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The Acer Swift 3 SF314 excels in our review in all disciplines

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-511-54ZK with Thunderbolt 4 and Tiger Lake
The Acer Swift 3 SF314-511-54ZK with Thunderbolt 4 and Tiger Lake
The Acer Swift 3, a laptop for the masses: Affordable, solid, optimal performance, high portability, Thunderbolt, and a great display. What more could you want?

We reviewed the 14-inch Acer Swift 3 SF314-511 equipped with an Intel processor. The model impressed us in all disciplines, which is why it scored a "Very Good" rating. The Swift 3 is by no means a perfect laptop, but its weak points are minor, and they hardly matter in view of the low price level of around 700 Euros (~$795).

The Swift 3 SF314 has a sleek, slim metal case. The chassis is high-quality and robust for everyday mobile use. A new feature is the Type-C Thunderbolt 4 for peripherals or displays (DisplayPort). However, a card reader is still missing, and the RAM is completely soldered, so there's no way to upgrade it. Besides the usual poor webcam and the stiff keyboard, these are all the drawbacks of the 14-incher from Acer.

On the plus side, the Swift 3 has a Full HD IPS display with stable viewing angles, a matte surface, a strong color reproduction (98% sRGB), and good contrast. The maximum brightness is only moderate, but it's sufficient for outdoor use.

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-511 gets more performance out of the Tiger Lake Core i5 than some of its competitors, such as the Dell XPS 15 from 2021. The performance is above average in almost every CPU benchmark. The low build height of just 16 millimeters doesn't appear to have a negative impact on the cooling system. Although the processor doesn't deliver its full short-term load performance (PL2), the long-term load value (PL1) is continuously maintained at 28 watts. The gaming performance is low overall, but it's above the average that would be expected from an Iris Xe Graphics G7 80EUs.

This isn't always a given: The built-in Core i5 delivers what it promises, which isn't the case with many thin subnotebook competitors. Performance is often compromised when thin devices are designed for low heat and noise levels. The Swift 3 can also be quiet, provided it's under low load. It's not as restrained under load, but the chassis is protected from too much heat.

Acer manages to strike a balance with the Swift 3 SF314-511. The 1.2 kilogram light subnotebook packs a dazzling runtime of 12 hours, and that in our real-world Wi-Fi test. And yet, the weight is low, and performance is more than adequate. We see the Swift as a successful all-rounder that has hardly any weaknesses but that possesses many strengths. The competition has plenty of work to do in this price range.

You can find comprehensive information, benchmarks, all details, and possible alternatives in our review of the Acer Swift 3 SF314-511.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > The Acer Swift 3 SF314 excels in our review in all disciplines
Sebastian Jentsch, 2022-02-14 (Update: 2022-02-14)