Acer Swift X3 review: Solid specs, including Intel’s dGPU, but build quality disappoints Review

The 14-inch Acer Swift 3X, announced in October previous 12 months, was an early adopter of Intel’s 11th generation Main processors, and among the initially with Iris Xe MAX discrete graphics. This marked the Swift 3X as a system to glance out for. It has taken a though to get there in the United kingdom, but starting at £899 (inc. VAT £749.sixteen ex. VAT, or $899.ninety nine in the US), does this laptop computer offer good price for dollars for knowledge personnel and — many thanks to the dGPU — creators? 

The Acer Swift 3X comes in two colour variants, Steam Blue and Safari Gold. My Steam Blue variant experienced a metallic sheen to its blue/grey complete, which was relatively attractive. Both of those colour strategies have a shiny environmentally friendly/blue strip all the way along the outer edge of the hinge, with capitalised Swift branding in the middle giving an eye-catching ‘designer’ touch. 


Acer’s 14-inch Swift 3X runs on eleventh generation Intel Main i5 or i7 processors with discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics.

Images: Acer


The ‘Swift ‘branding on the outside the house of the display hinge gives a designer touch.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

If you want to have this laptop computer close to, its one.37kg bodyweight is satisfactory for a 14-inch system. It can be a minor on the thick side at 17.95mm, even though the desktop footprint is tidy at 322.8mm wide by 212.2mm deep. When you carry the lid the hinge mechanism triggers the again to press down and the foundation to increase, presenting the keyboard at a slight angle. The display hinges again to about 135 levels, which is a good deal for performing easily, but you will not likely be in a position to lie the display flat on a desk. 

The create has a good deal of metallic, but it will not truly feel all that strong. Urgent down even carefully on the lid of my closed evaluate unit was enough to thrust it inwards, and I would not recommend sitting nearly anything on major of this laptop computer when it’s not in use. I was in a position to flex the lid a minor in my hands when the laptop computer was open up and in use, but not to a relating to degree. The foundation is moderately organization close to the wrist rest space, and as a light-touch typist I only skilled flex in the keyboard space when mimicking a large-handed typing motion. 

The keyboard’s backlit keys are bouncy, with a good deal of journey, and the light ‘thunky’ sounds developed by typing is not intrusive. The double-height Enter key butts suitable up to the hash/tilde key, which is a minor odd, but did not generate any accuracy issues for me. The arrow keys are nice and massive. There is a Fn key that disables the touchpad, which could be handy, even though there is certainly no different for cursor manage as the display is not touch-responsive. There is a fingerprint sensor in the wrist rest and a 720p webcam above the display which lacks equally IR/Windows Hi there capacity and a stability deal with.   


The backlit keyboard sits at a cozy typing angle, but large-handed typists could notice some flex. 

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The 14-inch display sits in slender but not small bezels: I calculated the side bezels at about five.5mm, the major bezel at about eight.5mm and the base bezel at close to thirteen.5mm. Even so, there is certainly a slim black border amongst the display edge and the bezels. On my evaluate unit this border was of equal dimensions on remaining and suitable sides, and just a couple of pixels wide. On the major and base edges it was skewed so that it was (to me) visibly deeper on the higher suitable than the higher remaining, and deeper on the lessen remaining than the lessen suitable. I know that in everyday use this would irritate me drastically. 

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The non-touch IPS display screen is matte relatively than reflective, which is welcome. Its FHD (one,920 x one,080, sixteen:9, 157.3ppi) resolution permitted me to function with two files open up side by side, even though a deeper sixteen:10 component ratio would be even greater. 

The stereo speakers deliver a good deal of quantity and respectable audio excellent. There is nothing at all exceptional right here, but the speakers are surely good enough for online video phone calls and occasional after-several hours multimedia use. 

My Acer Swift 3X evaluate unit ran on an eleventh generation Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD. Its list cost is at present £1,199 (inc. VAT £999.ninety nine ex. VAT) at Acer’s United kingdom on the net keep. If that’s too steep, you can come across a Main i5-centered design on Amazon for £899, with 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD.

Acer has executed an intricate cooling system to cope with the eleventh generation processor and its discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics, which has 4GB of dedicated online video RAM. There is a outstanding grille at the major of the keyboard segment, which will not glance good but is there to permit warmth out. There is also a massive grilled space on the underside, and though the aforementioned foundation-lifting hinge provides the keyboard at a cozy angle, it also encourages airflow. 

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A Fn-F key combo cycles you by means of three ‘performance’ modes, which will transform the processor loading. This could be handy if you are irritated by enthusiast sounds: I only observed the enthusiast kicked in when I driven up, but it is incredibly noisy, which could irritate end users who frequently run demanding workloads. 

Acer gives the Swift 3X with a sensible established of ports and connectors. There is one USB-C Thunderbolt four port, along with a pair of USB 3.two ports, a full-dimensions HDMI connector and a 3.5mm headset jack. Luckily, the single USB-C port is not essential for charging, as there is certainly a proprietary spherical-pin connector for that. There is a little demand indicator LED on the suitable edge, as very well as one that lets you know when the laptop computer is switched on — helpful if you’ve got just shut the lid relatively than driven down. 

Acer offers a headline battery everyday living of 17.five several hours for the Swift 3X array, but 14 several hours for my Main i7/Iris Xe MAX evaluate configuration. Even the latter may be somewhat optimistic underneath genuine-entire world workloads. My typical take a look at, performing into producing applications though streaming sound and occasional online video, and with several open up browser windows, noticed the fifty seven.8Wh battery drain from full to seventy five% in excess of three several hours, offering an estimate of twelve several hours. Nonetheless, that’s cozy all-day battery everyday living for most knowledge personnel, and even some creators generating use of the discrete Iris Xe MAX GPU with a lot more demanding workloads. Acer suggests the battery will fast-demand to present four several hours of use in 30 minutes. Sadly my evaluate unit came without an Asus charger, so I wasn’t in a position to take a look at this. 


Image: Acer


Acer’s Swift 3X is a very well-specified laptop computer with the most recent Intel Main processors and discrete Iris Xe MAX graphics. The Main i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage in my evaluate unit carried out very well, and even the entry-amount Main i5 design offers 8GB and 512GB. We like the matte display, and even though its ‘blingy’ hinge will not likely attractiveness to everyone, it does insert some pizzazz to the design and style. It would have been good to see two USB-C Thunderbolt four ports, and that wonky display screen panel in my evaluate unit is a worry ideally it was just a glitch. 

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