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Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) Laptop Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Dec 13, 2021 at 11:14 am
Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) Picture
7.8
School
6.1
Gaming
7.3
Multimedia
7.4
Workstation
7.3
Business
Size
14"
Operating System
Windows 10
CPU
Intel Core i5-1135G7
GPU
Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7
RAM
8 GB
Storage
512 GB

The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) is a Windows laptop available with Intel 11th Gen processors. It's thin and lightweight, making it easy to carry around, and its battery lasts over thirteen hours of light productivity and twelve hours of video playback. It has a reasonably well-calibrated 1080p display with full sRGB coverage, but it doesn't get very bright, so it isn't the best for outdoor use. Its port selection is great and includes a full-size HDMI and a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4 support. Its Intel Core i5 CPU is powerful enough for general productivity like web browsing, text formatting, and spreadsheets, and it can even handle some heavier workloads like photo and video editing. However, its integrated Iris Xe Graphics struggles in graphically demanding tasks like games and 3D rendering. Unfortunately, the keyboard is tiring to type on for long periods, and its layout might take some time to get used to. Also, it has a small touchpad and a bad webcam.

Our Acer Swift 3 has an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, integrated Iris Xe Graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. The only other CPU option is the Intel Core i7-1165G7, which will perform better overall, although we expect the performance difference to be minimal. You can upgrade the memory up to 16GB, but only on the models with an i7 CPU.

Our Verdict

7.8 School

The Acer Swift 3 is good for school use. It's a well-built laptop that's easy to carry around, with plenty of battery life to last through a typical school day. The keyboard is decent, but it may take some time to get used to the layout, and it can be tiring to type on for long periods. Unfortunately, the touchpad is on the smaller side, and the webcam is bad. Its Intel 11th Gen CPU performs well and can handle relatively heavy workloads. However, its integrated GPU isn't ideal for graphically demanding tasks, which might disappoint students in fields like 3D animation or graphic design.

Pros
  • Thin and lightweight.
  • Long battery life for light productivity and media playback.
  • Aluminum chassis feels well-built.
  • Great port selection includes USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support.
  • Great CPU performance in general productivity tasks.
Cons
  • Doesn't get bright enough to overcome intense glare.
  • Keyboard has odd layout and is tiring to type on for extended periods.
  • Bad webcam audio and video quality.
  • Small touchpad.
6.1 Gaming

The Acer Swift 3 is mediocre for gaming. Since it's a productivity-focused laptop, it only has a 60Hz display with a slow response time and no VRR support. Also, even though its Intel 11th Gen CPU is quite capable, its integrated GPU isn't powerful enough to handle graphically demanding AAA titles. There's some thermal throttling under load, but on the upside, it doesn't get hot or loud.

Pros
  • Great port selection includes USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support.
  • Doesn't get hot or loud under load.
  • Fast SSD storage drive.
Cons
  • Integrated GPU isn't powerful enough for AAA gaming.
  • 60Hz display with no VRR support.
  • Some performance loss under load.
  • Memory runs in single-channel mode and isn't user-upgradeable.
7.3 Multimedia

The Acer Swift 3 is decent for media consumption. It's very portable because it has a thin profile and is lightweight, and its battery lasts a long time, enough to get you through a couple of full-length movies. It has a reasonably well-calibrated display with full sRGB coverage, but it doesn't get very bright, and like most IPS panels, it isn't ideal for dark rooms. The speakers sound good overall; however, they have almost no bass, so they aren't the best for listening to music.

Pros
  • Thin and lightweight.
  • Sharp screen with full sRGB coverage.
  • Long battery life for light productivity and media playback.
Cons
  • Doesn't get bright enough to overcome intense glare.
  • Blacks look gray in the dark.
  • Screen doesn't support touch input.
7.4 Workstation

The Acer Swift 3 is decent for use as a workstation. Its Intel 11th Gen CPU can handle some heavy workloads. However, it loses some performance over time due to thermal throttling, and its integrated GPU isn't powerful enough for graphically demanding tasks. Also, its memory runs in single-channel mode and isn't user-upgradeable. On the upside, it has a fast NVMe SSD and a great port selection that includes a full-size HDMI and a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4 support.

Pros
  • Great port selection includes USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support.
  • CPU can handle some heavy workloads like photo and video editing.
  • Doesn't get hot or loud under load.
  • Fast SSD storage drive.
Cons
  • Integrated GPU isn't ideal for graphically demanding workloads.
  • Some performance loss under load.
  • Memory runs in single-channel mode and isn't user-upgradeable.
7.3 Business

The Acer Swift 3 is decent for business use. It's a thin and light laptop that's easy to carry around, with a battery that lasts through a typical 8-hour workday with plenty of charge to spare. Its great port selection includes a full-size HDMI and a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4 support so that you can connect to an external display for presentations. Its Intel 11th Gen CPU can handle general productivity tasks like text formatting and Excel spreadsheets, and it doesn't throttle much under load. Unfortunately, the keyboard feels tiring to type on for extended periods, and the webcam's video and audio quality are bad.

Pros
  • Thin and lightweight.
  • Long battery life for light productivity and media playback.
  • Aluminum chassis feels well-built.
  • Great port selection includes USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support.
  • Great CPU performance in general productivity tasks.
Cons
  • Doesn't get bright enough to overcome intense glare.
  • Keyboard has odd layout and is tiring to type on for extended periods.
  • Bad webcam audio and video quality.
  • Small touchpad.
  • 7.8 School
  • 6.1 Gaming
  • 7.3 Multimedia
  • 7.4 Workstation
  • 7.3 Business
  1. Updated Mar 08, 2022: We've uploaded a new contrast photo because the previous picture wasn't accurate.
  2. Updated Dec 13, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Dec 09, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Form Factor
Traditional (Clamshell)

The Acer Swift 3 is a fairly standard-looking laptop that shouldn't stick out in a professional working environment. The exhaust vents are on the bottom towards the back of the unit, while the speakers are closer to the front feet. There are three color schemes: Pure Silver, Aqua Blue, and Melon Pink, though the latter seems to be available in select regions only (outside of North America).

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Acer Swift 3 feels well-built overall. It's mostly metal except for the display's borders, which are plastic. There's some flex in the display and keyboard deck, but almost none when the laptop is closed. Otherwise, there aren't any gaps or issues with the construction.

6.9
Design
Hinge
Range
180°
Stability
Good
One Finger Lift
No

The hinge is okay. It feels smooth when opening and closing the laptop, and it's very stable, so there's almost no screen wobble when typing. Unfortunately, there's just a little too much resistance to open the laptop with one finger. If you're looking for a similarly priced Windows laptop in a similar size but want a 360-degree hinge to use the laptop in tablet mode, consider the HP Pavilion x360 14 (2021).

8.9
Design
Portability
Thickness
0.6" (1.6 cm)
Width
12.8" (32.4 cm)
Depth
8.6" (21.9 cm)
Volume
69.3 in³ (1,135.3 cm³)
Weight
2.6 lbs (1.2 kg)
Charger Size
8.2 in³ (135.0 cm³)
Charger Weight
0.4 lbs (0.2 kg)

The Acer Swift 3 is a thin and lightweight laptop that's easy to carry around. The power adapter is also compact and should fit easily into most bags.

6.5
Design
Serviceability
Ease Of Access
8.0
RAM Slots
0
Storage Slots
1
Replaceable Battery
Yes
Replaceable Wireless Adapter
Yes

The Acer Swift 3 is reasonably serviceable. Accessing the internals is easy as you only need to remove ten Philips screws and pry it open, though you'll likely need a pick to do the prying because nails might not be enough. The memory isn't user-replaceable, so you have to get the configuration that best suits your needs when purchasing the laptop. Opening the laptop and making changes to the hardware may void the manufacturer's warranty.

Design
In The Box

  • Acer Swift 3 laptop
  • 65W power adapter and cord
  • Documentation

Display
Display
Screen Specs
Resolution
1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio
16:9
Pixel Density
157 PPI
Panel Type
IPS
Touch Screen
No
Screen-To-Body Ratio
80%

Technically, there are two display options for the Acer Swift 3: a 14 inch 1080p panel with a 16:9 aspect ratio (SF314-59 or SF314-511 series) and a 13.5 inch 1440p+ panel with a 3:2 aspect ratio (SF313-53). We only tested the former, so we can't comment on the performance of the QHD 3:2 display other than that it looks sharper due to its higher pixel density.

The 1080p resolution on our unit's display might seem low to some, but text and images still appear sharp because it's on a relatively compact 14 inch screen. The side and top borders are thin and aren't distracting; however, the bottom bezel is much thicker and has a large Acer branding in the middle. If you want a laptop with a larger display for multitasking, check out the LG gram 17 (2021)

5.9
Display
Refresh Rate
Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No

The Acer Swift 3 has a 60Hz refresh rate and no VRR support, typical for most productivity-focused laptops. The response time is slow, causing visible ghosting behind moving objects, so it isn't ideal for viewing fast-moving content or gaming.

7.9
Display
Contrast
Native Contrast
1,720 : 1

Update 03/08/2022: We've uploaded a new photo because the previous picture made blacks appear darker than they do in person and wasn't representative of the display's contrast.

The Acer Swift 3 has a good contrast ratio. It isn't as good as a VA or OLED panel, but it's better than most IPS panels. Blacks look grayish in the dark, although it isn't that bad. The contrast ratio can vary between individual units, but it's usually minor and isn't visually noticeable. If you want a laptop with a display that can produce deep, inky blacks, check out the ASUS VivoBook 15 OLED K513 (2021).

6.7
Display
Brightness
Maximum Brightness
279 cd/m²
Minimum Brightness
17 cd/m²

The Acer Swift 3's maximum screen brightness is passable. It's okay for use in most lighting conditions, but it isn't bright enough to overcome glare in well-lit or sunny environments. It gets very dim at the lowest brightness setting, which is great for viewing content in the dark because it causes less eye strain. If you need a laptop with a brighter display, check out the Dell XPS 13 (2021).

7.3
Display
Reflections
Screen Finish
Matte
Total Reflections
5.66%
Indirect Reflections
4.91%
Calculated Direct Reflections
0.75%

The Acer Swift 3's reflection handling is decent. It has a matte coating that works very well against direct reflections, but glare is still a problem in well-lit environments because the screen doesn't get bright enough to compensate.

7.7
Display
Black Uniformity
Uniformity (Std. Dev.)
0.925%

Our Acer Swift 3's black uniformity is good. There's only some minor clouding here and there, as well as some IPS glow at the top and bottom edges; they're only visible when viewing dark scenes in a dark room. Black uniformity can vary between individual units.

6.7
Display
Horizontal Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Left
26°
Color Washout From Right
25°
Color Shift From Left
39°
Color Shift From Right
41°
Brightness Loss From Left
27°
Brightness Loss From Right
27°
Black Level Raise From Left
60°
Black Level Raise From Right
60°
Gamma Shift From Left
32°
Gamma Shift From Right
30°

The Acer Swift 3 has okay horizontal viewing angles. The image looks dimmer and washed out from the side, but it's still good enough for sharing content with someone else as long as you don't need perfect accuracy.

6.2
Display
Vertical Viewing Angle
Color Washout From Below
24°
Color Washout From Above
26°
Color Shift From Below
37°
Color Shift From Above
36°
Brightness Loss From Below
27°
Brightness Loss From Above
28°
Black Level Raise From Below
45°
Black Level Raise From Above
40°
Gamma Shift From Below
25°
Gamma Shift From Above
27°

The vertical viewing angles are passable. You have some leeway to tilt the screen to your liking before the image becomes inaccurate, but it's best to look at it straight on to get the best image quality.

6.7
Display
Out-Of-The-Box Color Accuracy
Avg. White Balance dE
4.38
Avg. Gamma
2.11
Avg. Color dE
2.89
Avg. Color Temperature
6,388 K

The Acer Swift 3's out-of-the-box color accuracy is alright. Most color inaccuracies are minor and hard to spot with the naked eye, but the white balance is visibly off, especially at higher brightness levels. The color temperature is just slightly warmer than our 6500K target, not enough of a difference to be noticeable. The gamma seems to target a flat 2.1 instead of following the sRGB curve, so most scenes appear brighter than they should, while dark scenes are over-darkened. Color accuracy can vary between units.

8.6
Display
Color Gamut
sRGB xy
99.97%
sRGB uv
99.91%
Adobe RGB xy
78.17%
Adobe RGB uv
86%
DCI P3 xy
78.92%
DCI P3 uv
84.07%
Rec. 2020 xy
56.68%
Rec. 2020 uv
61.53%

The Acer Swift 3 has an excellent color gamut. It covers the entire sRGB color space, meaning it can display all the colors used in most web content. It has excellent Adobe RGB coverage, although it might still be a little too low for creative professionals. Its DCI P3 coverage is also excellent, but its coverage of the wider Rec. 2020 is limited and doesn't meet our threshold to be considered a wide color gamut, so it isn't ideal for viewing HDR content.

10
Display
Flicker
Flicker-Free
Yes
Flicker Frequency
No Flicker
Flicker Active Below
0%

The Acer Swift 3's backlight is entirely flicker-free, which helps reduce eye strain for some people.

Interface
7.2
Interface
Keyboard
Typing Quality
7.0
Numpad
No
Backlighting
On / Off
Operating Force
64 gf
Actuation Force
34 gf
Pre-Travel
0.90 mm
Total Travel
1.4 mm

The Acer Swift 3 has a decent keyboard. The keys are stable and don't require much force to actuate, but they still feel somewhat tiring to type on for extended periods because the spacing is tight, and the travel distance feels short. Also, getting used to the layout might take some time as many keys have multiple input options. The F8 key lets you activate the backlighting, but since there's only one brightness level, you can only toggle it on or off.

6.8
Interface
Touchpad
Tracking Quality
7.0
Size
10.9 in² (70.3 cm²)
Material
Plastic
Dedicated Buttons
No

The touchpad is okay. It feels smooth, but it's on the smaller side. Palm rejection works well, and you can click anywhere on the touchpad, although it requires a fair amount of pressure to actuate the click in the center, near the top. Dragging and dropping doesn't always work as the item sometimes gets dropped early, and right-clicking is also finicky at times. The touchpad is placed slightly to the left even though there isn't a Numpad, which some people may not like.

7.8
Interface
Speakers
Max Volume
76 dB SPL
Standard Error @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
5.0 dB
Slope @ Normal Vol. (65 dB)
0.1
Bass Extension (Low-Frequency Ext.)
364 Hz
Treble Extension (High-Frequency Ext.)
16 kHz
Dynamic Range Compression @ Max Vol.
1.0 dB

The Acer Swift 3 has good speakers. They get reasonably loud with minimal compression at max volume, and they sound relatively neutral overall. However, like most laptop speakers, they have almost no bass whatsoever. There's also a dip in the low-treble that can make vocals and lead instruments sound slightly muddled and lacking in clarity.

3.6
Interface
Webcam & Microphone
Video Quality
3.0
Resolution
720p
Position
Top Center
Privacy Cover
No
Face Unlock
No

The Acer Swift 3 has a bad webcam. The image is underexposed and lacks detail, and there's also some noise in the darker areas. The microphone sounds too loud, causing distortion, and there are pops and static noise in the background. If you want a Windows laptop with a better webcam, check out the Framework Laptop (2021).

Connectivity
8.0
Connectivity
Ports
USB-A Ports
2
USB-C Ports
1
Thunderbolt
Thunderbolt 4
USB-C Charging
Yes
USB-C Display Out
Yes
HDMI
2.0
DisplayPort
No
3.5mm Jack
Combo mic/headphone
Card Reader
No
Ethernet
No
Proprietary Port
No
Security Lock
Yes

The Acer Swift 3 has a great port selection. The USB-C port supports charging, video output, Thunderbolt 4 (up to 40Gbps data transfer speed), and USB 3.2 Gen 2 (up to 10Gbps). The USB-A on the left side is USB 3.2 Gen 1 (up to 5Gbps) and can be used to charge other devices even when the laptop is off, but the one on the right is only USB 2.0 (up to 480Mbps). Acer has released a new model of the Swift 3 (SF314-511 series) with a USB 3.2 Gen 1 port instead of the USB 2.0. There's a Kensington lock on the right side.

Connectivity
Wireless Communication
Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Bluetooth
5.0

The Acer Swift 3's wireless adapter is an Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201.

Configuration
Configuration
CPU
Brand
Intel
Model
Core i5-1135G7
Core Count
4
Thread Count
8

The Intel Core i5-1135G7 in our Acer Swift 3 is the base CPU configuration, and there's only one other option, the Intel Core i7-1165G7. They're both 4-core, 8-thread processors designed for thin and light laptops, with the main differences being that the i7-1165G7 has higher clock speeds and a larger L3 cache. The i7-1165G7 will be faster and provide a snappier experience overall, but the performance increase is likely minimal. As shown in the benchmarks, the i5-1135G7 is actually outperforming the HP ENVY x360's i7-1165G7 in several tests. We believe it's because the i5-1135G7 in this laptop is running at a higher wattage, and it also doesn't lose as much performance under load as the HP from thermal throttling.

Both CPUs are powerful enough for general productivity tasks like text formatting, web browsing, and media playback. They can even handle some heavier workloads like compiling code and photo editing, though you'll likely see some occasional stutters. You can play some games, but you have to play at the lowest graphical settings to get a smooth experience in most titles.

Configuration
GPU
Brand
Intel
Model
Iris Xe Graphics G7
Dedicated/Integrated
Integrated
VRAM Size
N/A

Intel advertises the Core i5-1135G7 and the Core i7-1165G7 as having the same Intel Iris Xe Graphics, but they're slightly different as the i5-1135G7 has 80 execution units, while the i7-1165G7 has 96. Otherwise, they run at the same clock speed. The i7-1165G7 will be faster in general, but the difference isn't huge. You'll likely get a few more frames per second in games on the i7-1165G7 than on the i5-1135G7.

Configuration
RAM
Capacity
8 GB
Modules
1 (Soldered)
Type
LP-DDR4X
Speed
4,267 MHz

The Acer Swift 3 is available with 8GB or 16GB of RAM, but you can only get the 16GB on the Intel Core i7-1165G7 models. 8GB should be enough for most people doing light productivity tasks, but it might be worth going up to 16GB if you tend to have many browser tabs or applications open simultaneously. Unfortunately, there's only one memory module, meaning the system is running in single-channel mode. Also, there isn't a second memory slot to add more or change the configuration to dual-channel. A dual-channel memory configuration can improve performance in some applications as it provides greater bandwidth.

Configuration
Storage
Advertised Capacity
512 GB
Usable Capacity
460 GB
Drive 1
SK Hynix HFM512GDJTNI-82A0A
Drive 1 Type SSD
Drive 2
No 2nd Drive
Drive 2 Type No 2nd Drive

There are only two storage configurations: 256GB and 512GB. Both options should be enough for most people, and the storage drive is user-replaceable if you need more and are comfortable upgrading it yourself. There's a 1TB option, but only on the SF313-53 series of the Acer Swift 3 (with a 3:2 QHD display).

Performance
8.1
Performance
Geekbench 5 (Synthetics)
CPU Single-Thread
1,409 points
CPU Multi-Thread
5,340 points
GPU Compute
15,232 points

The Acer Swift 3 has a great overall score in the Geekbench 5 benchmarks, performing well in the single and multi-thread tests. This means that the Intel Core i5-1135G7 has more than enough power for light to medium workloads, and it can even handle some demanding tasks like photo and video editing. However, its GPU compute performance is disappointing and as expected for integrated graphics. We expect the Intel Core i7-1165G7 to perform better, assuming that it runs at the same wattage and has proper cooling, though the performance difference is minimal.

8.4
Performance
Cinebench R23 (CPU Rendering)
Single-Thread
1,368 points
Multi-Thread
5,092 points

The Acer Swift 3 has impressive performance in Cinebench R23, making it a good choice for rendering tasks and other related workloads. The Intel Core i7-1165G7 will likely perform better, but not by much.

5.9
Performance
Blender (3D Rendering)
CPU Render Time
7.8 min
GPU Render Time
N/A
GPU Render Time (Optix)
N/A

The Acer Swift 3's performance in Blender is sub-par. It takes the CPU a fair amount of time to render the simple bmw27 scene, which isn't ideal for professional 3D rendering work. The Intel Core i7-1165G7 will likely perform better than the i5-1135G7, assuming it has a similar power configuration and thermal profile. We couldn't run the GPU render test because Blender doesn't seem to support the Intel Core i5-1135G7's Iris Xe Graphics even though it supports the Intel Core i7-1165G7's in the HP ENVY x360 13 (2020). Based on the HP ENVY x360's results, we expect the GPU will take longer than the CPU to render the same scene.

If you want a similarly priced laptop with a dedicated NVIDIA GPU for faster rendering times, check out the HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop 15 (2021).

5.1
Performance
Basemark GPU (Game Scene)
Overall Score
16,155

The Acer Swift 3 scores poorly in the Basemark GPU benchmark. However, it's better than most integrated graphics, performing in the same ballpark as an entry-level dedicated GPU like the NVIDIA MX350 in the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020). This means it can achieve playable frame rates in some graphically demanding titles as long as you turn the graphical settings down to near minimum. The Intel Core i7-1165G7 will likely perform better, assuming it runs at the same wattage as the i5-1165G7, but the performance difference isn't significant.

9.0
Performance
Storage Drive Performance
Sequential Write Speed
933.8 MB/s
Sequential Read Speed
1,181.1 MB/s
Random Write Speed
106.7 MB/s
Random Read Speed
55.6 MB/s

The Acer Swift 3's storage drive performance is outstanding. It has fast read and write speeds, making the system feel very responsive, like when booting up the laptop, installing and launching apps, and transferring files. The speed of the SSD may vary depending on the size, as larger SSDs tend to perform better.

9.4
Performance
Battery
Capacity
56 Wh
Battery Life (Web Browsing)
13.8 hrs
Battery Life (Video Playback)
12.2 hrs
Battery Life (Gaming)
2.1 hrs
Charge Time
2.3 hrs

The Acer Swift 3 has exceptionally long battery life. It lasts easily over a typical 8-hour workday of light productivity with plenty of charge to spare. It also lasts a long time for video playback, so you can comfortably get through a couple of full-length movies or TV show episodes. Gaming drains the battery very quickly, but it's still significantly better than laptops with a dedicated GPU. Battery life varies greatly depending on usage.

1.1
Performance
Borderlands 3
Avg. FPS
7 fps
1% Low
1 fps
0.1% Low
0 fps
1% Low Delta
1,253 ms
0.1% Low Delta
2,224 ms
Avg. FPS On Very Low
36 fps

Borderlands 3 isn't playable on the Acer Swift 3. The Intel Core i5-1135G7 with Intel Iris Xe Graphics can only push out frames in the single digits at high settings, with frequent freezes. Even on the 'Very Low' graphical settings, it's still very choppy even though the average frame rate is above 30fps. The Intel Core i7-1165G7 will perform slightly better, but not enough to make the game playable. We had to run the benchmark on DirectX 11 because it kept crashing on DirectX 12.

4.6
Performance
Civilization VI
Avg. FPS
22 fps
1% Low
16 fps
0.1% Low
14 fps
1% Low Delta
18 ms
0.1% Low Delta
25 ms
Avg. FPS On Minimum
82 fps
Avg. Turn Time
7.96 s

Civilization VI runs poorly on the Acer Swift 3 with an Intel Core i5-1135G7. It's only playable if you turn the graphics settings down to near minimum. The turn time is alright, though it's pretty good for a power-efficient U-series processor, and it's even beating more power-hungry H-series processors like the Intel Core i7-10750H in the Dell Alienware m15 R3 (2020). We expect that the Intel Core i7-1165G7 will perform only slightly better.

6.7
Performance
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Avg. FPS
88 fps
1% Low
36 fps
0.1% Low
30 fps
1% Low Delta
16 ms
0.1% Low Delta
22 ms
Avg. FPS On Low
134 fps

The Acer Swift 3 runs CS:GO reasonably well. It can achieve above 60fps on average with high settings, although there are dips into the 30fps range. It's much smoother when running the game at low graphical settings. The Intel Core i7-1165G7 will only perform slightly better, not enough to make much difference.

3.0
Performance
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
Avg. FPS
19 fps
1% Low
3 fps
0.1% Low
1 fps
1% Low Delta
290 ms
0.1% Low Delta
871 ms
Avg. FPS On Lowest
37 fps

The Acer Swift 3 runs Shadow of the Tomb Raider terribly. It can't even reach 30fps on average with high settings, and there are frequent dips into the single digits, making motion appear very choppy. It manages to get over 30fps on the lowest graphical settings, but it still stutters a lot. We don't expect the Intel Core i7-1165G7 to perform much better.

7.7
Performance
Thermals And Noise
Keyboard Temp While Idle
27 °C (80 °F)
Keyboard Temp Under Load
45 °C (112 °F)
Fan Noise While Idle
25.0 dBA
Fan Noise Under Load
43.0 dBA
Power & Fan Control App
No

The Acer Swift 3 has good thermal and noise performance. The keyboard deck is cool when idle, and the fan isn't audible unless you put your ear right next to the laptop. The fan is louder under load, but it isn't bad, and it sounds more like air being pushed out than actual fan noise. Likewise, the keyboard deck gets hotter under load, but it isn't uncomfortable by any means.

8.6
Performance
Performance Over Time
CPU Temp (Cinebench)
72 °C
CPU Perf. Loss (Cinebench)
9% loss
GPU Temp (Heaven)
69 °C
GPU Perf. Loss (Heaven)
0% loss

The Acer Swift 3's performance over time is excellent. Neither the CPU nor GPU gets very hot under load, but there's still some thermal throttling on the CPU. That said, the performance loss isn't noticeable unless you're performing demanding tasks that require near 100% CPU utilization.

Additional Features And Software
Additional Features And Software
Software
Operating System
Windows 10
Additional Software
Yes

The Acer Swift 3 has a few pre-installed software applications, including:

  • Norton Antivirus: Antivirus software.
  • Acer Configuration Manager/Product Registration: Provides information about your system and lets you register your device with Acer for warranty purposes.
  • DTS Audio: Lets you change the speakers' sound profile and tweak the EQ settings.
  • Express VPN: Link to virtual private network service.
  • PhotoDirector/PowerDirector: Acer's photo and video editing software.
  • Spotify: Music streaming service.

Additional Features And Software
Extra Features
RGB Illumination
No
Touch Pen
No
Secondary Display
No
Biometrics
Fingerprint Sensor

The Acer Swift 3 has a fingerprint sensor on the right side of the keyboard deck, below the arrow keys. It only works if you have a password or PIN as a secondary login method, as biometric sensors sometimes fail.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the 14 inch Acer Swift 3 (model SF314-59-52BZ or SF314-59 series) equipped with an Intel Core i5-1135G7, integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. The CPU, memory, and storage are configurable; you can see the options in the table below.

Acer advertises the SF313-53 series as part of the same Swift 3 lineup because these models have largely the same specifications (available with the same CPU, memory, and storage configurations). However, they have a 13.5 inch, 3:2 QHD (2256 x 1504) display instead. Some of our test results apply to the SF313-53 series, but we can't speak to the display's performance other than that it looks sharper because it has a higher pixel density. There may also be some differences in performance since the 3:2 aspect ratio necessitates a different internal design, which can affect the laptop's thermals.

Screen
  • 14" IPS 1920 x 1080 60Hz
CPU
  • Intel Core i5-1135G7 (4 cores/8 threads, 2.4GHz to 4.2GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-1165G7 (4 cores/8 threads, 2.8GHz to 4.7GHz)
GPU
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics (integrated - Core i5 - 80 Execution Units)
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics (integrated - Core i7 - 96 Execution Units)
Memory
  • 8GB LP-DDR4X 4267MHz
  • 16GB LP-DDR4X 4267MHz (Core i7 model only)
Storage
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Color
  • Aqua Blue
  • Pure Silver
  • Melon Pink (outside North America)

Our display and performance results are only valid for the configuration that we tested. If you come across a different configuration option not listed above, or you have a similar Acer Swift 3 SF314 that doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update it. Some tests, like black uniformity and color accuracy, may vary between individual units.

You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Laptops

Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020)

The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) and the Acer Aspire 5 15 (2020) are very similar Windows laptops. The Swift 3 has a smaller but more colorful and color-accurate display, a better port selection that includes Thunderbolt 4 support, and its battery lasts much longer. On the other hand, the Aspire 5's keyboard is more comfortable to type on, its touchpad feels more responsive, and its webcam is significantly better. The Swift 3 performs better because it has a newer and more powerful CPU; however, there are more recent models of the Aspire 5 with the same Intel 11th Gen and AMD Ryzen 5000 CPUs.

Dell XPS 13 (2021)

The Dell XPS 13 (2021) and the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) are both ultraportable laptops with Intel 11th Gen. CPUs. The XPS 13 is better in most aspects as it's a more premium laptop that provides a better overall user experience. It has a sharper, brighter, and more color-accurate display, a better keyboard and touchpad, and a much better webcam for video calls. However, the Swift 3 has a wider port selection because it includes USB-A and HDMI ports, which aren't available on the XPS 13. The Swift 3 also has longer battery life, lasting over 3 hours more in light productivity workloads.

Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020)

The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) and the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14 (2020) are both 14 inch Windows laptops. However, the IdeaPad Flex 5 is a 2-in-1 convertible that you can also use as a tablet, while the Swift 3 is a more traditional clamshell laptop. The Swift 3 has a more colorful screen with full sRGB coverage, while the IdeaPad Flex 5's looks a bit washed out. Additionally, the Swift 3 has longer battery life, a better port selection that includes a USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support, and it doesn't get as hot under load. The IdeaPad Flex 5 has a better webcam, and its keyboard is more comfortable to type on because it doesn't feel as cramped.

HP ENVY x360 13 (2020)

The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) and the HP ENVY x360 13 (2020) are thin and light Windows laptops. However, the ENVY x360 has a 360-degree hinge that lets you use the laptop as a tablet, while you can only use the Swift 3 in clamshell mode. The Envy x360's screen is smaller, but there are more options to choose from, including a 1000 cd/m² IPS and an OLED panel. The ENVY x360's keyboard is easier to adapt to and doesn't feel as cramped, and its touchpad is more responsive. That said, the Swift 3 has longer battery life, and it doesn't throttle as much as the ENVY x360 under load. Both laptops are available with Intel 11th Gen CPUs, though you can configure the ENVY x360 with an AMD Ryzen 5000 processor as well.

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021)

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15 (2021) and the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) are ultraportable Windows laptops. The Swift 3's display is smaller, but it's sharper and more colorful. The Swift 3 has better-sounding speakers, a wider port selection that includes a USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support, and longer battery life. However, the IdeaPad 3 has a much better webcam for video calls. The IdeaPad 3 is available with AMD Ryzen 5000-series CPUs, while the Swift 3 is available with Intel 11th Gen CPUs. Regardless of which laptop you choose, all the CPU options are more than capable of handling light tasks like web browsing, text formatting, and video playback. That said, if you need the best multi-thread performance, the IdeaPad 3's higher-end AMD Ryzen 7 5700U is the best option as it has more cores and threads than any of the Intel CPU options on the Swift 3.

Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 (2021)

The Lenovo Yoga 7i 14 (2021) and the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) are both ultraportable Windows laptops with Intel 11th Gen CPUs. However, the Yoga 7i is a 2-in-1 convertible that you can also use as a tablet, while the Swift 3 is a more conventional clamshell laptop. The Yoga 7i offers a better user experience as it has a more comfortable keyboard, a more responsive touchpad, and better-sounding speakers. It also has a much better webcam for video calls. As for the battery life, the Yoga 7i comes out ahead as it has a larger battery that lasts roughly 1.5 hours more of light productivity.

HP Pavilion x360 14 (2021)

The HP Pavilion x360 14 (2021) is a 2-in-1 convertible with a 360-degree hinge, whereas the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) is a traditional clamshell laptop. The Acer is a better laptop overall, as it's the same size as the HP but is more compact, it has a better-quality metal chassis, and its battery lasts significantly longer. Also, the Acer has a significantly more color-accurate screen, its speakers sound better, and there's a Thunderbolt 4 port for high-speed data transfer and video output. On the other hand, the HP has a much better webcam and microphone, and its keyboard has better spacing, which may make it more suited for business use.

ASUS VivoBook 15 OLED K513 (2021)

The ASUS VivoBook 15 OLED K513 (2021) and the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) are ultraportable Windows laptops available with Intel 11th Gen processors. The ASUS is a bigger device with a 15.6 inch screen, providing more space for multitasking, and its OLED panel gets brighter and can display more colors. The ASUS also has a touchpad that tracks better and a webcam with better video quality for video calls. On the other hand, the Acer has a wider port selection and significantly longer battery life. The ASUS is available with dedicated NVIDIA GPUs, but they're entry-level graphics processors that don't perform much better than Intel's Iris Xe Graphics.

Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020)

The Acer Swift 3 (2020) and the Apple MacBook Air 13 (M1, 2020) are both thin and light laptops; however, the Swift 3 runs Windows, while the MacBook Air runs macOS. The MacBook Air is better in most aspects, such as the display, keyboard, touchpad, speakers, webcam, and general performance. On the other hand, the Swift 3 has longer battery life, especially for video playback, and it also has a wider port selection that includes a full-size HDMI and a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 4 support.

HP Victus 16 (2021)

The HP Victus 16 (2021) and the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) are very different laptops. The HP is a budget gaming laptop, while the Acer is a productivity-focused ultraportable. If you need a portable device for work or school, it's best to go with the Acer as it's much thinner and lighter, and its battery lasts much longer. However, the HP laptop might be a better choice if you need a more powerful dedicated GPU for more demanding tasks like video editing or graphic design. The HP also has a more comfortable keyboard, a larger and more responsive touchpad, and a much better webcam for video calls.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 (2019)

The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) and the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15 (2019) are very similar Windows laptops. The Surface 3 provides a better user experience because it has a larger, sharper, and brighter display, as well as a much better keyboard, touchpad, and webcam. However, it doesn't have as many ports as the Swift 3, and its battery life is significantly shorter. Performance-wise, the Swift 3 can handle much heavier workloads because it has a newer and more powerful CPU, and it doesn't throttle as much under load. Both laptops have biometrics; the Surface uses facial recognition, while the Swift 3 uses a fingerprint sensor.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020)

The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) is much better than the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 (2020) for most uses. Although the Swift 3's screen is smaller, it looks better because it has a higher contrast ratio, a wider color gamut, and better color accuracy out of the box. The Swift 3's keyboard feels better to type on, but its touchpad doesn't track as well as the Inspiron 15's. The Swift 3 has significantly longer battery life and a much better port selection that includes a USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support. The Inspiron 15 is more serviceable, though, so you can easily add more memory or storage yourself after purchase.

Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019)

The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) and the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2019) are very different. The Swift 3 is a thin and light Windows laptop designed for lighter productivity tasks like text formatting, web browsing, and spreadsheets. In contrast, the MacBook Pro is macOS mobile workstation with a more powerful CPU and dedicated graphics. That said, the Swift 3's Intel 11th Gen processor can handle some heavy workloads and even beats the Intel i9-9980H in the MacBook Pro in single-thread performance. The MacBook Pro has a brighter and sharper display, as well as a much better touchpad and webcam. However, the Acer has longer battery life, more ports, and is a more portable device.

Framework Laptop (2021)

The Framework Laptop (2021) is much better than the Acer Swift 3 14 (2020). The Framework Laptop offers a better user experience overall as it has a more comfortable keyboard, a larger and more responsive touchpad, and a sharper, brighter, and more colorful display. The Framework Laptop also has a webcam with better video quality and a modular port system that lets you change the port configuration on the fly to suit your needs. The Framework's build feels sturdier, and it's easier to repair and upgrade.

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