Acer Swift 14 Review (SF14-71T-74RF)

$1,299.99 $2,099.99 SEE AT AMAZON

8.1 Total Score
EXCELLENT

The Acer Swift 14 (SF14-71T-74RF) is an excellent midrange laptop, with the latest 13th-gen processor, a sleek design, solid battery life, and a crisp 1600p touchscreen.

PROS
  • Sturdy, compact design
  • Hi-res 14-inch display with 16:10 aspect ratio
  • 13th-gen Core i7 delivers strong performance
  • Long battery life
  • 1080p webcam
CONS
  • Terrible touchpad
  • So-so speakers

The Acer Swift 14 (SF14-71T-74RF) is a stellar laptop that delivers sports the same premium design as our favorite from last year – the Acer Swift 5, but now ropes in even beefier hardware including a 13th Gen “Raptor Lake” processor and gets Intel’s Evo certification for excellent performance, faster connectivity and long-lasting battery life.

Beyond great performance and the beautiful aesthetic, the biggest feature of the Acer Swift 14 is the Gorilla Glass antimicrobial touchscreen. This is a premium feature packed into a mid-range laptop to be sure, and competitors like Apple’s latest M2-powered MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, plus Dell’s XPS 13 can’t come close. While the price has bumped over the Acer Swift 5, you’re still getting tremendous bang for the buck than you’d find out there.

The gorgeous 1600p display is startlingly responsive, reacting instantly to any touch; the chassis resists fingerprints and dust incredibly well; and, the 13th-gen Intel Core i7 chip is blazingly fast to handle even heavy workloads. The touchscreen feels like a natural extension of the laptops, and it’s breathtaking to have one on a laptop that’s not inherently a tablet with a keyboard.

The Swift 14 is what happens when you cleverly combine style with substance, rocking an ultra-thin bezel, a slim but satisfying keyboard, and a trackpad with a fluid and silky texture. Battery life is pretty solid as well, even with intensive programs running it easily clocks over seven hours and normal running is even higher than that. If you need to recharge, the Thunderbolt 4 charging port refills the battery at about fours of juice in just a half hour.

To deliver such an exemplary machine at this price, there are a couple of caveats to be made, but the latest Acer SF14-71T-74RF is a very strong overall pick given its sub-$1500 price tag. For its strong performance, exquisite styling, and all-day battery life, the Acer Swift 14 is easily one of the best laptops in the midrange segment.

Acer Swift 14 Review (SF14-71T-74RF)screen

About the Acer Swift 14

The Acer Swift 14 was first announced during CES 2023 as part of the company’s trio of thin and light Swift laptops range.

They include the entry-level Acer Swift Go (available in both 14- and 16-inch screen sizes, replacing last year’s Acer Swift 3), the Acer Swift X 14 for the power users, and the flagship model – the Acer Swift 14 – with a premium design and finish and an ultimate refresh of our favorite Acer Swift 5.

The Swift 14 is an ultimate charmer, and looks the part with an aluminum unibody chassis available in two colorways – the Steam Blue version is the best-looking of the duo.

Here is the Asus SF14-71T-74RF configuration in this review:

  • CPU: 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • RAM: 16GB LPDDR5 memory
  • Screen: 14-inch WQXGA, 16:10 aspect ratio (2560×1600) Touchscreen with Gorilla Glass
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 NVMe SSD
  • Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 4 ports, 1 x HDMI 2.1 port, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
  • Camera: FHD webcam
  • Weight: 2.65 lbs | 1.2 kg
  • Size (W x D x H): 12.2 x 8.4 x 0.59 inches | 309.8 x 213.36 x 14.98 mm

The Swift 14 is available in a choice of two touchscreen options – 2.5K WQXGA or 1080p+ WUXGA – but should you need an OLED screen, you’ll have to look at the Swift Go range, which offers more customization options.

Acer Swift 14 Review (SF14-71T-74RF) lid

Design

For the business executive who needs a laptop with a gorgeous and sleek exterior, the Acer Swift 14 is easily the perfect machine. It’s made with aerospace-grade aluminum in mint green with gold accents, a suave antimicrobial Gorilla Glass, and a backlit keyboard. The latest version has those beautiful edges with a double-anodized gold highlight, complete with a diamond-cut line pattern, which Acer says is thinner than a strand of human hair.

Paired with a thin profile, just 0.59 inches thin, this is a smidge thicker than Apple’s M2 MacBook Air model, but is much lighter than that 2.7-pound rival. Not only is the Swift 14 a breeze to carry around, but the screen is a respectable 14-inch and has a 92.11% screen-to-body ratio, all thanks to the ultra-thin bezel.

Port selection is good, too; with two Thunderbolt 4 charging ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, a headphone jack, and a pair of USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. That’s a lot of ports on such a svelte ultraportable.

For those who spend their day in Zoom meetings and conference calls, the 1080p webcam is a boon. It captures a lot of detail while minimizing noise, and accurately represents colors when used in a well-lit room, It’s the best built-in laptop I have seen lately. Compared with the 720p camera of an M1 MacBook Pro, the Acer Swift 14 is an apparent winner.

Acer Swift 14 Review (SF14-71T-74RF) front

Display and Keyboard

The Asus SF14-71T-74RF we’re reviewing comes with a crisp screen. As mentioned, it’s a 14-inch panel at WQXGA resolution (2560 x 1600) or 1600p, making it crisper than your typical 1080p panel available on most laptops. At this resolution text and graphics cook clear and sharp throughout.

Once again, we’re seeing a 16:10 aspect ratio here, too – just like the MSI Creator M16, meaning the screen is fairly taller than typical widescreen (16:9) dimensions. Most midrange laptops are adopting this aspect ratio, and I think it’s mostly a win.

In terms of brightness, the Swift 14’s touchscreen doesn’t disappoint at all. In testing, it averages 458 nits of brightness – short of the 491 nits measured on the Apple M2 MacBook Air, but still awesomely bright. While IPS panels like this don’t usually pack as much punch as OLED rivals, at 132.9% of the sRGB color gamut and 94.6% on DCI-P3 color space, it’s a bold panel that you’ll struggle to find fault with. It beats both the M2 MacBook Air and the Dell XPS 13 OLED on both measures.

Typing on the backlit keyboard is comfortable enough, but I wish the touchpad were wider. The keys themselves have good feedback and are responsive and well-spaced for longer typing sessions. Like Acer’s budget laptops, the Swift 14’s keyboard is elevated slightly when you open up the device, as the base of the display nudges the back of the ultraportable upward ever so slightly.

Acer Swift 14 Review (SF14-71T-74RF) keyboard

Performance

The Acer Swift 14 packs a punch thanks to the latest 13th-gen “Raptor Lake” Intel Core i7-13700H chip, which is a substantial upgrade over the previous Core i7 model. Paired with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD storage, it offers lots of power for everyday use and multitasking at the office, including streaming all sorts of media and running lots of spreadsheets.

Its benchmark scores are better than other laptops with similar specs, meaning it is more capable of handling medium and complex tasks. The Intel Core i7-13700H features Intel’s new hybrid architecture with performance and efficiency cores; it has six performance cores, eight efficiency cores, and a total of 20 processing threads.

While the Acer Swift 14 is well equipped for productivity and creative tasks, it’s not designed to handle high-end gaming. It lacks a dedicated GPU onboard, the integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics can put up decent performance with most free-to-play games like Fortnite and League of Legends, but it will struggle with visually rich AAA titles like Cyberpunk 2077.

Overall, performance is comparable to most other laptops in the same price and spec range, but the touchscreen and sleek design puts it over the edge. And while the price is well earned, it’s a bit higher for anyone who just needs a daily use laptop for school or the office. So, if you’re looking for the best business laptop for work, you might find a similarly efficient alternative for a better price, including the Acer Swift X and the HP Envy x360.

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Battery Life

A laptop this powerful needs great battery life to become meaningful, and the Acer Swift 14 doesn’t disappoint when used normally and with some programs running in the background. To test a laptop’s battery life, we usually loop a 4K video using Windows 11’s Movies and TV app, with the laptop set to Airplane mode and earbuds plugged in. The screen is set at a relatively bright 250 nits, which is a good brightness for watching a movie with lights on.

In tests, the Swift 14 manages 12 hours, which is impressive in its own right and even more so when you factor in its high resolution which consumes more battery than a Full HD display would. That’s better than the Dell XPS 13 OLED (7:48), but a few hours behind the Apple MacBook Pro (M2) with a sensational 18:20 hours on a single charge.

Bottom Line

Between its sleek and sturdy all-metal design, crisp 14-inch high-resolution touchscreen, and strong 13th-gen Core i7 performance, and long battery life, the Acer Swift 14 is an ultraportable of envy. And, it’s cheaper compared to the comparably-equipped Dell XPS 13 Plus or Apple MacBook Ai M2, when selecting the same amount of RAM and storage onboard.

It’s that notable price difference that helps make up for the Swift 14’s underwhelming sound quality and undersized touchpad. If you’ve not considered Acer in the past for a serious productivity laptop, then the Acer Swift 14 (SF14-71T-74RF) is here to change your mind.

Last update on 2023-06-04 at 07:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Prices Today

Acer Swift 14 Intel Evo Thin & Light Laptop | 14" WXGA IPS 100% sRGB Touch | 13th Gen Intel i7-13700H | Intel Iris Xe Graphics | 16GB LPDDR5 | 1TB Gen 4 SSD | Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX1675 | SF14-71T-74RF

$1,399.99  in stock
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as of June 4, 2023 7:32 am

 
Acer Swift 14 Review (SF14-71T-74RF)
Acer Swift 14 Review (SF14-71T-74RF)
$1,299.99 $2,099.99
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