Acer Swift 7 review: The world’s thinnest laptop is starving for power – PCWorld

Acer boasts that its Swift 7 is the “world’s thinnest notebook PC.” While technically true, that marketing angle sells only one aspect of the machine—and it’s not the most important one.

PC vendors love to sell the idea of thin, and for good reason. Thin implies light, portable, and attractive. But a notebook can end up spreading outward (making it larger and more difficult to pack) or sacrificing performance in the quest to be the thinnest. The Acer Swift 7 does both.

So while this $1,100 13-inch notebook (available at Amazon) is slender and quiet, it’s bigger and slower than similarly priced ultrabooks. Rivals like the barely thicker HP Spectre 13.3 and smaller-but-heftier Dell XPS 13 easily outpace the Swift 7.

It is a good-looking laptop, though.

Measurements and ports

At 12.8 x 9 x 0.4 inches, the Swift 7 is virtually the same size as the HP Spectre 13.3 (12.8 x 9 x 0.41 inches) and almost an inch wider and deeper than the Dell XPS 13 (11.98 x 7.88 x 0.6 inches). It weighs about the same as its closest competition, though, tipping our scales at 2 pounds, 8 ounces. The Spectre 13.3 is 2 pounds, 6.8 ounces while the non-touch Kaby Lake Dell XPS 13 is 2 pounds, 11.5 ounces.

Acer Swift 7 top view comparision shot Alaina Yee

Three laptops are in this stack, but because the Swift 7 (middle) is all but the exact size of the Spectre 13.3 (bottom), you can’t see the Spectre. On top is Dell’s XPS 13.

I’ve listed the Swift 7’s official published measurements to show how this notebook assumes the “thinnest notebook PC” title by using a technicality. Pulling out our digital caliper yielded a range of measurements for the Swift 7: At its thinnest point, which was the hinge at the back of the laptop, it’s 9.9mm. At its thickest point (the center of the chassis), it’s 10.9mm. None of that equals Acer’s given measurement of 0.4 inches (10.16mm), by the way.

That said, the Swift 7 is slimmer than the Spectre 13.3, which has a thinnest point of 10.4mm and a thickest point of 12mm. But that margin is pretty narrow. We’re talking tenths of a millimeter.

Acer Swift 7 side comparison shot Alaina Yee

Unlike the HP Spectre 13.3 (bottom), which has two Thunderbolt 3 ports in addition to a USB-C port, the Acer Swift 7 (middle) has just those two USB-C ports.

As for ports, you don’t get many because this notebook is so thin. You’ll find all the Swift 7’s inputs on its right side: two USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 (5Gbps) and a headset jack. One of the Type C ports supports DisplayPort over USB-C in addition to data and power, while the other supports just data and power. In a very nice touch, Acer provides two dongles with the Swift 7: one USB-C to USB-A, and one USB-C to ethernet.


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