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Acer Swift 7 review: Ultra-portable and ultra-thin

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £874
inc VAT

It might not be the fastest machine on the market, but this elegant, ultra-thin laptop is great value


  • Ultra-thin
  • Stunning design
  • Large trackpad


  • Sluggish performance
  • No backlit keyboard

The Acer Swift 7 is an ultra thin laptop with a stunning design that will leave you in awe. At only 9.98mm at its thickest point, it’s the slimmest Windows 10 laptop on the market. Coupled with its stunning matte-black aluminium exterior and gold inner surface, Acer has produced a masterpiece of design. But does its slender design hamper its performance?

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Acer Swift 7 review: What you need to know

The Acer Swift 7 is a 13.3in laptop that is ridiculously thin. It isn’t the quickest but if you’re not looking to do anything intensive and want a thin, elegant computer, the Swift 7 delivers in spades.

Oddly, it costs just as much as the excellent Acer Switch 5 but has much more style. If processing speed isn’t a priority and slim, light laptops are your thing, get the Swift 7 – it’s great for the money.

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Acer Swift 7 review: Price and competition

The Swift 7 can be found for around £874 on Amazon UK. In the US it costs around $1,000. It comes in only one configuration in the UK: with an Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SDD. There is an i7 option with a 512GB SSD, but that’s currently available to the US market only for around $1,240.

It isn’t short of competitors, with the 12in Huawei MateBook E featuring the same processor at around £1,200. There’s also the stylish 13.3in HP Spectre 13 at around £1,250, which has an Intel Core i7-6500U and the 2-in-1 Acer Switch 5 Surface Pro lookalike that costs around £900 and gives you an Intel Core i5-7200U, 256GB storage and a 12in display.

There’s also the Microsoft Surface Laptop at £1,249 with an Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

Acer Swift 7 review: Design and build quality

The first thing I noticed when I first picked up the laptop was its excellent build quality. Looking very similar to the HP Spectre 13, its black aluminium exterior and gold finish lend the Swift a premium, high-end feel. Acer’s attention to detail is superb, with a chamfered aluminium frame around the trackpad and Gorilla Glass 5 topping the Full HD IPS display adding a small touch of luxury.

At 9.98mm thick with lid closed it’s among the thinnest laptops in its class, and it’s also fairly light at 1.1kg. The Dell XPS 13 is 15mm thick, while the Spectre 13 gets closer at 10.4mm. Despite the design, though, Acer hasn’t compromised on build quality. Due to its aluminium body, the laptop is sturdy and doesn’t suffer from any flex when you manhandle it.

Unfortunately, its design does have one limitation: it picks up fingerprints rather too easily for my liking and, if you have sweaty fingers, the Swift’s chassis will be a mess of smudges before you know it.

In terms of connectivity, Acer has opted for two USB 3.1 Type-C ports which are used for charging, hooking up an external display and transferring data. These do not, however, support Thunderbolt 3, which means you’ll be restricted to 5Gbits/sec data transfer speeds. At the side, there’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack.

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Acer Swift 7 review: Keyboard and trackpad

The Swift 7’s keyboard feels a little mushy, with the key switches providing an unsatisfying feel when typing. Surprisingly, there’s no backlighting, which means non-touch-typists will have difficulty typing in dim conditions.

The trackpad, on the other hand, is excellent. Its large surface area makes navigation and Windows 10 gestures easy to perform. The left and right click buttons also provide satisfyingly clicky feedback.

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Acer Swift 7 review: Performance

To power the Swift 7, Acer has opted for a seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7Y54 processor and 8GB of RAM. This is effectively a rebranded Core M series chip, which means it’s a low-power chip designed for use in slim-light machines like this.

^ Acer Swift 7 benchmark table

That also means slower performance than the U-series mobile processors this. Put into numbers, it scored only 29 in the Expert Reviews benchmark, although this is faster than the Huawei MateBook E’s score of 24. The cheaper Swift 5 and Swift 3 achieved a score of 45 and 32 respectively.

^ Acer Swift 7 battery life

Battery life was more impressive, however, with the Swift 7 achieving 7hrs 6mins in the Expert Reviews battery test – that’s not as good as the new Surface Pro, for instance, but it’s above average for its class and should get you through most of a working day.

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Acer Swift 7 review: Verdict

The Acer Swift is a gloriously slim laptop. It might not be the fastest portable on the block, but it’s amazingly slim, very light, and the price is lower than a lot of the ultraportable competition.

Add in a fantastic trackpad, attractive design and above-average battery life, and it’s an excellent, affordable alternative to the raft of £1,000-plus machines that seem to be increasingly the norm these days.

Core specs
ProcessorIntel Core i5-7Y54
Memory slots (free)N/A
Max memory8GB
324.6 x 229.6 x 9.98mm
Intel Audio (3.5mm headset port)
Pointing deviceTouchpad
Screen size13.3in
Screen resolution1,920 x 1,080
Graphics adaptor
Intel HD Graphics 615
Graphics outputsN/A
Graphics memoryN/A
Storage and operating system
Total storage256GB SSD
Optical drive typeN/A
Operating system
Windows 10 Home
Ports and expansion
USB ports
2x USB 3.1 Type-C
2×2 802.11ac MU-MIMO
Memory card readerN/A
Other ports
1x 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo
Buying information
Parts and labour warrantyOne year RTB
Price inc VAT£900

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