• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8550U
  • Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Memory: 8GB LPDDR3
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Connectivity: 802.11ac WiFi
  • Dimensions: 328.9 x 228 x 15 mm
  • Weight: 970g
  • Pros:
  • Super light
  • Good value
  • Cons:
  • Fan noise

Light As A Feather

The last year or so has seen ultra-portable notebooks being the focus of many brands, which is in part due to convenience. 2-in-1s have become particularly popular, but the standard ultrabook can still be a better choice if it’s lightweight and also affordable enough. The Acer Swift 5 proves to be a good example in this regard.
Unlike the fancier Swift 7’s golden body, the Swift 5 has a dark blue one. It does have a muted gold-coloured hinge, to give it that sense of belonging to the Swift series. There’s also no gap between the hinge and display like in the Swift 7. Note that when folded back, the lower part of the lid slots under the bottom of the machine, which also means that this laptop can’t be completely folded to use like a tablet despite it having a touchscreen.

In terms of hardware, this notebook comes with a standard 720p webcam, keyboard with chiclet keys, two speakers at the bottom, and a fingerprint reader below the bottom right of the keyboard. The left side only holds the headset jack, but the right side has a decent array of ports consisting of a HDMI, two USB 3.1 Gen 1, and a USB 3.1 Type-C port. It’s unfortunate that an SD card slot wasn’t included as well, since not needing an adapter would have been handy for some people.

One of the biggest advantage of this laptop is its lightweightness and we were certainly impressed at how light it was when we first held it. Weighing about 970g, the Swift 5 is one of the lightest ultraportable notebook we’ve had ever reviewed – if not the lightest. Being this light means that those who are constantly out and about won’t even feel this in their bag.

However, the design comes with a few caveats. To keep it this light, Acer has sacrifice on its battery life, providing enough to last an average of about 6 to 8 hours depending on usage. If used for video streaming like YouTube or Netflix, you’ll get even less hours. Besides that, the fans become audible and the bottom of the notebook slightly warm when it’s on full load, which can be a tad uncomfortable for laps.

The keyboard and trackpad are mostly good here, providing excellent tactile feedback and being in easy reach respectively. Our only pet peeve here is the power button being too close to the Delete button, and the Page Up and Page Down buttons being squashed together with the direction keys make them a bit awkward to use sometimes.

CHIP CONCLUDE: This laptops lightweightness makes it the definition of ultraportable. If all you want is a decent machine that’s easy to lug around, you can’t go wrong with this one.Acer-swift-5-600x500

(previously published in issue April