Acer Swift 3 OLED review: An adequate first effort | Techy Kings

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Acer Swift 3 OLED

MSRP 1,230.00 dollars

“Acer Swift 3 OLED comes with a stunning display and impressive performance.”

advantage

  • Strong medium build

  • Amazing OLED display

  • Excellent productivity performance

  • Good keyboard

  • 1080p web camera

Cons

  • The touchpad is too small.

  • Below average battery life

Acer has been slow to jump on the OLED laptop bandwagon. But finally, the company has brought an OLED panel to its popular mid-range 14-inch laptop, the Swift 3.

That’s more than just a better 90Hz OLED screen than the regular Acer Swift 3. This laptop is also thicker to house a 45-watt 12th-gen processor, so you should expect better performance from this 14-inch laptop. Price matters though, and even though the base configuration is under $1,000, my review unit landed at $1,230. Fortunately for Acer, it’s enough to justify a slightly higher price, making the Acer Swift 3 OLED a solid upgrade from the original.

Details

Acer Swift 3 OLED
Sizes 12.32 inches by 8.43 inches by 0.70 inches
Weight 3.09 pounds £
processor Intel Core i5-12500H
Intel Core i7-12700H
Graphics Intel Iris Xe
Random Access Memory 8GB LPDDR5
16GB LPDDR5
Display 14-inch 16:10 WQXGA+ (2,880 x 1,800) OLED 90Hz
Storage 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD
1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
Touch no
Ports 2 x USB-C 4.0 with Thunderbolt 4
2 x USB-A 3.2. Generation 1
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x 3.5 mm audio jack
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Web camera 1080 p
Procedure Windows 11
Battery 57 watt-hours
Price $930+

OLED, yes, but at what cost?

The Acer Swift 3 features an OLED front-facing display.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

OLED used to be the cream of the crop, but lately, it’s been dropped in some affordable laptops. For example, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 offers a 90Hz OLED display for only $800 compared to the top Acer (except for the smaller 256GB SSD). That’s just one configuration, mind you, and the price is higher if you use HP’s custom configuration.

The Asus Vivobook S 14X is another midrange laptop with an OLED display that runs at 120Hz and costs $1,100 for the same Core i7 CPU, 12GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. Asus’s $930 Swift 3 OLED is available for around $900 when configured similarly.

That’s the point – the Acer Swift 3 OLED is in the same ballpark as many of its closest rivals, but it has to offer something different to rise above.

To begin with, the Swift 3’s OLED 14-inch 16:10 display looks great and competes well with the mid-range and premium options. As you can see from the table below, apart from the excellent color accuracy, Acer’s panel is bright, colorful and delivers typical OLED inky blacks. It’s a showcase for everyone, including creatives and content creators.

brightness
(nits)
Comparison sRGB gamut AdobeRGB Gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(better below)
Acer Swift 3 OLED
(OLED)
439 31,380:1 100% 97% 1.31
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(OLED)
398 27,830:1 100% 95% 0.78
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(OLED)
403 27,930:1 100% 99% 1.07
Acer Swift 3
(IPS)
368 1,330:1 98% 75% 1.51
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(OLED)
406 28,380:1 100% 95% 0.87
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7i Pro
(IPS)
369 1,340:1 100% 80% 1.65
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
(OLED)
397 27,590:1 100% 96% 0.88

Although the Acer Swift 3 OLED’s audio isn’t quite up to snuff, it’s also a good display for Netflix binges.

The speakers are good enough, big enough for a small office and clear mids and highs good for system sounds and the occasional YouTube video. But if you want to watch a movie, you’ll want more bass than the two upward-firing speakers provide, so a pair of headphones or external speakers might be appreciated.

Sometimes fast means fast.

Acer Swift 3 OLED rear view cover and logo.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

As I mentioned earlier, manufacturers have packed Intel’s 45-watt 12th-gen CPU into 14-inch thin and light laptops; With varying success. In some cases, performance was thermally limited to the point of little benefit on cores smaller than Intel’s 28-watt CPUs. The most common CPU option is the 28-watt 12-core/16-thread Core i7-1260P.

As we can see from the chart below, the Swift 3 OLED with a 14-core/20-thread Core i7-12700H outperforms the larger and thicker Dell XPS 15 in all of our benchmarks. The HP Pavilion Plus 14 and Asus Vivobook S 14X run faster in Geekbench 5 for the Core i7-1260P and our handbrake test with Cinebench R23.

One test where the Swift 3 OLED falls behind is PCMark 10 Complete, which tests a mix of productivity, multimedia and creative tasks. I’ve listed both the Balanced and Performance mode results obtained using each manufacturer’s utility to dial in CPU frequencies and fan speeds.

The Acer Swift 3 OLED top-down view features a power button and air vents.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

All these laptops are underpowered to one extent or another, but the Swift 3 OLED manages to maintain its performance consistently. Limited by Intel’s Iris Xe graphics, it won’t break any records with apps that use the GPU to speed up some tasks, such as Adobe’s Creative suite. However, for those looking for productivity workflows and CPU-intensive creative applications, the Swift 3 OLED is a strong performer.

Geekbench
(singular / plural)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(singular / plural)
PCMark 10
complete
Acer Swift 3 OLED
(Core i7-12700H)
Husband: 1,698 / 10,972
Perf: 1,708 / 11,287
Husband: 90
Perf: 85
Husband: 1,676 / 10,764
Perf: 1,715 / 11,069
4,983
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
Husband: 1,462 / 8,531
Perf: 1,472 / 8,531
Husband: 104
Perf: 102
Husband: 1,523 / 8,358
Perf: 1,716 / 10,915
N/A
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Core i7-12700H)
Husband: 1,595 / 6,692
Perf: 1,681 / 7,175
Husband: 113
Perf: 102
Husband: 1,757 / 10,339
Perf: 1,792 / 12,051
5,378
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Husband: 1,470 / 9,952
Perf: 1,714 / 11,053
Husband: 100
Perf: 77
Husband: 1,509 / 11,578
Perf: 1,806 / 13,313
4,940
Acer Swift 3
(Core i7-1260P)
Husband: 1,708 / 10,442
Perf: 1,694 / 10,382
Husband: 100
Perf: 98
Husband: 1,735 / 9,756
Perf: 1,779 / 10,165
5,545
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Husband: 1,717 / 9,231
Perf: 1,712 / 10,241
Husband: 130
Perf: 101
Husband: 1,626 / 7,210
Perf: 1,723 / 8,979
5,760
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
Husband: 1,417 / 6,854
Perf: 1,404 / 7,223
Husband: 112
Perf: 111
Husband: 1,402 / 8,682
Perf: 1,409 / 8,860
5,647

The Swift 3 OLED’s gaming performance was surprisingly poor, even by the standards of integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics. I’m not sure why the laptop is so slow and hitting 11 frames per second. Fortnite At 1200p and epic graphics, but definitely not a gaming machine. I only include these results to emphasize the point.

Expenditure in longevity

Acer Swift 3 OLED side view reveals lid and ports.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Performance as a strength, the next question is, how long does it last at a premium? Using the fast CPU and high-resolution OLED display should justify the 57-watt-hour battery, which isn’t huge for a 14-inch laptop.

In our suite of battery tests, the Swift 3 OLED did OK compared to the other 45-watt laptops in our comparison group, while falling behind the 28-watt machines. This is to be expected and one of the costs of using a faster chip – although battery life is another area where Acer beats the HP Pavilion Plus 14. Overall, the Swift 3 OLED won’t last a full day, meaning you’ll need to take the power brick with you.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10
Applications
Acer Swift 3 OLED
(Core i7-12700H)
6 hours, 9 minutes 7 hours, 23 minutes 7 hours, 48 ​​minutes
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours, 29 minutes 7 hours, 29 minutes 5 hours, 48 ​​minutes
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Core i7-12700H)
6 hours, 20 minutes 8 hours, 18 minutes 7 hours, 1 minute
Acer Swift 3
(Core i7-1260P)
8 hours, 2 minutes 14 hours, 10 minutes 10 hours, 1 minute
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
9 hours, 10 minutes 12 hours, 45 minutes 8 hours, 32 minutes
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
8 hours, 4 minutes 13 hours, 13 minutes N/A

Everything else is ho-hum.

In terms of design, the Swift 3 OLED makes the most of switching from a non-OLED old-school 16:9 panel to a taller 16:10 display. This makes the laptop more modern and provides a more productive experience. Otherwise, the same silver chassis creates a boring minimalist design with simple lines and no flash. The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is a more attractive laptop.

The build quality remains the same, with an all-aluminum chassis that was very resistant to bending and flexing during my testing. It’s a solid build for a mid-range laptop, though again, the Pavilion Plus 14 wins, in this case by a hair. The Swift 3 OLED is 0.70 inches by 0.63 inches thicker than non-OLED and weighs 3.09 pounds by 2.76 pounds. Again, this is important to accommodate the fast and hot CPU. Despite the increased thickness and weight, the Swift 3 OLED is a reasonably sized 14-inch machine.

With Thunderbolt 4 and the latest wireless standards, connectivity remains strong. A 14-inch laptop has advantages over 13-inch machines when plugged in, and the Swift 3 OLED bucks that trend.

Acer Swift 3 OLED top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Swift 3’s OLED keyboard looks similar to the other model, with light and easy switches and plenty of key slots. Although the silver keys are difficult to read with the backlight turned on with any ambient lighting, the keys are adequate. On the other hand, the touchpad is the same as the previous model, which is a shame – given the longer display, there’s more room for a larger touchpad. It’s quiet and works well with accurate buttons, but it’s too small. The display is not touch enabled, I always miss it.

The Acer Swift 3 OLED features a front-facing web camera.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The webcam is a 1080p version, which is welcome, and delivers a bright image thanks to Acer’s Temporal Noise Reduction technology, which helps in low-light situations. It is a good webcam for video conferencing.

Finally, Windows 11 Hello’s passwordless login support with the fingerprint reader embedded in the power button is the right place. It worked quickly and reliably during my testing.

Well first go to the OLED machine

The Acer Swift 3 features an OLED front-facing display and a keyboard.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Ultimately, there’s a lot to like about the Swift 3 OLED. Unlike other 14-inch machines, it uses a faster CPU, and the OLED display is as good as it gets. Its build quality is solid for a mid-range machine, although it’s not the best in its class, the interface and keyboard are excellent. The touchpad is too small and the battery life is too short which are the two significant weaknesses of the laptop.

But even so, it competes well with the two most important options in the HP Pavilion Plus 14, available for $400 less per configuration, and the Asus Vivobook S 14X, which is close in price. And you’ll only pay $100 more compared to the OLED Swift 3, making the OLED version a relative bargain. The price of the Swift 3 OLED may be higher, but it’s mostly justified.

So, should you buy it? Yes, if you aim for fast performance to go along with the stunning display. They suffer in battery life, but outside of the incredibly low-priced HP Pavilion Plus 14 configuration, the Swift 3 OLED offers enough value to make it onto anyone’s shortlist.

Editors’ recommendations






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