The Acer Swift Edge 16 laptop has a lot going for it, with a vibrant OLED screen, a new Ryzen chip and support for Wi-Fi 7. Best of all, it’s incredibly light for a 16-inch laptop, with the potential of leapfrogging the LG Gram as our favourite portable champion with a big screen.
- 16-inch 3.2K OLED screen:A large screen with fantastic picture quality thanks to the high resolution and superb contrast that OLED provides.
- Lightweight design:Despite having a large 16-inch screen, this laptop weighs just 1.23kg, making it impressively portable.
- Support for Wi-Fi 7:The new Ryzen chip enables support for the latest wireless standard, as long as you have a compatible router.
If I had to pick a single laptop that impressed me the most at Computex 2023, then I’d have to pick the Acer Swift Edge 16.
It has so many impressive features that it’s difficult to decide where to start. It has a gorgeous 16-inch OLED display, promising octa-core Ryzen processor, a lightweight magnesium-alloy design and support for the cutting-edge Wi-Fi 7 standard which few other laptops can claim.
It’s a genuine surprise to see Acer fit some many of these compelling specs into one laptop. What’s more, a starting price has been set to just $1299.99/£1299 making it surprisingly affordable.
Is this laptop too good to be true? I went hands-on with the Acer Swift Edge 16 at Computex 2023 to find out. Here are my early thoughts.
- Extremely light, weighing just 1.23kg
- Generous selection of ports
- Features a 1440p webcam
The most striking thing about this 16-inch laptop is that it’s incredibly light. I’m able to hold it one hand comfortably with a weight of just 1.23 kg. That’s not quite as light as last year’s LG Gram 16 laptop, but the Acer is packing a more cutting-edge processor so it’s still very impressive.
Acer has been able to achieve this lightweight form by adopting a magnesium-alloy for the chassis. I’ve noticed it’s not quite as sturdy as aluminium, bending inwards slightly from a firm press down, but I’m personally happy to make that compromise since it improves the laptop’s portability.
The Acer Swift Edge 16 is remarkably thin too, with a 12.95mm measured depth. That’s significantly thinner than last year’s LG Gram 16 (16.8mm) and is less than 2mm thicker than the latest 13-inch MacBook Air (11.13mm). With all this in mind, this is one of the most portable 16-inch laptops I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Despite its slender build, Acer has squeezed on lots and lots of ports. On the left edge you’ll find USB-A, HDMI and dual USB-C, while on the right edge there’s an additional USB-A, headphone jack and microSD card. It’s an impressive accomplishment considering so many laptop manufacturers insist they’ve had to bin off most ports to achieve such slender forms.
Acer has somehow squeezed in a 1440p webcam in the top bezel. I haven’t been able to test it yet, but I imagine it will result in sharp video quality. The webcam supports a wide range of AI features here too, including automatic framing, noise reduction, gaze correction, and advanced background blur.
And while this laptop isn’t quite as pleasing on the eye as a Dell XPS 13 Plus or MacBook Air, I’m still fond of the design. When the light catches the metal body, you can notice a hint of green – Acer calls this an olivine black coating, and I think it looks rather lovely. It’s a shame there aren’t further colour options here though.
- Sports a 16-inch OLED display
- 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling
- Enough colour coverage for professional creators
The Acer Swift Edge 16 sports a marvellous 16-inch 3.2K OLED. It looked fantastic up close, with vibrant colours and sharp image quality. If you’re the type who likes to watch Disney Plus, Netflix or YouTube on the go, this looks to be a superb option.
Acer has also ensured a 120Hz refresh rate. I don’t expect anyone to do any serious form of gaming on this portable, but that higher refresh rate will still be useful for smoother scrolling and the like.
Impressively, Acer claims this laptop covers 100% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, which would make the screen accurate enough for professional content creation. It’s important to remember there’s no discrete GPU here so it will be limited graphically, but it’s still handy to have such a colour-sensitive screen for the likes of Photoshop and Canva.
Acer also claims an above-average brightness (500 nits) and 0.2 ms response time. We’ll need to put these figures to the test when we get a review sample, but it’s still very impressive reading for the Swift Edge 16.
- Powered by AMD’s latest chip
- Support for Wi-Fi 7
- Up to 32GB of LPDDR5 memory
The Acer Swift Edge 16 is powered by the new AMD Ryzen 7 7840U processor, which is supposedly (at least according to AMD) even more powerful than the Apple M2 and competing Intel 13th Gen chips. With an octa-core setup and boost clock speed of 5.1Ghz, it certainly looks to have potential.
Of course, we’ll need to wait until we can call in a review sample to benchmark this laptop, so we can’t verify any of AMD’s bold claims just yet.
The new Ryzen processor also enables support for Wi-Fi 7, the latest and greatest wireless standard. You will need a Wi-Fi 7 supported router to unlock the fastest speeds, but it’s still good to have a laptop future-proofed for years to come when you eventually do decide to upgrade your home network.
The Swift Edge 16 supports dual-channel LPDDR5 system memory, up to a whopping 32GB. NVMe SSDs are under the hood, with up to a 1TB capacity for oodles of storage space.
There’s no word on battery life just yet, which makes me fear this will be the laptop’s main weakness. The high-resolution OLED panel, combined with the powerful processor, has alarm bells ringing in my head in terms of stamina. But that will be forgivable if this laptop delivers elsewhere.
The Acer Swift Edge 16 is a very promising laptop. It has a bright and colourful OLED screen, cutting-edge processor with support for Wi-Fi 7 and a remarkably portable design that’s brimming with ports.
I do have concerns about the battery life, as such high-end specs often result in short-lived stamina. But with such a reasonable price for the entry-level model, I still have high hopes for this upcoming laptop that could potentially take over the LG Gram 16 as the best portable big-screen laptop.