game-dota

We only played these games, as they are still relevant and often played. They are also not the big AAA titles that require the best of the best components to run, yet in terms of esports, they are quite popular. With that in mind, you will not be playing the AAA titles on the Acer Swift 3. It was not built for gaming, yet these tests show that you could play some games without any problems.

Everyday Use:

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I worked with the Acer Swift 3 for about three weeks and enjoyed it. Watching videos on the 14″ screen was ok, and the sound quality during the videos and series was crisp and clear. At full blast, there was no distortion on the sound, which was awesome.

Generally, when I work on a laptop, I prefer to use a mouse rather than the trackpad; however, with this laptop, the trackpad worked well – it’s responsive, no extra buttons that can get in the way – all round it works well.

Working on the laptop, writing articles, worked well as well. The keyboard works well and is responsive. The keyboard is also Backlit with White LEDs, so when it’s a bit darker, you can still type and find the keys you need. The actual design and finish of the laptop is something to note. The rose gold color is sleek, with a metal finish. It feels sturdy and well-built all-round.

Pros and Cons:

Pros
  • battery life
  • handles well for working tasks
  • trackpad works well
  • sound quality
Cons
  • No Numpad
  • lags behind with video and photo editing


Final Thoughts:

In all, we didn’t find too many things we didn’t like about the Acer Swift 3. The laptop worked well, and the battery life is exceptional. The trackpad, screen, and sound quality are all on point, with the laptop having a sleek, sturdy finish. For a working laptop, this gets 8/10 for us. In terms of video editing, photo editing, and gaming, this Acer Swift 3 only gets 4/10.

If you are going to be using this for work or studies, you won’t be disappointed with this laptop. Anything more than that, and you would be disappointed, though. If you have used this laptop and would like to share your experience, please drop a comment below.
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