Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 14-Inch Ultrabook Review

If you’ve been following us long enough you know that we really love our Ultrabooks here. When I was looking recently what new laptops have been released I cam across Acer’s Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook. Naturally I had to have a look at it to see what’s what. As it turns out it’s surprisingly good so I decided it needs a full review. So here we go:

The exterior

When you first have a look at the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook the first obvious descriptor that comes to mind is that this is another cheap Macbook Air clone. While in the past this descriptor was used in a derogative manor, I don’t think it’s the case with the Acer Swift 3. Other models tend to only take some of the design features of Apple laptops and leave out the important bits. This one uses everything good about the Air and improves on it.

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook comes in an all aluminium body just like the Air, it has a slightly bigger 14-inch FullHD (1920x1080pixel) IPS screen. The screen in surrounded by a silver border with the built-in webcam right in the middle of the top border. Acer even went so far as using the same hinge design, with the same rubber border around the display to protect it from touching the keyboard. Considering that the Macbook Air is already many many years old I think the Acer Swift 3SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook is a very good hardware upgrade option.

Detail of the inside of the Acer Swift 3

Detail of the inside

On the inside we find a chicklet style backlit keyboard with contrasting black keycaps. The power button is the top right corner key. Also on the right side, just below the keyboard we find the built-in fingerprint sensor. Underneath the keyboard slightly offset to the left we find a big silver touchpad.

The built-in microphone is located on the left of the keyboard. Also on the left side of the body we can find the status LEDs. The two stereo speakers are located on each side underneath the body.

The outside is kept very basic and elegant and as first mentioned, it is a very good Macbook Air clone in the design department. To be hones this design has indeed aged very well compared to most other laptops from the past.

The connectivity

The connectivity of the Acer Swift 3

On the connectivity front the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook stands quite well.

On the right side of the body we find the Kensington-Lock port, one USB 2.0-Port, the combo headphones/mic jack and the SD Card-reader.

On the left side we find the power connector, a HDMI-out one USB 3.0-Port and one USB 3.1 Type-C connector that supports power and DisplayPort output.

On the inside it features dual band 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 and that’s pretty much it. It does lack an ethernet LAN port, so be aware of that when you purchase it.

The performance

The performance is where the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook shines and the main reason why I think this is the perfect replacement for old Macbook Airs or for people looking for a very light, compact and capable laptop.

It comes with the 6th generation of Intel’s’ Core i5-6200U running at a base clock speed of 2,3 Ghz and can boost all to 2,8 Ghz when required. Added to this comes 8Gb of DDR4 RAM and a 256 Gb SSD. Unfortunately there’s no dedicated video card, but that wouldn’t even be expected for this type of laptop. The big bonus with this Ultrabook is that it is rated at up to 10 hours of battery life. As with most of these, the rating is usually fairly optimistic to what an user can actually achieve. That considered I still expect it to manage at least 8 hours of battery life.

Considering that the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook starts at 650$ you can quickly tell from these specs that it is a bargain for what you get. The processor is fast enough to run any productivity applications and the 8Gb of RAM is enough even for the more demanding user. It is a high mobility high performance laptop that can keep you going for an entire day.

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Who is it for? discussing who would benefit most from this laptop...

  • Business User
    As with all Ultrabooks, I think the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 is the perfect laptop for a business user. It comes in a thin, light and portable package with performance specifications to rival a full sized laptop. With the 14-inch display it sits right in between the usual 13,3-inch and 15,6-inch laptops making it not to small or to big for everyday use. Thanks to the very good battery life it can keep you connected and productive over the entire day. It is perfect for the salesman on the go and for presentations purposes.

  • Student
    If you're a student that really isn't interested in gaming and just want a high mobility laptop that you don't have to plug in during classes then the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook is the perfect laptop for you. While I think the storage is a little restrictive for most students I know, you are going to have USB external storage anyway to share your documents and files with your fellow students and professors. The performance and build quality should outlast a 4 year college lifetime and thanks to its price it's also affordable.

  • Power User
    I'm not particularly sure how power user friendly the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook, but if you are like me and already have a very powerful main PC where you do your work and need something that offers decent performance while on the go then you might be interested. As an Ultrabook it does it job very good. It has up to 10 hours of battery life if you baby it, and the available CPU and RAM should be more than enough for your needs.

PROs Vs. CONs

The Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook proves that Apple isn't the only company that can make a very well built compact and thin Ultrabook. The Swift 3 also doesn't disappoint in the performance department being very well equipped for its price class. It is a very capable Ultrabook with a days worth of battery life to boot.

There is very little I can see as a con with this Ultrabook that isn't also a con of the typical Ultrabook. But let's enumerate a few of them. There's no optical drive, there's no ethernet connection and there is no dedicated video card. Also the available connectivity ports are limited due to the thin design.



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Summary

Overall the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 Ultrabook proves to be a very successful Macbook Air clone with many improvements in the hardware department over the Air. It offers more performance in the same package at a much more affordable price point. I think this laptop is a bargain and it is the perfect laptop for those looking to be computing for 8 hour away from a power line.
Click here to see what other 71 CUSTOMERS ARE SAYING...

Technical Details

Processor Intel Core i5-6200U 2,3 Ghz
Video Card integrated Intel HD Graphics 520
RAM Memory 8GB DDR4
Audio Two Built-in Stereo Speakers with Acer TrueHarmony Sound System
Operating System Windows 10
Display 14.0-inch 1920 x 1080px
Storage Drive 256 GB SSD -rpm
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
USB 2.0 Ports 1
USB 3.0 Ports 2
Built-in Camera Yes
Built-in Microphone Yes
Optical Drive none
Memory Card Reader Yes
Bluetooth Yes
Headphone-out Yes
VGA-out -
HDMI-out Yes
LAN-out -
Color Silver
Width 13,4 in.
Depth 9,3 in.
Height 0,7 in.
Weight 3,3 lbs.
Battery Life up to 10 hours
Warranty 1 year limited warranty

Updated on March 10th, 2017

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