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

The 14-inch Acer Swift 3X, introduced in October remaining yr, used to be an early adopter of Intel’s 11th technology Core processors, and a number of the first with Iris Xe MAX discrete graphics. This marked the Swift 3X as a tool to seem out for. It has taken some time to reach in the United Kingdom, however beginning at £899 (inc. VAT; £749.16 ex. VAT, or $899.99 in america), does this pc be offering just right worth for cash for wisdom employees and — because of the dGPU — creators? 

The Acer Swift 3X is available in two color variants, Steam Blue and Safari Gold. My Steam Blue variant had a steel sheen to its blue/gray end which used to be slightly interesting. Each color schemes have a shiny inexperienced/blue strip the entire manner alongside the outer fringe of the hinge, with capitalised Swift branding within the heart offering an attention-grabbing ‘clothier’ contact. 

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Acer’s 14-inch Swift 3X runs on 11th technology Intel Core i5 or i7 processors with discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics.


Photographs: Acer

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The ‘Swift ‘branding at the outdoor of the display hinge supplies a clothier contact.


Symbol: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

If you wish to lift this pc round, its 1.37kg weight is suitable for a 14-inch software. It is a little at the thick aspect at 17.95mm, despite the fact that the desktop footprint is tidy at 322.8mm broad via 212.2mm deep. Whilst you raise the lid the hinge mechanism reasons the again to press down and the bottom to upward thrust, presenting the keyboard at a slight attitude. The display hinges again to about 135 levels, which is masses for operating very easily, however you will not be able to lie the display flat on a table. 

The construct accommodates various steel, however it does not really feel all that tough. Urgent down even gently at the lid of my closed evaluate unit used to be sufficient to push it inwards, and I would not counsel sitting the rest on most sensible of this pc when it isn’t in use. I used to be ready to flex the lid a little bit in my fingers when the pc used to be open and in use, however to not a relating to level. The bottom is rather company across the wrist relaxation house, and as a light-touch typist I best skilled flex within the keyboard house when mimicking a heavy-handed typing motion. 

The keyboard’s backlit keys are bouncy, with various trip, and the sunshine ‘thunky’ noise created via typing isn’t intrusive. The double-height Input key butts proper as much as the hash/tilde key, which is a little bit atypical, however didn’t create any accuracy problems for me. The arrow keys are great and massive. There is a Fn key that disables the touchpad, which might be helpful, despite the fact that there is no choice for cursor keep watch over because the display isn’t touch-responsive. There is a fingerprint sensor within the wrist relaxation and a 720p webcam above the display which lacks each IR/Home windows Hi capacity and a safety quilt.   

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The backlit keyboard sits at a relaxed typing attitude, however heavy-handed typists may realize some flex. 


Symbol: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The 14-inch display sits in slender however now not minimum bezels: I measured the aspect bezels at about five.5mm, the highest bezel at about eight.5mm and the ground bezel at round 13.5mm. Alternatively, there is a slim black border between the display edge and the bezels. On my evaluate unit this border used to be of equivalent length on left and proper aspects, and simply a few pixels broad. At the most sensible and backside edges it used to be skewed in order that it used to be (to me) visibly deeper at the higher proper than the higher left, and deeper at the decrease left than the decrease proper. I do know that during on a regular basis use this is able to aggravate me a great deal. 

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The non-touch IPS show is matte slightly than reflective, which is welcome. Its FHD (1,920 x 1,080, 16:nine, 157.3ppi) answer allowed me to paintings with two paperwork open aspect via aspect, despite the fact that a deeper 16:10 side ratio can be even higher. 

The stereo audio system ship various quantity and decent audio high quality. There is not anything exceptional right here, however the audio system are no doubt just right sufficient for video calls and low after-hours multimedia use. 

My Acer Swift 3X evaluate unit ran on an 11th technology Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Its checklist value is these days £1,199 (inc. VAT; £999.99 ex. VAT) at Acer’s UK on-line retailer. If that is too steep, you’ll be able to discover a Core i5-based fashion on Amazon for £899, with 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.

Acer has carried out an intricate cooling device to deal with the 11th technology processor and its discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics, which has 4GB of devoted video RAM. There is a outstanding grille on the most sensible of the keyboard phase, which does not glance nice however is there to let warmth out. There is additionally a big grilled house at the underside, and whilst the aforementioned base-lifting hinge gifts the keyboard at a relaxed attitude, it additionally promotes airflow. 

A Fn-F key combo cycles you thru 3 ‘efficiency’ modes, which is able to trade the processor loading. This might be helpful in case you are aggravated via fan noise: I best discovered the fan kicked in after I powered up, however it is extremely noisy, which might aggravate customers who frequently run tough workloads. 

Acer supplies the Swift 3X an inexpensive set of ports and connectors. There is one USB-C Thunderbolt four port, along side a couple of USB three.2 ports, a full-size HDMI connector and a three.5mm headset jack. Fortunately, the only USB-C port isn’t wanted for charging, as there is a proprietary round-pin connector for that. There is a tiny payment indicator LED at the proper edge, in addition to one that allows you to know when the pc is switched on — to hand should you’ve simply close the lid slightly than powered down. 

Acer quotes a headline battery lifetime of 17.five hours for the Swift 3X vary, however 14 hours for my Core i7/Iris Xe MAX evaluate configuration. Even the latter is also rather positive beneath real-world workloads. My standard check, operating into writing apps whilst streaming sound and low video, and with more than one open browser home windows, noticed the 57.8Wh battery drain from complete to 75% over 3 hours, giving an estimate of 12 hours. Nonetheless, that is relaxed all-day battery lifestyles for many wisdom employees, or even some creators applying the discrete Iris Xe MAX GPU with extra tough workloads. Acer says the battery will fast-charge to supply 4 hours of use in 30 mins. Unfortunately my evaluate unit got here with out an Asus charger, so I wasn’t ready to check this. 

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Symbol: Acer

Conclusions 

Acer’s Swift 3X is a well-specified pc with the most recent Intel Core processors and discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics. The Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD garage in my evaluate unit carried out nicely, or even the entry-level Core i5 fashion provides 8GB and 512GB. We adore the matte display, and despite the fact that its ‘blingy’ hinge would possibly not enchantment to everybody, it does upload some pizzazz to the design. It will were just right to look two USB-C Thunderbolt four ports, and that wonky show panel in my evaluate unit is a concern; optimistically it used to be only a glitch. 

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