Computing Laptops Windows

First impressions of Acer’s ultrathin Swift 7 laptop

Earlier this year at IFA 2016, Acer announced their latest flagship laptop called the Swift 7: an incredibly lightweight laptop with solid specs, an impressively thin body under 1cm thin and a £999.99 price tag.

This weekend, Acer have taken a group of bloggers including myself on an annual Acer Live Blog trip to Glasgow — meaning I’ve managed to get some time with it.

An eye-catching, super portable machine

Acer Swift 7 opened
The Swift 7 has a very eye-catching and slender design
Acer Swift 7 compared to iPhone thickness
Look at how thin the Swift 7 is compared to an iPhone 6s Plus

Aesthetics definitely take centre stage with Acer’s Swift 7, and when you get your hands on it you can’t help but feel in awe of how light, thin and generally compact it is. The gold aluminium interior with black plastic chassis looks very slick, and with dimensions this small it’s so easy to carry around.

Another thing you notice almost immediately is just how large Acer’s touchpad is on the Swift 7; it’s bigger than anything I’ve ever used before! That’s far from a complaint by the way. I actually applaud Acer for making good use of the space beneath the keyboard, and while it takes some getting used to I really like having the larger surface area.

The touchpad supports gestures like three or four finger taps to open up the Windows Action Centre or Cortana which is convenient, and when you bump up the cursor speed the touchpad works very well. My one nitpick is that, if you stop using the trackpad for a short while, it seems to become unresponsive which can become quite frustrating.

Editor’s note: Acer are aware of this issue and guarantee that it’s only a problem with our prototypes — not the final production models.

There’s no edge-to-edge (or touch) display on the Swift 7 — you’ll need to spend more and get Dell’s XPS line for that — but the full HD display looks sharp from any angle so I have no complaints. Colours look vibrant and the display is capable of getting very bright, although I’m yet to test it in direct sunlight.

A surprisingly good keyboard

Acer Swift 7's keyboard and trackpad
The Acer Swift 7 surprised me with a good typing experience

For a laptop that’s under 1cm thin, Acer have built in a fantastic keyboard for the Swift 7. The keys have a nice dense feel to them with a comfortable and satisfying amount of travel; a pleasant surprise when you consider that thinner laptops nowadays compromise on flatter keys. It isn’t backlit unfortunately — something I would have liked to see at this price — however it’s a trade-off for such a compact device. Maybe they’ll add it in a following generation!

Connectivity & specifications

Acer’s Swift 7 laptop keeps connectivity to a minimum with only two USB-C ports — both capable of charging, but only one supporting DisplayPort — along with a headphone jack. There’s a 720p front-facing camera for video calls & selfies (which is reasonable enough), an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and plenty of storage with a 256GB SSD. For someone like me who does casual photo editing, writing, managing emails and social media, that’s more than enough power.

Acer claims the Swift 7 can hit 9 hours of use with its battery, although I’ll put this to the test in the full review.

First impressions of the Acer Swift 7

During my first couple of hours with the Swift 7 I’ve really liked it. The 1080p display is nice to use, its powered well enough for many demanding users, and its portability makes the Acer Swift 7 a solid Windows laptop for the road. I really like it.

Pricing and availability: The Swift 7 will cost £999.99 and availability is yet to be confirmed.

By Fabio Virgi

I'm the guy behind Let's Talk Tech and a travel blog called Fab Meets World. Some people call me a geek, I think they're probably right. I'm fascinated by technology and innovation, love good design and own way too many gadgets for my own good. Want to connect? Get in touch on Twitter and Instagram.