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Acer Swift 5 15in (2018): The ultra-light laptop that weighs 990g

Acer launches the new Swift 5 – a well-equipped 15in laptop weighing less than 1kg

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Acer has been producing impressive thin and light laptops for some time, but it’s outdone itself at this year’s IFA 2018 technology conference. The 15.6in Acer Swift 5 was originally announced at Acer's global press conference in New York earlier this year but we were only shown a dummy. The laptop is now a working product and it's every bit as enticing as it was when we were first told about it.

READ NEXT: Our pick of the best laptops

In fact, Acer claims the Acer Swift 5 is the “lightest 15in laptop in the world”, and indeed it tips the scales at a slightly freaky 990g, a full 19g lighter than LG’s lightweight machine.

Acer Swift 5 15in (2018): UK price and specifications

  • 15.6in Full HD IPS (1,920 x 1,080) display
  • Whiskey Lake Intel Core i5-82or i7 processors
  • 16GB of RAM
  • Up to 1TB of SSD storage across two 512GB drives
  • Windows 10 Home
  • Price: starting at 1,099 Euros for the Core i5
  • European release date: November

Acer Swift 5 15in (2018): Design, key features and first impressions

For a 15in laptop, Acer’s new Swift 5 is incredibly thin and light. It weighs 990g, which makes it much more backpack-friendly than the majority of its 15in counterparts. There’s also a pair of super-skinny side bezels on either side of its 15.6in display – each measuring only 5.87mm.

Understandably, at such a ludicrously lightweight, it feels a little flimsy but Acer assures us that the magnesium alloy used in the construction of the chassis makes it tougher than it looks. The keys and touchpad have a decent feel to them as well.

The Swift 5 is fitted with a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS screen, with an impressive 87.6% screen-to-body ratio. That's not far behind the Huawei Matebook X Pro, which has a screen to body ratio of 91%. Acer also says the Swift 5 benefits from “Acer Colour Intelligence” tech, which dynamically adjusts gamma and saturation in real-time, optimising screen colour and brightness, supposedly without clipping or oversaturation.

First impressions were that it looks pretty good, with fully saturated colours and a deep black that really pops. We won't know how technically good it is until we put it through our colorimeter tests but one thing I don't like is its 16:9 aspect ratio display. On that front, at least, the Huawei Matebook Pro X has it beaten.

Perhaps as interesting as its size and weight, though, is the fact that the Acer Swift 5 is equipped with the very latest eighth-generation Whiskey Lake Intel Core i5 and i7 processors (the Core i5-8265U and the Core i7-8565U respectively) with up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 1TB of SSD storage spread across a pair of drives. This will be a very speedy laptop, no question, and it will be interesting to see how Intel's new chips fare in our benchmarks.

As for ports, you’ll find two full-fat USB Type-A ports on the left-hand side, flanked by an HDMI 2 port for hooking the laptop up to an external display. A USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headset jack and SD card reader are on the right, and the Swift 5 also has a fingerprint reader with Windows Hello support, which is located just below the keyboard on the right-hand side.

Acer Swift 5 15in: Early verdict

Acer’s Swift 5 is an intriguing ultraportable. Skinnier and lighter than most, Acer seems to have achieved the impossible. Now that there are working units available, I can't wait to get my hands on one for testing.

A 15in laptop with a weight under a kilo sounded almost too good to be true when Acer first announced it in New York, but despite our early concerns, Acer has followed through and the prices, which start at €1099 for the Core i5 model, look pretty tempting, too. The laptop will go on sale in November.

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