A flagship of the Acer’s 14-inch ultraportables, the new edition of the Swift 7 is announced as ultra-thin, ultra-light and ultra-tough. Let’s hope she keeps all her promises. In Acer’s Swift family, we ask for 7. “The world’s finest PC in its class” according to its designer. While waiting for another device to come steal this title, this ultraportable is nonetheless the highest-end of the lineage (composed of Swift 1, 3 and 5), the one on which the Asian manufacturer shines the spotlight to illustrate his know-how and his ability to create machines that are both fine, light and do not compromise on power or endurance.
Presented at the CES 2018, this new version of the Swift 7 stands out from the previous one by its screen – a little bigger (14 inches against 13.3 before) – new lines and some ergonomic subtleties and comfort of use. The machine we received in the test is announced at a price of 1800 euros. However, it is currently on sale on the Internet at around 1500 euros.
Barely out of his box, the Swift 7 impresses. This ultraportable 14-inch screen puts above all on sobriety and elegance to convince. Its case, black glittery, mix parts in the aluminum alloy (back of the screen) and magnesium very pleasant to the touch. The screen is slightly elevated compared to the rest of the structure, which gives a rather aerial effect to the whole, an impression reinforced by the aerodynamic lines of the case. Unfortunately, it is quickly realized that the coating is both very sensitive to fingerprints but also to scratches. This is probably why Acer gives a leather carrying case a little thick with the machine so that his beautiful dress is not scuffed during a trip.
Because, of course, ultraportable says travel and Swift 7 is undeniably planned for that. On the scale, it has a weight of 1.17 kg which is more than reasonable for a machine of this size. But, Acer’s greatest achievement is to have reduced the thickness of the case to less than a centimeter since we measured it, at the highest, at 0.98 cm. “The finest in the world in its class”, yes, undeniably.
Limited Connectivity, Ease Of Use In Half-Tone
But the finesse and lightness have not necessarily good. Especially in terms of connectivity. The Swift 7 only offers two USB Type-C (non-Thunderbolt 3) jacks on its left side. A problem, a solution: Acer provides a USB Type-C / USB adapter and USB Type-C / HDMI to connect an external hard drive or an additional screen. Note that it is also via USB Type-C that recharging the battery is done.
On the right side are the power button on the device and, surprisingly, a SIM card slot (nano). Of course, no room for a wired network anywhere on the machine, we must be satisfied with Wi-Fi (n / a) for any surfing session on the Web.
On the other hand, the touchpad is our biggest source of frustration. Its surface is well proportioned and the glide there is pleasant. Unfortunately, no mechanical part is present. Understand that, unlike the vast majority of ultraportable PCs on the market, no device of physical clicks or haptic feedback is present below the surface to punish actions.
Thus, it is necessary to tap a number of times more or less important to select, execute, open the contextual menu, or exercise movements with several fingers to navigate in a window. It took a little time to adapt and we did not find it very convenient to use. And especially very disconcerting not to have a “return” validating the actions of right and left clicks.
So we had to put our fingers on the touchscreen more than once to perform many manipulations. The angle of inclination to the rear of the latter is quite important so that it can be positioned flat, but not to rotate around the keyboard. Note, it is better not to press too hard on the screen otherwise, the keyboard part has a slight tendency to take off from the office.
The Swift 7 Is Right On His Screen
Unlike the current trend, Acer makes the choice not to plane the edges flanking the slab of Swift 7. And it’s a shame because we lose a little airside and profile of the machine when we see his “beautiful well black borders’ all around the 14-inch slab.
At first glance, the quality of the display seems to go. The glossy glass naturally captures all possible reflections and it is here that we appreciate having a large angle of inclination, in order to be able to vary the position of the screen if necessary.
After passing the measuring probe, our initial feelings are confirmed. The Swift 7 display has a maximum average brightness of 313 cd / m2 and a contrast ratio of 1550: 1. The brightness is a bit limited to our taste but the contrast ratio is simply excellent. We compared these results with those of the previous model, the brightness is a little down but the contrast is up. In summary, this ultraportable is worthy of a fairly well-deserved mention.
Powerful For The All-Comers
We mentioned above, the finesse has forced Acer to make choices in terms of connectivity, ease of use but also a technology platform. That of Swift 7 is cut for common uses such as office automation, multimedia and surfing the Internet. Tasks in which the Intel Core i7-7Y75 processor and 8GB of memory excellent, especially that all works in a deafening silence. As in the previous version of Swift 7, Acer manages to cool passively the entire configuration, using the materials of the housing to dissipate calories.
Thus, the mercury can climb up to 43.1 ° C in places under the machine and remains around 30 ° C on the palms, two temperatures quite acceptable. But, beware that does not mean that the processor is not immune to a hotshot. If too big applications are running on the machine, soliciting all parts of the Core i7, it will quickly be caught throttle crisis. It takes no more than 5 minutes to go from 1.3 GHz (its nominal frequency) to 798 MHz and then have to constantly make the difference between its two speeds, every two minutes or so.
Another complaint is the low storage capacity that Acer provides for the asking price. On an ultraportable 1800 euros, we expected to have an SSD of at least 512 GB. It should be limited to 256 GB only and, for lack of microSD card reader, it is impossible to expand the capabilities of archiving data.
Work A Whole Day Without Recharging
In terms of endurance, the Swift 7 manages to achieve rather good times. We measured between 6:25 and 7:14 am in video playback, depending on the intensity of the backlighting of the slab and the quality of the video file played. In so-called versatile use, the ultraportable flirts with 8:15, endurance enough to work much of the day without having to take the charger with you. Moreover, and this is our last complaint against the machine, the adapter supplied adopts the traditional format (one block, two cables) and is therefore bulky (292 grams). What a fault of taste! Why not opt for an adapter socket format, much more in line with the purity and air of the machine?