- Low-power Intel Core i 'Y' processors
- Up to 8GB of RAM
- 256GB SSD
- Weight: 1.1kg
- 9.8mm thick
- 13.3-inch, Full HD IPS display
Hands-on with Acer’s thinnest-ever laptop
The Swift 7 sits right at the top of Acer’s new lineup, and according to the firm it is the first laptop in the world to measure in with a thickness of less than 1cm.
The Swift range also includes the 1, 3 and 5 models and is a move away from Acer’s older Aspire branding.
Acer has trimmed just enough fat off the 13.3-inch Swift 7 to bring the thickness in at 9.98mm. It weighs 1.1kg, putting it in the same weight category as the HP Spectre, but just a little heavier than the 970g MacBook.
The Swift 7’s all-aluminium design with grey and gold coating is eye-catching. In my opinion, it looks substantially better than the HP Spectre 13. The design tapers off towards the front, making the Swift 7 look even thinner than it is when viewed straight on.
Along the laptop’s right edge there are three connectors: two USB Type-C 3.1 ports (one for charging and one for data) and a 3.5mm audio jack. It’s nice to see more than one USB Type-C connector, although it’s one fewer than the HP Spectre 13.
The touchpad is extremely wide, providing ample room to move your digits around. However, it does make it a little harder to activate Windows 10 gestures that require you to swipe onto the touchpad from the sides. The pad itself is Microsoft Precision Touchpad-certified, and throughout testing it proved responsive and reliable.
The Acer’s keyboard is similarly excellent, with a lovely soft-touch, slightly rubberised coating that makes the keys both grippy and comfortable. There’s decent travel too, making this one of the best keyboards I’ve used on an ultra-thin laptop.
The Acer Swift 7 is powered by Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. However, these aren’t in the same category as the Core i chips in the HP Spectre 13. Instead, they’re the recently re-branded Core M chips that operate at a tiny 4.5W TDP.
This means, in Core i7-7Y75 guise, this dual-core laptop gets a base frequency of 1.3GHz and a maximum Turbo frequency of 3.6GHz. How long it will be able to sustain that Turbo figure remains to be seen; in fact, with its ultra-thin, fanless design it is likely to stick to its base clock speed more often than not.
A mix of specifications will be available, but the 256GB of SSD storage and 8GB of RAM configuration will likely be the most common option.
The screen is a 13.3-inch, Full HD IPS panel. It’s bright with punchy colours and high contrast, although it somewhat fails to to stand out against the bezel that surrounds it.
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Battery life on paper is rated at nine hours, which is impressive. It’s likely that you’ll have to dim the display somewhat to reach this figure, but with such a low-power processor on board it probably won’t be hard to get a full day of battery life out of the Swift 7.
The success of this machine will likely hinge on its battery performance, so I’ll be looking at this closely when the final product launches.
With a launch price of €1,299 in Europe (around £1,326 inc VAT), presumably for a Core i7 model, this is an expensive machine. If this turns out to be an accurate specification and price, the Swift 7 will offer better value than the 12-inch MacBook but will be more expensive than the powerful HP Spectre 13.
Acer says the Swift 7 will launch in October, along with its Swift 5, 3 and 1 stablemates. If the price can be kept down, the Swift 7 could find itself as one of the better-value ultra-premium laptops around.
However, with several other manufacturers yet to reveal their hands, and the potential of Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors only just dawning, expect to see several rivals appearing soon.