|Standing screen display size||14 Inches|
|Max Screen Resolution||1920 x 1080 Pixels|
|Number of USB 2.0 Ports||1|
Acer Swift 3 Thin & Light Laptop, 14" Full HD IPS, AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core with Radeon Graphics, 8GB LPDDR4, 512GB NVMe SSD, Wi-Fi 6, Backlit KB, Fingerprint Reader, Alexa Built-in, SF314-42-R9YN
- AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Mobile Processor (Up to 4.1 GHz) with Radeon Graphics | 8GB LPDDR4 Memory | 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- 14" Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit display (1920 x 1080 resolution; 16:9 aspect ratio)
- Intel wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX200 802.11ax | HD webcam (1280 x 720) | Backlit keyboard | Fingerprint reader
- 1 - USB Type-C port USB 3. 2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB Type-C & USB Charging, 1- USB 3. 2 Gen 1 port (featuring power-off charging), 1 - USB 2. 0 port & 1 - HDMI port
- Just 0.63" thin and 2.65 pounds and up to 11.5 hours of battery life
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Acer Swift 3 SF314-42-R9YN comes with these high level specs: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U Octa-Core Mobile Processor 2. 0GHz with Precision Boost up to 4. 1GHz (Up to 8MB L3 Cache), Windows 10 Home, 14" Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit Display 1920 x 1080 resolution; 16: 9 aspect ratio, AMD Radeon Graphics, 8GB LPDDR4 Onboard Memory, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, DTS Audio, featuring optimized bass response and micro-speaker distortion prevention, Two built-in front facing stereo speakers, Acer Purified. Voice technology with two built-in microphones, Intel Wireless Wi-Fi 6 AX200 802. 11ax Dual-Band 2. 4GHz and 5GHz featuring 2x2 MU-MIMO technology (Max Speed up to 2. 4Gbps), Bluetooth 5. 0, Back-lit Keyboard, Acer Bio-Protection Fingerprint Solution, featuring Computer Protection and Windows Hello Certification, HD Webcam (1280 x 720) supporting Super High Dynamic Range (SHDR), 1 - USB Type-C port USB 3. 2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB Type-C & USB Charging, 1 - USB 3. 2 Gen 1 port (featuring power-off charging), 1 - USB 2. 0 port, 1 - HDMI port, Lithium-Ion Battery, Up to 11. 5-hours Battery Life, 2. 65 lbs. 1. 2 kg (system unit only) (NX. HSEAA. 003).
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TLDR: Look at what you want in a laptop before buying this one. For me it works fine but there are a few key drawbacks that might affect different tasks you would want to use this laptop for.
+ Build Quality is fantastic, with sturdy metal and a keyboard I surprisingly quite enjoy using.
+ Big PRO: The Ryzen 4700U processor is a beast, and the snappiest processor I've used. Productivity use such as coding, taking notes in class, running other professional programs like the Microsoft suite or Zoom are handled easily and perfectly.
+ Big PRO: A 512GB SSD for this price is incredible! And it's even a really good SSD at that.
- The screen is as bad as they say, even after calibration. It's only slightly better than my old laptop I bought for $350 a few years ago. However, as someone who doesn't use the laptop for video editing, it's not a big issue for me, but everything does look more green/blue than it should.
- I've had software problems with this laptop that I would not have expected from a pre-built laptop, especially from a company like Acer. I have problems with apps being fuzzy (not scaling to the display properly), problems with Cortana and the Windows Start menu, and problems with the screen not immediately waking from sleep. These problems are rare and/or not too impactful, but still annoying.
- The BIGGEST CON by far is the thermals. The laptop has amazing specs as I mentioned above, but it can't use them to their full potential because the components get too hot and have to cut back on speed. The fans are noisy and run at full speed often. I regularly experience temps of 70°+ while web browsing, and 90°+ while (light) gaming or other more intensive tasks.
To me that is a huge letdown, as this laptop does not perform heavy tasks like it should. The processor is limited by the cooling of the laptop and can't really do all that it's has the potential to do.
Overall, I am disappointed by the low upper limit of the hardware, but for my needs as a tech-savvy college student looking for a good laptop for classes, it's perfect. It's light and portable, sturdy, fast, and cheap. Even the gaming/heavy use cases are.... acceptable, even if they aren't what they could be. I recommend this laptop to many people, but it's not for everyone.
- Very light - perfect for the backpack
- Fast nvme 500GB SSD - windows boot and login are very fast. Touching the fingerprint reader logs you in almost instantly.
- Fast Ryzen 7 CPU - the 8 core cpu is faster on perf tests than my Dell XPS 15 i7 notebook.
- Cool and quiet during use
- Good keyboard, mouse pad
- Very sharp and bright non-reflective display - I was originally skeptical about the screen quality based on the reviews saying that it's less bright than others... Actually the screen is so bright that we need to keep it at about 15-20% when working at home even during the day. Sharpness/pixel density is the same as on my 4K 27" LG monitor. The reflection handling is very good.
- Very nice set of ports - the HDMI is actually v2.0 so my external 4K monitor is running at 60Hz refresh rate - smooth mouse and window rendering.
- Price/quality is very good - notebook looks and feels very nice and snappy... I looked at many other more expensive alternatives and couldn't find anything I liked in the price range of up to $1200...
Honestly I'm engineer and I'm rarely impressed by the latest and greatest hardware but this is very pleasant surprise. Great job AMD and Acer!
I needed a business-appropriate laptop. My requirements for this were pretty simple: something with a sharp but conservative appearance, MOBILE (not heavy or bulky), but also just as powerful (or capable of being just as powerful) as my much larger personal laptop. It came down to this and the Lenovo Flex. I chose this because the design was all metal, and I liked Macbook Airs when working as an Apple systems manager for their durability, style, and mobility. It's just a shame the RAM is not upgradeable (it's soldered). The RAM on the Lenovo Flex is not upgradeable either, though. It also comes with a weaker processor (Ryzen 5, which isn't quite on the i7's level). I doubt anyone will need more than 8 to 16GB of RAM in the lifetimes of these laptops. I knew that if I got a Ryzen 5 that would just make me want the Ryzen 7 processor more (you can never upgrade processors in a laptop). So, despite toting less RAM, Swift still came out as the winner both in design and performance when I compared it up close to the Flex online.
I worried a bit when I read a review that complained about the screen and graphics on Swift being almost unusable. But I clearly had nothing to worry about. Those professional reviewers sometimes can get so snobby with hardware, they set the bar higher than anyone in the real world would ever set it.
The screen is semi-matte. I have very sensitive eyes, sensitive enough that I often have to wear blue light blocking glasses to deal with sunlight, bright indoor lights, or computer light. Even the slightest flicker is noticeable to me in a very uncomfortable, painful kind of way that strains my eyes. There's the tiniest amount of flicker in this display. It is NOTHING like the reviews have been describing, which made me afraid I wouldn't be able to use this laptop. It's VERY easy on my eyes after switching the AMD Radeon settings to Enhanced and High Res (which simultaneously smoothes and sharpens up the text, making it more legible). It also does NOT have a glossy, highly reflective screen. The screen is semi-matte at the worst (honestly, it's not even that much), and it's full matte once it's turned on. Evidently Acer has switched displays after the complaints (they tend to be good about doing things like that). It gets super bright, and the colors are close to true as far as I can tell - only publishing something is going to reveal the truth there, which I haven't done yet. But again, I can't believe what a close call it is to a Macbook Air.
The graphics performance: It's not a gaming laptop, though I'm sure it is good enough to play most games on medium and would be PERFECT for a student. It's definitely strong enough to perform smoothly for graphic artists, photographers, and anyone that tends to keep a ton of tabs open in their browser. Smooth scrolling and rendering, no lag or glitching.
I cannot compliment the Ryzen 7 processor enough. I am moving from an 8th gen i7 and the Ryzen 7 is WAY more responsive and less prone to freezing or errors. I can very easily believe it maxes out at 4ghz. Those eight cores handle multitasking like a true champ.
I was worried the RAM would give me some issues with work because it's only 8gb and it's also underpowered to help boost battery performance. So far, I've been surprised to find that this low-powered RAM actually keeps up with me despite my issues with never exiting or closing windows, lol.
The keyboard is extremely comfortable if you have small to medium-sized hands. There is some time to adjust to the smaller form factor. Large handed people will immediately hate the keyboard because it's compact. This being said, it IS a large keyboard as far as COMPACT keyboards go, and it is 100% identical to the keyboard on the Macbook Air. Same feel and everything. Backlit keys, which you can switch on or off. Something SUPER cool is that Acer figured out how to include a Numlock and number keypad on it by marking some of the letter keys with numbers, then adding a Numlock. (check my pictures)
If you turn on the manual equalizer in the audio settings and crank it up, the speakers actually get really loud, and they're nice that way too (no rattle, no stress on the drivers). By default though, I can easily see tons of folks complaining about the speakers not getting loud. They don't get loud at all by default. With the equalizer maxed out, I would compare them to a mini Bluetooth speaker.
In short, don't buy this for audio unless you're planning on connecting it to different speakers. For normal casual usage, like watching YouTube videos or streaming movies, the built-in speakers should be just fine.
The lid is very well hinged. The screen is reinforced as well. Dropping it may cause some cosmetic damage, but it should hold up in most cases. At the worst, you'll be looking at a little cosmetic damage (scratches, dings) and a busted screen. Which is better than what you could face with the typical plastic body. I once dropped a plastic body laptop off the back of my car (I was an idiot and left it on the hood). It totally destroyed the body... the laptop still worked, but there was bare PCB board everywhere. It was ugly, lol.
Now, there are complaints about battery life on this, but I haven't had any problems. I also didn't go with default settings in some key areas, though. I changed the Radeon settings to focus more on battery life than performance. Then I changed the power settings to best battery life. Now, I don't consider this to be much, especially with my huge collection of background apps, but considering complaints saying the battery wouldn't last more than an hour... hmmm. I'm not seeing it. I've been on battery for an hour now, and have 12h 46m remaining after charging to 98%. I'm guessing the expected battery life will hang somewhere between 4.5h and 6h on medium.
Overall, it's a great machine and an awesome value in my book. I have no idea why the pro reviewers thought so poorly of it (though they did give it respect as a budget laptop). Maybe they were comparing it to more expensive laptops instead of comparing it to other models in this price range....? Or maybe the older version of this was really that bad.
Whatever. I'm sticking with this because IT WORKS.
Update: Two months later... it's still running like the day I got it. I'm actually shocked that it continues to perform so well on 8GB of energy saving RAM. I am guessing the difference lies in a combo of using a better processor and using a solid state drive. My other laptop has an A12, which is quad core and goes up to 3ghz - this Ryzen 7 is octacore and goes up to 4ghz.
The Care Center app has a function in it to make the battery only change to 80% when it's plugged in (saves the battery cells from being burned out). So despite using it plugged in all the time, I have not lost any battery health. It still goes for six hours or more off battery.
You can run Debian on it. I couldn't get Buster (10, stable at time of review) to install, but Bullseye (11, testing) works well. Buster didn't have the Intel AX wifi driver and I couldn't get the one from backports to load. Apparently you need the 5.7 kernel for the Ryzen 4000 series power-states to work well in Linux anyway (pretty important for a laptop). Once I installed Bullseye, I was left with a black screen, had to switch to an alternate console with Ctrl+Alt+F2 and run "sudo apt update" and then "sudo apt install firmware-linux". Then rebooted (sudo shutdown -r now) and all was well. I guess it was either the amd64-microcode or more likely firmware-amd-graphics that I needed for X to work. If this doesn't work for you, make sure /etc/apt/sources.list includes "main contrib non-free" at the end of each line, as opposed to just "main". You can edit it with "sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list"