The Acer Swift 1 is a great laptop for students or anyone looking for one of the best laptops under $500. It’s not only inexpensive, but it’s also small and attractive.
Acer is a well-known PC manufacturer that provides quality, dependable laptops for a wide range of users. The Acer Swift 1 is a lightweight portable computer that would be ideal for students, families, and anyone on a budget.
This Acer laptop has a 14-inch full HD display and a sleek, lightweight design with thin bezels crammed into a stylish form. At first sight, you might believe this is a considerably more expensive computer than it is.
But in creating this computer, has Acer chosen form over substance? Find out in this review of the Acer Swift 1.
- 14-inch Full HD LED display
- Intel Pentium Silver N5000 quad-core processor
- 4GB DDR4 RAM
- 256GB SSD
- Fingerprint scanner
- HDMI, Type-C USB, 2 x Type-A USB, SD card reader
- Ideal for light PC work
- Nice price
- More than enough ports
- The fingerprint scanner is a nice addition
- Below-average battery life
- Viewing angles and max brightness are not great
Acer Swift 1 Price and Configuration Options
The Acer Aspire 1 starts at $329 for an Intel Celeron N4000 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of eMMC flash storage, and a UHD Graphics 600 GPU.
The $369 evaluation system we received came with a Celeron N5000 CPU, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of flash storage, and a more powerful UHD Graphics 605 GPU. Both are powered by Windows 10 S out-of-the-box and have a 14-inch 1080p display.
Design: Lightweight but not light on ports
While the Acer Swift 1 is an affordable laptop, it looks and feels a lot more premium than its $500 price tag might suggest.
First, Metal panels and the deck-side case are used on the outside of this laptop, which means it not only looks and feels better than a plastic model, but it’s also more durable and less prone to fractures, dents, and minor damage.
Second, the plastic bezel that surrounds the 14-inch display is 6.3mm thick on all sides, which is somewhat thicker than high-end ultrabook bezels like last year’s Asus ZenBook 14 Pro (3mm) and the new Dell XPS 13 (4mm), but it still makes the Acer Swift 1 look sleek because it draws attention to the large 14-inch Full HD display.
Third, the Acer Swift 1 includes a fingerprint sensor. While fingerprint scanners are becoming more popular on laptops these days, they are relatively uncommon at this price point, so their inclusion is an appreciated bonus.
It not only adds another layer of security and privacy to users but also makes the device appear cooler in appearance.
Despite the low price, Acer has included all but the kitchen sink in this laptop, including three Type-A USB ports (the conventional rectangular kind), one Type-C USB port (the newer oval-shaped variety), an HDMI 2.0 connection, a full-sized SD card reader, as well as standard 3.5mm jack for headphones, a Kensington lock slot, and a power connector for the AC adaptor.
There’s no Ethernet port, but you can get USB-C-to-Ethernet adapters for a song these days.
Finally, the Acer Swift 1 is a tiny yet powerful device that weighs just 1.3kg and measures 15 x 323 x 228mm when packed, making it ideal for slipping into a handbag or backpack while on the go.
Display: How good is the Acer Swift 1’s screen?
The Acer Swift 1’s screen is a 14-inch Full HD LED display with IPS (in-plane switching) for wider viewing angles and a ComfyView anti-glare filter.
It’s not the finest display I’ve ever seen on a laptop, but it is adequate for basic PC activities – if you’re looking for something cheap to crunch through essays and spreadsheets, this is perfect.
Using an X-Rite i1 Display Pro colorimeter and DisplayCAL 3, I recorded a peak brightness of 282.5 nits and a black level of 0.26 nits, for a contrast ratio of 1070:1.
A good display should be able to produce a maximum brightness of 300 nits to withstand a range of lighting circumstances. On the Acer Swift 1, working outside on a bright day might be difficult since the anti-glare coating protects you from any direct light sources reflected off the screen.
While the screen is adequate for writing on, it isn’t ideal for picture editing.
The color temperature I recorded (7449K vs the 6500K ideal) was on the blue side, which means that photos can appear chilly. Color space coverage was also low.
I used a Spectroradiometer to measure the Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 color spaces, which are used by digital artists and photographers. Coverage of the larger Adobe RGB and DCI-P3 colorspaces was even lower at 41.6% and 42.8 percent, respectively.
The Acer Swift 1’s IPS display has a minor discoloration problem when viewed from the center of the screen at a 45-degree angle, despite the LED display having excellent viewing angles. This is unlikely to be an issue unless you’re watching something on Netflix with two other people.
This isn’t the case with the Swift 1, which does a wonderful job of replicating video. On that note, while video content streamed on the Swift 1 appears to be largely fine, it may be a little cool.
The audio quality is also OK but not amazing – while adequate for conversation, the speakers mounted on the laptop’s underside are insufficient for music.
To the point where it failed my Master Of Puppets exam – if you can’t hear the bass guitar when it kicks in at 0:30 or the bass is so distorted that it no longer resembles a bass guitar (I’m looking at you, Asus ROG Strix GL504 Hero II), a laptop will fail the test.
In conclusion, if you want to listen to music while working, headphones are your best bet.
How easy is it to type on the Acer Swift 1?
The Acer Swift 1’s keyboard is nicely spaced, making it simple to pick up right away. The big trackpad and sensible placement of the keyboard mean that your hands rest naturally on the deck’s south side, allowing you to get acquainted with the home keys.
The keycaps are made of a dry, matte finish that feels strange at first, and there is little travel. The keys feel almost flush to the board at first because of this.
It’s not as flat as the MacBook Air 2018’s butterfly-switched keys, but it’s deeper than most laptops we’ve lately tested. It certainly highlighted the quality of the keyboards on the (admittedly more expensive) Dell XPS 13 and HP Envy 13.
The sturdy metal casing and smooth keys eliminate any give or flex, but there is a little of that in the center of the keyboard. The board is underlit, so you’ll be able to work on reports, essays, or homework late at night without having to look at the keys in the dark.
The keyboard of the Swift 1 is a bit cramped, but I appreciate how easily accessible it is. The keys are big enough to type accurately, and they’re spaced well apart from one another.
Functions are also duplicated, with the Function key required to jump to the beginning or end of a sentence.
That is not as much of an issue as their size and position on the board, but I would have preferred four distinct nav keys rather than two combined functions. If HP can do it on a 13-inch laptop, other manufacturers should as well.
The bottom-firing speakers on the Swift 1 were loud enough to fill our medium-sized conference room, although the sound quality was poor. The acoustic cover of City and Colour’s “Unthinkable,” performed by Canadian singer Dallas Green, sounded hollow.
Kanye West’s heavily synthesized vocals on his song “See You in My Nightmares” were far clearer, but when the song reached its violent chorus, the electric instruments got scrambled.
The Swift 1 comes with an Intel Pentium Silver N5000 CPU and 4GB of RAM, which is a low-end specification that struggled to keep up in my real-world test.
When I attempted to load 11 Google Chrome tabs simultaneously, websites slowed down considerably, taking several seconds to fully render certain advertisements and graphics. This isn’t uncommon among laptops costing under $400, and while my surfing experience was relatively smooth once everything finished loading.
The Swift 1 isn’t going to break any speed records, but it did well in our benchmark tests when compared with the competition.
The budget device scored 5,213 on the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, which is a significant improvement over the IdeaPad 120S (Celeron N3350, 2,626), but short of the VivoBook Flip (Core m3-7Y30, 5,507) and Aspire E 15 (Core i3-8130U, 7,458).
Flash drives are a lot slower than SSDs, but they are one of the sacrifices you find on cheap laptops. The good news is that the Swift 1’s 64GB eMMC storage is the quickest among its competitors.
In 1 minute and 18 seconds, the Swift 1 duplicated 4.97GB of mixed media files at a rate of 65 megabytes per second. That’s significantly faster than the VivoBook Flip 14 (29.4 MBps) and roughly twice as quick as the Aspire E 15 (33.5 MBps).
The IdeaPad 120S (57.8 MBps) and budget laptop average (44.7 MBps) put up a, but they couldn’t match the Swift.’
On our Excel Macro Test, the Swift 1 took 3 minutes and 34 seconds to link 65,000 names with their addresses. The VivoBook Flip 14 (3:35) almost matched that time, while the Aspire E 15 (2:12) outperformed the competition by a wide margin and the budget laptop average (4:59).
The Swift 1 needed 46 minutes and 13 seconds to transcode a 4K video using the Handbrake app, which is around twice as long as usual. The Aspire E 15 (31:40) beat that time by almost 15 minutes, and the average for budget laptops (42:37) is also faster. The video resolution of the VivoBook Flip 14 had to be changed more.
Can I watch Netflix on Acer Swift 1?
I would close down all other applications on the Acer Swift 1 before streaming anything on Netflix or BBC iPlayer.
I can’t emphasize enough that while the Acer Swift 1 is sufficient for basic PC applications, it isn’t a high-performance computer. To get the most out of it, you’ll need to take it easy.
I was having to close and restart Chrome (or my browser of choice) a lot more frequently than I’m used to when surfing the web, for example.
If you’re the type of person who works with a lot of tabs open and at least one of them has YouTube with Autoplay enabled, you may need to close and restart your browser (or whatever you use) a little more often than usual.
The processor, a Pentium Silver N5000 with a slow base clock speed of 1.1GHz, is primarily to blame for the phone’s sluggish performance. While it can boost up to 2.7GHz, overloading the Swift 1 with processes causes it to fall short of its name.
To put that into perspective, I used Geekbench 4’s CPU test to stress the processor. The Geekbench stress test is based on the performance of a high-end 7th-gen Intel laptop CPU from 2015, an Intel Core i7-6600U with a 2.60 GHz base clock speed, and employs single and multi-core scores of 4000 and 8000 as baselines for performance.
The Acer Swift 1 scored a total of 1995 and 5418, which is very low by comparison. In any case, it’s not so poor that you can’t conduct basic tasks.
A 256 GB SSD from Kingston, RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1, was installed. The user has approximately 240 GB of storage available to use. I got reading and writing speeds of 828.7 MB/s and 632.1 MB/s using CrystalDiskMark benchmark software.
Still, for the most part, this isn’t a major issue since such speeds are sufficient for saving, loading, and transferring Word documents. Expect things to move slowly if you’re trying to do anything more intensive than that.
Don’t expect to play any games on this device, aside from Candy Crush Saga. Running 3DMark Ice Strike (a benchmark for laptops with integrated graphics), I obtained 14,492, which is one of the lowest Ice Strike scores yet recorded.
The Microsoft Surface Go tablet, for example, scored 39,953 in Ice Strike and isn’t a gaming monster by any means.
The Acer Swift 1 doesn’t handle the most basic photo editing tasks due to its limited graphics and poor color space coverage.
If you don’t want to be restricted to Windows 10, have a few extra dollars to spend, or just prefer a better-quality display, consider the Dell Inspiron Chromebook 14 7000 2-in-1, another metal-clad ultrabook with an Intel Core i3 processor and a higher-resolution screen that’s capable of handling more light photo editing than the Acer Swift 1.
On the right-hand side, the Acer Swift 1 features the following ports: an SD card reader, a 3.5mm audio jack, a USB-A port, and a Kensington lock slot.
Don’t put yourself through the trouble and don’t try using the Swift 1’s Intel UHD Graphics 605 GPU to play current games. The integrated graphics aren’t powerful enough.
The Acer Nitro 5 (UHD Graphics 620, 32,238) outperformed the Aspire E 15 (UHD Graphics 620, 32,817) and VivoBook Flip 14 (HD Graphics 615, 21,886), yet it fell well short of the average for budget laptops (34,663).
The Swift 1 outscored the IdeaPad 120S with HD Graphics 500 graphics processing unit (19,827), despite falling short of the budget laptop average.
The Aspire E 15 and VivoBook Flip 14 (31 fps) and the IdeaPad 120S (24 fps), which we previously reviewed, all ran at a significantly superior rate than the Swift 1.
In our real-world gaming test, Dirt 3 operated at a sluggish 20 frames per second, well below our 30-fps playability threshold as well as the average for low-cost laptops (28 fps).
I’m not surprised by the strong performance of the Aspire E 15 (56 FPS) or VivoBook Flip 14 (31 FPS), but I didn’t expect the IdeaPad 120S to perform any better than it did.
How long does the Acer Swift 1’s battery last?
The Acer Swift 1 will last you between six and seven hours while playing games. With the screen’s brightness at 150 nits, I got six hours and two minutes with PCMark 8 Work, which simulates everyday PC office work.
That’s what my experience has shown. It’s also a poor rating for a lightweight notebook, especially one with such an easy-to-use processor. Most lifestyle laptops nowadays should be able to last at least eight hours on a single charge.
The Acer Swift 1 doesn’t have a microSD card slot, so if you want to use an external hard drive or other storage device and extend the battery life, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
If you’re willing to put in a little more effort, though, it’s quite possible that the Acer Swift 1 can be pushed further.
You might be able to get a bit more power out of it if you push it. You’d be able to get a lot more juice from it if you pushed it hard enough (well, assuming your computer is powerful enough). If I’m pushing this far, I’m going all out.
On the plus side, you can get an empty Acer Swift 1 battery charged back up in less than two hours — roughly one hour and 45 minutes. After half an hour on the mains, expect to have approximately a third of the tank filled, and after 60 minutes, expect around 55-60%.
If you’re traveling with the Swift and intend on charging it at your place of employment, you may take the charger with you.
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme retained its top spot among the 14-inch laptops with a time of 6:55. That’s an hour and a half longer than the VivoBook Flip 14 (7:23) and the average for 15-inch laptops (6:48). The Swift outshone the Aspire E 15 (8:48) and IdeaPad 120S (7:43).
The 720p lens on the Swift 1 is unexpectedly competent, and yet a decent webcam was the last thing I expected from a cheap laptop. The selfie camera captured a detailed, color-true image of me.
My beard’s strands were apparent, as was the tone of my dark-red shirt. There was some visual noise in the picture, but it wasn’t horrible; far worse have I seen webcams on premium laptops.
Low power consumption results in lower heat. The Swift 1 remained at a pleasant temperature during our testing, even after watching a 15-minute HD video.
Even though we subjected the touchpad to a heavier workload, it stayed at 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the center of the keyboard rose only to 84.5 degrees under that strain.
Laptops’ undersides frequently become dangerously hot, but the Swift’s bottom panel topped out at just 89.5 degrees, below our 95-degree comfort level.
Software and Warranty
The Swift 1 comes with a lot of bloatware, and there isn’t a lot of storage space to house it. On the Swift 1, you’ll find three Acer-branded programs: Acer Documents, Acer Collection S, and Acer Product Registration.
The app gives other users access to your account, allowing them to access documents and update their information. The Acer One X50’s main interface is split into five categories: File Explorer, settings, accounts, photos/videos, and apps. It contains the best of the company’s smartphones for one flat price.
Look at all the advantages that come with this smartphone! -> Product Registration does what its name implies as well as providing you with Acer offers and news. The Microsoft Store brings together a list of “recommended” applications.
The remaining programs on the Swift 1, which are mostly provided by Microsoft, include several children’s games such as Candy Crush Saga, Bubble Witch 3 Saga, Hidden City, and Disney Magic Kingdoms.
Other installed apps include Amazon, Evernote, Netflix, and Stagelight, a music-making program.
Should I buy the Acer Swift 1?
I would suggest the Acer Swift 1 as a good option if you’re shopping for a new laptop for work or school and have tight financial constraints.
It’s not quite as cheap as it sounds because you’ll need to keep an eye on the battery and it isn’t capable of even the lightest photo editing tasks – but for word processing, web browsing, emails, and a little bit of Netflix, it’s suitable. Just take it easy on it.
The newest generation of the Swift 1 sees a step back in terms of display quality, but there is still much to appreciate about it. The new Swift retains its slim profile and light metal construction, which is a significant improvement over competitors within this price range.
Although the aluminum design distinguishes it from the competition, the Swift 1’s quick keyboard and long battery life (more than 10 hours) set it apart even further.
If you’re looking for a laptop with comparable specs in the same price range, we recommend the Acer Aspire E 15. The Aspire E 15 sacrifices portability and high-tech materials for a larger, 15-inch display and faster speeds, costing about the same as the Swift 1.
If $360 is just too expensive for your needs, consider the $240 Lenovo IdeaPad 120S, which has a stylish design and USB-C connectivity.
Overall, the Swift 1 provides a lot of bang for your buck, and we strongly advise it to anybody looking for an inexpensive Windows laptop for simple tasks.
Acer Swift 1
Acer Swift 1, 14" Full HD Notebook, Intel Pentium Silver N5000, 4GB, 64GB HDD, SF114-32-P2PK.
Product Brand: Acer
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 449
Product In-Stock: InStock