Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-55WQ Notebook Review

     
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4.55

Mobility is in these days, people want to carry their electronics with them to be online at all times. Manufacturers have recognized this requirement of today, and have started to offer compact yet fast notebooks for people on the go. One such package, sporting seemingly nice price-performance ratio, comes from Acer. This review concentrates on the Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-55WQ, an ultrabook that has been received well by the early shoppers.

Real High-End Performance

Welcome the new 8th Generation Intel processors! They have recently hit the market, and one of them, the Core i5-8250U has found its way on this Acer Swift 3 laptop. Its base clock speed 1.6GHz is not exciting, but turbo boost will take it momentarily to a whopping 3.4GHz. Despite the processor being a low-voltage model it still sports a quad-core setup, enhancing the multitasking support.

For storage drive, installed is a M.2 SATA3 SSD, bearing 256GB capacity. The good thing is its performance, and there’s decent ~230 gigabytes free space after mandatory files. In addition, the laptop seems to have an additional, unused M.2 slot inside. One person reported of installing a terabyte NVMe drive there. It should be safe to say that an extra M.2 drive (no 2.5″ unit) can be added on this laptop either by replacing the current SSD or installing a new one.

The on-board memory is slightly unfortunate as it can not be upgraded. Yes, there is 8GB LPDDR3 soldered on-board which is plenty for 99% of users, but if you ever needed more there’s no way of adding extra RAM here.

Compact, yet Quality Display. Plus Graphics are Sweet

The laptop has been thanked for its screen. The well-sized 14″ display features nothing less than Full HD resolution, so a lot of screen estate can be expected. The brightness stands at 220 nits which is fairly bright and OK for outdoors use. Panel type seems to be IPS on this one. It does not support touch, yet many people prefer the trackpad anyway I guess.

It is uncommon to find an ultrabook that has appropriate gaming performance. Yet, Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-55WQ does not lack in that department as dedicated GeForce MX150 (2GB GDDR5) is installed inside. It’s considered an entry level graphics card, however playing on medium, even high in-game settings is certainly possible for most games. The MX150 is thousand times better than integated graphics, and unless you’re a die-hard player it’s all you need for your gaming efforts.

Hands-on Video

Ports for Everyone

It’s rare to see four USB ports in a laptop this small (often there is two or three). Yet, here we are, a configuration with one USB 2.0, two USB 3.0 and one USB-C. Keep in mind it does not allow USB-C charging, only through the regular charging port. The notebook also has HDMI-out which outputs 4K signal at 24Hz frequency – not the best one but works.

Even though the specifications state so, several users say there’s no Ethernet (RJ-45) port on the laptop. Also the product images don’t show such a port here. Well, the wireless adapter is a decent one, featuring strong-signal 802.11ac standard and dual-band 2×2 antenna, with Bluetooth 4.0 support as well.

The prevalence of optical drives in laptops have diminished for years. This Acer is no exception; in case you wanted to use discs on this one, get an external optical drive to the laptop’s USB port. The computer is however not short of memory card reader, SD card slot is included on the side panel.

Keep These Features and Benefits in Mind as Well

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-52G-55WQ is equipped with a 4-cell battery, with Lithium-ion technology and 3220mAh capacity. Manufacturer gives it a maximum of 10 hours running time. While this number is often exaggerated, there has been users talking about 8 hours battery life on this model (for web surfing, not gaming, obviously). Considering the high-end performance and Full HD screen, I’d say that battery life of full day is a great achievement.

The keyboard has a single color backlight. It can be turned off and on, colors can not be changed like on gaming notebooks.

Windows 10 Home (64-bit) is the operating system, and it resides on the solid-state drive as pre-installed.

Pros:
Just fast - The Acer laptop runs anything you might want to throw at it, there's Core i5 CPU from the 8th Generation and solid-state drive welcoming your applications.

Gaming laptop, too - The new GeForce graphics card in this laptop is decent for gaming if in-game settings are not capped.

Works for a full day on battery - Manufacturer talks about 8-10 battery life, user reports confirm the ~8 hours duration.

Cons:
RAM can't be upgraded - The memory is soldered on the mainboard, so you can't go bigger than the current 8 gigabytes (which however is not a problem for many people).

Knowing Acer’s reputation for making decent computers with unbeatable price, it seems the company has something good going on here. Summing up the performance section, there’s the 8th Gen Core i5 processor with solid-state drive taking care of lag-free operations, and they have also included the new and pretty fast GeForce MX150 graphics card here. Throw in the 14″ Full HD screen and all-day battery life, and you have the best affordable ultrabook of late 2017 at hand, easily.

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