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Acer Swift 5 Laptop Review: An all-round improvement for the 14-inch ultrabook

Christian Hintze, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Katherine Bodner), 01/10/2020

Its weight in dollars. Another Swift flyweight has come up for testing and will have to prove that it requires a lot fewer compromises than its predecessor did. Will the new Intel Core i5-1035G1 finally offer the appropriate performance instead of extreme throttling? Find out in our review.

The new 14-inch Swift 5 has been put through its paces in our series of tests. Inside, it is equipped with a new processor and a slightly stronger graphics unit - the predecessor was criticized for its extreme throttling, which even prevented it from keeping up with its own predecessor, let alone its competition.    

The manufacturer also seems to have taken some other points of criticism into consideration. For example, Acer has now given the device a larger battery. The Swift looks much the same on the outside - the real changes are in the details. 

Similarly to its predecessor, the new Swift weighs less than 1 kg, which beats most of the competition. We will be comparing our test unit with its predecessor, the Acer Swift 7, available for double the price, and the Acer TravelMate X514, as well as the LG Gram and the Asus ZenBook 14.

Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U (Swift 5 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU) - 1024 MB, Memory: 1330 MHz, 26.20.100.7372
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR4
Display
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, Yes, AU Optronics AUO253D, IPS, CineCrystal, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel 495 (Ice Lake-U PCH-LP Premium)
Storage
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1, 512 GB 
, 480 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Ice Lake-U/Y PCH-LP cAVS
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5.mm audio jack, Card Reader: none, 1 Fingerprint Reader
Networking
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (a/b/g/h/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 14.95 x 318.7 x 210.5 ( = 0.59 x 12.55 x 8.29 in)
Battery
56 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4 cells, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 12 h
Charging
fast charging / Quickcharge
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD webcam 720p
Primary Camera: 1 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 24 Months Warranty, 2 year warranty (1st Y ITW)
Weight
943 g ( = 33.26 oz / 2.08 pounds), Power Supply: 275 g ( = 9.7 oz / 0.61 pounds)
Price
900 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

RatingDateModelWeightHeightSizeResolutionBest Price
86%01/2020Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
1035G1, UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
943 g14.95 mm14"1920x1080
84%06/2018Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
930 g15 mm14"1920x1080
84%11/2019Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
8500Y, UHD Graphics 615
890 g9.95 mm14"1920x1080
84%11/2019Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
8265U, UHD Graphics 620
980 g15 mm14"1920x1080
85%02/2019Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
8265U, UHD Graphics 620
1.2 kg15.9 mm14"1920x1080
85%04/2019LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
8250U, UHD Graphics 620
994 g15.2 mm14"1920x1080

Case - changes in the details of the Acer ultrabook

At first glance, there don't seem to be any visual differences between the last Swift 5 and the current test unit. However, if you take a closer look, you will see some changes in the details - and that is good. After all, we criticized the gap dimensions on the display bezel and the badly positioned ports on the predecessor.

The former now seems to have been dealt with - the panel sits tight in its frame and we didn't notice any gaps - the workmanship appears to be of higher quality. The hinges have also changed, although the new ones have the slight disadvantage that the device can no longer be opened to 180 degrees.

The bezels are now even slimmer and the worrisome creaking of the predecessor has been dealt with. The case seems to be solid and stable. The battery is not accessible from the outside and the bottom cover is secured with torx screws. 

Compared to the "old" Swift 5, the new model has shrunk further - albeit without reaching the size of the record-breaking Swift 7. Due to a lack of competition (except for the LG Gram), the Swift 5 continues to be one of the smallest and in particular lightest 14-inch ultrabooks with an active cooling fan available.  

Size Comparison

329 mm / 13 inch 228 mm / 8.98 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 930 g2.05 lbs329 mm / 13 inch 228 mm / 8.98 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 980 g2.16 lbs322.6 mm / 12.7 inch 210.8 mm / 8.3 inch 15.2 mm / 0.598 inch 994 g2.19 lbs319 mm / 12.6 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 15.9 mm / 0.626 inch 1.2 kg2.6 lbs318.7 mm / 12.5 inch 210.5 mm / 8.29 inch 14.95 mm / 0.589 inch 943 g2.08 lbs317.9 mm / 12.5 inch 191.5 mm / 7.54 inch 9.95 mm / 0.3917 inch 890 g1.962 lbs

Connectivity - stingy Swift with better port positioning

The lacking port selection remains the same. Instead, Acer has dealt with the issue of bad port positioning. On the predecessor, almost all ports were positioned on the right side and were therefore bothersome for right-handed users using a mouse. Now there is only one USB Type-A slot and the audio jack on this side - the other two USB slots have been moved to the left side, which makes the distribution of ports more even. The device continues to lack a LAN connector, only offering Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, the card reader is still missing and we would welcome the current USB Type-A port being exchanged for a 3.1 slot in the next version. At least the USB slot now supports Thunderbolt.

Left: AC, HDMI, USB Type-A 3.1, USB Type-C (Thunderbolt)
Left: AC, HDMI, USB Type-A 3.1, USB Type-C (Thunderbolt)
Right: 3.5-mm audio jack, USB Type-A 2.0, Kensington lock slot
Right: 3.5-mm audio jack, USB Type-A 2.0, Kensington lock slot
Front: No ports
Front: No ports
Back: No ports
Back: No ports

Communication

Thanks to the new Intel modem that supports Wi-Fi 6, our test unit can now offer increased internet speeds. The new version is twice as fast at sending data as its predecessor and more than three times as fast when receiving. However, we also recorded several big spikes in both directions. Bluetooth is included in version 5.0.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
968 (min: 860, max: 1204) MBit/s ∼100%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
666 (min: 585, max: 685) MBit/s ∼69% -31%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
655 MBit/s ∼68% -32%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (30.9 - 968, n=134)
535 MBit/s ∼55% -45%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
493 MBit/s ∼51% -49%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
1416 (min: 1003, max: 1801) MBit/s ∼100%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
631 (min: 503, max: 648) MBit/s ∼45% -55%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (36 - 1416, n=134)
534 MBit/s ∼38% -62%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265
511 MBit/s ∼36% -64%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
505 MBit/s ∼36% -64%
01020304050607080901001101201301401501601701801902002102202302402502602702802903003103203303403503603703803904004104204304404504604704804905005105205305405505605705805906006106206306406506606706806907007107207307407507607707807908008108208308408508608708808909009109209309409509609709809901000101010201030104010501060107010801090110011101120113011401150116011701180119012001210122012301240125012601270128012901300131013201330134013501360137013801390140014101420143014401450146014701480149015001510152015301540155015601570158015901600161016201630164016501660167016801690170017101720173017401750176017701780179018001810Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø968 (860-1204)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø1416 (1003-1801)

Security

Fingerprint sensor
Fingerprint sensor

The device has a Kensington lock as well as TPM and a fingerprint sensor, which is positioned below the arrow keys, just like with the predecessor.

Accessories

Acer is not very generous in terms of accessories, including only the usual components.

Maintenance

Insides
Insides

The bottom cover is held in place by 11 torx screws. Luckily, removing the cover after unscrewing the screws is a lot easier than it is on most of the competition. Once this is done, users will have access to the battery, the single cooling fan, the SSD etc. Unfortunately, the 8-GB RAM module cannot be exchanged or upgraded as it is firmly soldered on.

Warranty

The manufacturer gives users a two-year warranty including a mail-in service (at least for the first year).

Input Devices - everything remains the same

Keyboard

We criticized several aspects of the predecessor's keyboard - but not much has changed. The layout has remained the same, including the very narrow arrow keys that have to share their spot with the Page up/down and Pos1/End keys, the reversed brightness symbols, and the integrated power key next to delete.

We were pleased with the noticeable pressure point and the fact that typing is easy and quick. The typing noise seems to have improved and is now thoroughly acceptable with only the space bar being a little louder. The base unit remains stable while typing and hardly gives way. We are also pleased with the backlighting, which now offers two brightness levels.

The keyboard
The keyboard
Power button next to delete
Power button next to delete

Touchpad


The touchpad
The touchpad

The touchpad has good gliding properties and is sufficiently large. It easily recognizes the various gestures. 

However, the integrated keys continue to be slightly difficult to use and comparably loud.

Touchscreen

The laptop can also be used via its touchscreen. This is very intuitive and easy to use. The only criticism we had last time was that the laptop tended to tilt backwards when inputs were made with increased pressure. We no longer noticed this issue while testing the new model. The hinges now give way more easily under strong pressure, leaving the base unit in place.

Display - new Acer is brighter and better

Subpixel
Subpixel
Slight backlight bleeding in the bottom corners
Slight backlight bleeding in the bottom corners

The predecessor's display wasn't bad, although it did have a few weaknesses in terms of brightness. Again, Acer has chosen to use a panel from AU Optronics. However, this new model has a matte surface rather than a reflective one.

The brightness has also improved: The device's average brightness is now the second best in the entire comparison field - only the LG Gram is brighter by around 5%. Luckily, this does not have a negative impact on other aspects. The brightness distribution continues to be good at 84% (predecessor had 86%).

We did notice some slight backlight bleeding around the edges. However, this is rather weak and will only be noticeable in very dark surroundings and with black content.

298
cd/m²
311
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
319
cd/m²
275
cd/m²
283
cd/m²
296
cd/m²
268
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
AU Optronics AUO253D
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 319 cd/m² Average: 291.6 cd/m² Minimum: 20.9 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 320 cd/m²
Contrast: 1387:1 (Black: 0.23 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.53 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6, calibrated: 2.67
ΔE Greyscale 2.22 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
95% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 62% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.54
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
AU Optronics AUO253D, IPS, CineCrystal, 1920x1080, 14
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
AU Optronics AUO203D, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
AU Optronics B140HAN06.0, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
Chi mei CMN14D5, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
LG Philips LP140WF7-SPG1, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
AU Optronics B140HAN03.2, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Response Times
25%
-6%
16%
14%
12%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
47 (21, 26)
37 (17, 20)
21%
55 (25, 30)
-17%
40 (21, 19)
15%
36.8 (19.6, 17.2)
22%
42 (21, 21)
11%
Response Time Black / White *
32 (18, 14)
23 (13, 10)
28%
30 (14, 16)
6%
27 (16, 11)
16%
30 (18.4, 11.6)
6%
28 (16, 12)
12%
PWM Frequency
250 (10)
Screen
-25%
3%
-6%
-23%
-46%
Brightness middle
319
254
-20%
296
-7%
295
-8%
333.8
5%
321
1%
Brightness
292
231
-21%
272
-7%
276
-5%
307
5%
282
-3%
Brightness Distribution
84
86
2%
79
-6%
82
-2%
83
-1%
77
-8%
Black Level *
0.23
0.25
-9%
0.095
59%
0.215
7%
0.4
-74%
0.2
13%
Contrast
1387
1016
-27%
3116
125%
1372
-1%
835
-40%
1605
16%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.53
3.85
-52%
3.1
-23%
2.6
-3%
3.54
-40%
6.35
-151%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.5
7.05
-28%
6.2
-13%
5.6
-2%
5.8
-5%
12.2
-122%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
2.67
3.66
-37%
2.36
12%
1.88
30%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.22
4.1
-85%
4.5
-103%
3.4
-53%
4.7
-112%
8.35
-276%
Gamma
2.54 87%
2.43 91%
2.15 102%
2.08 106%
2.14 103%
2.51 88%
CCT
6381 102%
7369 88%
7277 89%
7192 90%
6261 104%
8227 79%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62
63
2%
65
5%
63
2%
61.2
-1%
59
-5%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
95
97
2%
99
4%
99
4%
94.7
0%
91
-4%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
0% / -17%
-2% / 2%
5% / -3%
-5% / -17%
-17% / -37%

* ... smaller is better

The black value and the contrast have both increased, although they cannot keep up with the Swift 7. We were also pleased with the grayscale and color deviation values: The latter are the lowest in our comparison. 

We weren't quite as impressed with the panel's response rate. 

sRGB: 95%
sRGB: 95%
AdobeRGB: 62%
AdobeRGB: 62%
Very overcast on a winter's day
Very overcast on a winter's day

Acer has dealt with all weaknesses that made it difficult for buyers of the predecessor to work outdoors. The display in the current test unit is sufficiently bright, the matte surface deals with the issue of disturbing reflections, and the black value and contrast have been further improved.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 14 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 81 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
47 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 26 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 74 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.6 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 13646 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

The viewing-angle stability is as good as one would expect from an IPS panel. Content is clearly visible even from wide angles and without losing too much brightness or contrast.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance - Acer Swift deals with its performance aversion

Good: No latencies
Good: No latencies

The Swift 5 runs on an Intel Core i5-1035G1 with an integrated UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU) which is still rather unknown. It also includes a 512-GB SSD from Kingston and 8 GB of RAM. Acer has finally used DDR4 RAM (unlike in the predecessor). Although the RAM continues to be firmly soldered on, at least it runs in dual-channel mode.

This makes the slim and light Swift 5 mainly suitable for office work and browsing, although the new processor including the new graphics unit does promise a little more performance than what the throttled predecessor had to offer. Users will not be able to play demanding games or do any intensive video-editing with this little Acer device, though.

The software LatencyMon gives good results for the Swift - it did not measure any significant latencies.

Processor

The processor in this device is the relatively new Intel Core i5-1035G1 - a particularly efficient quad-core CPU based on Ice Lake with a TDP that can be configured between 7.5 and 25 watt. The base clock rate is low at only 1 GHz, but the CPU can reach up to 3.6 GHz depending on the TDP configuration or 3.2 GHz for all four cores simultaneously. The chip now also includes several AI features as well as Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3.

We noticed several things during the 30-minute Cinebench loop: First, the starting point is almost the same as with the predecessor, but the performance of the new Swift remains stable after the first few rounds rather than dropping like it did in the old Swift 5. Second: The predecessor had a short drop in performance around halfway that we never really knew how to explain. This can't have been a coincidence - the same happened with the new model.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660Tooltip
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel Core i5-1035G1: Ø494 (437.21-504.69)
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø408 (359.46-494.25)
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1 Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel Core i5-8250U: Ø480 (467.78-544.81)
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U: Ø504 (494.08-654.12)
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel Core i5-8265U; BIOS 204: Ø571 (557.17-647.21)

Despite having started the loop right after turning on the device when it was still cold, the Swift 5 reached 560 instead of 518 points on battery. This indicates that the performance is not completely stable - after all, running the test on battery usually causes a drop in performance.

All in all the Swift 5 cannot outpace most of its competition despite their older CPUs although it did beat its predecessor and the Swift 7. The ZenBook 14 (Core i5-8265U) made first place. This indicates that there remains some throttling and that the Swift cannot make full use of its potential. 

Cinebench 10
Cinebench 10
Cinebench 11
Cinebench 11
Cinebench 15
Cinebench 15
Cinebench 15 Battery
Cinebench 15 Battery
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1
170 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1
  (169 - 170, n=2)
170 Points ∼100% 0%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
Intel Core i5-8265U
162 Points ∼95% -5%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel Core i5-8265U
149 Points ∼88% -12%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Core i5-8250U
143 Points ∼84% -16%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
132 Points ∼78% -22%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel Core i7-8500Y
129 Points ∼76% -24%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (20 - 185, n=288)
117 Points ∼69% -31%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel Core i5-8265U
654 Points ∼100% +26%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel Core i5-8265U
647 Points ∼99% +25%
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1
  (518 - 633, n=2)
576 Points ∼88% +11%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1
518 Points ∼79%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Core i5-8250U
517 Points ∼79% 0%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
Intel Core i5-8265U
501 Points ∼77% -3%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
494 Points ∼76% -5%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (32 - 1051, n=298)
349 Points ∼53% -33%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel Core i7-8500Y
246 Points ∼38% -53%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1
1.97 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1
 
1.97 Points ∼100% 0%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel Core i5-8265U
1.73 Points ∼88% -12%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.09 - 2.18, n=278)
1.168 Points ∼59% -41%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
0.91 Points ∼46% -54%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel Core i5-8265U
7.22 Points ∼100% +24%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1
5.81 Points ∼80%
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1
 
5.81 Points ∼80% 0%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
3.15 Points ∼44% -46%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (0.33 - 11.8, n=417)
2.6 Points ∼36% -55%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1
9192 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1
 
9192 Points ∼100% 0%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
5163 Points ∼56% -44%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (50.8 - 9192, n=304)
4062 Points ∼44% -56%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1
21753 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1
 
21753 Points ∼100% 0%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U
11245 Points ∼52% -48%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1294 - 24120, n=301)
8655 Points ∼40% -60%
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
10054 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
17213
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
9655
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6687
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
9192 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
21753 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
36.61 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.81 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.97 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
518 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
49.47 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
170 Points
Help

System Performance

The new Swift 5 offers good system performance. It easily beats its strongly throttled predecessor in the PCMark benchmarks and even makes first place in many scenarios. However, the competition (equipped with older CPUs) is usually not far behind. Nonetheless, there is a clear improvement in terms of system performance compared to the 2018 version of the Swift 5. Subjectively, we can confirm that all important everyday tasks run smoothly.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), 1035G1, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
3076 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (3039 - 3076, n=2)
3058 Points ∼99% -1%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
2902 Points ∼94% -6%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
2795 Points ∼91% -9%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
2751 Points ∼89% -11%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (405 - 4338, n=103)
2526 Points ∼82% -18%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
2006 Points ∼65% -35%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
1880 Points ∼61% -39%
Productivity
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
6382 Points ∼100% +11%
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (5740 - 6679, n=2)
6210 Points ∼97% +8%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
5939 Points ∼93% +3%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
5749 Points ∼90% 0%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), 1035G1, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
5740 Points ∼90%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1014 - 7281, n=103)
5251 Points ∼82% -9%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
5164 Points ∼81% -10%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3851 Points ∼60% -33%
Essentials
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (8482 - 8508, n=2)
8495 Points ∼100% 0%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), 1035G1, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
8482 Points ∼100%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
7867 Points ∼93% -7%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
7618 Points ∼90% -10%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
7132 Points ∼84% -16%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2062 - 9664, n=103)
6888 Points ∼81% -19%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
6709 Points ∼79% -21%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
6312 Points ∼74% -26%
Score
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (3807 - 3992, n=2)
3900 Points ∼100% +2%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), 1035G1, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
3807 Points ∼98%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
3725 Points ∼96% -2%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
3643 Points ∼93% -4%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
3463 Points ∼89% -9%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (743 - 4609, n=106)
3194 Points ∼82% -16%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
2884 Points ∼74% -24%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
2619 Points ∼67% -31%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (4950 - 5035, n=2)
4993 Points ∼100% +1%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), 1035G1, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
4950 Points ∼99%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
4715 Points ∼94% -5%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
4700 Points ∼94% -5%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
4698 Points ∼94% -5%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
4520 Points ∼91% -9%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
4141 Points ∼83% -16%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1283 - 5363, n=225)
4067 Points ∼81% -18%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
3733 Points ∼100% +4%
Average Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (3590 - 3673, n=2)
3632 Points ∼97% +1%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), 1035G1, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
3590 Points ∼96%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
3264 Points ∼87% -9%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
3218 Points ∼86% -10%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
3170 Points ∼85% -12%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1027 - 4211, n=253)
3047 Points ∼82% -15%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
2588 Points ∼69% -28%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3590 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4950 points
Help

Storage Device

The Swift uses a Kingston SSD with 512 GB of storage. This SSD is currently positioned at number 93 in our list of top storage devices. However, it does surprisingly well in our tests and manages to be placed at the top of our comparison table. Even the model in the Swift 7, which is twice as expensive as our test unit, cannot keep up according to our measurements. This must be one of the reasons for the good system performance results. 

AS SSD
AS SSD
AS SSD Copy
AS SSD Copy
CrystalDiskMark 3
CrystalDiskMark 3
CrystalDiskMark 5
CrystalDiskMark 5
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
Average Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
 
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
-29%
-33%
-10%
-54%
-7%
0%
Write 4K
107.79
98.01
-9%
48.38
-55%
122.3
13%
74.66
-31%
99.9
-7%
108
0%
Read 4K
45.42
33.88
-25%
28.98
-36%
45.51
0%
14.89
-67%
40.03
-12%
45.4
0%
Write Seq
989.57
585.3
-41%
742.7
-25%
667.1
-33%
502
-49%
973.1
-2%
990
0%
Read Seq
1129.29
1149
2%
1027
-9%
713
-37%
498.6
-56%
1111
-2%
1129
0%
Write 4K Q32T1
490.86
161.6
-67%
94.56
-81%
411.8
-16%
214.3
-56%
424.6
-13%
491
0%
Read 4K Q32T1
517.76
289.5
-44%
300
-42%
559.3
8%
225.5
-56%
255.9
-51%
518
0%
Write Seq Q32T1
1033.2
577.8
-44%
870.3
-16%
891.8
-14%
504.8
-51%
1300
26%
1033
0%
Read Seq Q32T1
1643.8
1563
-5%
1640
0%
1639
0%
559.8
-66%
1723
5%
1644
0%
AS SSD
-39%
-13%
-7%
-43%
-8%
0%
Copy Game MB/s
541.61
372.79
-31%
571.59
6%
520.7
-4%
549.22
1%
542
0%
Copy Program MB/s
262.2
226.74
-14%
236.01
-10%
259.33
-1%
246.84
-6%
262
0%
Copy ISO MB/s
654.76
503.58
-23%
872.59
33%
513.76
-22%
600.52
-8%
655
0%
Score Total
2635
969
-63%
1653
-37%
2411
-9%
1040
-61%
2048
-22%
2635
0%
Score Write
902
341
-62%
657
-27%
796
-12%
378
-58%
815
-10%
902
0%
Score Read
1154
438
-62%
674
-42%
1073
-7%
431
-63%
829
-28%
1154
0%
Access Time Write *
0.044
0.041
7%
0.034
23%
0.044
-0%
0.055
-25%
0.028
36%
0.044
-0%
Access Time Read *
0.075
0.054
0.092
0.114
4K-64 Write
707.44
192.16
-73%
475.69
-33%
603.72
-15%
263.12
-63%
605.06
-14%
707
0%
4K-64 Read
953.86
274.65
-71%
487.96
-49%
896.38
-6%
352.87
-63%
652.98
-32%
954
0%
4K Write
100.82
90.78
-10%
112.8
12%
114.43
13%
66.14
-34%
130.83
30%
101
0%
4K Read
54.64
24.72
-55%
42.64
-22%
54.84
0%
30.57
-44%
37.3
-32%
54.6
0%
Seq Write
939
575.88
-39%
689.13
-27%
774.82
-17%
487.41
-48%
794.94
-15%
939
0%
Seq Read
1454
1382.13
-5%
1437.05
-1%
1222.37
-16%
476.13
-67%
1388.77
-4%
1454
0%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-34% / -35%
-23% / -21%
-9% / -8%
-49% / -47%
-8% / -8%
0% / 0%

* ... smaller is better

Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
Sequential Read: 1124 MB/s
Sequential Write: 994.1 MB/s
512K Read: 908.24 MB/s
512K Write: 982.71 MB/s
4K Read: 46.9 MB/s
4K Write: 112.59 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 518.37 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 496.87 MB/s

GPU Performance

The Acer Swift does not have a dedicated GPU, although the fairly new Intel UHD Graphics G1 is supposed to be faster than the usual UHD Graphics units. 

The GPU did a remarkably good job in the synthetic 3DMark benchmark and is clearly faster than the competition equipped with the UHD Graphics 620. The lead amounts to 36% in 3DMark 11 with the ZenBook taking second place. The difference between our test unit and the old Swift 5 was a whole 77%. The results are similar in the Fire Strike test but the differences are a little smaller in Cloud Gate. 

We did not notice any particular loss in performance when the device was running on battery.

3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G1
2516 Points ∼100%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (2133 - 2516, n=3)
2378 Points ∼95% -5%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1851 Points ∼74% -26%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1757 Points ∼70% -30%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1740 Points ∼69% -31%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1420 Points ∼56% -44%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (230 - 10699, n=376)
1352 Points ∼54% -46%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel UHD Graphics 615, Intel Core i7-8500Y
1288 Points ∼51% -49%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Average of class Subnotebook
  (85 - 2840, n=47)
563 Points ∼100% +24%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G1
453 Points ∼80%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
 
453 Points ∼80% 0%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel UHD Graphics 615, Intel Core i7-8500Y
279 Points ∼50% -38%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G1
1739 Points ∼100%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (1521 - 1739, n=3)
1611 Points ∼93% -7%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1292 Points ∼74% -26%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
1194 Points ∼69% -31%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
1144 Points ∼66% -34%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (222 - 3726, n=255)
1085 Points ∼62% -38%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
995 Points ∼57% -43%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel UHD Graphics 615, Intel Core i7-8500Y
943 Points ∼54% -46%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), Intel Core i5-1035G1
11934 Points ∼100%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (10966 - 11934, n=2)
11450 Points ∼96% -4%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
10968 Points ∼92% -8%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
9643 Points ∼81% -19%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8265U
9324 Points ∼78% -22%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8250U
7980 Points ∼67% -33%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1484 - 22615, n=281)
7825 Points ∼66% -34%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel UHD Graphics 615, Intel Core i7-8500Y
7205 Points ∼60% -40%
3DMark 06
12136 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
8750 points
3DMark 11 Performance
2730 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
55398 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
9444 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1614 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
512 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Even if Intel has managed to get a little more performance out of its UHD Graphics G1, the Swift will never be ideal for gaming. Users will be able to play undemanding games at medium settings at the most. More-demanding titles such as The Witcher 3 can hardly be displayed smoothly even at the lowest settings. The Swift reaches an average of 27 fps using these settings although the high variability of the frame rate make the subjective gaming experience hardly appear smooth.

Rocket League is a little more promising. Users could potentially even manage to play it at Full HD with medium details. BioShock can also be displayed at medium details although the resolution would have to be reduced to 1366x768.

Again, the competition cannot keep up. The difference to the old Swift 5 is 50% in most cases (Rocket League) or even 100% (The Witcher 3). This makes the comparison with the AMD Vega more interesting.

The Witcher 3
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3.8 - 46.3, n=29)
14 fps ∼100% +100%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (7 - 10.4, n=2)
8.7 fps ∼62% +24%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
7 fps ∼50%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
Average of class Subnotebook
  (5.6 - 84.9, n=39)
21.3 fps ∼100% +19%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (17.9 - 19.1, n=2)
18.5 fps ∼87% +3%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
17.9 fps ∼84%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
8 fps ∼38% -55%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel Core i7-8500Y, Intel UHD Graphics 615
5.9 fps ∼28% -67%
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
Average of class Subnotebook
  (7.4 - 138, n=62)
28.7 fps ∼100% +6%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (27 - 29.7, n=2)
28.4 fps ∼99% +5%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
27 fps ∼94%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel Core i7-8500Y, Intel UHD Graphics 615
12.1 fps ∼42% -55%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
9.59 fps ∼33% -64%
Rocket League
1920x1080 High Quality AA:High FX
Average of class Subnotebook
  (14.5 - 48.5, n=22)
28.3 fps ∼100% +18%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
24 fps ∼85%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (22.8 - 24, n=2)
23.4 fps ∼83% -2%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
21.4 fps ∼76% -11%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
14.52 fps ∼51% -39%
1920x1080 Quality AA:Medium FX
Average of class Subnotebook
  (9.9 - 76.1, n=24)
39.8 fps ∼100% +8%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (37 - 42.2, n=2)
39.6 fps ∼99% +7%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
37 fps ∼93%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
31.6 fps ∼79% -15%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
23.74 fps ∼60% -36%
1920x1080 Performance
Average of class Subnotebook
  (31.8 - 113, n=8)
59.4 fps ∼100% +38%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (43 - 58.8, n=2)
50.9 fps ∼86% +18%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
43.44 fps ∼73% +1%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
43 fps ∼72%
1280x720 Performance
Average of class Subnotebook
  (26.8 - 156, n=25)
86.1 fps ∼100% +57%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (54.8 - 69.5, n=2)
62.2 fps ∼72% +14%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
57.56 fps ∼67% +5%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
56.7 fps ∼66% +3%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
54.8 fps ∼64%
BioShock Infinite
1366x768 High Preset
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
33.6 fps ∼100%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (32.2 - 34.8, n=3)
33.5 fps ∼100% 0%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
31 fps ∼92% -8%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
30.26 fps ∼90% -10%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
29.7 fps ∼88% -12%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (6.96 - 169, n=188)
29.5 fps ∼88% -12%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel Core i7-8500Y, Intel UHD Graphics 615
18.2 fps ∼54% -46%
1366x768 Medium Preset
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
42.1 fps ∼100%
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (37.2 - 42.1, n=3)
39.8 fps ∼95% -5%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
36.7 fps ∼87% -13%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
35.2 fps ∼84% -16%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
34.3 fps ∼81% -19%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (8 - 187, n=198)
34 fps ∼81% -19%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel Core i7-8500Y, Intel UHD Graphics 615
25 fps ∼59% -41%
1280x720 Very Low Preset
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
  (71.9 - 82.6, n=3)
76.8 fps ∼100% +1%
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
Intel Core i5-1035G1, Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
75.9 fps ∼99%
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
67.4 fps ∼88% -11%
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
Intel Core i5-8250U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
60.5 fps ∼79% -20%
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
Intel Core i5-8265U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
59.88 fps ∼78% -21%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (16.9 - 231, n=200)
59.1 fps ∼77% -22%
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
Intel Core i7-8500Y, Intel UHD Graphics 615
38.8 fps ∼51% -49%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 75.9 42.1 33.6 12.9 fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 27 17.9 7 fps
Rocket League (2017) 54.8 37 24 fps

Emissions - Calm and cool ultrabook

System Noise

The new Swift 5 remains nicely calm throughout our tests. While it isn't silent, the cooling fans are hardly noticeable even under load. But then that is what business users would expect and all competitors in today's field are similarly quiet. We did not notice any beeping or other noises coming from our test unit.

Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), 1035G1, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
Noise
-1%
2%
-1%
0%
off / environment *
30.3
30.3
-0%
28.2
7%
30.4
-0%
30.5
-1%
Idle Minimum *
30.3
30.3
-0%
28.4
6%
30.4
-0%
30.5
-1%
Idle Average *
30.3
30.3
-0%
28.4
6%
30.4
-0%
30.5
-1%
Idle Maximum *
30.6
31.2
-2%
28.4
7%
30.4
1%
30.9
-1%
Load Average *
32
33.1
-3%
35.7
-12%
34.1
-7%
32.7
-2%
Load Maximum *
33.7
34.4
-2%
34.2
-1%
34.4
-2%
31.5
7%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
30.3 / 30.3 / 30.6 dB(A)
Load
32 / 33.7 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.3 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.238.535.434.334.92536.140.835.834.134.13136.736.942.63637.7403132.133.933.832.1503135.232.332.232.66330.628.930.83132.68029.228.229.528.230.41002930.130.329.330.312529.229.229.129.335.216024.924.524.724.326.720023.423.522.522.424.825022.622.121.822.423.731521.422.221.121.222.740021.721.220.920.421.650020.619.819.519.52163020.519.518.718.721.280020.719.618.518.320.6100021.5201817.720.6125021.920.317.517.721.7160023.820.617.617.123.5200024.521.217.517.423.8250023.421.617.817.422.831502118.617.917.621400019.718.51817.722.350001918.418.11822.5630018.718.518.21822.9800018.618.418.418.323.11000018.418.418.318.122.51250018.318.318.218.2201600018.418.318.318.220.6SPL33.63230.530.434.5N1.91.71.51.42.2median 21.4median 20median 18.3median 18.2median 22.5Delta1.82.422.31.438.241.833.738.233.435.134.133.433.636.535.733.631.736.730.531.731.936.937.631.931.637.828.731.629.63226.229.630.533.62630.524.62726.724.626.12924.826.125.229.223.625.224.125.723.224.123.526.422.623.522.62422.722.62223.82022212319.32121.52318.721.521.522.818.121.52122.6182122.123.517.922.122.523.31822.521.922.817.921.92121.918.22119.820.618.519.819.520.418.619.518.41918.718.418.118.618.918.11818.4191818.118.419.118.118.618.719.418.633.134.43133.11.721.41.7median 21.5median 23median 19median 21.52.12.61.92.1hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseAcer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501UAcer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY

Temperature

The surface temperatures are at room temperature while idling. When the device is put under maximum load, its temperatures reach a maximum value of 42 °C on the bottom - the top remains slightly cooler. This surface temperature should not prevent users from placing the device on their lap at any time. The competition can get a little hotter. The wrist rests, which are very important for everyday use, remain cool even under load with the heat development occurring mainly towards the back, near the display. Even there the heat is well distributed along the entire width of the device.

Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), 1035G1, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
Heat
-9%
-18%
-6%
-7%
-1%
Maximum Upper Side *
40
42.9
-7%
55
-38%
44.9
-12%
45.2
-13%
41
-3%
Maximum Bottom *
42.1
44.9
-7%
51.4
-22%
44.2
-5%
41.4
2%
41.4
2%
Idle Upper Side *
25.4
28.4
-12%
27.1
-7%
26.3
-4%
26.8
-6%
26.1
-3%
Idle Bottom *
26.1
28.5
-9%
27.1
-4%
26.6
-2%
29
-11%
25.8
1%

* ... smaller is better

Our one-hour stress test had a similar result as that of the predecessor: The Acer already starts off at below its base clock rate - only this time the base rate is no longer 1.6 GHz but 1 GHz and therefore the deviation is not quite as dramatic. After one hour the clock rates drop by another 100 MHz. Overall, Acer's new Swift 5 continues to throttle quite strongly, although the new CPU seems to deal with this fairly well - at least compared to the processor in the old Swift 5. Future competitors could be more powerful - provided they experience less throttling. The core temperatures still have a little breathing space and reach around 70 - 75 °C.

Start of stress test
Start of stress test
Stress test after 10 minutes
Stress test after 10 minutes
Stress test after one hour
Stress test after one hour
Max. Load
 39.4 °C
103 F
40 °C
104 F
39.3 °C
103 F
 
 35.8 °C
96 F
36.4 °C
98 F
31.3 °C
88 F
 
 30 °C
86 F
29.4 °C
85 F
27.3 °C
81 F
 
Maximum: 40 °C = 104 F
Average: 34.3 °C = 94 F
41.2 °C
106 F
42.1 °C
108 F
41.7 °C
107 F
30.3 °C
87 F
37.7 °C
100 F
34 °C
93 F
28.1 °C
83 F
30.6 °C
87 F
30.3 °C
87 F
Maximum: 42.1 °C = 108 F
Average: 35.1 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  40.8 °C = 105 F | Room Temperature 23.1 °C = 74 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 34.3 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 42.1 °C / 108 F, compared to the average of 39.9 °C / 104 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.7 °C / 75 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 30 °C / 86 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.5 °C / 83.3 F (-1.5 °C / -2.7 F).
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), 1035G1, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
UHD Graphics 620, 8265U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G
Heat
-9%
-18%
-6%
-7%
-1%
Maximum Upper Side *
40
42.9
-7%
55
-38%
44.9
-12%
45.2
-13%
41
-3%
Maximum Bottom *
42.1
44.9
-7%
51.4
-22%
44.2
-5%
41.4
2%
41.4
2%
Idle Upper Side *
25.4
28.4
-12%
27.1
-7%
26.3
-4%
26.8
-6%
26.1
-3%
Idle Bottom *
26.1
28.5
-9%
27.1
-4%
26.6
-2%
29
-11%
25.8
1%

* ... smaller is better

Idle top
Idle top
Idle bottom
Idle bottom
Stress top
Stress top
Stress bottom
Stress bottom

Speakers

The speakers do a very good job at reproducing highs but leave room for improvement for other frequencies. The volume of the stereo speakers is too low overall and bass tones are hardly audible. Mids are balanced but uninspiring. Of course, speakers in a case of this size tend to have a hard time anyway, but the MacBook Pro shows that there are better solutions out there.

External audio devices can be connected via USB or the combined audio jack.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs203334.3332533.134.133.13136.93636.94031.633.831.6503132.2316329.43129.48028.128.228.110028.729.328.712527.829.327.816029.224.329.220027.922.427.92503922.43931546.221.246.24005320.4535005419.55463054.518.754.580059.618.359.6100054.717.754.7125061.517.761.5160060.917.160.9200063.817.463.8250059.517.459.5315060.917.660.9400059.217.759.2500060.31860.3630064.21864.2800061.318.361.31000061.518.161.51250069.418.269.41600069.618.269.6SPL73.530.473.5N30.51.430.5median 59.5median 18.2median 59.5Delta8.32.38.335.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501UApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (69.55 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 26.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 71% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 23% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 61% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 30% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management - more stamina despite higher demands

Power Consumption

The Swift 5 subnotebook does not require a lot of power in general but still doesn't compare well with its competitors. It has a higher consumption while idling and its predecessor was 30% more economical on average. Only the Asus has a similar level of power consumption.

Peak loads remain below 30 watt, which means that the 65-watt AC adapter provides more than enough power for this device.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.43 / 0.47 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.3 / 7.5 / 8.9 Watt
Load midlight 29 / 29.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
1035G1, UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), Kingston RBUSNS8154P3512GJ1, IPS, CineCrystal, 1920x1080, 14
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Intel SSD 600p SSDPEKKW256G7, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
8500Y, UHD Graphics 615, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
8265U, UHD Graphics 620, Kingston RBUSNS8154P3256GJ1, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, SK Hynix SC313 HFS256G39TNF, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
8265U, UHD Graphics 620, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-256G, IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Average Intel UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU)
 
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Power Consumption
30%
36%
29%
10%
1%
0%
-35%
Idle Minimum *
4.3
2.8
35%
2.7
37%
2.3
47%
2.7
37%
2.7
37%
3.53 (3 - 4.3, n=3)
18%
6.58 (1 - 36, n=611)
-53%
Idle Average *
7.5
4.8
36%
4.9
35%
4.6
39%
6
20%
5.8
23%
6.43 (5.4 - 7.5, n=3)
14%
9.78 (2.06 - 39, n=611)
-30%
Idle Maximum *
8.9
6.3
29%
5.8
35%
5.8
35%
6.5
27%
10.2
-15%
7.67 (6.8 - 8.9, n=3)
14%
12.1 (3.9 - 55, n=611)
-36%
Load Average *
29
21
28%
15.7
46%
22.4
23%
32.5
-12%
34.9
-20%
30.5 (29 - 33.4, n=3)
-5%
33.5 (6.3 - 75, n=601)
-16%
Load Maximum *
29.4
23
22%
21.7
26%
29
1%
35.5
-21%
35
-19%
41.2 (29.4 - 48.3, n=3)
-40%
40.6 (7.6 - 111, n=604)
-38%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Battery use during the video test
Battery use during the video test

The battery has a capacity of 56 Wh and is supposed to last 12 hours. Acer had installed a 36-Wh battery in the last model, which had a negative impact on the battery life. Fortunately, we've got the larger capacity back this time.

The laptop managed at least 2 h 14 m in the synthetic tests (all power guzzlers turned on, high load) and a maximum of 14 h 45 m (minimum brightness, all power-saving options turned on, minimum load).

The Swift lasted almost 8 hours in the more important Wi-Fi test (performance set to two-thirds, brightness to 150 cd/m², browsing the web). The predecessor only managed just over 5 hours, so this is a clear improvement.

The video test (minimum performance, brightness set to 150 cd/m², H.264-encoded video in a loop) lasted just over 8 hours on our new Swift.

The improved battery life is only really noticeable in our Wi-Fi test - after all, the new model also consumes almost 30% more power. That was probably one of the main reasons Acer decided to switch back to a larger battery. Of the other competitors only the TravelMate does worse with a difference of around 11%. The Swift 7 manages around 26% longer runtimes despite having a smaller battery (31 Wh).

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 45min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 48min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 05min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 14min
Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U
1035G1, UHD Graphics G1 (Ice Lake 32 EU), 56 Wh
Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 36 Wh
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR
8500Y, UHD Graphics 615, 31.9 Wh
Acer TravelMate X514-51-511Q
8265U, UHD Graphics 620, 36 Wh
LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 72 Wh
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T
8265U, UHD Graphics 620, 50 Wh
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Battery Runtime
-4%
26%
-11%
75%
20%
-10%
Reader / Idle
885
962
9%
1273
44%
1075
21%
2238
153%
624 (87 - 2557, n=555)
-29%
H.264
485
466
-4%
631
30%
477 (182 - 1174, n=118)
-2%
WiFi v1.3
468
313
-33%
526
12%
378
-19%
720
54%
563
20%
478 (206 - 806, n=230)
2%
Load
134
150
12%
160
19%
88
-34%
159
19%
122 (40 - 347, n=563)
-9%

Pros

+ small and light
+ fast Wi-Fi 6
+ Thunderbolt 3
+ easy access for maintenance
+ bright, high-contrast touch display
+ fast integrated Intel graphics unit
+ fast SSD
+ calm and cool

Cons

- meager port selection, 1x USB 2.0
- RAM soldered on, cannot be upgraded
- some weaknesses in the keyboard layout
- CPU continues to be throttled
- comparably high consumption
- only average battery runtimes

Verdict - good upgrade from Acer

The Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T, provided by Acer
The Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T, provided by Acer

We must compliment Acer for accepting and responding to criticism. The manufacturer has made many changes in the right places - and the result is impressive.

Most importantly, Acer has finally managed to get the performance right again. Our test unit was able to easily keep up with its competition - unlike its highly throttled predecessor. We are also pleased with the display that is finally brighter and has a matte surface. The increased brightness does not impact the contrast ratio, which has improved as well. Another positive change is the return to a larger battery and thus a longer battery life for the system. We were also surprised by the good SSD and general system performance as well as the 3D performance, which can beat the competition equipped with older Intel UHD Graphics chips. The faster Wi-Fi and the integration of Thunderbolt 3 complete the list of positives.

There is not much we can criticize about the current Swift 5. The USB 2.0 port could have been swapped for a more modern USB standard and the card reader is missing again. The port selection is also more limited than on other ultrabooks. We would also like to mention that the RAM is soldered on, which means that it cannot be exchanged or expanded. The power consumption has increased, which means that the battery life is average at best despite the larger battery capacity. The performance itself has improved, but the device still doesn't manage to make the most out of its CPU. But this can be put down to the usual necessary compromise between performance and cooling, which Acer has solved quite well for the Swift 5. 

A lot of praise and hardly any criticism for the new Swift 5. The 14-inch ultrabook is small and light, has a good touch screen and it offers the right performance. It seems to have been given a useful all-round upgrade compared to its predecessor.  

Considering these results, we are happy to recommend the new Acer, which is currently available for around $900.

Acer Swift 5 SF514-54T-501U - 01/09/2020 v7
Christian Hintze

Chassis
79 / 98 → 81%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
61 / 75 → 81%
Weight
76 / 20-75 → 100%
Battery
77%
Display
88%
Games Performance
53 / 78 → 68%
Application Performance
84 / 85 → 98%
Temperature
93%
Noise
96%
Audio
58 / 91 → 64%
Camera
33 / 85 → 39%
Average
75%
86%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Swift 5 Laptop Review: An all-round improvement for the 14-inch ultrabook
Christian Hintze, 2020-01-10 (Update: 2020-01-13)