We recently reviewed the Acer Swift 5 (2022) and found it to be a stylish, lightweight and powerful Windows 11 laptop. This is due to its 12th gen Intel Core CPU, 1600p display and fast 1TB SSD. The laptop is also cheaper compared to competitors with similar specifications. While not perfect, the latest Acer Swift 5 is a solid choice given its $1,499 price.
This begs the question: how does the Acer Swift 5 compare to the Apple MacBook Air M2? Since we’ve reviewed both laptops, we wanted to do our own comparison to see how they stack up. And most importantly, help you decide which one to choose.
Acer Swift 5 vs MacBook Air M2: Specifications
|Acer Swift 5 (2022)||MacBook Air M2|
|Price||$1,549 (as tested)||$1,899 (as tested)|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-1260P||Apple M2 chip|
|Ram||16 GB||16 GB|
|Display||14-inch, WQXGA, 2560 x 1600-pixel touchscreen||13.6-inch, 2560 x 1664p Liquid Retina|
|Ports||1 Thunderbolt 4/USB-C, 1 HDMI, 1 USB-A, 1 locking slot, 1 headset/mic jack||MagSafe, 1 Thunderbolt 4/USB-C, 1 headset/mic jack|
|Battery life||11:24 (test)||14:06 (test)|
|Dimensions||12.2 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches||12 x 8.5 x 0.4 inches|
|Weight||2.7 pounds||2.7 pounds|
Acer Swift 5 vs MacBook Air M2: Price
The latest Acer Swift 5 comes in one configuration. It packs a 14-inch LCD touch display at a crisp 2560 x 1600 resolution, along with an Intel Core i7-1260P processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD. It’s priced at $1,499, though we’ve seen it sell for more at some retailers and you may be able to pick it up for less with Acer promo code (opens in a new tab).
The MacBook Air M2 starts at $1,199. The initial configuration gives you an 8-core CPU, 10-Core GPU, 8GB of unified memory and 512GB of storage. This is a premium machine, but those are good specs for the money. However, if you spec it up like the Acer Swift 5, Apple’s notebook costs a whopping $1,899.
For some, the $300 price difference could be the dividing factor between these two systems.
Acer Swift 5 vs MacBook Air M2: Design
The Acer Swift 5 has tackled some luxurious tweaks that make them stand out. While the previous Swift 5 design was fairly generic, the latest version has beautiful edges with a double-anodized gold treatment, along with a diamond-cut line pattern that Acer says has cuts thinner than a single human hair.
Combined with Mist Green surfaces, the Swift 5 stands out from the ultra-thin competition without looking overdone or garish. It’s a smart color duo that’s subtle and stylish, with the small gold Acer logo at the top of the outer shell adding to the unexpected allure.
Unlike Acer’s cheaper notebooks, such as the Aspire 5, the firm has shaved off most of the bulk of this 14-inch laptop. At 12.2 x 8.4 x 0.59 inches and just 2.65 pounds, it’s slightly thicker and wider than Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air model, but it’s a smidge lighter than that 2.7-pound rival. Despite the light weight, the Acer Swift 5 has a strong, sturdy construction, thanks to its aerospace-grade aluminum chassis.
Like Acer’s more affordable laptops, the Swift 5’s keyboard is slightly raised when you open the device, as the base of the display pushes the back of the notebook up a bit. It’s a subtle enough lift that most users won’t even notice, but should be appreciated by anyone who hates a full-flat keyboard.
The MacBook Air M2 is so thin it could easily be mistaken for an iPad when it’s closed (especially if the Apple logo is facing out). That’s how slim this notebook is. At just 0.44 inches thick with the lid open, the everyday Bic pen looks chunky next to this machine.
Overall, the Air M2 is 20% smaller than the previous Air in terms of volume, and you still get a larger 13.6-inch display. Some people may not like the fear at the top of the screen, which breaks the aesthetic by going down to the bottom of the Menu bar. But it doesn’t interfere too much when everyday work is going on.
The 2.7-pound all-aluminum chassis delivers a great balance of durability and light weight, and we appreciate the slim rounded corners and pronounced lip that make this laptop easy to hold and open with one hand.
If you want to make a statement, you could get the MacBook Air M2 in Starlight (pale gold) or Midnight (dark blue). However, if you are feeling more conservative, you can opt for Silver or Space Grey. Watch out for scratches if you go for the Midnight one thoughbecause this particular color can easily report a scuff.
Acer Swift 5 vs MacBook Air M2: Display
Acer Swift 5’s screen is a stunner. It’s a 14-inch panel at WQXGA (2560×1600) or 1600p resolution, which means it’s a bit crisper than your typical 1080p panel seen on the vast majority of laptops. At that resolution, text and graphics look very sharp throughout. It’s also a 16:10 aspect ratio, meaning the screen is slightly taller than typical widescreen dimensions (16:9).
The Swift 5 does not disappoint in terms of brightness or vividness. In our test, we measured an average of 457 nits of brightness — short of the 489 nits measured on the M2 MacBook Air, but still plenty bright.
IPS LCD panels like the Swift 5’s don’t usually pack as much as OLED rivals, but at 131.7% of the sRGB color gamut and 93.3% of the DCI-P3 color space, it’s a heavy panel that I struggled to find fault with . with. It beats the M2 MacBook Air and Dell’s XPS 13 OLED on both marks.
Based on our testing, the MacBook Air has a brighter screen but the Acer Swift 5 has a greater range of colors.
Acer Swift 5 vs MacBook Air M2: Ports
Acer didn’t skimp on ports with the Swift 5, providing plenty of connectivity despite the slim frame. You’ll find a pair of USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left side, as well as a single USB-A port and an HDMI port for plugging in an external monitor. Meanwhile, the right side of the laptop adds another USB-A port to the mix alongside a 3.5mm headphone port and a Kingston security lock slot.
Apple keeps things minimal with the MacBook Air M2 port selection. You’ll find two Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports on the left side as well as a MagSafe power adapter.
This last connection makes it easy to magnetically attach the cable connector to the system, and also helps prevent the laptop from falling if someone accidentally pulls hard on the cable. On the right side is a headphone jack for those still using wired headphones, which is nice to have in case your wireless headphones or earphones run out of power.
The Acer laptop is the clear winner when it comes to port selection.
Acer Swift 5 vs MacBook Air M2: Performance
The Acer Swift 5 packs plenty of speed thanks to the latest 12th-gen Intel Core i7-1260P chip. With 16GB of RAM alongside, you’ll get plenty of power for everyday use and multitasking, including loading up on browser tabs and streaming all kinds of media.
On the Geekbench 5.4 benchmark test, we registered a multi-core score of 9,859. This beats the new M2 MacBook Pro 13-inch (8,911), although it doesn’t quite match the pricier’s score MacBook Pro 14-inch with the M1 Pro (12,477).
|Acer Swift 5 (2022)||MacBook Air M2|
|Handbrake (minutes, seconds)||7:35||7:52|
The Acer Swift 5 showed its creative potential in our Handbrake video test, where we transcode a 4K clip to 1080p. He completed the task in exactly 7:35. That’s faster than Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air (7:52), though slower than the M2 MacBook Pro (6:51). However, it beats last year’s Windows laptops with an 11th-gen i7 chip, like the Dell XPS 13 OLED (18:12).
In terms of performance, the Acer Swift 5 outperforms the MacBook Air M2. Of course, it is wise to consider that numbers do not always tell the whole story. If you’re doing everyday tasks like web browsing and watching streaming videos, you won’t notice any major difference between the two laptops.
Acer Swift 5 vs MacBook Air M2: Webcam
The Acer Swift 5 has a respectable 1080p web camera. It captures a lot of detail while reducing noise, and displays colors accurately when you’re well lit. However, it can suffer a little when backlit a lot. You will also get a lot more fuzz in low light situations.
Likewise, the MacBook Air M2’s 1080p webcam is good but not great. It might not be a fair comparison, but we wouldn’t give up on it Logitech C920 driver for video calls. The overall picture quality is pretty sharp for the Air.
In short, both are serviceable webcams but neither will blow you away, quality wise.
Acer Swift 5 vs MacBook Air M2: Battery life
This is one area where the Apple laptop destroys the Acer laptop.
On our battery drain test, in which the laptop continuously surfs the web with the display brightness set to just 150 nits, the Swift 5 lasted about 11:25. However, the M2 pushed the MacBook Air a bit further to 14:06.
While the Acer Swift 5 lasted for more than 11 hours in our test, our review says that it barely lasted five hours during daily use with the screen set to maximum brightness. As we said in our review, that’s unacceptable for a laptop that costs $1,499.
Acer Swift 5 vs MacBook Air M2: Bottom line
With all due respect to the Acer Swift 5, it’s not exactly grabbing headlines like the MacBook Air M2 did when it launched in the summer. However, as our tests have shown, the Acer machine outperforms the Apple machine in several key categories.
While the MacBook Air M2 has a brighter screen and better battery life, the Acer Swift 5 has better overall performance, at least based on our numbers. The Acer Swift 5 is also $300 cheaper than a MacBook Air. As we said above, price alone could be the deciding factor. But if you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem, it might be worth the price.