Acer Swift 5 Photo: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo Acer’s Swift 5 laptop has stood for years as a compelling value pick in the premium ultraportable laptop segment. You could generally find one with better specs at the same or a lower price than other flagships like the XPS 13 or Lenovo Yoga 9i . The newest Swift 5, now with an updated design and faster components, competes with these models more directly. At $1,549, the Swift 5 is swimming alongside the big fish, but this generation manages to keep its head above water thanks to some smart updates.
I can’t find much fault with this system, which is among the fastest in its class and pairs that speed with an attractive chassis and a useful array of ports. It isn’t perfect, by any means: the speakers are weak, there is loads of bloatware, and a shallow keyboard and stiff touchpad buttons hamper the experience. None of those are deal-breakers, and yet, the Acer Swift 5 isn’t the first laptop I’d recommend in this price class. That’s not because it does anything wrong, but rather, because it doesn’t lead in any category nor does the chassis feel as premium as those of some rival machines. That said, if you want a straightforward portable notebook, the Swift 5 is an excellent choice. Elegant design, plenty of ports
This is, by far, the most handsome Swift 5. Previous models had a cheap, insubstantial feeling and lacked some of the elegant design elements found on laptops like the Yoga 9i or HP Spectre x360 14. Acer made some smart refinements to an existing platform here, adding anodized gold plating along the edges, an accent that gives the Swift 5 a luxurious appearance. I also like the green and gold color scheme (Acer calls it Mist Green; Steam Blue is also available), a unique yet sophisticated pairing that extends from the lid to the deck, and even the touchpad and keyboard. Acer Swift 5 Photo: Phillip Tracy/Gizmodo The Swift still doesn’t feel quite as robust as others in this class. That’s partly down to it not having a unibody design like the MacBook Air or Razer Blade 13, meaning there is a seam between the bottom panel and deck. The other reason is that the Swift 5 uses a mix of aerospace-grade aluminum (top cover) and magnesium alloy (bottom), the latter of which Acer says toughens the chassis. In my opinion, it does so at the expense of having somewhat plastic-feeling surfaces. The good news is that the build quality is great—the tolerances are all tight, the hinge feels stiff, and the