Many consumers nowadays want their laptops to be thinner and lighter thus becoming more portable, but still maintain an impressive display much like the Acer Swift 7 line of computers. The Acer Swift 7, introduced in CES 2018 last January is dubbed as the world’s thinnest laptop with a height of 0.89mm or 0.35 inch. This laptop is set to impress many at first glance when used during meetings, presentations or in a coffee shop. But a closer look reveals that achieving such slimness means that Acer would have to give the Swift 7 symptoms of anorexia. Some tradeoffs need to be taken to achieve their weight.
Let’s first discuss the Acer Swift 7’s dimensions. As mentioned, the world’s thinnest laptop has a height of 0.89mm or 0.35 inch. That is impressively thin. With thinness comes lightness as this relatively powerful machine has a weight of 2.6 pounds or 1.18 kg. It doesn’t seem that light, but it is light enough for a unit that has a full 14-inch (diagonal) full-HD touchscreen display. The display’s double-hinge form, however, feels rather fragile and flimsy, unlike the single-hinge form other laptops. Laptops of its weight class often have displays around 13 inches, so the Acer Swift 7 is built more to visually impress with its 14-inch display and it’s black, brushed uni-body aluminum casing. But elegance often comes at a certain price point, much like Lamborghinis that don’t come cheap.
The Acer Swift 7 isn’t as powerful as its chunkier competition at the same price range. It comes with an Intel Core i7-7Y75 which is a low-power Y-type dual-core processor running at up to 3.6 GHz. It has Intel HD 615 built-in graphics and 8GB LPDDR3 RAM and a 256GB NVMe SSD. These are modest to impressive specs for such a thin laptop. It’s no gaming machine but it gets the job done for its target market, usually executives, marketing people and stylish folk with money to spare.
In order to achieve its supermodel status, Acer resorted to using a low-power Y-Type processor as fans are no longer an option with ultra-portables. For its price point, many sites are critical at Acer for not using a more modern 8th-gen processor for this machine as well as going higher on memory or storage by providing the unit with 16GB of RAM and a 512 SSD capacity. Acer can probably argue that every millimeter of thickness comes at a cost and the specs are acceptable. Also, users can no longer expect any type A USB ports for such a thin form factor. The Swift 7 makes use of two Thunderbolt 3 type C USB ports. The unit thankfully still comes with a 3.5 headphone jack to compensate for its unimpressive built-in sound.
Also, much like the new Macbook Pros, the Acer Swift 7’s trackpad has also lost the ability to click. Something that can annoy or disorient longtime laptop users, so a wireless mouse may become a necessity as well as a dongle to plug the mouse in. But unlike some Macbooks, the Acer Swift 7 has decent keyboard travel, something that remains important to most computer users that need assurance that their keypresses actually register.
Connectivity-wise, it has built-in LTE and eSIM which is quite handy for the unit’s traveling target market as long as there’s compatible service. And because the Acer Swift 7 is built to impress and travel, the unit needs some decent battery life. Acer claims the unit’s battery can last for up to 10 hours but the Swift’s battery life can actually go for just above 7 for some light work and browsing.
In summary, the Acer Swift 7 is a machine aimed at a market that values portability and elegance overpower. Its power is impressive in itself but falls short of the similarly-priced competition. It gets most jobs done and makes the user look and feel good while using it.