Acer Swift 7 Review: A Thin, Sleek, Kaby Lake Powered Ultrabook

Acer Swift 7 Design

An ultrabook's display is arguably the most important features to consider, as a sub-par display will ruin whatever experience the rest of the hardware delivers. We like the Swift 7’s display, FullHD 1920 x 1080 resolution and all. The Bluelight reduction feature is a nice touch, and we like the Color Intelligence feature too, which calibrates the display for accuracy, despite our initial skepticism. The software improves images much more than we expected it to, and we wish it was something we could enable while the laptop runs on battery power. It’s also worth noting that the display is protected with tough-as-nails Corning Gorilla Glass.

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Acer's Color Intelligence feature is meant to improve the screen’s color by automatically adjusting gamma and saturation. The feature works only when the Swift 7 is charging (plugged in), however. It disables once the laptop switches to battery power. Acer Bluelight Shield is meant to reduce eye strain by limiting the amount of blue light emitted by the display. As with Acer Color Intelligence, users can adjust the setting in Acer’s unobtrusive Quick Access utility.

The quest to create the thinnest laptop is affecting keyboards, which are getting flatter and are offering less travel. (In fact, Lenovo went so far as do away with physical keys entirely on its laptop-like Yoga Book tablet.) Given the Swift 7’s slim design, we expected the keyboard to be too flat, but we were pleasantly surprised. The island-style keys have softer strikes than we expected, despite traveling for shorter distances than ordinary keys. The keys are large enough for ordinary fingers and the layout didn’t include any surprising key-placement choices (aside from the Power button, which looks like any other key and resides in the upper-right corner). The keys are prone to smudges, but we were able to clean them easily with a cloth.

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Although we like the keyboard for typical use, we’d choose a Lenovo ThinkPad over the Swift 7 for anyone who spends long periods of time typing. Also, Acer doesn’t offer a model of the Swift 7 with a keyboard back light, which will be a deal-breaker for some prospective buyers.

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We have no complaints about the touchpad, which Acer refers to as the “Precision Touchpad". The touch pad is very responsive to our taps and swipes were surprisingly smooth. It’s also very wide, providing more room to swipe. Even though the touchpad is larger than normal, we didn’t have any problems with activating it accidentally while we typed -- palm rejection is very good.

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The aforementioned USB 3.1 Type-C ports sit on the right side of the Swift 7, near the back, along with the headphone/mic jack. One of those ports doubles as the power port, which means you have just one Type-C port available while the laptop is charging. And will users want to carry USB and HDMI dongles with them? Apple is clearly convinced that trimming ports (not to mention going all-in on Type-C) is the way to go, but we wonder just how many people buying a casual-use laptop will agree that less is more.

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As for the Swift 7’s unibody chassis, it’s downright gorgeous. The aluminum body features gold and matte black, giving the Swift plenty of personality. As thin as the laptop is, we found it to be very tough. The hinge is tight, keeping the display in place without trouble, though we needed to hold the keyboard down while adjusting the display to prevent it from tipping over. We only noticed flex when picking the laptop up by its front corner – while the display was up. Even then, the flex was minimal and didn’t raise any red flags. Despite its thinness, this is a tough and rigid laptop.

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