Acer Swift 5 (2019) full review

Acer has announced the Swift 5 laptop which will take on the likes of Dell's XPS 13, HP Envy 13 and MacBook Air. Acer calls it the world's lightest 14in laptop but can it be your everyday notebook? Here's our hands-on review from IFA 2019.

Overall, the Swift has a lot going for it, offering a well-balanced set of features. Namely a lightweight design with small bezels along with powerful core specs and useful ports.

It comes with 10th-gen Intel processors and even the option for dedicated Nvidia graphics. Check out our chart of the best laptops.

The Swift 5 won our Best in Show award at IFA 2019. Find out what else won awards.

Price & Availability

We don't have a UK price yet but the Swift 5 will start at 899 Euro and will be available this month.

In the US, it starts at $999 and will arrive in November.

We're interested to find out what specs those entry-level prices get you. Likely a Core i5 with on-board graphics.

Acer Swift 5 (2019) laptop

Design & Build

We all want a laptop to be compact and portable and the Swift 5 fits the bill.

It's 14.95mm thin and weighs just 990g so it's not going to feel like carrying around a brick when it's in your bag. The model without an Nvidia graphics card will be even lighter.

Acer Swift 5 (2019) design

Acer has made it out of magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminium. It's feels closer to plastic than metal to touch but also feels fairly premium with a nice finish. We like the blue colour with gold highlights.

The overall footprint is also small due to tiny bezels around the screen. They're 3.97mm thick so the Swift 5 looks slick and modern. Overall, the screen-to-body ratio is 86.4%.

Like the Dell XPS 13, the webcam is located above the screen avoiding the awkward view that comes from having it below or even in a pop-up key which is what Huawei has done on some models.

Acer Swift 5 (2019) keyboard

Despite being pretty thin, Acer has managed to pack in various ports. While many rivals don't offer much more than USB-C (or sometimes just that), the Swift 5 includes full-size HDMI and USB-A.

There's also support for Thunderbolt 3 via the USB-C (3.1) port and a fingerprint scanner so you can quickly log in with Windows Hello.

Specs & Features

Acer has equipped the Swift 5 with some powerful specs starting with 10th-gen Intel processors. You'll be able to choose up to Core i7- 1065G7 and up to 512GB of SSD storage and the model we looked at had 8GB of RAM.

Acer Swift 5 (2019) screen

Some models will also come with dedicated graphics in the form of an Nvidia MX250. This can also be found in rivals like the Huawei MateBook 14, making it powerful enough for things like photo and video editing on-the-go.

The screen is 14in and offers a Full HD resolution. It appears to be reasonably colourful and bright and also benefits from a matte finish. The model we tried out also had a touchscreen.

As well as the ports and fingerprint scanner mentioned earlier, the Swift 5 has Wi-Fi 6 (the up and coming 11ax) standard.

Acer Swift 5 (2019) ports

When it comes to battery life, Acer says you'll get 12.5 hours from the laptop. As usual, we'll see what it can do in our lab once we get a sample.

Fast charging means you'll get 4.5 hours usage from just a 30 min charge.

Early Verdict

After some hands-on time, there's really very little to dislike about the Acer Swift 5.

This is a laptop with a really nice balance of design, specs and price. Although we need to find out what you get for the cheapest model before we make any final decision.

The powerful model we've seen has a 10th-gen Intel Core i7, 512GB SSD and Nvidia MX250 graphics meaning it's able to compete with the likes of Dell, HP and Apple.

All of this comes inside a stylish and extremely lightweight chassis which has an unsually decent array of ports.