|Specifications at a glance: Acer Swift 5 (SF514-56T-797T)
|14-inch IPS touch screen 2560 x 1600 60 Hz
|Windows 11 home
|Intel Core i7-1260P
|1 TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
|Intel Iris Xe (integrated)
|Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
|2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 2x USB-A (3.2 Gen 1), 1x HDMI 2.1, 1 x 3.5 mm jack
|12.22 x 8.4 x 0.59 inches
(310.5 x 213.3 x 14.95 mm)
|2.65 lb (1.2 kg)
The Acer Swift 5 ($1,500 MSRP) may not be your dream ultralight laptop, but it’s not a bad one. You won’t get the most performance out of the Swift, and its touchpad still bugs me after weeks of use. But with benefits like a good selection of ports and a solid keyboard, the laptop is worth a look if you want to save some money. Although there are some compromises, it is a good choice with a lower price tag than other similarly specified options.
The Swift 5 is priced lower than other ultralights with 12th Gen CPUs, which is evident when you hold it. According to Acer, the chassis is made of aluminum alloy 6053 with a hardness of 75 HV and anodization to fight degradation (its gold accents are double-anodized). But instead of a luxurious metallic finish, as Lenovo’s Yoga 9i carries, it looks and feels like a light plastic that can still be a victim of scratches.
Subtle texturing helps the design, though, and prevents the laptop from being too slippery during use. The keyboard exhibited subtle flexing when I typed aggressively, and that flexing was more pronounced when I pressed down on the keyboard.
Despite those shortcomings, the Swift 5 doesn’t look bad. It comes in forest green with gold accents (Acer told me there might be a blue option eventually). The green finish showed a subtly sparkling finish, and the deep coloring and brushed finish of the gold sides looked particularly attractive. If you are sick of grey, silver and black laptops, the Swift 5 provides a refreshing look.
The Swift’s decorative spine is more about form than function, however. I would prefer to be able to push the laptop screen back enough to make it level with the keyboard, but that is not possible. This may not be an issue for some buyers, but it prevented me from using the laptop on the couch or on my lap at maximum comfort. Since it’s an ultralight laptop that only weighs 2.65 lbs, more flexibility would make sense.
One area Acer didn’t skimp on was port selection, especially when you compare the Swift 5 to the many laptops skipping anything but USB-C these days. The Swift 5 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the left side, including one for charging, as well as an HDMI 2.1 and USB-A port on the left side. There’s another USB-A port, a headphone jack, and a Kensington lock on the right side.
Small note: There are two lights on the side of the laptop that indicate battery and power. I found their colored lights (one of them always on) a little distracting in dark rooms or when I was using the laptop plugged into my TV for entertainment.