Acer Swift 3 Laptop Review: Affordable And Accelerated With Optane
Acer Swift 3: Summary and Final Analysis
The Acer Swift 3 is an attractive mainstream laptop, that offers relatively strong performance, at an affordable price. It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles that some higher-end premium machines come with, but it has a good feature set and will likely serve users well, without breaking the bank.
There aren't many laptops on the market that leverage Intel Optane Memory acceleration technology just yet. Even in the Swift 3 family, there are only a handful of models that use it. Throughout our testing and day-to-day use of the machine, we're torn on how to feel about it in this particular implementation. When loading programs and booting into Windows, performance was great. However, installing programs or moving large files was relatively slow due to the limitations of its paltry HDD when Optane Memory cache wasn't accelerating anything. For most mainstream users, this probably won't be concern, because once their systems have been setup and configured with all of their favorite programs and data, read performance is more important. However, if you're used to systems equipped with nothing but solid state storage, you'll definitely notice the slower performance when the hard disk drive is holding things back.
The trade-off here is that you get more total bulk storage for less money. A 1TB SSD would cost hundreds more to add to this laptop, so you end up with SSD-like performance most of the time, on a single, easy-to-manage disk volume, with a smaller initial investment. If you are someone on a budget who needs a lot of storage space in a notebook, Optane Memory may be the way to go. If not, all solid state storage may offer better all-round performance for your use case.
That said, we really liked the Acer Swift 3 as a whole. Performance was good, the brushed aluminum chassis looked fantastic, and the display was phenomenal for the asking price. The speakers also managed to impress us on this machine. Downward firing speakers usually hinder the user experience, so we didn't expect much. After watching some movies and listening to music though, audio output is actually a strong point on this machine, especially in comparison to other notebooks in this price range. Battery life wasn't particularly strong, but it should be able to keep the system powered on through an average work day.
We do want to take issue with the bloatware that came installed on the machine, however. Norton in particular is seems resource heavy and it nags users constantly when the trail period is up. We would have like to have seen less bloatware and cleaner Windows install, but it's nothing a few minutes uninstalling programs can't fix.
Overall, the Acer Swift 3 is a nice laptop in our opinion. It's affordable, highly portable, and good looking. It may not be perfect all-around, but it offers a lot for under $700.