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Tech expert Marc Saltzman breaks down the Acer Swift 7, the world’s thinnest laptop at under half an inch thick.

Think back to your first laptop.

Do you remember? I do. At 7 pounds and nearly 2 inches thick, mine was (not so) affectionately known as the “Back Breaker 3000.”

And I had to travel with this beast, no less.

Fast forward to today, and now we’ve got the world’s thinnest laptop at less than 1 centimeter, and weighing under 2.5 pounds.

After spending a week with the Acer Swift 7 ($999), a 9.98-millimeter (0.39-inch) Windows 10-powered laptop, here’s my thoughts on it.

Design, display

Available in matte black and with gold trim, the Acer Swift 7 is quite the looker. Open up the clamshell laptop to reveal the well-spaced island keys and extra-large trackpad with indented, curved edges.

The 13.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display, with 16:9 aspect ratio, is also worth noting for its crisp text and vivid color. Acer Color Intelligence technology dynamically optimizes screen color, brightness and saturation, in real-time. All I know is that HBO’s Westworld and my Steam library of games look pretty darn sweet on it.

The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, but be aware, it doesn’t support touch — which may be a deal-breaker for some. This is the case with other ridiculously thin 13-inch laptops like the HP Spectre ($1,249.99) or MacBook Air ($999.00).

Stereo speakers, powered by Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony, also help deliver great sound, too. There’s also a headphone jack on the right-hand side.

Power, battery

Thanks to the 7th generation Intel Core processor, the Acer Swift 7 delivers fast performance across various tasks. It’s an Intel Core i5 chip (1.2GHz), so there’s certainly faster processors on the market, but I found it speedy and reliable, and with smooth app loading and multitasking – likely due in part to the 8GB of system memory (RAM). Battery life fell just below 9 hours, which is great.

One of the first PCs with 7th Gen chip, these new computers are built for 4K Ultra HD video and gaming, virtual reality (on some systems), and cool extras like facial login — so you don’t need to remember your passwords. Expect big things from Intel’s 7th Gen Core processors in 2017.

And there’s faster wireless connectivity, too; this 802.11ac-based Acer Swift 7 offers up to 3 times faster wireless performance than before.

Storage, ports

In the capacity department, the Acer Swift 7 ships with 256GB of SSD storage. That should be enough to fit many thousands of documents and photos, and a good number of video files, and computer games – with plenty of room to spare. Considering the popularity of free cloud services and streaming services (for TV shows, movies and music), storage is becoming less of an issue than it was a few years ago.

One small beef for me is no full-size USB ports – only a pair of USB 3.1 Type-C ports – which is also like the above mentioned HP Spectre and new MacBook Pro. Yes, I made the argument storage isn’t as much of a concern these days because of the cloud and streaming services, but personally I like having at least one USB port for memory sticks or other peripherals, or at least a microSD or SD card slot. And I’m not a fan of adapters.

Summary

At under a grand, the Acer Swift 7 is a jaw-droppingly thin laptop that gushes with style. While it might not break any benchmarking records, the computer’s impressive performance should more than suffice, for all kinds of applications. The only downsides are the lack of a touch screen and no full-size USB ports, but this might not be a big deal for many.

At the very least, if you’re looking for a new laptop, get your hands on this super slender machine at a store near you.

Follow Marc on Twitter: @marc_saltzman. E-mail him at askmarcsaltzman@gmail.com.