Acer Swift Three 14 SF314-59 evaluation (late-2020, Intel Tiger Lake)
The 14-inch Acer Swift Three sequence contains a few of the best-value inexpensive ultrabooks available on the market, and I’ve not too long ago frolicked with their newest replace as of late-2020, the Swift Three 14 SF314-59 mannequin with Intel Tiger Lake .
On the skin, this appears to be like very similar to the earlier Swift Three 14 fashions from 2019 and early-2020, however on the within, it has been revamped, with now room for 2 SSDs, a brand new thermal module, and up to date audio system.
With that in thoughts, the article beneath will clarify what to anticipate from the late-2020 Acer Swift Three 14, with its sturdy factors and its quirks, so that you’ll be capable to make an knowledgeable choice on it.
Specs as reviewed – Acer Swift Three 14 SF314-59
|Acer Swift Three 14 SF314-59|
|Display screen||14.zero inch, 1920 x 1080 px, 16:9, IPS, matte, non-touch, Chi Mei N140HCE-EN2 panel|
|Processor||Intel Tiger Lake Core i5-1135G7 CPU, 4C/8T|
|Video||Intel Iris Xe G7|
|Reminiscence||16 GB LPDDR4x (soldered, dual-channel)|
|Storage||512 GB SSD (Kingston OM8PCP3512F-AA – M.2 2280 PCIe x4)|
|Connectivity||WiFi 6 Gig+ (Intel AX201), Bluetooth 5.zero|
|Ports||1x USB-A Three.1, 1x USB-A 2.zero, 1x USB-C with Thunderbolt Three, HDMI, mic/headphone, Lock|
|Battery||48 Wh, 45W charger (barrel-plug)|
|Measurement||323 mm or 12.68” (w) x 219 mm or eight.59” (d) x 16.5 mm or zero.64” (h)|
|Weight||2.5 lbs (1.14 kg)+ 53 lbs (.24 kg) charger, EU model|
|Extras||optionally available white backlit keyboard, HD webcam, stereo audio system, finger sensor|
Our check unit is a mid-tier configuration, however retail fashions can even be out there in a few different higher-tier variations, with varied quantities of storage, as much as i7 Intel TigerLake processors, and optionally available Nvidia MX graphics.
Design and development
Aesthetically, this late-2020 14-inch Swift Three is similar to the mannequin examined earlier this 12 months.
Acer went with a full-metal development, with magnesium and aluminum alloys used for your entire case. Because of this, the laptop computer feels sturdy, and solely weighs about 2.5 lbs in our examined configuration, making it extra moveable than different 14-inch laptops on this identical class.
Now, when you’ve touched these magnesium alloys earlier than that they don’t really feel as good and premium because the aluminum-made units out there in larger courses, however that’s hardly one thing I can complain about, particularly in a tool that’s general nicely made and completed; with nonetheless the exception of some sharper edges on the underside, the place the D-panel attaches to the primary deck.
That apart, the sturdy lid and the little quantity of flex within the keyboard space are reassuring, and the silver shade does a superb job at hiding smudges and fingerprints.
This Swift can also be a sensible pocket book. A stiff hinge retains the display screen in place and permits it to lean again flat to 180-degrees, the rubber ft on the underside are grippy sufficient and Acer made certain to blunt the lips and corners in order that they don’t dig into the wrists. That hinge is a bit stiff, although, so that you’ll want each fingers to raise up the display screen right here.
As for the IO, there’s largely all the things you’ll need right here, together with Thunderbolt Three help and a finger-sensor.
I’ll additionally add that the cooling answer blows air by way of grills positioned behind the hinge, and a few of the warmth nonetheless goes into the display screen, however most of it’s absorbed by the thicker chin. As you’ll be able to inform by now, this isn’t essentially the most compact 14-incher on the market, however that helps the cooling and permits Acer to implement a spacious arm-rest, plus the pc continues to be moveable sufficient due to its mild weight.
Keyboard and trackpad
Acer nonetheless haven’t up to date their entry-level Swift/Spin keyboards and I nonetheless really feel that they need to so as prime hold together with the competitors.
It’s, nevertheless, necessary to say that they really supply two keyboard variants for this Swift Three 14-inch lineup with the identical general structure, however one with out backlighting, the one we’ve got right here, and one other with backlighting. The 2 additionally really feel totally different in every day use.
This non-backlit mannequin usually reserved for the entry-level configurations feels shallow and over-sensitive, with the keys actuating in a short time and leaving no room for any straying fingers. Their mushy suggestions additionally will get in the way in which with touch-typing, and I usually discovered the necessity to take a look at the display screen to makes certain that I hit the appropriate key.
The backlit keyboard implementation continues to be a brief stroke and pretty mushy choice, however I did find yourself accommodating to it after a number of days again after I reviewed it in a earlier Swift Three mannequin, so if given the selection, I’d undoubtedly go together with that one. To not point out that key-backlighting ought to be a should in a $500+ laptop computer nowadays.
Keyboard apart, the clickpad is an averagely sized plastic floor with Precision drivers. In contrast to on the earlier Swift Three that I’ve frolicked with, this time the implementation felt rather a lot sturdier and extra dependable, not rattling with faucets and responding to my swipes and gestures simply superb. That implies there is perhaps a level of variation between the applied clickpads on this sequence, so I’d be certain that to present it a correct check.
Acer additionally implements a finger-sensor on this laptop computer, just about just like what they placed on all their different Swifts and Spins. It’s positioned in the direction of the appropriate facet of the palm-rest and works superb with Home windows Hi there.
Acer additionally presents a few totally different display screen choices on the Swift Three sequence, and our unit got here with the identical fair-quality Chi Mei N140HCE-EN2 panel that we’ve beforehand examined within the late-2018 Swift Three.
This can be a honest alternative for the inexpensive section, with roughly 300-nits of brightness, 1200+:1 distinction, extensive viewing angles and honest shade protection at 67+ AdobeRGB in our assessments. That makes it a superb alternative for every day use, video content material, and the type of actions you’d run on this laptop computer. It’s not excellent for fast-paced video games, although, because it’s a 60 Hz panel with pretty sluggish response instances, however there’s no considerably sooner panel alternative on this 14-inch section proper now, and undoubtedly not inside this decrease price-range.
Right here’s what we received in our check, with a X-Ceremony i1 Show Professional sensor:
- Panel HardwareID: Chi Mei CMN14D5 (N140HCE-EN2);
- Protection: 96.2% sRGB, 67.Three% AdobeRGB, 69.Three% DCI P3;
- Measured gamma: 2.06;
- Max brightness in the course of the display screen: 306.76 cd/m2 on energy;
- Min brightness in the course of the display screen: 37.23 cd/m2 on energy;
- Distinction at max brightness: 1215:1;
- White level: 6800 Okay;
- Black on max brightness: zero.25 cd/m2;
- PWM: No
The panel is pretty nicely calibrated out of the field, with gentle Gamma and White Level points needing corrections. It exhibits some light-bleeding within the decrease considerations, although, and we additionally measured a slight shade variation within the lower-left nook in comparison with the opposite quadrants.
Our pattern is a mid-specced configuration of the Swift Three 14 SF314-59 mannequin, with an Intel Tiger Lake Core i5-1135G7 processor, 16 GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 512 GB of PCIe x4 SSD storage.
We’re testing a pre-release pattern of this laptop computer, with the software program and drivers out there as of late-Sept 2020, thus a few of our findings would possibly change with future software program optimizations. Our check unit was offered by Acer, and despatched again to them as soon as we completed up the assessments.
Spec-wise, this late-2019 Swift Three 14-inch sequence relies on the late-2020 Intel Tiger Lake , the identical applied by a mess of different entry-level ultrabooks of this era. Our mannequin got here with the Intel Core i5-1135G7 4C/8T processor, snappy in single-core duties, and averagely competent in multitasking. OEMs can implement this in a few totally different variations, with a sustained TDP of as much as 28W. As you’ll discover from our assessments, this Swift Three is surprisingly highly effective in demanding masses, with the CPU averaging round that 28W stage of sustained energy in our assessments.
Graphics are the main novelty of this Tiger Lake platform, and the i5-1135G7 will get essentially the most succesful model of the Iris Xe iGPU, with 96 Execution Items clocked at as much as 1350 MHz. That’s the very same iGPU hip additionally applied within the i7-1165G7 processor and a majpor improve over the Iris iGPUs within the Ice Lake i5-1035G1 and i5-1035G4 processors applied within the early-2020 Swift Three 14.
These apart, our configuration additionally will get 16 GB of LPDDR4x 4266 MHz of RAM out of the field, in dual-channel, and a mid-range Kingston PCIe x4 SSD, however that may differ for the retail variations, although. Upgrades are doable when you take away the again panel, maintain in place by a few seen Philips screws.
The CPU and reminiscence are soldered on the motherboard and non-upgradable, however the SSDs are upgradeable. You’ll additionally discover that the internals have been fully redesigned on this era, including two SSD slots and a revamped thermal module, which may not accommodate a dGPU.
So far as the software program goes, there’s no devoted management software program on this Swift, so you’ll be able to solely toggle between the Home windows energy modes, however with none impact on the CPU’s efficiency and energy allocation on our pattern Once more, that may differ with the ultimate software program updates.
Earlier than we get to speak in regards to the efficiency in demanding masses, it’s best to know that this laptop computer handles informal use (shopping, video streaming, text-editing, and so forth) easily, operating quietly and cooly.
Onto extra demanding assessments, the Cinebench loop check runs Cinebench R15 for 15+ loops, with 2-Three sec delay between every run, to check for efficiency in taxing longer-term eventualities.
The i5-1135G7 on this unit did extraordinarily nicely on the Greatest Efficiency Home windows energy mode, stabilizing at round 28W TDP, frequencies of three.Three GHz, and pretty excessive temperatures of round 90-92 levels Celsius. Acer permits the CPU to run at larger energy and thermals, with a constructive influence on the efficiency.
We additional appeared to enhance the efficiency by undervolting the CPU, however that’s no doable with Thorttlestop on Tiger Lake for now. However, the laptop computer performs nicely on battery, virtually equally to its efficiency whereas plugged in.
To place these leads to perspective, right here’s how a few different AMD and Intel ultraportable notebooks rating on this identical check.
The 8Core and 6Core Ryzen 4000 platforms are a transparent step-up in efficiency over the Intel choices, however this i5 Tiger Lake implementation outmatches all the opposite i7 TigerLake and IceLake fashions we’ve examined thus far, due to its excessive TDP.
We verified our findings by tunning the longer and more difficult Cinebench R20 check, which ends up in related outcomes, whereas within the grotesque Prime 95 check the CPU stabilizes at round 24+ W after some time, with temperatures of 90+ levels C. Thermals grow to be a limiting issue with this type of longer CPU-heavy masses, which isn’t a shock, given this Swift Three continues to be an entry-level ultrabook with nonetheless a reasonably fundamental thermal module.
We additionally ran our mixed CPU+GPU stress assessments on this pocket book, on the identical Greatest Efficiency profile.
3DMark stress runs the identical check for 20 instances in a loop and appears for efficiency variation and degradation over time, and this unit handed it simply, which means that the efficiency stays according to longer mixed masses. Luxmark Three.1 absolutely masses each the CPU and GPU on the identical time, however isn’t correctly supported by Tiger Lake at the moment, so isn’t related right here.
Subsequent, listed here are some benchmark outcomes. We ran your entire suite of assessments and benchmarks on the usual Home windows Greatest Efficiency profile. Right here’s what we received.
- 3DMark 13 – Hearth Strike: 4434 (Graphics – 4850, Physics – 13365, Mixed – 1676);
- 3DMark 13 – Evening Raid: 16253 (Graphics – 19326, CPU – 8551);
- 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 1553 (Graphics – 1382, CPU – 5198);
- AIDA64 Reminiscence check: -;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Medium: 2810;
- Uniengine Superposition – 1080p Excessive: 934;
- Handbrake 1.Three.1 (4K to 1080p encode): 21.64 common fps;
- PassMark: Score: 5414 (CPU mark: 13158, 3D Graphics Mark: 3616, Disk Mark: 11342);
- PCMark 10: 4634 (Necessities – 9405 , Productiveness – 6260 , Digital Content material Creation – 4588);
- GeekBench Four.Four.2 64-bit: Single-Core: 5978, Multi-core: 21528;
- GeekBench 5.zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1357, Multi-core: 5418;
- CineBench R15 (greatest run): CPU 922 cb, CPU Single Core 199 cb;
- CineBench R20 (greatest run): CPU 2116 cb, CPU Single Core 518 cb;
- x264 HD Benchmark Four.zero 32-bit: Cross 1 – 176.64 fps, Cross 2 – 42.16 fps;
- x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 80.85 s.
We additionally ran some Workstation associated masses, on the identical Efficiency profile:
- Blender 2.82 – BMW Automotive scene- CPU Compute: 7m 51s (Auto);
- Blender 2.82 – Classroom scene – CPU Compute: 22m 11s (Auto);
- Luxmark Three.1 – Luxball HDR – OpenCL CPUs + GPUs rating: CPU not correctly acknowledged;
These are wonderful outcomes, as anticipated given the high-power Tiger Lake i5 implementation right here, which ends-up outperforming the mid-tier i7 implementation not too long ago examined within the Swift Three 13-inch chassis in multithreaded masses. The i7 nonetheless finally ends up sooner within the single-core CPU assessments, although, as it will probably run at larger Increase speeds.
Nonetheless, based mostly on this check pattern, these outcomes are among the many greatest you’ll be able to anticipate from a TigerLake i5-1135G7 implementation in each CPU-heavy masses and in mixed duties.
Nonetheless, don’t neglect that our unit is pre-release and there’s no assure Acer will hold this aggressive power-profile for the ultimate retail variations, or go for a extra conservative profile so as to hold temperatures at a decrease stage.
Replace: I’ve put in the newer Intel drivers out there as if mid-October 2020 (18.104.22.16873) on our pattern and can replace with as soon as we rerun the assessments.
We ran a few DX11, DX12, and Vulkan titles on the Greatest Efficiency profile and Low/Lowest graphics settings. Right here’s what we received:
|FHD gaming||Swift Three 14 – Intel 1135G7 28W||Swift Three 13 – Intel 1165G7||UX393 – Intel 1165G7||UX425 – Intel 1065G7||IdeaPad 7 – AMD R7 + Vega eight||UM425 – AMD R7 + Vega 7|
|Bioshock Infinite (DX 11, Low Preset)||88 fps (52 fps – 1% low)||76 fps (45 fps – 1% low)||83 fps (44 fps – 1% low)||40 fps (22 fps – 1% low)||81 fps (58 fps – 1% low)||66 fps (50 fps – 1% low)|
|Dota 2 (DX 11, Greatest Trying Preset)||73 fps (44 fps – 1% low)||71 fps (46 fps – 1% low)||63 fps (39 fps – 1% low)||34 fps (20 fps – 1% low)||53 fps (40 fps – 1% low)||39 fps (28 fps – 1% low)|
|Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Low Preset, no AA)||31 fps (19 fps – 1% low)||32 fps (19 fps – 1% low)||29 fps (19 fps – 1% low)||12 fps (10 fps – 1% low)||28 fps (24 fps – 1% low)||21 fps (17 fps – 1% low)|
|Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Lowest Preset)||77 fps (58 fps – 1% low)||60 fps (43 fps – 1% low)||44 fps (33 fps – 1% low)||32 fps (22 fps – 1% low)||33 fps (24 fps – 1% low)||45 fps (36 fps – 1% low)|
|NFS: Most Wished (DX 11, Lowest Preset)||60 fps (53 fps – 1% low)||60 fps (53 fps – 1% low)||60 fps (45 fps – 1% low)||42 fps (25 fps – 1% low)||60 fps (46 fps – 1% low)||56 fps (34 fps – 1% low)|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (DX 12, Lowest Preset, no AA)||46 fps (31 fps – 1% low)||36 fps (5 fps – 1% low)||46 fps (12 fps – 1% low)||16 fps (Three fps – 1% low)||41 fps (22 fps – 1% low)||28 fps (22 fps – 1% low)|
|Shadow of Tomb Raider (Vulkan, Lowest Preset, no AA)||41 fps (23 fps – 1% low)||37 fps (21 fps – 1% low)||34 fps (18 fps – 1% low)||17 fps (12 fps – 1% low)||38 fps (22 fps – 1% low)||27 fps (16 fps – 1% low)|
|Unusual Brigade (Vulkan, Low Preset)||56 fps (48 fps – 1% low)||50 fps (40 fps – 1% low)||54 fps (45 fps – 1% low)||21 fps (7 fps – 1% low)||41 fps (36 fps – 1% low)||37 fps (32 fps – 1% low)|
|The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Low Preset, Hairworks Off)||–||–||–||–||28 fps (22 fps – 1% low)||21 fps (14 fps – 1% low)|
- The Witcher Three, Dota 2, NFS – recorded with MSI Afterburner in recreation mode;
- Bioshock, Far Cry 5, Center Earth, Unusual Brigade, Tomb Raider video games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities;
I’ve added a few different configurations for comparability, both ultraportables out there inside the identical section and value vary, or a few of the few different Tiger Lake fashions we’ve examined thus far.
As prompt by the benchmarks outcomes above, this Swift Three 14-inch ends-up outmatching the opposite i7-1165G7 fashions we’ve examined thus far in real-life gaming as nicely. Energy allocation makes an enormous distinction right here and permits the iGPU to run at its peak frequencies of 1.Three GHz in many of the titles, with pretty strong CPU frequencies as nicely. Nonetheless, that wasn’t the case in all titles, as we seen totally different leads to less-demanding video games comparable to Dota 2 or NFS: Most Wished, which fairly prioritized the CPU over the GPU. That’s bizarre and will change with later drivers and software program updates.
Backside level, this Swift Three can recreation. Older titles simply run at 60+ framerates on FHD and low settings, and lots of even at larger graphics ranges, whereas newer titles run at 30+ framerates with only a few dips. That’s wonderful from an built-in chip and a serious step-up from the Intel IceLake platform, but in addition the Vega iGPUs out there for now within the AMD Ryzen 4000 configurations.
Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others
Acer up to date the thermal design on this Swift Three SF314-59 over the 57 and 58 fashions. They’re nonetheless going with a single fan and heatpipe, however the heatpipe is thicker and shorter, and the design not leaves room for a dGPU.
Now, this thermal module does an excellent job of compressing wonderful efficiency out of this Tiger Lake i5, however with excessive CPU temperatures on this aggressive 28W energy profile applied on our check unit, particularly because the fan spins reasonably quick and solely ramps as much as about 38-39 dB at head-level.
Because of this, the aluminum exterior case runs scorching as nicely whereas operating video games, and a few of the warmth is blown into the display screen’s chin. The panel itself solely will get mildly scorching, within the mid to excessive 40s, because the thick chin takes within the blunt of this warmth.
With every day use, the fan rests quietly and just about inaudible. We did, nevertheless, discover some digital noises on our pattern, so be certain that to verify for them in your unit.
*Each day Use – streaming Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, Higher Battery Mode, followers at 29-35 dB
*Gaming – enjoying Far Cry 5 for 30 minutes, Greatest Efficiency Mode, followers at 38-39 dB
For connectivity, there’s latest-gen WiFi 6 with an Intel AX201 module on this laptop computer. It carried out nicely with our setup and the sign and efficiency remained sturdy at 30-feet, with obstacles in between. That is, nevertheless, not as quick as different Wifi 6+ fashions that we’ve examined prior to now.
Acer up to date the audio system on this Swift Three mannequin, and whereas these are actually a good bit louder, I’m not seeing a major improve in high quality in our mannequin. They nonetheless sound mediocre, with almost no bass and volumes of as much as 74-76 dB at head-level.
Lastly, there’s an HD digicam on the prime of this laptop computer’s display screen, flanked by 2 microphones. These are superb for infrequent calls, however the digicam high quality continues to be muddy and washed out.
There’s solely a 48 Wh battery contained in the Swift Three SF314-59 mannequin, which is okay for an entry-level ultraportable thee days, however smaller than a few of the competitors presents.
Right here’s what we received when it comes to runtimes on our evaluation unit, with the display screen’s brightness set at round 120 nits (~60 brightness).
- eight.5 W (~5+ h of use) – textual content modifying in Google Drive, Higher Battery Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 5.5 W (~eight+ h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 5.eight W (~eight+ h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Chrome, Higher Battery Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON;
- 10 W (~Four-5 h of use) – shopping in Edge, Higher Efficiency Mode, display screen at 60%, Wi-Fi ON.
Take these for what they’re and don’t neglect that our pattern is pre-release, so there’s a good probability these would enhance with later drivers and software program. In comparison with the previous-gen Swift Three fashions, this Tiger Lake variant runs extra effectively than the Ice Lake variant from early-2020, but much less effectively than he Whiskey Lake model from 2019.
The laptop computer comes with a 65W charger (on this configuration) that plugs-in through a traditional barrel plug. It’s a two-piece design with a small brick and lengthy cables, and a full cost takes about 2 hours, however fast charging fills-up an enormous chunk of the capability in underneath one hour. USB-C charging can also be doable with an acceptable charger.
Worth and availability
The Acer Swift Three 14 SF314-59 isn’t extensively stocked in shops on the time of this text.
I may solely discover this i5 / eight GB RAM / 512 GB SSD listed in Canada for 999 CAD, which ought to translate to about 700-750 USD. That’s aggressive.
We’ll hold updating this part as soon as we all know extra about ultimate configurations and costs. Within the meantime, observe this hyperlink for extra particulars.
I’m undecided this Swift Three goes to finish up performing the identical as our early test-model, but when does, I need to say I’m impressed. Acer managed to squeeze a robust 28W Tiger Lake implementation into an inexpensive product, and because of this, this performs very nicely in every kind of duties, together with demanding masses and video games.
Now, the Tiger Lake platform continues to be not a multi-tasking beast, the place an AMD Ryzen pc can be the plain advice, nevertheless it’s nonetheless very snappy in every day use and a reliable gamer, even with current AAA titles. If that’s what you’re after, this Swift Three could possibly be for you, particularly with the inexpensive pricing, sturdy construct high quality, good IO, and superb show on its facet.
However, the typing expertise isn’t my favourite on this non-backlit keyboard model, however most fashions will include the superior and firmer backlit implementation that I received together with nicely in earlier assessments, so that may not be a problem on these. Moreover, whereas Acer up to date the audio system on this mannequin, they’re nonetheless not a lot on our pattern, one thing else to additional look into.
Lastly, with the highly effective implementation, this laptop computer runs scorching with video games, each internally and on the skin, and that may additionally steer a few of you away if finally ends up true on the ultimate product. If I have been Acer, I’d work in some variable power-profiles and hold the 28W implementation, but in addition supply a extra balanced choice for many who’d want higher temperatures.
With these in thoughts, I’d advise you to look into a few different Acer Swift Three 14 SF314-59 opinions as nicely, ideally of retail merchandise, to additional make clear on the typing expertise, thermals and efficiency, which I can’t draw ultimate conclusions on based mostly on this pattern alone.