Modern budget laptops are inferiorflagships, but not significantly. For example, for the review, I chose an Acer Swift 3 laptop with an i5-7200U processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD for $650 (38,500 rubles).
Read also: Samsung Notebook 9 review: super thin laptop for work
Let's find out if it really offers functionality at the level of expensive models at an affordable price?
Acer Swift 3 design
Swift 3 looks like a $1,500 laptop from 2013years - then such a design was on top-end laptops. At 18mm thick and weighing 1.5kg, it's heavier than the Dell XPS 13, but not far behind the MacBook Pro 13. Brushed aluminum covers the entire display lid, and the bottom half is made of metal, giving it a premium feel and durability.
The silver color of the case is not very attractiveattention. In theory, there is also a golden option, but it is difficult to find it anywhere other than the manufacturer's website. If not for the Acer logo, the Swift 3 could be confused with a laptop from Lenovo or Asus. From the inside, everything is in the same banal metallic-silver tones.
However, from a budget laptop is not worth itdemand originality. The all-metal body flexes only when pressed hard, which is already a big plus. The Acer Swift 3 is second in size only to the Asus Zenbook UX330UA, which, at 13mm thin and weighing 1.18kg, looks just as good as today's premium laptops and costs $700 ($41,500).
Has all connectors and ports
Three USB Type-A ports are located on the side faces(two USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0), USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1, full size HDMI, microphone/headphone combo jack and SD card slot. The battery does not charge via USB 3.1 Type-C - there is a separate charger for this.
Supported wireless - Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0. The Zenbook UX330UA has one less USB port, and instead of a full-sized one, there is only mini-HDMI. Many competitors do not have USB 3.1 connectors at all.
Keyboard, touchpad, fingerprint reader
The Acer Swift 3's keyboard is standard, with rounded keys spaced at an acceptable distance and small function buttons. Acer offers the same set on more expensive models.
Excellent button feedback, helps when typing large amounts of text. Using the keyboard here is more convenient than on the Apple MacBook Pro 13. The uneven backlighting has 2 levels of brightness.
The Swift 3 touchpad has a nice smooth texture, itsupports all Windows gestures and responds accurately to touch. There's plenty of room for interaction on the expansive touchpad, which gives the Acer Swift 3 an advantage over the Asus Zenbook UX330UA, Dell Inspiron 13 5000 and the rest of the competition.
The fingerprint scanner works well, but does not always recognize the owner the first time. Windows Hello is supported.
Unlike the Zenbook UX330UA, which has a scannerplaced on the touchpad itself, Swift 3 has the reader in the lower right, so it won't be accidentally hit. The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 and HP Pavilion x360 13 do not have a fingerprint scanner.
The Acer Swift 3 has a 14-inch non-touch display with1080p resolution is the standard for mid-range laptops. The maximum brightness is 242 nits, and the maximum contrast ratio is 540:1. Not bad, but the Zenbook UX330UA screen looks better with a higher brightness of 315 nits, and a contrast ratio of 940:1.
Swift 3 display covers just 67% of the sRGB spectrumand 50% AdobeRGB. This is a low figure - almost all modern laptops can display more than 70% AdobeRGB. The average color error here is 2.34, the Zenbook UX330 has 2.56, and the Dell XPS 13 has 2.65. The lower the error rate, the better. In practice, the differences are almost imperceptible, but of all the laptops listed, Swift 3 is the cheapest.
The gamma value here is 2.2.This is the ideal level for most games and movies. Colors are generally vibrant and true-to-life, but low contrast ratio and lack of brightness are noticeable. Due to the glossy coating, glare occurs when exposed to sunlight.
The sound is not surprising
The Acer Swift 3's two downward-firing speakers are only good for a limited volume range. The sound is distorted when playing music that combines vocals and heavy bass.
In terms of sound quality, the Swift 3 is on par with the Zenbook UX330UA, Dell XPS 13 and other competitors. The maximum volume is low, so it will be difficult to use the laptop in a noisy environment.
Different models of Acer Swift 3 have different processors. For my review, I chose the Core i5-7200U, a popular dual-core chipset found in laptops ranging from $500 to $2,000.
In single-core and multi-core test modesbenchmark Geekbench 4, Swift 3 outperformed the UX330UA and XPS 13. Only the Lenovo Yoga 720 13 was slightly faster. In the Handbrake video transcoding test, Acer's laptop also came in second place, demonstrating its ability to handle heavy workloads for long periods of time. The Zenbook UX330UA has performance issues when it gets hot, but the Swift 3 doesn't have this problem.
This affordable laptop from Acer rivals even more expensive machines in terms of performance. For ordinary users, it is quite enough.
A 256 GB SSD is already good,for a laptop cheaper than 40,000 rubles. Better yet, it has a fast PCI Express interface, unlike many competitors with older SATA connections. The read and write speeds are 1.169 and 512 MB/s, respectively.
The difference can be seen on the example of Asus Zenbook UX330UA witha drive of the same size, which has half the read speed. Laptops with faster storage are more expensive - for example, Lenovo Yoga 720 13 will cost $ 980 (58,000 rubles).
Acer Swift 3 is not suitable for gamers, like everyone elsesimilar laptops that have integrated Intel HD 620 graphics instead of a separate graphics card. Modern games will run, but only at low frame rates.
For example, if you set the resolution to 1080p and minimum details in Civilization VI, the average frame rate will be 16 fps, which is not enough for a comfortable gaming experience.
Battery in Acer Swift 3
The Swift 3 has a 49 Wh battery,although a larger battery could fit in the case. The battery lasts almost 7-8 hours of web browsing, which is not bad, but in the same test, the Zenbook UX330UA lasted a few hours longer.
When playing a looped 1080p video, the device turned off after 10 hours and 22 minutes, again worse than the competition.
High performance Acer Swift 3 changesideas about budget laptops. A powerful processor, a large amount of RAM and a fast SSD drive will allow it to last at least five years with careful handling.
Should I buy
Competitor Asus Zenbook UX330UA thinner, lighter,more attractive and has a more enduring battery. However, Swift 3 has more connectivity and better performance. Other analogues are inferior in terms of price and quality.
Yandex Market Benefits
- Many connectors
- Comfortable keyboard
- Powerful processor
- Fast SSD
- Unattractive design
- Dim display
- Mediocre battery
Cheap laptop Acer Swift 3 - video review
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