The Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T brings less than a kilogram to the scale and is thus one of the lightest 14-inch notebooks available. In order to be able to manufacture a device that is as slim as possible, Acer has foregone an actively cooled CPU, using a passively cooled model with the Core i7-8500Y processor instead.
The Swift 7 has nothing to do with anything like an over abundance of competitors. Besides the LG Gram 14Z980 and the Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T, there are only two other 14-inch devices that can come close to the Swift 7, at least in terms of weight. We therefore also include the Asus ZenBook 14 UX433FA (14 inch), Apple MacBook Air 13 (13,3 inch), and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019 (14 inch) into our expanded group of competitors.
14 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 157 PPI, capacitive, 10 touch points, AU Optronics B140HAN06.0, IPS, glossy: yes
2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 2 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: audio combo port, 1 Fingerprint Reader, TPM 2.0
Speakers: stereo, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Type-C USB adapter (to HDMI, Type A, Type C), Mozilla Firefox 62, Norton Security Ultra (trial version), 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.
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Acer’s laptop reaches an overall weight of barely 890 grams (1.96 lb or 31.4 oz; according to the official statements from Acer; our own scale even shows only 854 grams, 1.88 lb). With this, it beats the SF714-51T predecessor model by almost 300 grams (~10.6 oz) and the also very light LG Gram 14Z980 by slightly more than 100 grams (~3.5 oz). The low weight is achieved by the light build, where Acer bets on an elegant, slim magnesium case. In addition, the working memory and SSD are soldered directly onto the main board, which makes an upgrade impossible. Our test unit is snow-white. Alternatively, you can also get the notebook in black color. The battery is built in, and the computer does not offer a maintenance hatch. On the other hand, you can take off the bottom of the case – more on that later.
The slim and light case does not reveal any faults in the workmanship. The clearances between the materials are exact, and we cannot feel any sharp edges. However, there is some lack in terms of stability, which is the price of the light build. The base unit as well as the case can be warped. In addition, the base unit can be bent without much use of force. Pressure on the back of the display lid leads to minimal changes in the displayed image, but only in the center of the display. The hinges hold the display tightly in position and only show a very slight wobble. The maximum opening angle is 135 degrees. You can open the display lid with one hand, if you use a little finger, hand, and arm acrobatics.
Not only does the Swift 7 bring less weight to the scale, it also turns out significantly more compact. At a height of barely 10 mm (or 9.95 mm to be exact, ~0.39 in), the SF714-52T also represents one of the slimmest subnotebooks that are currently available.
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Acer Swift 5 SF514-52T-59HY Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2019-20QES01L00 LG Gram 14Z980-U.AAW5U1 Acer Swift 7 SF714-51T Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR Apple MacBook Air 2018
329 mm / 13 inch228 mm / 8.98 inch15 mm / 0.591 inch930 g2.05 lbs323.5 mm / 12.7 inch217.1 mm / 8.55 inch14.9 mm / 0.587 inch1.1 kg2.45 lbs322.6 mm / 12.7 inch210.8 mm / 8.3 inch15.2 mm / 0.598 inch994 g2.19 lbs328 mm / 12.9 inch237 mm / 9.33 inch8.98 mm / 0.3535 inch1.2 kg2.6 lbs319 mm / 12.6 inch199 mm / 7.83 inch15.9 mm / 0.626 inch1.2 kg2.6 lbs317.9 mm / 12.5 inch191.5 mm / 7.54 inch9.95 mm / 0.3917 inch890 g1.962 lbs304.1 mm / 12 inch212.4 mm / 8.36 inch15.6 mm / 0.614 inch1.2 kg2.73 lbs
The connections offered by the Swift are limited. On the left side, there is only an audio port, and on the right side, Acer has placed two Thunderbolt-3 USB Type-C ports. They allow you to connect docking solutions and/or an external, powerful GPU. Of course, the ports also support DisplayPort per USB-C (you need to purchase a separate adapter for this) as well as Power Delivery 3.0. The notebook also includes a USB Type-C adapter that offers two USB ports (1x Type C, 1x Type A) and one HDMI port. The Swift does not include a storage card reader.
The WLAN module of the Acer Swift contains an Intel chip (Wi-Fi 6 AX200). In addition to the known WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac standards, this also supports the new ax standard (= Wi-Fi 6). The transfer speeds we measured under optimal conditions (no other WLAN devices nearby, close distance between the notebook and the server PC) turned out good.
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø523 (444-599)
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T Intel Wireless-AC 9560; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø665 (585-685)
Acer Swift 7 SF714-52T-76MR Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø632 (553-699)
Asus Zenbook 14 UX433FA-A6018T Intel Wireless-AC 9560; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø631 (503-648)
Apple MacBook Air 2018 Broadcom 802.11ac; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø454 (216-525)
The webcam is not located at its usual position, but is positioned above the keyboard. The camera module can be manually opened and closed (by pressing on the module). The results produced by the camera turn out slightly blurry and washed out.
In addition to the usual documentation, the notebook box also includes a bag and a USB Type-C adapter.
Due to its slim build, the Acer ultrabook does not offer many maintenance and upgrade options. If you do need access to the hardware, you have to remove the bottom of the case. To do that, you first have to remove all the visible screws from the bottom of the case. Then you have to remove the four rubber feet in the corners of the notebook to get access to more screws that also need to be removed. And finally you can lift up the bottom of the case carefully, using a small prying tool. You will then get access to the battery, the WLAN module, and the BIOS battery.
Acer offers a two-year warranty for the slim 14-incher, including pick-up service. You can extend this to three years for approximately an additional 50 Euros (~$56). For a three-year on-site warranty, you have to pay about 150 Euros (~$167).
Acer’s slim notebook is equipped with an illuminated chiclet keyboard. Its flat, minimally roughened keys offer a short hub and a clear pressure point. For our tastes, the keys could have offered a more crisp resistance. While typing, the keyboard bounces slightly, but this does not turn out to be extremely annoying. The illumination is controlled via a function key, and there is only one brightness level. While overall, Acer has delivered a keyboard that is suitable for everyday tasks, it is not really made for those who type a lot.
The multitouch-capable ClickPad has a footprint of about 14 x 5.1 cm (~5.5 x 2 in), offering sufficient space for using gesture controls. The smooth pad surface makes it easy for the fingers to slide. The pad also responds to input in the corners. It offers a short stroke and clear pressure point.
The capacitive touchscreen of the Swift 7 supports 10 touch points and did not give us any trouble, promptly responding to any inputs.
The 14-inch touchscreen display of the Swift SF714 has a native resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. While the display offers outstanding contrast (3116:1), the brightness turns out too low (272.3 cd/m²). This makes the Swift 7 the notebook with the darkest display of our comparison group. We consider any value above 300 cd/m² as good. The price level of the Swift would demand for such a value. On the other hand, it is good that the display does not produce any PWM flickering.
Maximum: 300 cd/m² Average: 272.3 cd/m² Minimum: 20 cd/m²Brightness Distribution: 79 %Center on Battery: 293 cd/m²Contrast: 3116:1 (Black: 0.095 cd/m²)ΔE Color 3.1 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6ΔE Greyscale 4.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.299% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 65% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D) Gamma: 2.15
In the state of delivery, the display presents a very decent color reproduction. With a Delta-E-2000 color deviation of 3.1, the target (DeltaE smaller than 3) is only barely missed. The display also suffers from a slight blue tint. In terms of the color space coverage, things do not look bad with coverage rates of 65 percent (AdobeRGB) and 99 percent (sRGB).
You can improve the color reproduction of the display with the color profile we are offering you here. However, you have to make sure that you have the same display model (manufacturer + model number) as our test unit, since otherwise the color reproduction can become worse, rather than improving. Often displays from different manufacturers are used within the same notebook model series.
Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession – a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9266 (minimum: 43 – maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.
Acer has equipped the Swift 7 with an IPS panel with stable viewing angles, allowing you to read the display from any position. However outdoors, this is hardly possible or not possible at all, since the low display brightness and reflective display surface can make this very difficult.
With the Swift 7 SF714-52T, Acer offers a very slim and light 14-inch notebook, whose computing performance is sufficient for the demands of office and Internet applications. Our test unit is available for almost 2000 Euros (~$2226), and other equipment and color variants are also available.
Acer has equipped the Swift 7 with the Intel Core i7-8500Y (Amber Lake) dual-core processor. The low TDP of 5 watts allows for passive cooling of the CPU, which is also done here. The processor runs at a basic clock speed of 1.5 GHz, which can be increased up to 4.2 GHz via Turbo.
The processor runs through the multi-thread tests of the Cinebench benchmarks at 2.2 to 2.4 GHz and completes the single-thread tests at 2.9 to 3.2 GHz. In battery operation, the speeds range from 1.9 to 2.2 GHz (multi-thread) and 1.5 to 1.9 GHz (single-thread).
We evaluate whether the Turbo is also used constantly in mains operation by running the multi-thread test of the Cinebench R15 benchmark for at least 30 minutes in a constant loop. From the first to the second run, the results drop slightly and then remain at a constant level. The Turbo is only used to a very limited extent.
The Swift does not deliver outstanding results in the CB15 loop. The other devices that are also equipped with passively cooled dual-core processors, the Swift 7 SF714-51T (predecessor) and the Macbook Air 2018, produce slightly better results.
The i7-8500Y is a processor that is very rare, so we also included the Porsche Design Ultra One, which is also passively cooled. Due to its significantly thicker case, it is able to produce more performance with the identical processor and only drops by 2 percent in the R15 loop, instead of 11 percent as the Swift 7.
The system performance is well-rounded and runs smoothly. We did not encounter any problems. The PC-Mark results correspond to the performance capabilities of the built-in CPU. The Swift offers sufficient performance for applications from the office and Internet areas. However, you should not put too many demands on the processor, and a huge amount of open browser tabs and applications running simultaneously will swiftly show its limits. The LG Gram 14Z980, which is equipped with a quad-core processor and actively cooled, offers significantly more performance reserves, particularly under multi-thread load and does correspondingly better in the benchmarks.
An SK Hynix NVMe SSD, which is soldered in and offers a capacity of 512 GB, serves as the system drive. At the time of delivery, 446 GB of the storage space are still available, and the rest is used by the recovery partition and the Windows installation. While the transfer rates turn out good, the built-in SSD is not one of the top models among SSDs.
Intel’s UHD Graphics 615 GPU handles the graphics output. It supports DirectX 12 and achieves speeds of up to 1050 MHz. The results in the 3D-Mark benchmarks range at a normal level for the GPU used here. The decoder integrated in the GPU is able to take some load off the processor when playing videos, so the use of streaming services should not pose any problem.
The hardware of the Swift is able to bring some of the games in our database smoothly to the screen. However, this goes mainly for games that only pose little demands on the hardware. But even in those games, you are still limited to low resolutions and low quality settings. You can find games that are significantly more playable in the Casual Games section of the Microsoft Store.
The Acer laptop runs through our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark run for at least one hour) in the same way in mains and battery operation. The processor briefly runs at 1.5 GHz. Then the speed drops to 500 MHz and remains at this level. The graphics core operates at 300 to 400 MHz. The stress test represents an extreme scenario that does not occur in everyday operation. Using this test, we evaluate whether the system also remains stable under full load.
In some limited areas, the case warms up quite significantly. We measure temperatures beyond 50 °C (122 °F) at three spots during the stress test. During everyday operation, the values remain within the green range.
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.1 °C / 97 F, compared to the average of 30.7 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Subnotebook.(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 55 °C / 131 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22 to 57 °C for the class Subnotebook.(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 51.4 °C / 125 F, compared to the average of 40 °C / 104 F(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 24.7 °C / 76 F, compared to the device average of 30.7 °C / 87 F.(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (34.5 °C / 94.1 F) and are therefore not hot. (-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.6 °C / 83.5 F (-5.9 °C / -10.6 F).
The stereo speakers are placed in the front area of the case bottom. They produce a thin sound that hardly offers any bass. In addition, the maximum volume is much too low. Even in quiet surroundings, the speakers are too quiet. For a better sound experience, you have to use headphones or external speakers.
(-) | not very loud speakers (58.62 dB)Bass 100 – 315 Hz(-) | nearly no bass – on average 20.8% lower than median(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.5% delta to prev. frequency)Mids 400 – 2000 Hz(+) | balanced mids – only 4.6% away from median(±) | linearity of mids is average (11.4% delta to prev. frequency)Highs 2 – 16 kHz(+) | balanced highs – only 2.6% away from median(+) | highs are linear (6.6% delta to prev. frequency)Overall 100 – 16.000 Hz(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.2% difference to median)Compared to same class» 76% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 19% worse» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%Compared to all devices tested» 68% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 24% worse» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%
(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.17 dB)Bass 100 – 315 Hz(-) | nearly no bass – on average 23.7% lower than median(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.6% delta to prev. frequency)Mids 400 – 2000 Hz(+) | balanced mids – only 3.9% away from median(±) | linearity of mids is average (7% delta to prev. frequency)Highs 2 – 16 kHz(+) | balanced highs – only 1.8% away from median(+) | highs are linear (4.6% delta to prev. frequency)Overall 100 – 16.000 Hz(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.9% difference to median)Compared to same class» 61% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 34% worse» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%Compared to all devices tested» 42% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 51% worse» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%
It should not surprise us that the Acer notebook is not particularly power-hungry, since the device contains frugal hardware. During idle operation, we measure a maximum power consumption of 5.8 watts. During the stress test, the value rises up to 21.7 watts. The USB Type-C power supply is rated at 45 watts.
In our realistic WLAN test, the Acer Swift achieves a runtime of 8: 46 hours. Using a script, we simulate the load when opening web sites. The “Balanced” power profile is active and the display brightness is reduced to about 150 cd/m². The 14-incher lasts for 10: 31 hours in our video test, where we run the short “Big Buck Bunny” movie (H.264 coding, 1920×1080 pixels) in a constant loop. The Wi-Fi is turned off and the display brightness is reduced to 150 cd/m².
Overall, the Swift delivers good runtimes, surpassing its predecessor. However, the LG Gram 14Z980 and the Macbook Air 2018 last significantly longer. Here, the very slim build of the Swift becomes noticeable: Acer only finds enough space for a 32-Wh battery. The battery of the LG Gram offers more than twice the capacity.
With the Swift 7 SF714-52T, Acer has introduced an ultra-light and ultra-slim 14-inch notebook to the market. The device, which is equipped with an elegant magnesium case, has a weight of 890 grams (~1.96 lb) and height of 9.95 mm (~0.39 in). However, a result of the light build is that the case is not very robust.
With the Swift 7 SF714-52T, Acer primarily delivers a study in what is possible. The limited practical use of the device and a purchase price of almost 2000 Euros (~$2226) make the device attractive for only a very small group of customers.
The computer is run by a passively cooled Core-i7 Amber Lake processor, whose performance is sufficient for applications from the office and Internet areas. So the device can primarily be used for writing and surfing. Users who need a lot of computing performance are at the wrong address with the Swift 7.
Automatic Revolving Door
The working memory and SSD are soldered into the main board, so you cannot upgrade these components. However, this should not be necessary in most cases. With 16 GB of working memory (dual-channel mode) and a 512-GB NVMe SSD, the device is well equipped. Only in case of a defect, you would need to send in the device.
The 14-inch notebook offers a keyboard that is suitable for everyday tasks and offers a single-step keyboard illumination. This is accompanied by a very good battery life. The IPS touchscreen display scores with stable viewing angles, an outstanding contrast, a very decent color reproduction, and a good color space coverage. On the other hand, the maximum brightness turns out too low.
The two Thunderbolt-3 ports allow connecting docking solutions and an external, powerful GPU. The ports support Power Delivery 3.0 as well as DisplayPort via USB-C (you have to purchase a separate adapter for this).
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