Editor’s Rating: 8.5/10
A lightweight model with heavyweight performance.
This model is not only lightweight but also features a great that makes it easy to carry around. It’s also packed with a great CPU and decent battery life that can provide heavyweight performance, which is great for both school and work.
The keyboard layout and speakers could certainly use improvement. The inclusion of a USB 2.0 port and lack of an SD card reader could also be an issue.
Detailed Review of Acer Swift 5 (2019, SF514-54T-5428)
Finding a good laptop that is light, easy, and comfortable to carry, and packs a serious punch is not easy to do.
But the Acer Swift 5 tries to offer all that and is somewhat successful in doing so. It’s a device that weighs at only 2.18 lbs, making it one of the lightest laptops available. It also features a 14-inch display in a small body, making it comfortable to carry around.
It’s also equipped with a 10th Gen Intel processor, a great display, and decent battery life, making it a great laptop for most work or school tasks, and even for some entertainment activities.
Of course, this laptop cannot provide everything. There are some annoyances that you will have to deal with if you choose to get this model.
Acer Swift 5 Configuration In Review
Processor: Intel Core i5-1035G1 (up to 3.6GHz) | RAM: 8GB LPDDR4 | Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics | Display: 14” Full HD touch screen, 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 8 Hours | Weight: 2.18 lbs | Other Features: Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint reader, Intel WiFi 6
Let’s discuss deeper the features that this good i5 laptop model has to offer.
Right off the bat, you will instantly notice how lightweight the Acer Swift 5 is. Weighing at only 2.18 lbs, it is one of the lightest 14-inch laptops that you can get your hands on. It’s weight, though, is not the only reason why it’s easy and comfortable to carry.
The laptop itself is small, despite its 14-inch display, making it easier to carry around. The laptop’s bezels are now slimmer, which means Acer increased the screen size without actually making the laptop bigger. The screen-to-body ratio is at 86.4% while the bezels have a 0.15-inch thickness.
Despite being a lightweight laptop, the Acer Swift 5 feels sturdy and well-built. The magnesium-alloy chassis feels durable and the lid doesn’t seem like it’s easy to bend or crack. It’s dark bluish finish, gold hinge, and simple design make it look more premium than its price tag suggests.
On the center of the lid is the Acer logo with a chrome finish to add to its elegant look. When you open the laptop you will see that the keyboard deck uses the same dark bluish finish.
Acer also used gold on the font on the keys to providing contrast, which was good. The buttonless touchpad is placed on the middle and the finger sensor sits just below the right side of the keyboard.
Good Features and Functionality
Aside from being lightweight and durable, the Acer Swift 5 is also packed with good features, making it one of the better Acer laptops we reviewed.
It offers solid flexibility with its ports as there’s a Thunderbolt 3 Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Type-A port, and the HDMI connection on the left side, together with the power jack. On the right side are a USB 2.0 port, an audio jack, and a Kensington lock slot for added security.
It would have been better if Acer also used a USB 3.1 port on the right side instead of the USB 2.0. The device also doesn’t have an SD card reader, which would have been a great addition and allowed for more flexibility when it comes to connectivity.
The keyboard layout is one of our main issues with this laptop model because Acer didn’t improve it from the previous model of the Swift 5. Some keys are still narrow with Page Up and Home, as well as Page Down and End sharing a spot.
…a good 14-inch display, providing good brightness and vivid color display…
We also didn’t like that the Delete key is placed beside the Power Button, which can cause an accidental shutdown of the device. We use the Delete key fairly often, so this can be a great annoyance.
The other keys, though, are adequately sized and placed, which makes it easy and comfortable to type in. You also get good feedback when you press the key with its clicky feel. There’s also minimal keyboard noise, except for the space bar, providing for a good typing experience.
The touchpad has a good size and it’s very accurate and responsive. You won’t have problems using 2 fingers on it. The speakers, though, could use an improvement since its volume is low. It has a hard time filling up even a small room.
Sound quality is okay, but improvements are still needed if you really want to enjoy good music and properly hear all frequencies. You’re better off using external Bluetooth speakers if you want better audio quality.
The Acer Swift 5 has a good 14-inch display, providing good brightness and vivid color display. You will definitely enjoy watching videos and movies on this device, despite not having 4K resolution. And since it’s an IPS panel, you won’t have issues viewing the screen at different angles.
The display’s touchscreen feature is also responsive and the laptop’s hinges can keep the device in place compared to the previous model that easily tilts even with just a small amount of pressure.
This device can also offer faster internet speeds with the Intel WiFi 6. This feature allows it to send and receive data much faster than other models who don’t support WiFi 6 yet.
Has Solid Power and Decent Battery Life
The other features are great and all, but what about the Acer Swift 5’s power?
Well, this affordable laptop that we reviewed is powered by the 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 with 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 512GB SSD hard drive (there’s also an option for a 10th and 8th Gen Core i7 and 16GB of RAM). It’s one of the latest processors available that provides great power and is very efficient.
You won’t experience any lag or slow down on the laptop’s performance doing usual work or school tasks like writing and editing documents, browsing the internet and opening multiple tabs, and watching videos. You can even do a bit of light photo and video editing on this laptop.
…there’s an improvement in its battery life compared to its predecessor…
Don’t expect to use the laptop for intensive video editing, though, as its specs are not built for that. You can get the model with 16GB RAM but you can’t go beyond that since the memory is soldered on to the device, so there’s no option for adding more memory.
Gaming will also be an issue on this laptop as the Intel UHD Graphics card is not suitable for playing the latest and most demanding titles. You can do a bit of light gaming, but you will have to adjust the settings a bit to play it properly.
The good power of the Acer Swift 5 is paired with a larger battery, which means there’s an improvement in its battery life compared to its predecessors. This model can last for more than 8 hours on a single charge.
This is achieved while doing usual tasks on the laptop like watching videos, brightness is set at standard, having multiple tabs open, and editing documents. The battery life can be stretched further to close to 10 hours if the settings were configured to further save battery.
Though this is a decent showing and it did beat its predecessors, it’s still not the best one available. There are still more laptops with better battery life out there. But the Swift 5 is decent enough and can last for a full day of work before needing a charge.
Acer has finally managed to get the performance right again. We are also pleased with the display that is finally brighter and has a matte surface. The increased brightness does not impact the contrast ratio, which has improved as well. Another positive change is the return to a larger battery and thus a longer battery life for the system. We were also surprised by the good SSD and general system performance as well as the 3D performance, which can beat the competition equipped with older Intel UHD Graphics chips.
The Acer Swift 5 isn’t one of the company’s flagship laptops like the ultra-thin, under-two-pounds Swift 7, but it’s the next best thing—a 14-inch notebook that weighs just 2.18 pounds, costs just $999.99 as tested, and has plenty of power for office or school. If you’re longing for an affordable ultraportable but want a display that’s a bit bigger than 13.3 inches, the Swift 5 checks all the right boxes.
Buy It If…
Portability is one of the main reasons why there increased demand for lighter but powerful laptops. With a weight that is currently one of the lightest in the laptop market and a powerful processor with good RAM and decent features, this is a great laptop model for businessmen, workers, and even students who are always on the move. The lightweight and small frame make it easier to carry and it packs enough punch to breeze through most school or work tasks.
Don’t Buy It If…
The mediocre graphics card doesn’t make it a good gaming laptop. The lack of an option to upgrade the RAM also means that it’s not an ideal device for doing intensive video or image editing.
Acer Swift 5 (2019, SF514-54T-5428) Alternatives
If you feel that this model is not for you, there are numerous other options available. Here are a few models that we suggest.
If you are also wondering what other good laptops models are available, you can check out our list of great laptops for intensive video editing.