April 15, 2021

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Acer Swift X3 review: Solid specs, including Intel’s dGPU, but build quality disappoints Review

The fourteen-inch Acer Swift 3X, announced in Oct past yr, was an early adopter of Intel’s 11th generation Core processors, and between the 1st with Iris Xe MAX discrete graphics. This marked the Swift 3X as a gadget to look out for. It has taken a even though to get there in the British isles, but commencing at £899 (inc. VAT £749.16 ex. VAT, or $899.99 in the US), does this notebook provide excellent price for money for expertise staff and — many thanks to the dGPU — creators? 

The Acer Swift 3X arrives in two colour variants, Steam Blue and Safari Gold. My Steam Blue variant experienced a metallic sheen to its blue/gray complete, which was instead interesting. Both of those colour techniques have a bright eco-friendly/blue strip all the way along the outer edge of the hinge, with capitalised Swift branding in the center offering an eye-catching ‘designer’ contact. 

Acer’s fourteen-inch Swift 3X runs on eleventh generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors with discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics.


Photographs: Acer

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The ‘Swift ‘branding on the outside the house of the monitor hinge offers a designer contact.


Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

If you want to carry this notebook all around, its 1.37kg fat is satisfactory for a fourteen-inch gadget. It is really a very little on the thick aspect at 17.95mm, whilst the desktop footprint is tidy at 322.8mm huge by 212.2mm deep. When you elevate the lid the hinge system results in the back again to press down and the base to rise, presenting the keyboard at a slight angle. The monitor hinges back again to about a hundred thirty five levels, which is plenty for doing work easily, but you won’t be capable to lie the monitor flat on a desk. 

The develop incorporates plenty of metallic, but it does not experience all that strong. Pressing down even carefully on the lid of my closed assessment unit was plenty of to push it inwards, and I wouldn’t counsel sitting down something on leading of this notebook when it is not in use. I was capable to flex the lid a very little in my fingers when the notebook was open and in use, but not to a regarding degree. The base is fairly firm all around the wrist rest spot, and as a mild-contact typist I only professional flex in the keyboard spot when mimicking a major-handed typing action. 

The keyboard’s backlit keys are bouncy, with plenty of journey, and the mild ‘thunky’ noise created by typing is not intrusive. The double-top Enter crucial butts suitable up to the hash/tilde crucial, which is a very little odd, but did not make any precision concerns for me. The arrow keys are pleasant and massive. There’s a Fn crucial that disables the touchpad, which could be practical, whilst there’s no substitute for cursor command as the monitor is not contact-responsive. There’s a fingerprint sensor in the wrist rest and a 720p webcam over the monitor which lacks both equally IR/Windows Hello capacity and a safety address.   

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The backlit keyboard sits at a comfy typing angle, but major-handed typists may observe some flex. 


Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The fourteen-inch monitor sits in slim but not nominal bezels: I measured the aspect bezels at about 5.5mm, the leading bezel at about eight.5mm and the base bezel at all around thirteen.5mm. Even so, there’s a slender black border in between the monitor edge and the bezels. On my assessment unit this border was of equivalent dimension on still left and suitable sides, and just a couple of pixels huge. On the leading and base edges it was skewed so that it was (to me) visibly further on the upper suitable than the upper still left, and further on the decrease still left than the decrease suitable. I know that in day-to-day use this would irritate me considerably. 

Major ZDNET Opinions

The non-contact IPS exhibit is matte instead than reflective, which is welcome. Its FHD (1,920 x 1,080, 16:9, 157.3ppi) resolution permitted me to function with two files open aspect by aspect, whilst a further 16:ten factor ratio would be even greater. 

The stereo speakers supply plenty of quantity and respectable audio excellent. There’s almost nothing excellent right here, but the speakers are absolutely excellent plenty of for online video calls and occasional after-hrs multimedia use. 

My Acer Swift 3X assessment unit ran on an eleventh generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Its checklist selling price is presently £1,199 (inc. VAT £999.99 ex. VAT) at Acer’s British isles on line retail store. If which is too steep, you can expect to locate a Core i5-based mostly design on Amazon for £899, with 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.

Acer has carried out an intricate cooling system to cope with the eleventh generation processor and its discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics, which has 4GB of devoted online video RAM. There’s a well known grille at the leading of the keyboard part, which does not look good but is there to permit warmth out. There’s also a massive grilled spot on the underside, and even though the aforementioned base-lifting hinge presents the keyboard at a comfy angle, it also encourages airflow. 

SEE: Windows ten Start out menu hacks (TechRepublic Top quality)

A Fn-F crucial combo cycles you by means of 3 ‘performance’ modes, which will improve the processor loading. This could be practical if you are irritated by admirer noise: I only identified the admirer kicked in when I run up, but it is extremely noisy, which could irritate users who frequently run demanding workloads. 

Acer offers the Swift 3X with a acceptable set of ports and connectors. There’s one USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, along with a pair of USB 3.2 ports, a whole-dimension HDMI connector and a 3.5mm headset jack. Thankfully, the single USB-C port is not wanted for charging, as there’s a proprietary round-pin connector for that. There’s a little cost indicator LED on the suitable edge, as nicely as one that allows you know when the notebook is switched on — handy if you’ve just shut the lid instead than run down. 

Acer quotes a headline battery lifestyle of 17.5 hrs for the Swift 3X selection, but fourteen hrs for my Core i7/Iris Xe MAX assessment configuration. Even the latter could be somewhat optimistic under authentic-earth workloads. My regular examination, doing work into producing apps even though streaming audio and occasional online video, and with a number of open browser windows, saw the fifty seven.8Wh battery drain from whole to 75% over 3 hrs, offering an estimate of twelve hrs. Still, which is comfy all-working day battery lifestyle for most expertise staff, and even some creators creating use of the discrete Iris Xe MAX GPU with additional demanding workloads. Acer says the battery will speedy-cost to offer 4 hrs of use in thirty minutes. Regrettably my assessment unit came with out an Asus charger, so I was not capable to examination this. 

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Graphic: Acer

Conclusions 

Acer’s Swift 3X is a nicely-specified notebook with the hottest Intel Core processors and discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics. The Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage in my assessment unit carried out nicely, and even the entry-amount Core i5 design presents 8GB and 512GB. We like the matte monitor, and whilst its ‘blingy’ hinge won’t attraction to everyone, it does incorporate some pizzazz to the style and design. It would have been excellent to see two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, and that wonky exhibit panel in my assessment unit is a stress with any luck , it was just a glitch. 

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