First look at Acer’s new Swift 5

2020 Acer Swift 5
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Acer released a whole host of new devices at its next@Acer Global Press Conference on Tuesday, addressing different market segments—gaming, creator, notebooks, and a new rugged line-up. While the expansive Predator gaming line-up may have stolen the show, let’s not forget Acer’s bread-and-butter thin-and-light offerings. The brand’s ultraportable Swift 5 gets a refresh with 10th Gen Intel Core processors and integrated graphics based on Intel’s new Xe architecture, optional NVIDIA GeForce MX350 GPU, touchscreen ultra-narrow bezel display with Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass, and new colours including mist green.

Acer Malaysia was kind enough to give select press a preview of its 2020 Swift 5 ahead of the global press event.

Here is a quick look of what’s different and what’s the same with the new Swift 5 versus the previous generation.

Right off the bat, you’ll be hard-pressed to pinpoint differences in design. The changes are subtle, to some extent, more refined. Most notable is the redesigned hinge that now elevates the main chassis when the top lid is opened. Perhaps taking cues from ASUS’ ZenBooks, this provides a more ergonomic typing experience and better thermal performance.

You’ll find that the side profile has less of a taper towards the front, unlike its predecessor.

The Swift 5 uses a familiar magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminium chassis, which pegs the thickness at 14.95mm. Weighing just 990kg it remains one of the lightest 14-inch clamshell notebooks in the market today. It comes in Mint Green and Safari Gold with gold accents.

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Expansion ports remain the same in type/number as well as positioning, including a USB-C, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, two USB 3.2 Gen2 ports, and a headphone/mic jack. It’s slightly disappointing that it doesn’t support USB-C charging but instead settles for a more conventional charge port. An representative of Acer has pointed out that the Swift series has offered USB-C charging since its first iteration. A 45W-60W USB charger is required for charging (not included in box). It’s rather peculiar that the conventional charge port co-exists with USB-C charging; I’m interested to know why Acer isn’t going USB-C full-on.

Connectivity-wise, the notebook supports Intel Wi-Fi 6 (GIG+/802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.0, unchanged from its predecessor.

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Moving swiftly on, the 14-inch FHD IPS pushes 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio thanks to the ultra-narrow bezels all-round. The touchscreen display covers 72 per cent of the NTSC gamut and offers 300-nit of peak brightness. What’s also new is the layer of Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass that has been specially formulated to reduce growth of odour and stain-causing microorganisms on the display. Acer also offers the antimicrobial solution on the touchpad, keyboard, and body as an option.

The device can be spec-ed up to 1TB PCIe Gen 3×4 SSD, and up to 16GB LPDDR4 memory.

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I found no differences with the keyboard and trackpad, and Acer confirms that it’s exactly the same as the previous generation. That said, the chicklet keyboard offers decent key travel and feel and it’s nicely spaced out. Thanks to the redesigned hinge that raises the device at an angle, it’s a better typing experience overall.

Acer has also added DTS Audio to the Swift 5 this time around.

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With a 56Wh battery, the Swift 5 is claimed to last a full-day’s work. It supports fast charge—giving you four hours of use off just a 30-minute charge time.

Overall, Acer made some practical changes with some useful additions to its refreshed Swift 5.

2020 Acer Swift 5
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Pricing and availability

The Acer Swift 5 will be available in North America in October starting at USD999.99; in EMEA in October starting at EUR1,099; and in China in October, starting at CNY6,999.

No news about local availability but I expect it to be available soon. Stay tuned!

The current generation Swift 5 sells from MYR3,999.


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