Acer’s Swift 5 is an ultra-portable laptop which deserves a little more attention than it’s had to date, at least based on the 2019 refresh of this mid-sized Windows machine.
When we say ‘mid-sized’, it’s all relative: the Swift 5’s crisp 14-inch display gives you a little extra on-screen real estate than 13-inch panels which dominate this market, but you also get a more travel-friendly footprint than a 15-incher.
This, plus the 970 gram weight and 12.5 hour battery life, definitely frames the Swift as ‘sweet spot’ territory for business travellers.
The new Swift 5, which lands here in early October, amps things up with Intel’s latest 10th-Generation Core processors, which bring more power as well as extended battery life to the equation.
Buyers can choose between the mid-range Core i5 (from $1,500) and the meatier Core i7 (from $2,000), with both topping out at 16GB of RAM and a 512GB of solid state storage.
If you need real muscle in such a small machine, there’s also the option of Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics, although most users will find Intel’s baked-in integrated Iris graphics will more than hit the mark.
Cast from magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminium alloys, the Swift 5 feels solid and looks fetchingly premium if you go for the dark indigo model with a copper-gold logo and hinge.
A clever design touch sees the rounded hinge prop the laptop up at a slight angle which aids with typing as well as cooling airflow beneath the notebook.
And despite the slim 1.5cm profile, Acer hasn’t skimped on connectivity: there are two conventional USB-A ports, one on either side, plus a USB-C socket and HDMI video jack.
Fast-charging sees the Swift 5 gain up to 4.5 hours of use with just 30 minutes connected to an AC outlet, so even if the battery’s low a quick cafe pit-stop will deliver enough power for the morning or afternoon.