Vegas is a city where appearance is everything, so it’s fitting the first thing I’ve seen at this year’s CES is the Acer Swift 7 – a laptop that is trading heavily on its looks.
Acer is branding the Swift 7 the “world’s thinnest laptop”, a claim that will doubtless be made by a dozen other manufacturers at this year’s show. Still, you can’t deny it’s pretty damned slim – 8.98mm to be ridiculously precise. You pick it up in one corner, and you expect it to flex like a disgraced entertainer’s wobble board, but it actually felt reasonably sturdy in the hand. “No ominous creaking,” noted my PC Pro colleague Jon Honeyball as he gave it a firm wrestle.
Alas, its jiffy-bag dimensions are about the only striking thing going for the Acer Swift 7. There are some otherwise downright odd design decisions.
That enormous black bezel at the base of the screen, for example. Why has Acer let all that space go to waste? And whilst I’m blathering about wasted opportunities, why not upgrade the hinge on such a slender device so that the touchscreen device can be folded flat and used as a tablet? Instead, it can only turn 180 degrees. It’s criminally bad design.
Before I move on from the screen, a mere Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) resolution isn’t exactly gobsmacking, either, although just about forgivable on a 14in display.
Acer swift 7 – keyboard
The keyboard does little to boost my opinion of the Swift 7. Not surprisingly, the keys are so shallow they’ve just been given their own show on ITV 2. And whoever decided that Backspace and Delete should share a key in the top-right hand corner of the keyboard should hand in their security card at reception. The placement of the fingerprint reader on the left-hand side of the keyboard is odd, especially given 90% of the world is right-handed.
The keyboard is, at least, backlit and there’s nothing for me to bellyache about with the touchpad, which is large, smooth and responsive.
Specs wise, the base model of the Swift 7 is relying on older seventh-generation Intel Core-i7 processors, 256GB of PCIe SSD storage and 8GB of RAM, a spec I would describe as a barely ample for a high-end laptop. With a price tag of €1,699 upwards, I’m afraid you won’t find me queueing up for one of these when they’re released in April.