Review | World’s thinnest laptop Acer Swift 7

By Charlemagne Losaria

Nowadays, all tech companies aspire to build the thinnest yet powerful modern devices. From smartphones to personal computing devices like tablets and laptops, it seems every company is competing to have the “slimmest” device out in the market.

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For consumers like us, aside from being slim, these gadgets should also be stylish and responsive to our computing needs in order to justify their price tags.

The Acer Swift 7 has just snagged the title as the slimmest laptop in the world. Is it any good? Here is my take.

What’s in the box

The Acer Swift 7 comes in a hard box and includes the following:

• Unit
• Power adapter
• USB Type C to USB 3.0 adapter
• USB Type C to HDMI adapter
• Manuals

Build and design

The biggest selling point of the Acer Swift 7 is its very thin profile. Measuring at just less than 1 centimeter at its thickest, it is the current holder of the title as the world’s thinnest notebook. To help you visualize just how slim the Swift 7 is, I stacked up five one-peso coins on top of each other. That’s about how slim it is.

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Although metal-built, this gold and black ultrabook is also one of the lightest at around 2.5 lbs. Just imagine a laptop you can fit and carry in a brown envelope. Crazy right? No wonder it was awarded by the Japan Good Design for 2016.

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To achieve its ultra-thin profile, Acer decided to forego certain connectivity ports and peripherals others may or may not find as deal-breakers. There is no DVD Player, no traditional USB ports, no HDMI port, or even an Ethernet port.

Instead, the Swift 7 uses two 5 Gigabit USB 3.1 Type C ports for power, display output, and data transfer. It still has a 3.5mm headset jack. That’s’ about it. It also comes with adapters that you can attach to the Type C ports.

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The keyboard keys are amply spaced. It is not the best keyboard I have used, but is tactile enough. To maintain its slim profile, the keys are raised slightly lower so key travel time when pressed is comparatively faster than most keyboard on regular laptops. Too bad the keyboard lacks backlight so typing in a dark room can be challenging.

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For the touchpad, it is the widest I have seen measuring 5.5-inch by 3-inch and is very responsive. There is definitely a lot of room for swiping gestures. It also has physical buttons cleverly concealed with no indicators.

Display

This 13.3-incher has full HD Display using IPS Technology and has a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4.

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As expected of ultrabooks at this price range, colors are very snappy and gamut representations are on point. I have no problem about the display as it is very vivid. Watching HD movies and series in a dark room is nothing short of an immersive experience. It also has a built-in blue light filter to lessen the fatigue on the eyes when used for prolonged periods.

Performance

The Swift 7 packs a 7th-generation Intel core i5-7Y54 dual-core processor clocking at 1.2 GHz, combined with 8GB of RAM.

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For its storage, it has a 256GB SATA3 solid state drive and ships with Windows 10 out of the box. With its moniker, you’d think this is a laptop built for speed; sadly that is not quite the case here. The dual-core processor is power efficient and while it’s good news, it has its effects on the overall performance.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not slow and you can still be productive with the Swift 7. Drafting reports and presentations, watching series, photo editing, browsing the Internet and other light tasks are not a problem, thanks to the built-in Intel HD Graphics 615 GPU. But don’t expect too much on the performance for heavy gaming or using it for video editing.

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Overall, it’s not sluggish for general use but users may experience performance bottleneck for heavy usage.

Speaker quality

The dual-stereo speaker is placed at both the left and right sides, facing downwards. The sound quality is okay. The speakers are not loud enough and become distorted, producing static sounds if put to full volume. Do not expect too much on the speaker output and I recommend using quality speakers or headsets for watching videos.

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Battery

Awhile ago, I mentioned that the Core i5 dual-core processor is power efficient, drawing less juice which affects the performance during heavy usage. It’s a dilemma of every manufacturer how to juggle style, performance, and battery efficiency.

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As you may have guessed, Acer decided to prioritize style and battery efficiency. With that said, I must point out that the Acer Swift 7 has a very solid battery life. The Swift 7 boasts of a nine-hour battery life, with a small fine-print “depending on use”. During our test with regular usage of watching a TV series and occasional browsing of the Internet, we got close to more than 7 hours’ screen time. Not bad for a laptop that can fit in a brown envelope.

Since the Acer Swift 7 has an aluminum chassis, it does get a little warm on prolonged usage but not to the point that it gets irritating.

The verdict

The Acer Swift 7 is one of those laptops you’ll fall in love with after seeing it the first time. You might find yourself losing sleep over it, researching about it, and you may eventually find yourself reading this review. It’s an engineering marvel and may define what ultrabooks will be in the coming years. It’s very portable, lightweight, has a wide touchpad, and battery efficient.

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If you ever own one, you might find yourself bringing it out of the house without the charger. The only downside with the Swift 7 is that the performance on heavy usage and speaker output is something that leaves much to be desired. The same is true with the non-backlit keyboard, which is understandable to keep the profile as thin as possible. Hopefully, this gets addressed in the next iteration.

The Acer Swift 7 is priced at $1099.99 or around P56,000

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