Review: Acer Swift 3 2018

This is a review of Acer Swift 3 2018 laptop. The 2018 must be mentioned since the hardware is rather different from the year before. Its full name is Acer Swift 3 SF314-54G-51ZK. But it’s rather mouthfull right?

In Indonesia, the price is 8 million IDR (after 1212 discount). At first sight, a thought slip in mind, ‘Is it an old Macbook?’. Silver full aluminium body, black hinge, large trackpad, no access to harddrive or memory bay and star screws. But how the overall experience? Check it out.

Like it

  1. Main Specification. Intel Core i5 8th gen with quad core, 4GB of RAM, 1TB of harddrive. Nice. There are also additional slots for RAM upgrade and SSD (via M2 / NV-ME slot) to enhance the performance even more.
  2. Dimension and weight. The laptop is rather small and light. Dimensi 323 x 228 x 18.7 mm, weight 1.5 kg. Of course, it is unlike ZenBook or MacBook Air which has weight less than 1 kg. But it’s allright.
  3. Fourteen inch screen with 1080p resolution. Okay, many expensive laptops have 4K resolution with amazing color accuracy. But at this price point, many still have an old 1366 x 768 resolution. Which is weird. Considering how big the resolution on smartphone or TV screen. But overall, the 1080p screen on the Acer Swift 3 is good. Thin bezel helps Acer to squeeze an 14 inch screen into a smaller (13 inch?) laptop.
  4. Large trackpad with Windows Precision Driver. While it is (much) worse than standard trackpad on Apple’s laptop, the trackpad is actually good. Large. The gesture is now easier with Windows Precision Driver.
  5. Nvidia 150 MX Video Graphic. So there are 2 video cards in the laptop, the one inside the Intel processor and an additional (discrete) card from Nvidia. While has never been tested on the laptop, it should increase the gaming performance.

Don’t Like It

  1. Poor choice of ports. The laptop has a charging slot, 2 x USB 3 type A, 1 x USB 2 type A, 1 x USB 3 type C, 1  x HDMI, 1 x audio 3.5 mm, Kensington lock and memory card slot. The lack of LAN and VGA port is understandable. The form factor creates difficulties in put those ports in the laptop. Another reason are the rare usage of LAN port and the Intel processor no longer supports VGA/CRT by default. But,why there are so many type A USB? Type C USB should have better number. The absence of Thunderbolt port and a proprietary charging port (rather than USB type C as charging port) definitely not good. It is odd considering the older model already supports USB type C charging.
  2. Too few indicator lamp. It has only 2 indicators, power and charge. Caps Lock indicator shown on the screen for a while after the Caps Lock button is pressed. No way to determine whether the Caps Lock active or inactive. There is also no harddrive indicator. No way to know the harddrive is working or not. Rather difficult to know is the program loading or just missing click.

Others

  1. Keyboard. Not a big deal, only that the older Acer Swift 3 already has a backlit keyboard while the new one not. And since I type frequently, no dedicated Home and End button is a pain i the ass. Not to say Delete button at the left of Power button.
  2. Fingerprint reader. It should provide a better security than typing password. Unfortunately, the fingerprint reader’s accuracy resemble the fingerprint reader for office attendance. So, it’s kinda frustrating. It should learn from smartphone.
  3. Long lasting battery with long charging time. Hehe. Well, though the time isn’t precise, the laptop may last for 5-6 hours between charge. However, it also has a long charging time. About 2-3 hours. Again, need to learn from Fast Charging feature in smartphone.
  4. Harddrive. Boy, is it slow? After using SSD for almost 2 years, even a large harddrive feels really slow. Need SSD upgrade. Fast.

Conclusion

Overall, the Acer Swift 3 2018 offers big values. It gives more laptop for the money. Relatively modern design, compact and light, recent specs with reasonable screen. Of course it has its drawbacks, the ports and the annoying fingerprint reader.

The laptop is good enough for serious work or take to cafe. No need to worry about power outlet since the battery is long lasting. Good for gentlemen while the ladies will also appreciate the lack of weight. Also there is pink variant for all the ladies out there.

If you feel the laptop is suitable for you, the suggestion is taking the same specification (Core i5 with 1TB harddrive). Why? The Core i5 in the laptop is only little worse compare to its Core i7 sibling. Paying another 1.5-2 million isn’t necessary. The Core i3 version? Forget it, it is much worse. The SSD version? I believe it also too expensive. Better buy one by yourself.