Acer Swift 7 (SF714-52T-741M)
• Thin, small, light
• Large display
• Fast SSD
• lots of RAM
• the price is quite high
• few connectors
• short operating time
• webcam in the wrong place
The first version of the ultra-slim Swift 7 came to us in February, Acer has slightly refined its design and launched an even smaller, lighter offspring. All in all, the machine is really good on the outside, but due to the passive cooling of the processor, the choice was made for the Intel Core i7-8500Y. As a result, machine performance is good for average use, but for tasks requiring more computing power, find machines faster than Swift 7. A compromise has to be made even with regard to uptime – 5.5 hour availability alone would not necessarily be dramatic, but with a price tag of $ 520,000, we feel it is low.
Acer has taken a new direction with the Swift7 series: the SF714-51T, which visited us earlier this year, has also fought for the title of the world's smallest ultrabook. With the series, the Taiwanese manufacturer seeks the best possible quality, but in return asks for the price of the Swift 7s. This time we had the second ultra-thin version (announced at CES); of course, the machine remains one of the thinnest devices in its class in the world, but it is slightly thicker than its predecessor.
At first glance, the design of the machine did not change substantially, except that the version we visited got a white cover this time (which is obviously of little importance, especially the black version of the machine). However, by juxtaposing last year's and this year's models, the depth of the 2019 version is already approx. Decreased by 4 cm. It's incredible that Acer has managed to cut 20 percent of the size of a machine that was already the smallest in its category. In exchange, the machine's thickness has increased, but the 9.9mm is still an extra thin – the noti is slightly thicker than a smartphone. The 4 cm reduction was achieved by eliminating the hinges and completely narrowing the sash; the display thus occupies 92 percent of the opened cover. Not to say that it is impossible to produce a notebook smaller than Swift 7, but it is certain that there is no room left for the next recorder.
There is no doubt that the most exciting feature of the machine is how small it is. In order to make optimum use of the space available, the shape is perfectly square, with no curves on the magnifying glass. However, you should also be aware that there are trade-offs in size: for example, there was not enough space on the side for USB-A connectors or HDMI, and the webcam had to find a new place. The latter is placed above the keyboard, which is not optimal, but still a better solution than having no camera at all.
The range of connectors is not too wide, with two USB-C connectors on the right and a combined headset / microphone connector on the left. USB-C connectors also support Thunderbolt interface, work as HDMI and need to be used for charging. If a USB-A plug is needed, it comes with an adapter (which includes a different USB-C and HDMI connector).
|CPU||Intel Core i7-8500Y (1.5 / 4.2 GHz, 2 core, 4 MB cache)|
|Display||14 inches, 1920 × 1080 pixels, IPS, touch sensitive|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics 615|
|Connectors||2 × USB-C Thunderbolt, audio out / microphone on|
|Other||LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, HD webcam with 1 × USB-A and HDMI adapter|
|Size||317 × 19.2 × 9.9 mm|
Acer Swift 7 is available in a variety of configurations. We received the most powerful version, which includes a Core i7-8500Y processor, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. The variations are not too wide this time, but at least you can choose not only SSD but also memory size. However, due to its size, everything is integrated, so what we buy has to deal with it throughout the life of the notebook. As a result, there are no mounting holes on the back. The video controller is, of course, integrated, and happens to be the same model as last year's version. Of course, this is not a problem as Acer Swift 7 will not be bought by anyone who wants to play, and Intel UHD Graphics 615 will have enough power for normal tasks. The Y-series processor means that there is no fan in the machine, cooling is only passively solved by engineers.
In the previous version of Swift 7, the display was perfectly fine, so it's no surprise that Acer engineers didn't touch it. The 14-inch IPS display delivers Full HD resolution and senses touch. It comes from AUO and is not only beautiful in color but also has a high brightness of over 400 nit. Its color space coverage is 97 percent of the sRGB color space, which means that this machine is not the best choice for graphic designers – but this value is quite common in notebooks. Color accuracy is good, with an average delta of 3.2, which means the colors are almost perfect.
The display is also eye-friendly: it adjusts brightness directly, not by the PWM principle (ie, by flashing the LEDs). The contrast ratio is 1082: 1, which is not bad, but not particularly good. The viewing angles, on the other hand, are okay, and we have managed to eliminate the distraction of illumination at all the edges – which is praiseworthy for its almost coffee-free design.
The size reduction was due to the cutting of the socket, but the weight of the machine also dropped nicely: from 1.2 kg to less than 900 grams. Unfortunately, there are no revolutionary tricks here, Acer has taken a much smaller battery. The previous model performed above 8 hours in normal use, while the 2019 only lasts much less than 5.5 hours. This means that if you want to get the whole day off with a single charge, you only have the chance to pay close attention to your energy usage. And if you're certain that some CPU-intensive tasks will have to be done during the day, you'll definitely need to carry the charger too – the only problem is that the benefits of low weight and small size have jumped by then.
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