Acer Swift 7 Acer’s new lap­top is a golden op­por­tu­nity

A leaner lap­top

Computer Active (UK) - - Contents -

With its black case and gold in­te­rior, this is a dra­mat­i­cally slim lap­top that ar­guably looks even more ex­pen­sive than HP’S top-end Spec­tre Pro 13. It’s ac­tu­ally quite a bit cheaper, but hold on there. What you might mis­take for an In­tel i5 pro­ces­sor is an i5-7y54, which be­longs to In­tel’s low-power M se­ries. That means it’s ca­pa­ble of run­ning Win­dows 10 with­out grind­ing to a halt, but not a good choice for lots of mul­ti­task­ing or jobs like edit­ing pho­tos.

So £900 isn’t cheap, and on­line-re­tail prices seem to be go­ing up rather than down, with Ama­zon ask­ing over £1,000 for the same ma­chine at the time of writ­ing. That prob­a­bly re­flects dwin­dling stock, so if you do fancy it, you’ll want to jump in sooner rather than later.

One thing your £900 buys you is plenty of ad­mir­ing glances. The alu­minium chas­sis is su­perbly en­gi­neered, with at­ten­tion to de­tail on the crisp lines and cham­fered edges. It’s sus­cep­ti­ble to fin­ger­prints, but the matt fin­ish (which con­tin­ues on the gold-coloured sur­face around the key­board) feels more classy than glossier ri­vals.

Ports are lim­ited to two USB 3.1 Type-c sock­ets, both on the right-hand edge, which means you’ll need adapters for al­most ev­ery­thing. Th­ese only reach 5Gbps for ex­ter­nal stor­age (some Type-c sys­tems sup­port 40Gbps Thun­der­bolt 3). There’s a head­phone jack too.

The key­board isn’t back­lit, which will dis­ap­point any­one who of­ten has to type in darker con­di­tions, and we found it a bit mushy to type on. The glass track­pad was very re­spon­sive both to ges­tures and clicks, though.

The Full HD screen doesn’t give you the sharp­ness of Mi­crosoft’s Sur­face Pro, for ex­am­ple, or lap­tops from the likes of Dell that of­fer su­per-high-res QHD op­tions, but at 13.3in it looks quite de­cent. So this isn’t a pre­mium screen, but cre­ative pro­fes­sion­als aren’t go­ing to choose this model any­way, and we found it per­fectly ac­cept­able for most tasks.

In our video-play­back test, the Swift 7’s bat­tery lasted just over seven hours, which is de­cent for this class of lap­top and shows a very thin case can still be prac­ti­cal. The 256GB SSD should be just about enough for most users, as­sum­ing you have another stor­age op­tion at home for your full photo and video col­lec­tion. We would have liked at least a mi­crosd slot for a bit of ex­tra space when needed, but maybe Acer just couldn’t bear to drill any more holes in those wafer-thin side pan­els.

Wafer-thin, gold trim de­sign is stun­ning, while screen and bat­tery im­press

SPEC­I­FI­CA­TIONS 1.2GHZ In­tel Core i5-7y54 dual-core pro­ces­sor • 8GB mem­ory • 256GB SSD • 13.3in 1920x1080pixel screen • We­b­cam • 802.11ac Wi-fi • Blue­tooth 4.0 • 2x USB 3.1 Type-c ports • Win­dows 10 Home • 10x325x230mm (HXWXD • 1.13kg • One-year war­ranty

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