Acer Swift 5 Review8

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It looks like this is the third time I have reviewed an Acer Swift 5. The first time was four years ago with it running an Intel Core i7-8550U, then in 2020 with the Intel Core i5-1035G1.

The 2020 refresh runs the new Intel Core i7-1260P, which is a very different CPU from the usual yearly launches from Intel. This uses a big.LITTLE design, where you have four performance cores and then eight efficient cores. It is a design that has been used for mobiles for many years, but is a first for an x86-based CPU.


  • Processor: Intel Core i7-1260P processor (18 MB Smart Cache, 2.1 GHz performance-core with Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 up to 4.7 GHz)
  • Graphics: Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics
  • RAM: 16 GB of onboard LPDDR5 system memory
  • Storage: 512 GB/1 TB,  PCIe Gen4, 16 Gb/s, NVMe
  • Display:
    • 14.0″ IPS display
    • WQXGA 2560 x 1600 16:10 aspect ratio
    • 425 nits brightness
    • Multi-touch and Antibacterial cover glass
    • Colour gamut SRGB 100%
  • Networking: Killer Wireless Wi-Fi 6E 1675i
  • Ports:
    • 2x USB-C USB4 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4
    • 2 x USB-A
    • 1x HDMI
    • 1x 3.5mm
  • Dimensions: 310.5 (W) x 213.3 (D) x /14.95 (H) mm
  • Weight: 1.2 kg
  • Battery: 56 Wh 4-cell Li-ion battery
  • Charging: USB Type-C 65 W PD AC adaptor

Design & Build

Acer Swift 5 Review7

For the past few generations, Acer has made the Swift 5 one of the lightest laptops on the market with a sub-kilo weight.

This time around, it weighs in at 1.2 kg. It is still incredibly light but not the lightest and close to many competing options.

The advantage to this added bulk is the CNC machined chassis gives a sturdy build and more premium build quality and feel compared to the previous generations.

I actually quite liked the low-weight plastic build from previous generations, but I can certainly see the appeal here. Acer has improved the overall aesthetic and build quality over the years, and this will compete with the best premium options within the ultra-portable segment.

Acer has moved the fingerprint scanner from a dedicated spot to being included within the power button. However, unlike Huawei laptops, it doesn’t appear to auto-login from boot, but I do find the accuracy to be improved compared to previous generations.

The speakers are downwards facing, so less than ideal but decent enough. Unlike some other brands, you still have the 3.5mm headphone jack to fall back on.


The 14-inch touch screen display runs at 2560 x 1600, which gives you a 16:10 aspect ratio providing you more vertical real estate than standard (though less square than the Matebook 13). By default, it is scaled at 200%, but I found I could get away with 150%, just about.

Brightness is excellent, while colours are rich and deep blacks. However, the screen is glossy, so it can have some issues when using it outdoors.

The overall quality of the display is excellent and seems to be better than I can remember from previous generations and certainly better than the Honor MagicBook 15 and Huawei Matebook 13 I have to hand.

Keyboard and Trackpad

Acer Swift 5 Review5

The overall keyboard and trackpad experience is a good and similar quality to most decent laptops. You get backlighting which can be adjusted with the F11 key and can improve accuracy in dimly lit environments.

The keyboard takes almost the full width of the laptop, and this allows some decent spacing between keys allowing it to be as usable as possible for a laptop this size. Key travel distance is about as good as you can expect from an ultra-portable.

The trackpad is also good and feels responsible. It supports gestures and has your typical hidden left and right mouse click.

Maintenance / Upgrades

Like all other ultraportables, there are limited options for upgrades, but not the worst I have seen. The Wi-Fi module and NVMe drive are both easily accessible. The installed NVMe is incredibly fast, but it is only 475GB which I think is a bit on the low end for a laptop nowadays and certainly one at this price. Therefore it is something I would want to upgrade at some point.

There appears to be no way to upgrade the RAM; certainly not an easy way to do so.

Maintenance and repairs will likely not be that easy for home users, but the battery should be possible.


The Acer Swift 5 uses the latest Intel Core i7-1260P processor. This sits somewhere in the middle of the i7 mobile solutions from Intel. The P-based processors have a base power of 28W and turbo of 64W and are classed as having 12 cores, with 4 performance cores and 8 efficient cores.

The performance cores can do hyperthreading while the efficiency cores cannot, this then provides 16 threads for processing.

For the GPU, this uses an integrated Intel Iris Xe GPU. This laptop isn’t really designed for gaming, but you should be able to run some older AA games or something less intensive. I played Xcom 2 without any issues.

  • 3DMark Time Spy:
    • Acer Swift 5 2022: 1596 (CPU: 6212 GPU: 1411)
    • Acer Aspire Vero: 1607 (CPU: 4493 GPU: 1444)
    • Acer Swift 3X: 1890 (CPU: 4408 GPU: 1717)
    • Matebook 13: 1276 (CPU: 2673 GPU: 1169)
  • PCMark:
    • Acer Swift 5 2022: 4991 (Essentials: 8631 Productivity: 6451 Digitial: 6062)
    • Acer Aspire Vero: 5030 (Essentials: 9279 Productivity: 6812 Digitial: 5466)
    • Acer Swift 3X: 5014 (Essentials: 9468 Productivity: 6846 Digitial: 5279)
    • Matebook 13: 3970 (Essentials: 8759 Productivity: 7224 Digitial: 2684)
  • GeekBench 5:
    • Acer Swift 5 2022 : 1,681 (single-core); 9,097 (multi-core)
    • Acer Swift 3X : 1,426 (single-core); 5,581 (multi-core)

The Intel Core i7-1260P has some interesting benchmark results in comparison to last year’s Intel Core i7-1195G7, which was used on the Acer Aspire Vero. The GPU performance has remained largely the same, but the CPU design of the Intel Core i7-1260P is very different. You now have the additional 8 efficient cores, which helps provide a significant improvement in multi-core processing power.

Fan Noise

Acer claims the new Swift 5 has a 65.8% improvement in cooling, which in turn allows the CPU power to be higher for the performance mode.

The fan noise itself is OK. In a quiet room, it gets reasonably loud but not disruptively so and has a consistent mid-level pitch, which is less irritating than other laptops.


Like most ultraportables nowadays, the battery life is excellent. I was easily able to do a full day’s worth of work on the laptop without getting too stressed about plugging it in.

The USB-C charging is a huge help too. I have power banks that can do 65W power delivery and multiple 65W+ power delivery chargers.


Connectivity is excellent as far as ultra-portables go. On the left, you have two Thunderbolt 4 ports which can both be used for charging. Then there are also two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports. More than enough for any peripherals you may want to use without resorting to a hub.

Furthermore, you also have HDMI and the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Wi-Fi 6E

As you’d expect for a premium laptop, this comes with the latest Wi-Fi 6E, though this uses the Killer Wireless Wi-Fi 6E 1675i module rather than the Intel AX210. I tested the performance with the Netgear Nighthawk RAXE300, and the laptop can comfortably achieve multi-gig Wi-Fi speeds with approximately 1.50Gbits/sec when using either the 6Ghz band or 5Ghz with 160Mhz channel width.


As usual, Acer has quite a lot of bloatware. Norton is preinstalled, and I find it quite intrusive compared to Windows Defender and, therefore, immediately uninstalled it.

There is also a variety of other software, including things like Evernote and Booking. Though it is starting to become difficult to separate the bloatware that Windows has by default and what OEMs add.

Price and Alternative Options

The Acer Swift 5 should be available to buy soon for £1499, and you can register your interest here.

Pricing appears to have jumped up from previous generations. It looks like the 2018 model was £1,099.99 and £1,149 for the 2020 model if you opted for the top spec.

There are a handful of other small and light laptops using the Intel Core i7-1260P available on Curry’s. This includes:

  • Dell XPS 13 Plus
    • RAM: 16 GB / Storage: 1 TB SSD
    • 13.3″ 3456 x 2160 OLED display
    • 1.27 kg
    • Priced at £1,799
  • LG gram 14T90Q 14″ 2-in-1
    • RAM: 16 GB DDR5 / Storage: 1 TB SSD
    • 14” IPS 1920 x 1200p
    • 1.25 kg
    • Priced at £1,649.99
  • ASUS Zenbook 14 UX3402
    • 16 GB / Storage: 1 TB SSD
    • 2.8K Ultra HD 2880 x 1800 OLED
    • 1.39 kg
    • Priced at £1,299
  • Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360
    • 16 GB / Storage: 512 GB SSD
    • 13” Full HD 1920 x 1080p
    • 1.04 kg
    • Price at £1,249

Pricing is more or less in line with competing brands, but the RRP is not quite the affordable option as I often find with Acer laptops. I expect pricing will quickly drop from RRP following the launch.


As always, the Acer Swift 5 is an excellent laptop and is up there with the best options on the market for an ultra-portable laptop.

It is well built and looks attractive while retaining a professional look.

Performance is flawless for all day-to-day tasks. You are not going to get much gaming done on it, but that’s not what these laptops are for.

Acer is normally one of the best value brands. Based on the above pricing, this one doesn’t appear to offer quite the attractive price point I am used to, but Acer appears to have built this to be just as good as other premium laptops. It is also brand new, and £1499 is the RRP, whereas some of the other options I listed are showing as discounted.

Acer Swift 5 2020 Review Rating - SF514-56T


The Acer Swift 5 is an excellent laptop and is up there with the best options on the market for an ultra-portable laptop.

  • Overall - 80%


  • Superb display
  • Excellent performance
  • Lots of ports


  • Some bloatware
  • Pricing could be more competative

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One Comment

  1. Nice review. Agree about the price. I just bought an Acer Swift Edge, which was the same price for a 16″ 4k+ OLED, Ryzen 7 6850u, 1TB, 32GB, 1.17Kg, so that’s rather odd to go up against your own models like that.

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