Acer Swift Edge review: the lightest 4K OLED laptop on the market

Between chip shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation, it can seem impossible to find a high-end laptop under $2,000. Acer’s 16-inch Swift Edge model, however, proves that it’s still possible to buy an ultrabook-class laptop not only for less than $2,000, but also for $500 less. Its thin and light chassis, its Ryzen 7 processor, its DDR5 memory and its 4K screen are all elements that make you think high end, while its price is more than 500 euros lower than the MacBook Pros with similar size and equipment.

Of course, the surprisingly low price comes with some concessions that you need to be aware of. High-end design and ultra-rigid construction have been abandoned here in favor of raw power. Battery life is also shorter than more expensive models. In return, you get performance that can handle anything you throw at it, and it does so quickly.

This article will help you decide if the balance Acer has struck between performance, build quality, and price makes the Swift Edge the perfect laptop for you.

Acer Swift Edge 16-inch specs


  • Processor : AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
  • Display : 16-inch OLED panel at 3840×2400 with a refresh rate of 60 Hz
  • Memory : 16 GB DDR5 (up to 32 GB available)
  • Storage : 1TB NVME Gen 4 SSD
  • Camera: 1080p at 60FPS
  • Battery : 54 Wh, runtime up to 10.5 hours
  • Ports: 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (up to 20 Gbps with DisplayPort over USB), 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x HDMI 2.1 (HDCP support), 1 headphone/mic combo jack Wi-Fi 6E connectivity, Bluetooth 5.2
  • Weight and dimensions: 1.17kg | 356.7 x 242.3 x 12.95 millimeters

Acer Swift Edge 16-inch build quality


Acer's Swift Edge laptop is closed on a desk


The cover is quite susceptible to fingerprints in the “Olivine Black” version. Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

I would say this is the least impressive aspect of the Swift Edge. While no part of the laptop is poorly made, most of the materials are… serviceable. The outer shell, for example, is all-metal, but it’s a thinner metal than most laptops, and it’s more flexible than I’d like.


Acer Swift Edge laptop keyboard and trackpad


The integrated trackpad rises slightly above the rest of the structure to provide a particularly responsive and pleasant experience on a Windows laptop. Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

This theme continues on the keyboard. It offers a moderate level of comfort and hitting feel, with a little softness at the point of impact. That said, the touchpad offers a satisfying mechanical click, and is as responsive and accurate as anything I’ve used on a Windows laptop recently.

The 4K screen, The highlight of the system, is surrounded by pleasingly thin bezels, allowing its impressive OLED panel to shine (we’ll get to that). The larger 16:9 aspect ratio also provides enough screen real estate for working and browsing websites. This beauty and practicality goes a long way to getting rid of the outer shell and keyboard that might look out of place on a cheaper laptop.

Acer Swift Edge 16-inch Features and Ports


The port selection of Acer's Swift Edge laptop


A pair of full-size USB-A ports is a rare giveaway these days, especially on a thin laptop. Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

Another good thing is the port selection in Swift Edge. While some expensive models add more cost by requiring dongles and adapters, this more economical model from Acer offers two USB-A ports and two USB-C ports, which probably enough to cover your peripherals and data bases. storage. It also adds extra flexibility to your setup by expanding the included HDMI 2.1 port with DisplayPort to USB Type-C support for additional monitors.

Those extra screens may struggle to compete with the Swift Edge’s built-in screen. Sometimes I hesitate about the need for a 4K screen under 24 inches. But the sheer pixel density and gorgeous color saturation (provided by the OLED panel) kept me quiet and enjoying the show. Video streaming is crisp, with deep and rich blacks, while text is sharp at all sizes.

The glossy coating is also more resistant to background reflections than other models I’ve recently reviewed. Between that and the 400 nits of brightness, you shouldn’t have any issues operating in direct sunlight. Of course, this beautiful display consumes electricity, but we will talk about that in the next section.

About this webcam…

I should also mention the included 1080p webcam. I won’t be as harsh as I was with the built-in webcam on Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z16. There are two reasons for this. First, Acer didn’t make the webcam a showpiece, listing it on its spec sheet as a fairly average 1080p portable camera, contrary to Lenovo’s decision to highlight it permanently on the cover of its cellphone. Second, despite this lack of attention, the performance of the webcam is very similar to Lenovo’s webcam: exactly what you would expect from an average quality 1080p webcam built into a thin and light laptop.

It’s not the worst I’ve used, but it’s a bit noisy and doesn’t deliver high HD quality as expected, which most laptop webcams do. However, it is very useful for Zoom calls and so on.

Finally, I would like to point out that the built-in stereo speakers are very good. They won’t blow you away, but they also don’t distort your sound or get too muddy at high volumes, which is great for media use.

Acer Swift Edge 16-inch performance and battery life


Introducing the Acer Swift Edge Laptop


The default wallpaper does a great job of showcasing everything from the rich, dark blacks that OLED can deliver, to the crisp and highly saturated 4K resolution. Michael Gariffo/ZDNET

This is where sacrifices in other aspects of the Swift Edge pay off. The Ryzen 7 CPU and 16GB of DDR5 RAM (the latest current standard) provided outstanding performance in almost every task I threw at them. Basic Windows actions and productivity are always instantaneous, even when trying to bog down the device with multiple browser tabs open and multiple programs running. While it can’t quite match Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z16’s Ryzen 9 CPU, it’s pretty close.

One area where it lacks is gameplay. I have to emphasize that the Swift Edge is not marketed as a gaming PC. However, most high-end ranges of laptops can usually play most mid-range games, although they cannot deliver usable frame rates in AAA titles. The performance of Swift Edge is hardly available in games like Overwatch 2 and Valorant, and perfect for older titles like League of Legends or any other retro/2D games you might like. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for anything other than occasional gaming.

Gaming performance is a nice bonus in a laptop for work or school, but battery life is usually most important. Acer rates the Swift Edge at 10.5 hours for video playback and 7.5 hours via the MobileMark 2018 benchmark. I found the lower figure to be closer to the truth. Most full charges last around 5.5-7 hours. Cranking the system up to full can drop that number to as low as 3 hours, while applying some modest battery-saving measures can drop it to 8 hours. However, applying what I consider an average to various tasks, I find 6.5 hours per charge to be a realistic expectation.

That means you shouldn’t expect all-day battery life. But it was never realistic to expect a 16-inch screen with 4K resolution to match 13-inch laptops with HD screens that last more than 10 hours. This is another trade-off worth highlighting. If you really need more than 10 hours of battery life, you’ll need to consider a smaller, lower resolution screen, or a heavier laptop. You can’t have everything, especially at this price point.

to summarize

I hope I have described the pros and cons of Swift Edge in a way that will help you decide if its good and bad points suit your needs. I think the ideal owner is someone who can take full advantage of the large 4K screen. If you’re constantly having to contend with low battery life, or if you’re just doing basic productivity work, all those pixels will be wasted.

On the other hand, if you’re a content creator who produces photos or videos in 4K resolution or a content consumer who wants his streaming videos to look good, you’ll enjoy everything this OLED panel has to offer. . You’ll also need to plug in every once in a while to keep your work or entertainment going, but not for long thanks to the included 65W charger.

There are options that let you have all of this, but you’ll need to shell out upwards of $500 more, and even then you’ll have to give up things like a 4K display. This fact alone makes the Swift Edge a great budget option for the buyer who needs a solid, capable laptop with one of the best 16-inch screens I’ve seen in a laptop under $2,000 . .

Alternatives to Acer’s 16-inch Swift Edge to consider

If build quality is more important to you than a 4K display, and you can stretch your budget a bit, Lenovo’s ThinkPad Z16 is a well-built laptop with a powerful Ryzen 9 at its heart.

If you need something with longer battery life, Dell’s XPS 13 Plus is among the latest and greatest all-day laptops, with a battery life of over 13 hours.

Finally, note that Apple’s latest 16-inch MacBook Pro is the battery king with up to 21 hours of use thanks to its very powerful and highly integrated M1 Pro core.


Source: “ZDNet.com”

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