Acer Swift 3 OLED (2022) review | Techy Kings

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advantage

  • Fast Intel H processor

  • Beautiful OLED display

Cons

  • Design puzzles

  • Sad audio

  • So battery life

The Acer Swift 3 OLED is one of the best laptops you can get under $1,000 with an OLED display.

About Acer Swift 3 OLED

Here are the specifications of the laptop we tested:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-12700K
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe (integrated)
  • Memory: 16GB LPDDR5
  • Storage: 1 TB SSD
  • Demonstration: 14-inch WQXGA+ (2880 x 1800) 16:10 OLED
  • Ports: HDMI, 2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 4
  • Battery: approx. Six hours as tested
  • Dimensions: 0.70 x 12.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Weight:3.09 pounds £

At the time of this writing, our review model costs $1,230.

The Acer Swift 3 OLED starts at $930 with a Core i5-12500H, which is a step down from the processor in the review unit we received. It has the same display as the Core i7 model, but only 8GB of memory and a 512GB SSD.

What we love

OLED display, of course

Credit: Reviewed / Joanna Nellius

This is a great show by the way!

If you’re a fan of OLED screens, Acer’s new Swift 3 gives you the vibe you’re looking for without the hefty price tag. Acer claims up to 500-nit peak brightness, but we didn’t achieve that during testing. We measured a maximum brightness of 421 nits, but that’s still more than most people want. Regardless of the lighting conditions, you can take this laptop anywhere to watch your favorite movie or work on a spreadsheet – even under the bright sun. Because of how reflective the display is, you’ll see your own reflection, but I’m not too bothered if I turn off dark mode.

Color accuracy and a wide color gamut combined with a snappy processor mean the Swift 3 OLED can handle more than emails and spreadsheets. Anyone looking for a laptop for light video or photo editing or light photography should be fine.

OLED screens are known not only for their brightness, but also for their wide color gamut. Acer claims to have 100% coverage of the PCI-P3 color gamut, the film industry standard. In our DisplayCal tests, the program we use to test laptop screens, we found these claims to be as close to accurate as they get: the Swift 3’s OLED display covers 99.1% of the PCI-P3 color gamut, as well as 100% of the sRGB gamut and 97.4% of the Adobe RGB gamut.

As an added treat, we measured this laptop’s color accuracy (Delta E 76, or the mathematical formula that measures color differences) at an average of 0.16. A lower score means excellent color accuracy, so fire up your favorite nature documentary and get ready to see incredibly vivid colors and deep blacks.

processor

Acer opted to go with Intel’s faster H-series processors in the Swift 3 OLED, but many of its competitors stuck with the lower-end P-series. The Core i7-12700H in the Swift 3 OLED has a total of 14 cores (six performance, eight efficient), 20 threads and a maximum boost clock of 4.7GHz. The P-series processor has the same number of cores, threads, and maximum clock speed as the Core i7-1280P, but Intel caps the power figure at 64W, while the Core i7-12700H can draw as much as 115W.

Depending on how limited the processor’s power draw is, this can negatively impact performance. We saw this clearly reflected when we compared the Swift 3’s OLED benchmark results to other productivity laptops we’ve reviewed recently, such as the Dell XPS 13 Plus.

With the Core i7-1280P, the XPS 13 Plus was able to render an image of a BMW in Blender in four minutes and 56 seconds, but the Swift 3 OLED took three minutes and 28 seconds—the difference. The Swift 3 OLED was twice as fast on our Excel formula type test, which took 42 seconds to load a large file full of complex formulas compared to the XPS 13 Plus’ 86 seconds.

Another big difference between the Intel H-series and P-series is the integrated graphics performance, for which the power draw cap. Both laptops have the same Intel Iris Xe graphics configuration, but the XPS 13 is still significantly slower. A quick 3DMark NightRide run (a benchmark that calculates the raw performance of an integrated graphics chip) showed the Swift 3 OLED running circles on the XPS 13 Plus at 22720 to 14069, respectively.

What we don’t like

So battery life

Credit: Reviewed / Joanna Nellius

Aside from the stunning OLED screen, there isn’t much to get excited about this laptop.

This Swift 3 OLED lasted five hours and 51 minutes in our battery test, which involved auto-cycling through nearly two dozen different websites until the battery died. This is the laptop for productivity. all right The result is completely unexpected, due to the power-hungry processor of the laptop. Laptops we tested with 12th-gen P-series processors, like the Dell XPS 13 Plus, all lasted at least seven hours.

By putting an H-series processor in this laptop, Acer prioritized performance over battery life, which is good. However, if you are thinking of buying the Swift 3 OLED, remember to keep the charging cable in your bag if you leave the house.

Simple beauty

Compared to similar Dell, HP and Lenovo laptops, the Acer Swift 3 OLED takes the safe and transparent route with a metallic gray silver finish close to Apple’s MacBook. This is the laptop you take with you to the conference room, hoping to blend in with the striped, fabric-covered office chairs, gray carpets and tiled ceilings. Although I didn’t like the Lenovo Yoga 6’s denim laptop cover, at least it was something different.

Some competitors, such as Dell XPS series laptops, MSI business laptops and Asus’ Zenbooks, have a more refined look due to their slightly thinner chassis or tightly arranged keyboards. Aesthetic things are subjective, but I wish I had a laptop with an attractive design And Powerful performance for the same price, I want to have my cake and eat it too – but I usually have to look through the bakery window. On a tighter budget, I could settle on a aesthetic. (At least the Swift 3 OLED is a lightweight laptop.)

Keyboard and trackpad are fine too.

The Acer Swift 3 features OLED side, USB port, HDMI port and charging ports.

Credit: Reviewed / Joanna Nellius

Some ports featured in Acer Swift 3 OLED.

The layout of the Swift 3’s OLED keyboard resembles Lenovo’s in terms of key spacing, although the keys feel softer to press than crisp and springy. It’s still almost as comfortable to type on, but the keys are more easily laid out than on the Lenovo Yoga 6, and even with the slight difference it took me a while to get used to it.

Typing speed and accuracy using MonkeyType, my typing speed is the same (about 75 words per minute) between my desktop keyboard and my Swift 3 OLED laptop, but my accuracy drops by 5%.

The laptop has a smooth 4.0 x 2.5-inch trackpad, although it catches your fingers from time to time when using multi-touch gestures, there is nothing annoying about using the trackpad, but this is a weakness of all Windows laptops, not just this one.

Let’s talk about the breathing

One of the most disturbing design aspects of the Swift 3 OLED, however, is the placement of the large heat sinks. They’re right in the middle of the bottom of the laptop, so I don’t recommend putting this on your lap even if you’re wearing pants.

According to our temperature readings, the underside of the chassis reaches up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius). This is true under light workloads, though if you’re doing something extremely CPU-intensive, place the laptop on a flat surface and away from your skin.

Terrible sound

The Swift 3’s OLED speakers are placed at the bottom of the laptop. Made up of several slits, they are about an inch long. Therefore, the speakers are tiny and the output sound is directly down to where the laptop is placed.

Like the Lenovo Yoga 6 I recently reviewed, I had trouble hearing much. But at least Lenovo placed the speakers parallel to the keyboard. If you don’t already have one, we recommend picking up a good pair of headphones or earphones.

Should you buy the Acer Swift 3 OLED?

Yes, but the base model will be better for battery life

Top of the closed laptop.

Credit: Reviewed / Joanna Nellius

Not bad for the price, but not the best battery life.

Acer’s Swift 3 OLED isn’t the most productive laptop around, but it has plenty of performance thanks to Acer’s smart decision to outfit its most popular laptops with H-series Intel processors instead of P-series. The OLED display’s excellent color accuracy and wide color gamut make the Swift 3 a surprisingly good machine for light photo and video work, even some 3D image rendering.

However, its Achilles heel isn’t the design or the audio, but the battery life. A crash before the six-hour mark means you’ll need to carry the adapter if you leave with anything less than full power. You can avoid this by looking for another laptop with an Intel P-series processor or an AMD Ryzen U-series processor, but you should be fine with a slower laptop.

If speed isn’t something you can negotiate with, but if you’re working for less than $1,000, grab the Swift 3 OLED base model with the Intel Core i5-12500H. It’s slower but less power hungry, so you get a little more battery life out of your laptop. It’s also still faster than the Core i7-1270P, so you won’t have to compromise that much on performance.

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Prices were correct at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

Meet the tester

Joanna Nellius

Joanna Nellius

Senior Editor, Electronics

@JLN writes

Joanna specializes in anything and everything gaming related and loves to be fascinated by graphics cards, processors and chip architecture. She was previously a staff writer for Gizmodo, PC Gamer, and Top PC.

See all Joanna Niles reviews

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