Notebookcheck

Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T (i7-8565U, SSD, FHD) Laptop Review

Sascha Mölck, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch (translated by Katherine Bodner), 02/12/2019

999 grams. Acer has created a 15.6-inch notebook that is light as a feather and features up-to-date technology: a Whiskey Lake processor, an NVMe SSD and (dual-channel) DDR4 RAM. Of course these features don't come cheap: The device is available for around $1400.

The main focus Acer had when developing the Swift 5 SF515-51T was its weight, which the company wanted to be as low as possible. The project was successful: The slim notebook weighs just under one kilogram and therefore is one of the lightest 15.6-inch devices available. Currently, there is not a lot of competition for the Swift 5 to beat. The only similarly light-weight 15.6-inch notebook we found in our database was the LG Gram 15Z980. We have therefore also included the two 14-inch devices Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6 2018 into our expanded comparison table. Despite their compact builds, both devices weigh more than the Swift 5. 

Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6 (Swift 5 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 300-1150 MHz, Dual-Channel, 25.20.100.6373
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2400, Dual-Channel, RAM soldered on, no free slots
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, 10-point capacitive, LG Philips LP156WFA-SPG2, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Cannon Lake-U PCH-LP Premium
Storage
SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG, 512 GB 
, SSD soldered on; free M.2 2280 slot (only for NVMe SSDs), 440 GB free
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 0 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: combined audio jack, 1 Fingerprint Reader, TPM 2.0
Networking
Intel Wireless-AC 9560 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.9 x 358 x 230 ( = 0.63 x 14.09 x 9.06 in)
Battery
53.9 Wh, 4670 mAh Lithium-Ion, 11.55 V
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD
Primary Camera: 0.9 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Mozilla Firefox, Norton Security (trial version), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
999 g ( = 35.24 oz / 2.2 pounds), Power Supply: 155 g ( = 5.47 oz / 0.34 pounds)
Price
1499 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case - light, lighter, Swift

When holding the Swift 5 in your hands it feels as if it's simply an empty case. A press of the power button confirms otherwise. Acer's laptop weighs only 999 grams. (Yes, we weighed it. Our scales displayed 998.5 grams precisely.) This is over 100 grams less than the - already very light - LG Gram 15Z980. 

The low weight is made possible by its light-weight build: Both the RAM and the SSD are firmly soldered onto the motherboard and cannot be removed. Acer has also chosen a good-looking slim magnesium case. Our test unit is silver; the Swift 5 is also available in blue. The battery cannot be removed nor is there a maintenance hatch. It is possible to remove the bottom cover - more on that later.

The slim, light-weight case boasts perfect workmanship. The gap dimensions are great and there are no sharp edges. However, the case is not immune to warping. Both the base unit and particularly the display cover can be warped significantly. This is the price you have to pay for such a light build. Pressure on the back of the lid is not visible on the screen. The hinges keep the display in position, except for minimum wobbling. The maximum opening angle is 180 degrees.

Size Comparison

358 mm / 14.1 inch 228 mm / 8.98 inch 17 mm / 0.669 inch 1.1 kg2.43 lbs358 mm / 14.1 inch 230 mm / 9.06 inch 15.9 mm / 0.626 inch 999 g2.2 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 217 mm / 8.54 inch 15 mm / 0.591 inch 1.1 kg2.49 lbs319 mm / 12.6 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 15.9 mm / 0.626 inch 1.2 kg2.62 lbs

Connectivity - no surprises

The Swift 5 is thick enough for "normal"-sized ports. However, the SF515 does not offer a lot of these. Apart from an HDMI port, the notebook only has three USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports (2x Type-A, 1x Type-C). The Swift 5 does not offer an SD card reader either.

The Type-C port includes DisplayPort-via-USB-C functionality (with an adapter that has to be purchased separately). The notebook can also be recharged via this port - we tried.

The Swift cannot keep up with the LG Gram in terms of port selection. The latter offers more USB ports, a Thunderbolt 3 connector and a microSD card reader. 

Right: combined audio jack, port for lock
Right: combined audio jack, port for lock
Left: power adapter, HDMI, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (2x Type-A, 1x Type-C)
Left: power adapter, HDMI, 3x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (2x Type-A, 1x Type-C)

Communication

The Swift 5 is equipped with a Wi-Fi chip from Intel (Wireless-AC 9560) that supports the Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n as well as the fast ac standard. We measured the transfer rates under ideal conditions (no other Wi-Fi devices around, test unit in direct vicinity to the server PC) and the results were very good. The module also offers Bluetooth 5. The Swift 5 does not have an Ethernet connector. Should this be needed, users will have to resort to using a suitable USB adapter.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
647 (min: 493, max: 679) MBit/s ∼100%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
641 MBit/s ∼99% -1%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
606 MBit/s ∼94% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
540 MBit/s ∼83% -17%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (30.9 - 950, n=112)
531 MBit/s ∼82% -18%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
638 (min: 582, max: 695) MBit/s ∼100%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
563 MBit/s ∼88% -12%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
540 MBit/s ∼85% -15%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (36 - 949, n=112)
522 MBit/s ∼82% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
494 MBit/s ∼77% -23%
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700Tooltip
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6 Intel Wireless-AC 9560; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø646 (493-679)
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6 Intel Wireless-AC 9560; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø638 (582-695)

Webcam

The Swift has a 0.9-MP webcam that produces images with a maximum of 1280x720 pixels. The results are a little grainy.

Accessories

The device does not come with any accessories apart from the usual information leaflets (quick-start guide, warranty information).

Maintenance

The notebook does not have a maintenance hatch. However, it is possible to reach the insides quite easily by removing the bottom cover. This requires unscrewing all (torx) screws from the bottom of the device. The cover can then be lifted off quite easily without the need of additional tools. Opening the device will not give you many maintenance options, however, as the SSD, RAM and Wi-Fi module are all soldered onto the motherboard.

Warranty

Acer has equipped the Swift 5 with a two-year warranty including pick-up service. The period and scope of the warranty can be extended. For example, a three-year onsite warranty costs 150 Euros (~$170). Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties article for country-specific information.

Input Devices - keyboard backlighting

Keyboard

The 15.6-inch device is equipped with a backlit chiclet keyboard that is made up of flat, smooth keys. Each key has short travel and a clear pressure point, but we feel that the actuation force could be slightly stronger. The keyboard gives way a little in the center while typing, but this was not particularly bothersome. The backlighting can be turned on and off via a function key (there is only one brightness level). Overall, Acer has equipped the Swift 5 with a decent keyboard, suitable for everyday tasks but not top of the range.

Touchpad

The ClickPad supports multi-touch gestures and is about 10.5 x 6.5 cm large. This offers plenty of space to use gesture control. The smooth surface makes gliding easy and the pad responds to inputs even in the corners. The integrated buttons have short travel and a noticeable pressure point.

Touchscreen

The capacitive touchscreen of the Swift 5 supports 10 touch points and is very easy to use. It responds quickly to our inputs.

Input devices
Input devices

Display - IPS touchscreen with good color display

The 15.6-inch touchscreen of the Swift 5 has a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and good brightness (319.2 cd/m²) and contrast (1100:1) values. The displays of the Swift 5 and its competitor, the LG Gram, are very similar. We are happy to state that the panel does not use PWM flickering at any brightness level.

Pixel array
Pixel array
Backlight bleeding
Backlight bleeding
307
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
327
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
341
cd/m²
323
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
321
cd/m²
345
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 345 cd/m² Average: 319.2 cd/m² Minimum: 20.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 336 cd/m²
Contrast: 1100:1 (Black: 0.31 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.01 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1, calibrated: 1.11
ΔE Greyscale 2.01 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
98% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 63% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.52
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
IPS, 1920x1080, 14
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
Response Times
-3%
0%
8%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
38 (19, 19)
40 (18, 22)
-5%
39.6 (21.2, 18.4)
-4%
34.3 (16.4, 17.9)
10%
Response Time Black / White *
25 (14, 11)
25 (14, 11)
-0%
24 (14.4, 9.6)
4%
23.7 (13.1, 10.6)
5%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-0%
-80%
-18%
Brightness middle
341
298
-13%
332.8
-2%
349
2%
Brightness
319
287
-10%
310
-3%
331
4%
Brightness Distribution
87
91
5%
87
0%
84
-3%
Black Level *
0.31
0.2
35%
0.29
6%
0.32
-3%
Contrast
1100
1490
35%
1148
4%
1091
-1%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.01
2.19
-9%
5.14
-156%
3.1
-54%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4.74
4.39
7%
11.88
-151%
6.6
-39%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.11
1.67
-50%
3.61
-225%
1.5
-35%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.01
1.97
2%
8.8
-338%
3.3
-64%
Gamma
2.52 87%
2.43 91%
2.33 94%
2.16 102%
CCT
6704 97%
6571 99%
8227 79%
6973 93%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
63
62
-2%
58.1
-8%
61.46
-2%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98
95
-3%
89.2
-9%
96.05
-2%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-2% / -1%
-40% / -68%
-5% / -14%

* ... smaller is better

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 9524 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The Acer's panel already displays decent colors ex-works. We measured a Delta-E 2000 deviation of 2.10, which means it is within the ideal range of below 3. The display does not suffer from a blue cast and grayscales are well-balanced too. Calibrating the panel only improved things slightly. The color deviation dropped to 1.11 and the grayscales are displayed even better. The color-space coverage is promising as well: We measured coverage of 63% (AdobeRGB) and 98% (sRGB).

You can use our color profile to improve the Swift 5's screen according to our calibration. However, the changes are hardly noticeable as the display is already well-calibrated ex-works. Should you still want to use our color profile, please make sure that your device is equipped with the same display model (manufacturer + model number) as our test unit. Otherwise, using the color profile could make colors look even worse instead of improving them. Manufacturers often use panels from different makes within one notebook series. 

CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - ColorChecker
CalMAN - Grayscales
CalMAN - Grayscales
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN - ColorChecker (after calibration)
CalMAN - ColorChecker (after calibration)
CalMAN - Grayscales (after calibration)
CalMAN - Grayscales (after calibration)
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps (after calibration)
CalMAN - Saturation Sweeps (after calibration)

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
25 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 11 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 40 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 19 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. » 35 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40.4 ms).

Acer has equipped the Swift with an IPS panel with stable viewing angles. This means that the screen can be read from every position. The brightness and contrast would allow usage outdoors were it not for the reflective surface of the screen, which often makes this undertaking near impossible.

The Swift 5 outdoors
The Swift 5 outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance - good enough for office and Internet applications

Acer has created a very light and slim 15.6-inch notebook that offers sufficient processing power for office and Internet applications. Our test unit is available for around $1400. Other configurations are available from $1000.

Processor

This slim device runs on the ULV quad-core processor Core i7-8565U (TDP of 15 watts), which is based on the current Whiskey Lake architecture. The CPU offers sufficient power for all common areas of use and should satisfy the needs of most users. The Core i7 works at a base clock rate of 1.8 GHz and can reach turbo rates of 4.1 GHz (four cores), 4.5 GHz (two cores) or 4.6 GHz (one core).

The Cinebench multithread tests we ran were completed at clock rates between 2.4 and 2.7 GHz. The single-thread tests resulted in clock rates from 3.8 to 4.6 GHz. These are the rates when connected to an external power supply. On battery, the CPU reaches speeds of 1.9 to 2.4 GHz (multithread) and 1.5 to 3 GHz (single thread). The Cinebench R15 results are considerably lower at 64 points (single thread) and 336 points (multithread).

Multithread (on power supply)
Multithread (on power supply)
Single thread (on power supply)
Single thread (on power supply)
Multithread (on battery)
Multithread (on battery)
Single thread (on battery)
Single thread (on battery)

We tested whether the turbo is used continuously when operating on power supply by running the Cinebench R15 multithread test in a loop for 30 minutes. The results continuously drop from the first to the seventh round and then remain steady for the remainder of the test, at which point the turbo use is very limited.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630Tooltip
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6 Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø441 (424.51-542.46)
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel Core i7-8565U: Ø591 (579.19-624.27)
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B Intel Core i7-8550U, Intel Core i7-8550U: Ø475 (461.37-506.44)
CPU clock rates during CB15 loop
CPU clock rates during CB15 loop

The CB15 loop confirms the results of our previous CPU tests: The Swift offers more multithread performance than the LG Gram 15Z980 for a short period of time but then falls behind as the Gram's processor can run at slightly higher turbo speeds in the long run.

The Whiskey Lake architecture on which the Core i7-8565U is based represents an optimized version of the Kaby Lake architecture. Therefore, Whiskey Lake offers higher clock rates despite the performance per MHz remaining the same. It is only the speed of the 8565U that makes it perform better than its predecessor - the Core i7-8550U used in the LG Gram. 

Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
16331
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
8621
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6466
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.96 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.87 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
39.8 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
55.07 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
543 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
173 Points
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U
173 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (73.1 - 193, n=33)
170 Points ∼98% -2%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Core i7-8565U
169 Points ∼98% -2%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
Intel Core i7-8550U
158 Points ∼91% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
Intel Core i5-8350U
150 Points ∼87% -13%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (20 - 184, n=263)
115 Points ∼66% -34%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
Intel Core i5-8350U
631 Points ∼100% +16%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Core i7-8565U
622 Points ∼99% +15%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (361 - 815, n=34)
597 Points ∼95% +10%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U
543 Points ∼86%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
Intel Core i7-8550U
501 Points ∼79% -8%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (32 - 721, n=273)
333 Points ∼53% -39%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Core i7-8565U
6760 Points ∼100% +5%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (2682 - 8906, n=12)
6559 Points ∼97% +1%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U
6466 Points ∼96%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (322 - 6760, n=456)
3126 Points ∼46% -52%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Core i7-8565U
19689 Points ∼100% +21%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (14912 - 23118, n=12)
18056 Points ∼92% +11%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U
16331 Points ∼83%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (661 - 20773, n=438)
6980 Points ∼35% -57%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (10521 - 13703, n=9)
12261 Points ∼100% +10%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U
11122 Points ∼91%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1018 - 13703, n=72)
6009 Points ∼49% -46%
32 Bit Single-Core Score
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (3568 - 4820, n=9)
4034 Points ∼100% +2%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U
3965 Points ∼98%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (592 - 4051, n=72)
2556 Points ∼63% -36%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (11576 - 14655, n=4)
13367 Points ∼100% +15%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U
11576 Points ∼87%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2529 - 14655, n=29)
7836 Points ∼59% -32%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U
4791 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (4701 - 4791, n=3)
4750 Points ∼99% -1%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1179 - 4791, n=29)
3465 Points ∼72% -28%
Geekbench 4.3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (8142 - 16490, n=18)
13867 Points ∼100% +13%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Core i7-8565U
12832 Points ∼93% +5%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U
12218 Points ∼88%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2593 - 15584, n=24)
9913 Points ∼71% -19%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Core i7-8565U
5210 Points ∼100% +6%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (2357 - 5547, n=18)
4997 Points ∼96% +2%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U
4915 Points ∼94%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1529 - 5280, n=24)
3854 Points ∼74% -22%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Subnotebook
  (743 - 30250, n=147)
2014 ms * ∼100% -89%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (730 - 2622, n=29)
1082 ms * ∼54% -1%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 44)
1068 ms * ∼53%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
1025.7 ms * ∼51% +4%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (13935 - 49795, n=29)
35629 Points ∼100% +3%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
35538 Points ∼100% +2%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 44)
34708 Points ∼97%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (3963 - 41871, n=139)
25106 Points ∼70% -28%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 44)
244.82 Points ∼100%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel Core i7-8565U (Edge 42.17134.1.0)
241.02 Points ∼98% -2%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U
  (108 - 277, n=24)
240 Points ∼98% -2%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (34.8 - 277, n=124)
187 Points ∼76% -24%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The combination of SSD, quad-core processor and dual-channel RAM ensures a smooth, fast-running system. We did not encounter any problems during our testing period. The notebook provides more than enough performance for office and Internet applications and the PCMark results are very good as well. We also noticed that the LG Gram is far behind the Swift 5 in this area. This is probably connected to its SATA III SSD and lower CPU turbo speeds.

The RAM is firmly soldered on
The RAM is firmly soldered on
PCMark 7 Score
6240 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4093 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5013 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5181 points
Help
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
3024 Points ∼100% +4%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2264 - 3370, n=15)
2941 Points ∼97% +1%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
2915 Points ∼96%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
2781 Points ∼92% -5%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (534 - 3704, n=79)
2409 Points ∼80% -17%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39TNF)
1506 Points ∼50% -48%
Productivity
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
7050 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3381 - 7588, n=15)
6700 Points ∼95% -5%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
6400 Points ∼91% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
6140 Points ∼87% -13%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39TNF)
5553 Points ∼79% -21%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1014 - 7281, n=79)
5189 Points ∼74% -26%
Essentials
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
8493 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (5450 - 9029, n=15)
8183 Points ∼96% -4%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
7952 Points ∼94% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
7799 Points ∼92% -8%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (2062 - 8549, n=79)
6721 Points ∼79% -21%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39TNF)
6628 Points ∼78% -22%
Score
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
4006 Points ∼100%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2486 - 4172, n=15)
3896 Points ∼97% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
3764 Points ∼94% -6%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
3736 Points ∼93% -7%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (743 - 4344, n=82)
3104 Points ∼77% -23%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39TNF)
2733 Points ∼68% -32%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
5181 Points ∼100%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
4851 Points ∼94% -6%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (3596 - 5181, n=13)
4721 Points ∼91% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
4600 Points ∼89% -11%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1283 - 5363, n=204)
4028 Points ∼78% -22%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39TNF)
3518 Points ∼68% -32%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
4093 Points ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
UHD Graphics 620, 8350U, Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
3690 Points ∼90% -10%
Average Intel Core i7-8565U, Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (2577 - 4179, n=14)
3521 Points ∼86% -14%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
UHD Graphics 620, 8565U, WDC PC SN520 SDAPNUW-512G
3285 Points ∼80% -20%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39TNF)
3255 Points ∼80% -20%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1027 - 4182, n=232)
3027 Points ∼74% -26%

Storage Devices

Acer uses an NVMe SSD from SK Hynix that has a capacity of 512 GB. 440 GB of this is available to the user after initial setup. The remainder is taken up by the Windows operating system and Recovery partition. The transfer rates are good despite this model not belonging to the fastest NVMe SSDs around.

The SSD cannot be exchanged for a faster model, as the storage device is firmly soldered onto the motherboard. However, the Swift 5 does have another free M.2 2280 slot that can be connected to a suitable SSD. This slot only accepts NVMe SSDs; we tried connecting a SATA III model without success.

Should there be a problem with the soldered-on SSD, the storage device could be turned off in the device's BIOS. Users would have to connect a second SSD in the M.2 slot and install Windows 10 on that in order to continue using the notebook. The Windows installer will find the Windows license key on its own in the BIOS. 

The SSD is soldered on
The SSD is soldered on
There is a free M.2-2280 slot available
There is a free M.2-2280 slot available
SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
Sequential Read: 1089 MB/s
Sequential Write: 762.7 MB/s
512K Read: 875 MB/s
512K Write: 677.9 MB/s
4K Read: 48.68 MB/s
4K Write: 149.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 571 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 490.1 MB/s
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
Lenovo LENSE20256GMSP34MEAT2TA
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
SK Hynix Canvas SC300 512GB M.2 (HFS512G39TNF)
Average SK Hynix BC501 HFM512GDJTNG
 
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-20%
-51%
-19%
Write 4k QD32
490.1
184.7
-62%
224.2
-54%
353 (289 - 490, n=4)
-28%
Read 4k QD32
571
306.1
-46%
251.5
-56%
358 (231 - 571, n=4)
-37%
Write 4k
149.1
94.09
-37%
71.1
-52%
113 (86.1 - 149, n=4)
-24%
Read 4k
48.68
34.87
-28%
23.6
-52%
42.5 (35.8 - 48.7, n=4)
-13%
Write 512
677.9
243.3
-64%
413.8
-39%
569 (411 - 678, n=4)
-16%
Read 512
875
1227
40%
367
-58%
738 (603 - 875, n=4)
-16%
Write Seq
762.7
479
-37%
446.7
-41%
721 (650 - 763, n=4)
-5%
Read Seq
1089
1880
73%
488.2
-55%
945 (756 - 1089, n=4)
-13%

Graphics

The Swift SF515 does not offer a dedicated GPU and uses Intel's integrated UHD Graphics 620 instead. The GPU clocks at between 300 and 1150 MHz. The results in the 3DMark benchmarks are normal for this GPU. The Swift benefits from its RAM running in dual-channel mode as this makes better use of the integrated graphics chip. Therefore, the device offers higher performance than devices that only have single-channel RAM. 

The decoder that is integrated in the GPU can relieve CPU load when displaying videos in the usual formats such as H.264, HEVC/H.265 and VP9. This also includes videos with resolutions beyond Full HD. 

3DMark 06 Standard
12132 points
3DMark 11 Performance
2087 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
9036 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1199 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U
1979 Points ∼100% +6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1868 Points ∼94% 0%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U
1866 Points ∼94%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (1235 - 1979, n=150)
1703 Points ∼86% -9%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (230 - 4905, n=352)
1258 Points ∼64% -33%
3DMark
2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Average of class Subnotebook
  (85 - 1130, n=31)
498 Points ∼100%
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U
402 Points ∼81%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8550U
372 Points ∼75%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (299 - 402, n=24)
348 Points ∼70%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U
1323 Points ∼100%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8550U
1284 Points ∼97% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
1283 Points ∼97% -3%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (557 - 1399, n=119)
1115 Points ∼84% -16%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (222 - 3726, n=232)
1036 Points ∼78% -22%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U
11294 Points ∼100% +5%
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8565U
10795 Points ∼96%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-8350U
10234 Points ∼91% -5%
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-8550U
10131 Points ∼90% -6%
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
  (6910 - 11294, n=136)
9091 Points ∼80% -16%
Average of class Subnotebook
  (1484 - 22615, n=260)
7538 Points ∼67% -30%

Gaming Performance

The Swift 5 is able to display quite a lot of games smoothly - at low resolution and low quality settings. These are games that only have low to moderate demands on the device's hardware or are already a few years old. For example, the device can display Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite from 2013 as well as Farming Simulator 19 from 2018. The dual-channel RAM has a positive impact on frame rates, which are higher than on comparable devices with RAM that runs in single-channel mode.

low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 103.751.834.415.2fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 76.539.933.59.4fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 16.910.96.13.1fps

Emissions - quiet, sometimes silent

System Noise

Due to the slim build of the SF515 combined with the strong quad-core processor, we expected that a hard-working cooling system would be necessary to keep the notebook cool enough. This is not the case. The cooling fan is usually turned off while idling or running at low load (for example during office applications) and the device is silent. This means that the device can also be used in quiet surroundings or for work that requires high concentration. The cooling fan continues to lie low under maximum load and never becomes particularly loud. We measured 35 dB(A) during the stress test. Overall, the Swift and the LG Gram have similar characteristics in regard to their noise emissions.

Noise Level

Idle
30.5 / 30.5 / 30.9 dB(A)
Load
34.9 / 35 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: 30.5 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2030.730.930.632.830.72531.132.630.129.431.1313130.631.930.6314031.730.129.63031.75029.929.427.728.829.96328.12828.526.128.1802625.62727.62610026.426.526.125.626.412525.624.625.324.825.616024.323.623.723.924.320023.32322.622.423.325022.922.722.321.722.931521.621.921.321.221.640021.321.420.720.221.350020.620.719.819.420.663020.119.919.318.920.18002221.818.517.722100023.723.818.217.723.7125023.724.118.117.723.7160023.823.618.117.623.8200025.325.318.317.725.3250024.424.918.217.524.4315024.324.518.418.124.3400021.421.718.418.221.4500022.62318.718.322.6630019.919.91918.619.9800019.419.419.118.919.41000019.319.119.21919.31250019.519.219.31919.51600020.520.619.519.420.5SPL34.935.130.930.534.9N221.31.32median 22.6median 22.7median 19.2median 18.9median 22.6Delta1.81.81.61.81.842.54238.441.737.430.929.932.330.632.430.829.629.829.528.831.331.330.32929.729.630.22928.130.128.829.928.727.528.327.530.62825.727.225.828.52625.226.624.226.52524.324.923.924.224.922.724.323.323.824.22223.422.326.425.321.422.321.82423.720.82120.824.123.420.22020.323.322.419.119.819.621.921.118.51919.222.5221818.819.422.321.917.618.519.823.222.817.318.319.82524.517.418.42025.625.117.117.719.125.725.91717.31824.424.51717.417.320.520.516.917.417.21918.91717.217.31817.817.217.417.417.717.517.217.417.417.517.417.217.517.217.617.217.117.317.317.417.217.217.431.135.134.829.730.31.52.22.11.31.4median 19.6median 23.3median 22.8median 17.4median 18.42.32.52.91.82.6hearing rangehide median Fan NoiseAcer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
8565U, UHD Graphics 620
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
8350U, UHD Graphics 620
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
8550U, UHD Graphics 620
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
 
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Noise
4%
1%
1%
2%
-1%
off / environment *
30.5
30.25
1%
28.8
6%
29.7
3%
29.5 (27.8 - 30.7, n=153)
3%
29.9 (27.6 - 31.6, n=128)
2%
Idle Minimum *
30.5
30.25
1%
28.8
6%
30.3
1%
29.6 (27.8 - 32.5, n=154)
3%
29.6 (27.9 - 37.6, n=595)
3%
Idle Average *
30.5
30.25
1%
28.8
6%
30.3
1%
29.6 (27.8 - 33.8, n=154)
3%
30.3 (27.9 - 48.5, n=595)
1%
Idle Maximum *
30.9
30.25
2%
29.1
6%
31.1
-1%
30.1 (27.8 - 34.2, n=154)
3%
30.9 (27.9 - 44.2, n=595)
-0%
Load Average *
34.9
31.3
10%
36.1
-3%
34.9
-0%
33.8 (28.2 - 44.8, n=151)
3%
34.2 (28.6 - 49.7, n=593)
2%
Load Maximum *
35
31.3
11%
41.2
-18%
34.9
-0%
36 (28.8 - 46.8, n=154)
-3%
38.9 (30.2 - 53.8, n=595)
-11%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

The Swift 5 during our stress test
The Swift 5 during our stress test

Our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark running for at least one hour) is completed in the same manner both on power supply and battery. The processor starts working at 1.8 GHz and occasionally speeds up to 2.3 GHz. The clock rate is throttled to 1.1 GHz after several minutes and then drops slowly to 700-800 MHz. The GPU follows a similar pattern: It starts at 600 to 700 MHz and then drops to 500 to 600 MHz.

The slim notebook does not heat up particularly. We measured temperatures above 40 °C in several areas during our stress test, but these temperatures did not occur during everyday use. The stress test is an extreme scenario that does not represent the device's behavior in everyday use. We use this test to find out whether the system remains stable under maximum load.

Max. Load
 44.4 °C
112 F
43.3 °C
110 F
41.4 °C
107 F
 
 39.2 °C
103 F
38.4 °C
101 F
28 °C
82 F
 
 29 °C
84 F
38.9 °C
102 F
27.1 °C
81 F
 
Maximum: 44.4 °C = 112 F
Average: 36.6 °C = 98 F
29.8 °C
86 F
45.7 °C
114 F
38.1 °C
101 F
27.1 °C
81 F
32.2 °C
90 F
34.4 °C
94 F
27.2 °C
81 F
28.9 °C
84 F
29.6 °C
85 F
Maximum: 45.7 °C = 114 F
Average: 32.6 °C = 91 F
Power Supply (max.)  55.8 °C = 132 F | Room Temperature 23.2 °C = 74 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.6 °C / 98 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 44.4 °C / 112 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 45.7 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 40.1 °C / 104 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.1 °C / 75 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.
(±) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 38.9 °C / 102 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.6 °C / 83.5 F (-10.3 °C / -18.5 F).
Heat development top (load)
Heat development top (load)
Heat development bottom (load)
Heat development bottom (load)
Heat development top (idle)
Heat development top (idle)
Heat development bottom (idle)
Heat development bottom (idle)
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
8565U, UHD Graphics 620
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
8350U, UHD Graphics 620
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
8550U, UHD Graphics 620
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
 
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Heat
0%
-9%
-1%
-1%
-11%
Maximum Upper Side *
44.4
40.7
8%
42.4
5%
43
3%
41.1 (29 - 52.6, n=154)
7%
41.1 (28.4 - 57, n=603)
7%
Maximum Bottom *
45.7
41.6
9%
45
2%
41
10%
44.4 (31.8 - 60.2, n=154)
3%
43.6 (24.3 - 66.2, n=603)
5%
Idle Upper Side *
25.4
28
-10%
31
-22%
28
-10%
26.9 (21.4 - 38, n=153)
-6%
29.7 (22 - 42, n=526)
-17%
Idle Bottom *
25.8
27.4
-6%
30.8
-19%
27
-5%
27.7 (21.8 - 40.4, n=153)
-7%
36.1 (21.6 - 2625, n=526)
-40%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

The stereo speakers are positioned on the bottom of the device. They produce quite decent, full-bodied sound but lack bass. We would recommend connecting external speakers or headphones for better sound.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.332.833.32529.829.429.83131.330.631.34028.93028.95030.228.830.26328.926.128.9802927.62910032.225.632.21253624.83616037.523.937.520032.822.432.825041.421.741.431547.521.247.540053.120.253.150050.119.450.163051.918.951.980057.817.757.8100059.117.759.1125061.717.761.7160062.117.662.1200062.417.762.4250057.217.557.2315054.918.154.9400056.218.256.2500052.918.352.9630053.718.653.7800052.418.952.41000052.31952.31250052.31952.31600047.719.447.7SPL70.130.570.1N23.31.323.3median 52.4median 18.9median 52.4Delta5.21.85.243.840.33230.830.43030.730.429.829.228.228.625.92824.627.127.824.839.62448.323.253.222.358.721.364.221.167.720.472.119.77519.473.118.972.918.474.318.469.317.76617.465.817.563.217.366.417.366.117.467.117.568.717.468.117.362.717.482.230.5531.4median 66.1median 18.46.72.5hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseAcer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (62.41 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (13.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.6% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 57% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 34% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 38% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 55% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.4% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.1% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (3.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 46% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 43% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 32% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 62% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management - room for improvement

Power Consumption

There are no noticeable outliers in the power consumption of the Swift 5. However, the device requires quite a lot of power while idling, with a maximum consumption of 11.6 watts. A value below 10 watts would be ideal for this hardware configuration and to fulfill Acer's goal. The power consumption only increases to 35 watts during our stress test, as the CPU hardly makes use of its turbo. The rated output of the power supply is 45 watts.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.25 / 0.25 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3 / 7.7 / 11.6 Watt
Load midlight 34 / 35 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
8565U, UHD Graphics 620
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
8350U, UHD Graphics 620
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
8550U, UHD Graphics 620
Average Intel UHD Graphics 620
 
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Power Consumption
1%
-6%
-13%
-5%
-34%
Idle Minimum *
3
4.7
-57%
3.9
-30%
3.7
-23%
3.87 (1 - 12.4, n=158)
-29%
6.69 (1 - 36, n=588)
-123%
Idle Average *
7.7
7.3
5%
5.9
23%
8.5
-10%
7.12 (4.3 - 15.5, n=158)
8%
9.9 (2.06 - 39, n=588)
-29%
Idle Maximum *
11.6
9.4
19%
8.8
24%
10
14%
8.99 (5.2 - 16.6, n=158)
22%
12.2 (3.9 - 55, n=588)
-5%
Load Average *
34
28
18%
41.7
-23%
36
-6%
35.3 (12.9 - 51.6, n=158)
-4%
33.5 (6.3 - 75, n=578)
1%
Load Maximum *
35
28.2
19%
44
-26%
48.7
-39%
43.5 (22 - 79, n=158)
-24%
40.5 (7.6 - 111, n=581)
-16%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The Acer SF515 reaches a runtime of 7:10 hours in our practical Wi-Fi test (simulated browsing of websites based on script with the power profile set to "balanced" and energy-saving options turned off; display brightness at 150 cd/m²). The 15.6-inch device also managed to run for 7:14 hours during our video test with the short film Big Buck Bunny (H.264, 1920x1080 pixels) in a loop, the profile set to "power saving" and the wireless module turned off and display brightness set to 150 cd/m².

Overall, the Swift 5 offers decent/good battery runtimes. However, it only makes last place in our comparison table. Particularly the LG Gram 15Z980 stands out in our practical tests with about double the runtime of our test unit. This is probably mainly due to its larger battery (72 Wh instead of 53.9 Wh).

The battery has a capacity of 53.9 Wh
The battery has a capacity of 53.9 Wh
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
16h 10min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 44)
7h 10min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
7h 14min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 25min
Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, 53.9 Wh
LG Gram 15Z980-B.AA78B
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 72 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon G6-20KG0025UK
8350U, UHD Graphics 620, 57 Wh
Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA
8565U, UHD Graphics 620, 50 Wh
Average of class Subnotebook
 
Battery Runtime
103%
31%
33%
-10%
Reader / Idle
970
1468
51%
1146
18%
616 (87 - 2557, n=547)
-36%
H.264
434
950
119%
657
51%
461 (182 - 950, n=109)
6%
WiFi v1.3
430
805
87%
621
44%
630
47%
466 (206 - 805, n=205)
8%
Load
145
111
-23%
196
35%
121 (40 - 347, n=552)
-17%

Verdict

Pros

+ IPS display
+ Full HD resolution
+ good color display
+ case made of magnesium
+ low weight
+ good battery runtimes
+ NVMe SSD
+ keyboard backlighting
+ free M.2 2280 slot

Cons

- reflective screen
- RAM cannot be expanded
- SSD soldered on
- no SD card reader
- no Thunderbolt 3
The Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6. Test unit provided by Acer Germany.
The Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6. Test unit provided by Acer Germany.

The Swift 5 SF515-51T from Acer is a very light notebook that is made for frequent travelers who do not want to forego a large 15.6-inch display.

Weighing just under one kilogram, the device is hardly noticeable in your bag - no strained shoulders with this one!

In order to reach this low weight, Acer has chosen a magnesium case and several limitations. The RAM, SSD and Wi-Fi module are all soldered onto the motherboard, which means that none of these components can be exchanged or expanded. You should therefore be aware of how much storage you will need over the next few years before purchasing a Swift 5. At least there is a free M.2 2280 slot, so you could add some NVMe storage later on.

The device is powered by a Core i7 Whiskey Lake processor that offers sufficient processing power for office and Internet applications. Unfortunately, the Swift 5 cannot make the most out of its CPU when working over a long time, particularly during multithread operation. If you require continuous maximum performance, you had better look elsewhere.

The Swift 5 offers a decent keyboard with one-level backlighting, plus relatively good battery runtimes. The IPS touchscreen also gave us a good impression. It has ordinary contrast and brightness values and its color display is pleasing. However, be aware that this is a reflective display. Ideally, Acer would alternately offer a matte display without the touchscreen feature.

The Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T competes with the LG Gram 15Z980. The Acer is clearly the winner in terms of weight - however, the Gram offers significantly longer battery runtimes and a better port selection. These two factors might tip the balance in favor of the LG device for many potential buyers. Should Acer manage to keep down the weight in future versions of the Swift 5 while improving battery runtimes and port selection, things might get tight for the Gram.    

Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T-76B6 - 02/11/2019 v6
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
83 /  98 → 85%
Keyboard
79%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
54 / 80 → 67%
Weight
75 / 35-78 → 93%
Battery
89%
Display
87%
Games Performance
59 / 68 → 86%
Application Performance
89 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
91 / 91 → 100%
Noise
92%
Audio
58 / 91 → 63%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
76%
87%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Acer Swift 5 SF515-51T (i7-8565U, SSD, FHD) Laptop Review
Sascha Mölck, 2019-02-12 (Update: 2019-02-23)