Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP Laptop Review

Image of the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP Laptop

The Acer Swift 3 i5 is an excellent entry version ultrabook that will definitely give maximum value for your money.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Aesthetically beautiful metallic chassis
  • Excellent hardware choice
  • Well priced

Cons

  • Mediocre port selection

Due to the demand for Ultrabooks, and their success in the US market with other laptop brands, Acer decided to join in the tea party. The entrance of the Acer Swift 3, Swift 5 and Swift 7 into the arena has sparked the interest of many buyers due to their quality and cost balance. The Swift 3 line of machines is offered at a lower price than its companions, with small differences in battery life, display quality, and weight, and the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP is no different.

Acer Swift 3 Specs

Display14″ Full HD Widescreen IPS ComfyView LED-backlit Display
(1920 x 1080 resolution; 16:9 aspect ratio)
Internal StorageFlash Memory Solid State | 256GB SSD
Processor7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U Processor | 2.5GHz – 3.1GHz | 3MB L3 cache
RAM8GB DDR4 Onboard Memory
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 620
Connectivity802.11ac WiFi featuring 2×2 MU-MIMO technology
(Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz) | Bluetooth 4.0
Ports
  • Single x USB 3.1 (Type-C) port (Gen 1 up to 5 Gbps)
  • 1 x USB 3.0 port (with power-off charging)
  • A single USB 2.0 port
  • Single HDMI port with HDCP support
  • Secure Digital (SD) card reader
AudioTwo built-in stereo speakers and built-in digital microphone
OSWindows 10
Battery10 hours | 4-cell Li-Ion (3220 mAh)
CameraHD Webcam (1280 x 720) supporting High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Acer Fingerprint Reader supporting Windows Hello
Specifications3.3 pounds \ 1.49685 kgs
Dimensions13.43 x 9.31 x 0.71 inches \ 34.1122 x 23.65 x 1.8034 cm
ColorSparkly Silver

DESIGN AND FEATURES

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP Ultrabook has all there is to love in a laptop. It not only is light and stylish but is also equipped with excellent specs for best performance. The chassis is made of satiny silver aluminum giving is a premium and a smooth touch. Despite having an aluminum body, it weighs only 3.3 lbs/ 1.5 kgs.

The metallic finish doesn’t make it any less portable. Further enhancing its portability, it’s only 71 inches thin. It’s only 0.3 lbs heavier than the MacBook Air and shares the same thickness with the MacBook Air at its thickest point before it tapers away. Its edges are well rounded to match with its body form.

Display

The 14″ Full HD Widescreen, IPS ComfyView LED-backlit Display that comes with the Acer Swift 3 S314-51-57CP is a great sight to behold. With a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixel and an aspect ratio of 16:9, display quality is crisp. The color and contrast ratios are satisfactory for most users needs and the viewing angle is naturally wide owing to it being an IPS display. The glossy finish makes images sharper as opposed to a matte finish but results in more glare. However, glare can be easily mitigated by increasing brightness and/or using the machine away from direct sunlight.

Input devices

Keyboard

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP’s chicklet keyboard in the is nothing far from the ordinary. However, there are a few highlights about it. In addition to the good spacing, key travel is sufficiently making it quite comfortable to type on. The biggest pro to them is that they’re backlit. This was once a feature available majorly only in the top of the range laptops, which today is becoming a thing of the past.

Touchpad

The touchpad, on the other hand, is quite responsive and accurate. In addition to that, it fully supports the new Windows 10 features such as Cortana, Multitasking and Action Center. This allows you to do more with the touch of your fingers.

Finger Print reader

An embedded fingerprint reader provides an extra level of biometric security. This prevents unauthorized users from accessing your PC without your consent. The reader works with Windows Hello, verifying your fingerprint in seconds and automatically logging you into your Windows account. The New Windows 10 has undergone improvements up from the Windows 8. As such, there are far fewer challenges with inaccuracy and skipping as was witnessed in Windows laptops running on Windows.

Webcam

The 720p HD Webcam (1280 x 720) in the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP is quite pleasant to use. Picture quality and sound clarity is uncompromisingly good. It is certified for Skype for Business, which means that the speakers, microphone and HD Webcam are guaranteed to work perfectly with Skype for Business.

Ports

The port selection in the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP is fairly decent. However, we need to understand that since Acer Swift 3 is intended to be a Acer Swift 7 SF713-51-M90J Laptop Reviewbudget ultra-portable, some of the components selected may be in a bid to keep prices low.

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP comes with one USB 3.1 (Type-C) port (Gen 1 up to 5 Gbps), one USB 3.0 port (with power-off charging), one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port and a Headphone/microphone combo jack. Many laptop manufacturers are moving away from the USB 2.0 port because of its low transfer speeds.

The USB 3.1 port (Type C) offers better speeds than the USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 but still falls far short of the Thunderbolt 3 port (Type C) that’s available in for instance Acer Swift 7 and other higher end laptops. On the other hand, it’s great to have an HDMI (With with HDCP support) port for display purposes. This port is in many ultrabooks taken over by the Thunderbolt 3 port which can support two 4K displays (4096 x 2160 30bpp @ 60 Hz).

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP does not end it there. It also comes with a card slot, which enables the user to easily transfer data or even use it as secondary storage.

Other Connectivity Options

Wireless connectivity for the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP is quite fine, with 802.11ac WiFi chip featuring 2×2 MU-MIMO technology (Dual-Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz). The MU-MIMO capability is currently mostly a preserve of Acer, with only a handful of other brands taking it on.

The MU-MIMO capability provides a dual transfer between the device and WiFi router, and also transfer to several devices at once. This feature thus enables faster transfer speed, better signal quality, and better connection stability due to the ac protocol. The downside is that it only works with MU-MIMO enabled routers.

Bluetooth connectivity is equally solid and reliable. However, the Bluetooth 4.0 fails to harness the advantages that come with the Bluetooth 4.1 protocol such as power management and coexistence with 4G networks.

System Performance

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP comes with a 7th Generation Intel Core i5-7200U Processor, 8GB DDR4 onboard memory, 256GB SSD and an integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 chip.

The Core i5 Processor is a mid-tier dual-core CPU in the 7th Gen series meant for mainstream laptops. This U Kaby Lake processor represents excellent performance and power saving ability. With such a processor, most tasks are a breeze especially combined with a solid state drive. If anything, thanks to the 256GB SSD installed, the Windows operating system is much snappier compared to if it had a mechanical hard drive. Additionally, if you’re planning to run highly demanding programs, software, video production or edit photos the CPU should get you through it working together with the SSD available.

The processor can turbo up from 2.5GHz to 3.1GHz to meet demand, then throttle down once the need is met. This is an improvement from the 6th Gen Core i5-6200U with a frequency range of 2.3 GHz and 2.8 GHz. Generally, this mainstream CPU is great for scenarios like web browsing, online video streaming in Full HD resolution, work in Microsoft Office productivity suite.

Update: If however, you require better hardcore performance for heavier software of photo and video editing, Acer integrated the 8th Gen processor to their configurations. The Acer Swift 3 (SF315-51-518S) is a higher iteration of our unit thanks to an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, 15.6″ Full HD, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD.

Memory and Storage

The 8GB Ram is sufficient for most users needs. In a bid to cut down on cost on their side and to improve performance, most manufacturers opt for non-replaceable RAM. It is thus highly advisable to acquire a machine that can match your exact needs so as to avoid being stuck with an underperforming machine that you cannot improve.

The Intel integrated graphics is sufficient for most graphical uses such as media consumption, light photo editing, and light games. This would however not be the best-suited machine for a heavy gamer.

256 GB Internal storage space is quite sufficient for entry-level ultrabooks, and there are other avenues to store data such as cloud storages. The main advantage of having a Solid State Drive (SSD) over a Hard Disk Drive is speed. Retrieval and saving time in an SSD is a reduced to a fraction cutting down cold boot up time to seconds and making apps and programs to work even smoother.

Acer Swift 3 Battery life

When fully charged, the 4-cell Li-Ion (3220 mAh) can pull through 10 hours of light use. This, of course, may vary from user to user and what constitutes their use. While normal user trends may result in lower run time, the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP is still an excellent machine when it comes to battery. At least it can take you through a whole working day on one charge. That’s ideal for students, road warriors, techies on the go and generally working professionals.

Our Take

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-57CP is quite impressive, with the most interesting part being the price. Making an entrance at an all-time low it’s one of the cheapest ultrabooks you are likely to see in the market today. Its combination of great specs, performance and price simply set it as one of my favorite picks. All this is great especially for users who don’t mind the Intel Core i5-7200U Processor. However, if you want better performance, the updated iteration with 8th Gen processor (Acer Swift 3 (SF315-51-518S) is the better choice.

About Liam Weisman

A lover of MacBook Air and the Dell XPS line of laptops, Liam has been researching and writing guest blogger for numerous websites for over 10 years. Now, he blogs about tech trends, PCs, laptops, gadgets, and other emerging gadgets

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