If you’re looking for an affordable laptop with a large display, the Acer Swift 3 might be the right laptop for you.
For $999, you can snag the Acer Swift 3, which comes with a powerful Intel Core i7-11370H CPU and a decent 16.1-inch, 1080p display. However, its shallow keyboard may require a period of habituation, and some competitors offer longer battery life.
It is not one of the best laptops around, but it is solid and has advantages thanks to its economical price.
Acer Swift 3 (16-inch, 2021) price and configurations.
Acer Swift 3 (16-inch, 2021) specifications.
CPU: Intel Core i7-11370H
GPU: Intel Graphics Iris Xe
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: SSD 512GB
Display: 16.1-inch, 1080p
Size: 14.5 x 9.3 x 0.63 inches
Weight: 3.9 pounds
The Acer Swift 3 I tested costs $999 and is equipped with an Intel Core i7-11370H CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 16.1-inch, 1080p display.
There is only one more model and it is configured with an Intel Core i5-11300H CPU and 8GB of RAM, dropping the price to $869.
If you’re looking for something cheaper, consider ours best laptops under $500.
Design Acer Swift 3 (16-inch, 2021).
Acer styled the Swift 3 with a simple, clean design that does what you want it to do. It could look better or worse, but overall it’s just fine. The hood is a steel gray color that surrounds a glossy Acer logo stamped in the center.
Opening it up reveals a gray deck followed by a keyboard and touchpad that blend in with the rest of the chassis. There is a fingerprint reader on the right side of the deck and a long wind just above the keyboard. For a 16-inch laptop, the bezels are surprisingly thin.
At 3.9 pounds and 14.5 x 9.3 x 0.6 inches, the Acer Swift 3 16 is lighter and thinner than the M1 Pro MacBook Pro 16 (4.7 pounds, 14 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches) and Asus ROG Flow X16 (4.63 pounds, 14 x 9.6 x 0.8 inches).
ports Acer Swift 3 (16-inch, 2021).
The Acer Swift 3 has a good set of ports on board.
On the left, there is the power jack, one Thunderbolt 4 port, an HDMI port and one USB Type A port. On the right side is a security lock slot, one USB Type A port and a headphone jack.
If you’re looking for more ports, check out our the best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations pages.
Acer Swift 3 Display (16-inch, 2021).
The Acer Swift 3’s 16.1-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is decent for its price. It could be brighter and more colorful, but it’s about what I expect for a sub-$1,000 laptop.
In the trailer for Jurassic World Dominion, Chris Pratt’s red flannel looked appropriately dyed on the panel, but it didn’t pop as much as I would have liked. It was bright enough to capture the details around the awestruck child during the outdoor theater scene. Pratt’s hair was particularly sharp on display as well.
According to our colorimeter, the Acer Swift 3 covered 76.7% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is not as high as our premium laptop average of 85.3% (remember this average includes notebooks priced between $1,000 and $5,000) . However, the Swift 3 was still shy of similarly priced competitors like the ThinkBook 13s (86%), Aero 13 (84.7%) and Yoga 6 (77.2%).
At 290 nits of brightness, the Swift 3 didn’t come close to the 407-nit category average, but it surpassed the ThinkBook 13s (267 nits) and Yoga 6 (276 nits). However, the Pavilion Aero 13 knocked it out of the park with a whopping 451 nits.
Keyboard and touchpad Acer Swift 3 (16-inch, 2021).
I’m not a fan of the Acer Swift 3’s keyboard – its keys are a bit shallow and don’t protrude as high as I’d like, which makes it difficult to navigate around the deck.
I managed 71 words per minute on the 10FastFingers.com typing test, which is slower than my 78-wpm average. It’s hard for me to get used to the smaller and shorter keys.
The touchpad is a bit sticky and the clickers are frustratingly shallow. It works, but I don’t like it. Windows 10 gestures were responsive.
Acer Swift 3 Audio (16-inch, 2021).
The Acer Swift 3’s bottom-firing speakers are about what I’d expect from a sub-$1,000 laptop—just there and not impressive.
I listened to Sebastian Yatra’s “Two Oruguitas” from Encanto, and the vocals were a bit too soft and overwhelmed by the strings. The percussion didn’t get any justice due to the lack of bass. All the instruments were a muddy mess during the chorus. The speakers could be worse, but that’s not saying much.
Acer includes the DTS Audio Processing software, which allows you to configure the sound with settings based on Music, Movies, Games, or custom presets. None of them helped to fix the sound.
Acer Swift 3 Performance (16-inch, 2021).
Packed under the chassis of the Acer Swift 3 is an Intel Core i7-11370H processor with 16GB of RAM. It was incredibly capable of juggling 40 Google Chrome tabs and five YouTube videos with little to no lag.
On the Geekbench 5.4 overall performance test, the Swift 3 scored 6,111, rising above the premium laptop average of 5,129. The ThinkBook 13s’ Core i5-1135G7 CPU (5,363), the Yoga 6’s AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU (5,514), and the Aero 13 AMD Ryzen 7 5800U CPU (5,876) couldn’t keep up.
The Swift 3 transcoded 4K to 1080p video on our HandBrake benchmark in 11 minutes and 46 seconds, flying past the category average of 13:11. It also edged out the ThinkBook 13s (12:21) and Yoga 6 (12:34), but couldn’t keep up with the Aero 13 (9:05).
Acer’s 512GB SSD has a transfer rate of 404 megawatts per second, which is slightly slower than the average premium laptop (741 MBps). The ThinkBook 13s 256GB SSD (244 MBps), the Aero 13’s 256GB SSD (503 MBps), and the Yoga 6’s 512GB SSD (406) had different ranges.
Acer Swift 3 Graphics (16-inch, 2021).
Like most basic Intel notebooks, the Acer Swift 3 features an Intel Iris Xe Graphics chip. It scored 5,244 on the 3DMark Fire Strike synthetic graphics benchmark, which falls short of the average premium laptop (6,546). However, it beat the basic integrated chips in the ThinkBook 13s (4,172), Aero 13 (3,182) and Yoga 6 (3,002).
On Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (1080p) benchmark, the Swift 3 managed 38 frames per second, matching the category average. It actually broke the ThinkBook 13s (32 fps), Aero 13 (26 fps) and Yoga 6 (22 fps) again.
Acer Swift 3 (16-inch, 2021) battery life.
The Swift 3 has a reasonably long battery life, but unfortunately it falls short of the competition. On Mag’s laptop battery test, the Swift 3 lasted for 9 hours and 17 minutes, which is almost two hours shorter than the average premium laptop. While it beat the ThinkBook 13s (9:13), it had nothing on the Aero 13 (10:27) and Yoga 6 (12:34).
Acer Swift 3 webcam (16-inch, 2021).
Acer’s 720p webcam is as rubbish as any other 720p shooter on laptops today.
In my test set, color noise threw off the screen, turning my gray walls into a tie-dye mess. The box directly to my left was in illegible bold print, and my luscious hair looked like a mop on my head, which made me instantly self-conscious. I wouldn’t touch this thing while playing D&D Online. Do yourself a favor and check out our best web cameras page for something that will make you look like you really are.
Acer Swift 3 Heat (16-inch, 2021).
Even when using the Acer Swift 3 casually, it can get quite warm under the hood. After streaming a 15-minute video, the underside hit 115 degrees Fahrenheit, which crosses our comfort threshold of 95 degrees. Meanwhile, the center of the keyboard and touchpad measure 94 and 75 degrees, respectively. The hottest the machine got was 124 degrees, which was located on the far side (about 1.5 inches left of center).
Acer Swift 3 (16-inch, 2021) software and warranty.
The only important app on board the Swift 3 is the Acer Care Center, where you can look up data on your computer, check battery life, adjust some components, and update drivers.
There’s also Windows 10 bloatware, like Spotify, Disney+ and Prime Video.
The Swift 3 comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how Acer performed on our Tech Support Showdown and The Best and Worst Brands classification.
Overall, the Acer Swift 3 isn’t an impressive laptop, but it’s good for people who need something that runs well and has a big display. If you’re not a fan of the shorter battery life and the meh keyboard, you might want to look at similar competitors.
The Aero 13 offers a great keyboard, bright display and great battery life. However, the 13-inch screen is not very large compared to the Swift 3.
If you’re dying for a big display, the Acer Swift 3 is probably one of the best laptops to get on a budget, but it’s not the best.