The latest Acer Swift 3 (SF314-43-R2YY, AMD) is an excellent ultrabook for the masses, made better thanks to its reasonable price, thin and lightweight design, and class-leading battery life.
- Highly portable
- Excellent multitasker
- Very affordable for an Ultrabook
- Speakers are “meh”
- Screen would be brighter
The Acer Swift 3 may be that affordable laptop that gives you more bang for the buck, than you’d ever imagine, in a sleek, nice-looking chassis. It offers great battery life that will last you for most of your day, whether it be at work or school. The model we’re reviewing, the Acer SF314-43-R2YY delivers great performance thanks to the newer AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU.
Not to mention it’s extremely portable, making it easy to tore around with you.
However, in this Acer Swift 3 review, we will explain why it’s display isn’t particularly the best for watching Netflix or Disney Plus. And with bottom-placed speakers, its sound output isn’t something you’d call particularly immersive. But, when you factor the great performance and battery life over everything else, the Acer Swift 3 is certainly one of the best laptops.
Release date and configurations
The Acer Swift 3 model I reviewed was released earlier this year, and comes with a 14-inch, 1080p display, a 1.8-GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5700U octa-core processor, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and an AMD Radeon GPU.
If you’re keen at saving a little bit of money, you may consider the base model, the Acer Aspire SF314-42-R7LH that starts for a few hundred dollars less, comes with a 14-inch, 1080p display, a 2.3 GHz AMD Ryzen 5 4500U hexa-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD and an AMD Radeon GPU.
Acer’s Swift 3 line of laptops sport a very simple design, but all of them are clad in a metallic silver hood with an Acer logo that blends in at the center of the laptop. The machine has a magnesium and aluminum exterior. When you flip it open, the metallic look extends to the deck – and the keyboard’s keys are silver and blend well with the surrounding metal.
There’s also a Windows Hello-enabled fingerprint reader on the deck. Save for the relatively thick bottom bezel, where the Acer logo illuminates against the black chin, the rest of the bezels are very thin. Between the deck and screen is a very long and narrow hinge, with an embedded word “Swift” in a light color.
The Acer Swift 3 (both AMD and Intel versions) is incredibly light, weighing just 2.7 pounds, making it much lighter than the HP Envy 13 (2.8 pounds). It measures 12.7 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches, fairly thicker than the HP Envy (12.9 X 8.9 x 0.5 inches), but with a slightly larger footprint.
There’s a generous selection of ports on the Acer Swift 3. The right side holds a On the right side there is a Kensington lock slot, a USB Type-A 2.0 port and headphone jack. It also features a battery charge indicator.
Meanwhile, the left side has the DC jack, one USB Type-C port, an HDMI port and one USB Type-A 3.2 port. As mentioned earlier, below the keyboard on the right side is a small rectangle, which is the fingerprint reader.
On the SF314-43-R2YY, there’s a 14-inch, 1080p display that’s rather dim and flat. You can tell by simply looking at the desktop and the colors aren’t as bold as they should be.
When watching a trailer of BBC’s Planet Earth II, I noted the picture to be clear and crisp, and it would have been enjoyable to watch, but the dullness of the screen takes away the whole experience.
At just 251 nits of brightness, the Swift 3 falls short of the 285-nit mainstream laptop average, and the comparable 387-nit HP Envy 13. Still, it manages to surpass the Intel version of the Swift 3, that peaks at 223 nits.
Keyboard & Touchpad
As if to make up for the mediocre display, Acer packs a nice sized keyboard that’s good for typing onto the Swift 3 SF314-43-R2YY. However, it doesn’t come with a numpad and its palm rest is smallish, something common with 14-inch laptops and below.
Clicking the individual keys, however, provides a truly enjoyable typing experience, with each press deliver velvety, smooth clicks, which is perfect for a work or school setting.
On the other hand, the Sift 3’s silver 4.2 x 2.6-inch touchpad offers decent precise scrolling ad cursor control. Visually, you might not readily notice it’s there, were it not for the slight indentation around it.
Acer Swift 3 Review: Performance
The Acer Swift 3 SF314-43-R2YY, running on the AMD Ryzen 5700U (octa-core) processor with 8GB OF RAM and 512GB SSD storage, makes for a serious multitasker. As configured, you can have over 7 YouTube videos running simultaneously, while flipping well over 50 Google Chrome tabs, without showing any signs of slow down.
The system seemed to struggle a little when running several advert sing-heavy tabs, but the same can be said of most systems and – really – that’s more of a societal issue than one limited to a single Acer Swift laptop.
Meanwhile, the Swift 3 handles multimedia content creation pretty well for a system with 8GB RAM. It loads up Photoshop well and doing basic editing with a dozen or so files open runs smoothly without any hang-ups.
With AMD Radeon graphics card, the Acer Swift 3 runs basic games at good frame rates, averaging 73 frames per second on the Dirt 3 racing game, surpassing the 47 fps mainstream laptop average. For modern AAA games, you’ll have to look at a laptop with dedicated graphics card, and our Editor’s Choice for budget gaming laptops, the Dell Gaming G3 15 3500 is a great choice for the sub-$1000 price tag.
The Swift 3 will absolutely wow you with its long-lasting battery on a single charge. While continuously browsing the web at 150 nits, it lasts 11 hours 13 minutes – meaning, it will definitely last a whole work day and then some. It also offers fast charging, so for 30 minutes of charge you can get 4 hours of juice.
The Bottom Line
The Acer Swift 3 (SF314-43-R2YY, AMD) is an affordable mainstream laptop that offers amazing performance for its mid-range price. Its main highlights include an AMD Ryzen 5700U CPU, long battery life and a lightweight chassis. However, its display isn’t as bright as it should, and its speakers could definitely use more pep as well.
If you’re looking for something with a brighter, a more vibrant and colorful display and some spirited speakers, you might want to check out the HP Envy 13, which runs for around the same price.
Otherwise, this Acer Swift 3 SF314-43-R2YY shows that it can provide you with a great laptop experience, and is especially good for those looking to use it more for work and school.
Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop | 14" Full HD IPS 100% sRGB Display | AMD Ryzen 7 5700U Octa-Core Processor | 8GB LPDDR4X | 512GB NVMe SSD | WiFi 6 | Backlit KB | FPR | Amazon Alexa | SF314-43-R2YY
$649.98 in stock