The Acer Swift 5 was one of the lightest laptops in its class, and Acer has updated the laptop with a couple of upgrades while retaining its lightweight nature. Despite featuring a large 15.6-inch display, the new Swift 5 laptop still weighs under 1kg – that’s really, really impressive.
We managed to spend some time with a working unit of the Swift 5, and here are our first impressions of Acer’s lightest 15.6-inch laptop yet.
Naturally, the Swift 5 comes with hardware you’d expect from a capable productivity laptop. It has “the latest” Intel Core processors – presumably eight generation ones – a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS touch display, up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage, as well as a healthy selection of ports, including an SD card reader – the previous Swift 5 model doesn’t even have a card slot.
While these are definitely good hardware, the main appeal of the new Swift 5 has to be its weight. Weighing only 2.2 pounds (just shy of 1kg), it is a ridiculously light laptop. This is especially impressive for a 15-inch laptop. To put this into perspective, the Swift 5 is even lighter than the latest LG Gram 15. The latter weighs about 1.1kg.
However, there are a couple of downsides to this. For one, to cut down on the Swift 5’s weight, Acer used magnesium-lithium alloy for the top and bottom covers, and they have quite a lot of flex to them. Don’t get me wrong, the laptop still feels well-built, but it is a cause for concern – to an extent. Speaking of which, Acer only had a mock-up of the Swift 5 on display, but I managed to spend some time with a working unit of the laptop behind the scenes.
Build quality aside, I’m quite a fan of the Swift 5’s large 15.6-inch IPS touch display. It’s bright and vibrant, and thanks to the tiny, 5.87mm bezels, the Swift 5 has a whopping 87.6% screen-to-body ratio. Fortunately, despite the small bezels, Acer managed to cram the webcam at the top of the display too. It’s definitely a much better placement than the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1‘s webcam position.
Any good productivity laptop must come with an equally good keyboard, but the Swift 5’s keyboard…leaves much to be desired. While the keys have rather good tactile feedback, the travel is quite shallow. This, in turn, doesn’t make the Swift 5 the most ideal laptop to do a lot of typing on. The keyboard is still serviceable, of course, but it’s certainly not my favourite.
As for the Swift 5’s trackpad, it works as intended. It can track my fingers accurately, and I like the smooth finish, though I’m not particularly fond of the trackpad’s loud clicking sound.
The Acer Swift 5 is a lightweight, promising productivity laptop – it’s one of very few 15-inch notebooks that weighs so little. It’s an attractive product, that’s for sure, but it is only set to be available sometime in Q4 2018. That’s quite a long wait.
On top of that, we still don’t know what kind of Intel Core processor the Swift 5 will feature, not to mention its actual retail price. Hopefully, it won’t be priced out of the market.