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Hands on: Acer Swift 5 (2020) Review

The Acer Swift 5 may become one of the best value laptops this year.

First Impressions

The Acer Swift 5 (2020) isn't a huge upgrade on its predecessor, but being one of the very first laptops to feature Intel's Tiger Lake processor is a massive landmark. And with an affordable price point, ultra-portable design and a respectable spec sheet, the Swift 5 seemingly represents fantastic value and a promising option for students.

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £899
  • 14-inch Full HD touchscreen
  • 11th Gen Intel Core processor
  • Optional Nvidia MX350 GPU
  • Up to 16GB RAM
  • Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Weight: 998 grams

The new Acer Swift 5 (2020) is looking to ramp up competition in the ultrabook space with an affordable price and incredibly light design. 

It’s also set to become one of the very first laptops to feature the upcoming 11th Generation Intel Core processor (Tiger Lake), which uses Intel Xe integrated graphics for a boosted gaming and creative performance.

Acer has evidently borrowed some of the most trendy features of modern laptops too, and stuffed them all inside a ridiculously light design. What’s more, it undercuts the likes of Dell in terms of price, making it a seemingly great option for students and those with a strict budget. 

Related: Best Student Laptop

Acer Swift 5 (2020) release date – When will it launch?

The Acer Swift 5 will launch in Europe during October 2020. 

There’s no specific release date just yet, but we will update this article as soon as we hear more. 

Acer Swift 5 (2020) price – How much will it cost?

The Acer Swift 5 will cost €1099 at launch, 

There’s no word on UK pricing just yet, but that Euro price roughly equates to £985, making it one of the cheaper premium ultrabooks on offer. 

Related: Best Laptop 2020

Acer Swift 5 (2020)

Hands on: Acer Swift 5 (2020) – An unremarkable, but great value ultrabook

The Acer Swift 5 (2020) is all about value, with few other laptops offering such a well-rounded feature set for such a low price. 

As always with the Acer Swift series, the most impressive feature is its weight, hitting the scales at just under one kilogram. It was so effortless picking this laptop up with one hand that I genuinely wondered for a second whether this unit was hollow. It’s a small laptop too, which I imagine will come in handy for the likes of students who need to carry it between lecture halls. 

The Swift 5 (2020) also looks rather lush, featuring new colour options such as the ‘Mist Green’ model seen in the pictures. It’s a subtle finish, appearing more grey in certain lighting conditions, but I’m still pleased Acer is trying to add a bit more colour instead of sticking to the boring default silver. 

The most exciting feature for the new Acer Swift 5 (2020) though, is that it’s features the 11th Generation Intel Core processor (aka Tiger Lake.) Before now, no other laptop was confirmed to feature the upcoming chip, so it’s a big deal that the Swift 5 will house it. We don’t know much about Tiger Lake so far, but we do know Intel has been driving up hype for the Intel Xe graphics architecture, which will supposedly offer a significant leap in performance for gaming and creation compared to current CPU chips.

Acer Swift 5 (2020)

It’s impossible to know how good the Swift 5 will be good at these tasks just yet, I wasn’t able to run any applications or games during my hands-on time. However, I love the idea of playing a AAA video game on a laptop that weighs less than a kilo. Fingers crossed that Intel achieves this dream.

The Swift 5 also features an optional Nvidia GeForce MX350 GPU, up to 16GB RAM and 1TB PCIe SSD. Acer suggests the Swift 5 has all-day battery life, but such claims are usually exaggerated by laptop manufacturers. 

Despite being so thin, Acer has managed to make space on the Swift for a plentiful offering of ports, including USB Type-C, Thunderbolt, and USB-A. While other modern laptops have ditched USB-A because it takes up too much room, Acer is proving you can still include it while also creating a super-skinny design. 

Related: Dell XPS 13 2020

Acer Swift 5 (2020)

The Acer Swift 5 has a great keyboard, with plenty of travel and key spacing for a comfortable typing experience. A dedicated fingerprint sensor can be found to the right of the trackpad for speedy logins – this has become somewhat of a default feature for modern laptops, but it’s still great to see it included. 

Acer has nabbed the ErgoLift hinge idea from Asus, which raises the keyboard at a slight angle when you open the laptop so your hands can rest in a more natural position. Having the rear end of the deck elevated off the table also helps to improve the thermal performance, so it’s a very welcome addition for multiple reasons. 

Acer Swift 5 (2020)

The 14-inch Full HD screen is touch enabled, allowing you to browse the likes of Instagram via a flick of your finger. Acer claims the display is capable of around 300 nits, which is about par for the course in regards to modern ultrabooks. I wasn’t able to play video content during my time with the Acer Swift 5, but the display looked fine when browsing the web. It’s by no means one of the best laptop displays I’ve seen, but I can’t find many faults either; it’s basically just fine, which is more than adequate for students and the like. 

The Swift 5 (2020) screen is made up of Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass, which is a first for the series. Not only should this help prevent bacteria infesting the screen, but also reduce the risk of scratched glass following nasty collisions. 

The ultra-thin bezel surrounding the screen at least gives the Swift 5 a modern look. Acer suggests the laptop sees a 90% screen-to-body ratio which isn’t too shabby at all. The days of thick, clunky bezels are a thing of the past. 

Related: Samsung Galaxy Book Flex

Should you buy the Acer Swift 5 (2020)?

I’m unable to give a recommendation for the Acer Swift 5 (2020) just yet, as I’ve only spent an hour with it at Acer’s office. However, what I did see was very encouraging. 

This isn’t an exciting laptop with groundbreaking features, but it seemingly does everything well while remaining cheaper than the majority of its rivals. New features such as the Misty Green colour option, antimicrobial screen solution and a slimmer bezel are welcome additions, although they are just minor tweaks rather than significant upgrades. 

All things considered, the Acer Swift 5 (2020) seems to be a great all-round ultrabook for students and those on a tight budget. Keep an eye on Trusted Reviews for our eventual final review and verdict.  

A ’hands on review’ is our first impression of a product only - it is not a full test and verdict. Our writer must have spent some time with the product to describe an early sense of what it’s like to use. We call these ‘hands on reviews’ to make them visible in search. However these are always unscored and don’t give recommendations. Read more about our reviews policy.

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