Hardware Laptops Reviews

Acer Swift 5 review first-look: how good is the ‘world’s lightest laptop’?

Acer Swift 5 review
We got our hands on the sub-1kg 15in Acer Swift 5 at the launch event

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This morning, Acer unveiled what it claims to be the lightest 15in laptop in the world: the 990g Acer Swift 5. I’ll take its word for this, because to my knowledge only the 1.09kg LG Gram comes close. What difference does 100g make? From a hands-on play with the laptop, not a lot.

I mean that in a good way. You might expect a 990g 15.6in laptop to have a bendy screen and fragile feel, but credit to Acer’s engineers: its mix of aluminium, lithium and magnesium ensures it feels just as well made as a Dell XPS 13.

What do you need to know about the Acer Swift 5 in a nutshell?

Is it sexy enough to make my friends jealous?Definitely
Does it really weigh less than 1kg?Yep. The 14in version weights 970g, the 15in one 990g.
How fast is it?Pretty darn fast. It includes Intel’s latest Coffee Lake chips, which were only announced yesterday.
How much will it cost?No confirmed UK pricing yet, but it starts from €1,099 in the EU. I’d guess that translates to £1,099.
When will it go on sale?The 14in version goes on sale in September, the 15in version in November.

What’s the Acer Swift 5 like in the flesh?

I really like this laptop. It looks great, feels great, and from my play on the show floor has no obvious flaws.

There was quite a throng around the Acer Swift 5 at its launch event in Berlin

Its all-black chassis could have looked drab, but thanks to the subtle golden finish of the keys – and the icon detailing around the side – it looks stylish. It helps, of course, that it’s so slim: 15.9mm means it will slot into your bag with minimal fuss. Although when I tried, the security guys got weirdly huffy.

Had I made it out of the hall, Acer claims I could get up to 10 hours of battery life, but I’ll add a hefty pinch of salt to that until I can test it properly. That figure is based on a four-year-old MobileMark test that I’ve never managed to replicate in real life.

What else do we know?

We know the specs:

  • Intel Core i7-8565U or Intel Core i5-8265U
  • 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 RAM
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • Up to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 358 x 230 x 15.9mm (WDH)
  • 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5
  • HD webcam
  • Windows 10 Home
  • USB-C 3.1 (not Thunderbolt), 2 x USB-A (old-style USB)
  • HDMI video

There are other things we can deduce because Acer isn’t talking about them. For one, there doesn’t appear to be support for Windows Hello webcam sign-in – instead, you’ll need to use a PIN, password or the fingerprint reader.

And while we don’t know the price of the top-end system, we can be pretty darn certain it will be expensive. 

Any other questions about the Swift 5? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try and find answers.

Can you show many any more pictures of the Acer Swift 5?

Of course – here are the official ones, courtesy of Acer.

About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis. Email tim@bigtechquestion.com

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