Home / Laptop Reviews / Acer Swift 3 SF314-57 review (2020 model, Core i5-1035G1 IceLake)

Acer Swift 3 SF314-57 review (2020 model, Core i5-1035G1 IceLake)

Acer Swift Three SF314-57 overview (2020 mannequin, Core i5-1035G1 IceLake)

Acer’s Swift Three lineup features a multitude of competitively priced ultraportable notebooks with slim designs, matte screens, and up to date specs.

For 2020, Acer provides a minimum of Three compact Swift Three fashions, two 14-inch variants based mostly on both Intel or AMD , in addition to a 13-inch choice with a Three:2 show. On this article, we’re protecting the Swift Three SF314-57 mannequin, the 14-inch variant based mostly on Intel Ice Lake .

Our unit is a retail model, an identical to what you’ll find in shops, in a mid-tier configuration with the Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, eight GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD storage. All these are tucked inside a light-weight 2.four lbs magnesium chassis, with a matte IPS show, good collection of ports, quick wi-fi and a 48 Wh battery, with a beginning value of round $650 on the time of this text.

We’ve gathered our impressions beneath, with the sturdy factors and the quirks try to be conscious of if you happen to plan to purchase one in every of these.

Specs as reviewed – Acer Swift Three SF314-57

Acer Swift Three SF314-57
Display screen 14.zero inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, non-touch, matte, Chi Mei CMN141D4 panel
Processor Intel Ice Lake Core i5-1035G1 CPU, quad-core
Video Intel UHD G1, Gen11 with 32 EUs
Reminiscence eight GB LPDDR4x (soldered, dual-channel)
Storage 512 GB SSD (Kingston RBU-SN8154P3/512GJ1 – M.2 2280 PCIe x2)
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 322 mm or 12.67” (w) x 218 mm or eight.58” (d) x 16 mm or zero.63” (h)
Weight 2.four lbs (1.1 kg)+ .53 lbs (.24 kg) charger, EU model
Extras elective white backlit keyboard, HD webcam, stereo audio system

The 2020 Swift Three SF314-57 is a replace and slight redesign of the 2019 SF314-55 mannequin we’ve reviewed final 12 months, however with a number of main variations, comparable to a a lot lighter development and a poorer high quality panel, each based mostly on our findings and what’s reported by different on-line opinions.

That apart, our mannequin is a mid-tier configuration, with the Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, eight GB of LPDDR4x RAM and a 512 GB PCIe SSD, effectively suited to an on a regular basis ultrabook and transportable faculty laptop computer. Increased tier configurations get the Core i7-1065G7 processor with the quicker Iris Plus G7 graphics and 16 GB of RAM, a good choice if you happen to want the additional quantity of reminiscence and particularly the extra succesful graphics.

Design and development

This time round Acer went with magnesium alloys for this Swift’s complete development, and that has allowed them to create one of many lightest 14-inch notebooks in the marketplace, which is very stunning contemplating the price-range this competes in.

Acer advertises a complete weight of two.7 lbs/1.2 kg for this product, but our configuration weighed in at solely 2.four lbs/1.1 kg, and there’s nothing flawed with our scales. The system additionally feels light-weight and transportable, the form of product you possibly can simply toss into your bag when going to work or uni. It’s not a efficiency pc or one thing you possibly can recreation on, however a great choice for on a regular basis use, typing, and multimedia.

In all equity, the magnesium supplies used for this laptop computer don’t really feel as good or high-quality because the aluminum or higher-tier alloys you’ll get with premium ultraportables, however moderately like a great plastic. They’re not plastic, although, that’s simply how magnesium alloys really feel on this kind of price range implementations, we’ve experimented them on different laptops earlier than. I do advise inserting this Swift Three inside a protecting sleeve throughout your travels, the ending tends to scratch simply, and you’ll see there are already some scuffs and scratches on our take a look at unit. It’s a overview product, so it hasn’t been pampered by those that used it earlier than it received to us, but that is one thing to bear in mind.

This apart, the Swift Three SF314-57 is effectively made and pretty sturdy for its class, with restricted flex within the lid and acceptable quantities within the keyboard deck.

So whereas the development isn’t essentially on par with the top-tier ultraportables of the second, Acer didn’t skimp on the practicality. Pretty grippy toes hold this effectively anchored on the desk, the low profile and blunted edges enable for snug typing, the hinge is sturdy and permits for the show to return flat to 180-degrees and there’s an excellent collection of ports across the sides, which embody USB-A, USB-C with Thunderbolt Three help and a full-size HDMI.

On prime of that, the cooling blows air via grills positioned behind the hinge, however as a result of this laptop computer is barely taller than different fashionable implementations, there’s sufficient distance between the exhaust and the panel to negate any potential points brought on by the exhausted warmth, one thing we’ve complained about on ultrabooks with smaller chins, just like the Asus ZenBook collection, as an illustration.

I do have one thing to nit on, although, and that’s the truth that you’ll want each arms to raise up the display, because the hinges are pretty stiff and don’t enable one-handed operation, the type you’ll get with greater tier gadgets.

Keyboard and trackpad

Acer haven’t up to date their entry-level Swift/Spin keyboard shortly and I really feel that they need to.

It’s not a nasty typer and doesn’t get a bizarre structure, aside from the small arrows and mixed Enter and key, but it surely’s a kind of brief journey variants with over-sensitive actuation, the type that leaves no room for errors or straying fingers. Consequently, each my typing velocity and my accuracy fall behind my norms with this Swift Three, even after typing a number of 1000’s of phrases on it.

I ought to point out that Acer supply two keyboard variants for this Swift Three lineup, one with out backlighting on the lowest-tier fashions, the one we have now right here, and one other with backlighting, more than likely the type we’ve skilled on the earlier Swift Three SF314-55 overview. There’s additionally a suggestions distinction between the 2; I additionally struggled with that one at first, however ended up liking it after a number of days of lodging, so I’d make sure that to go together with the backlit choice on this pocket book. To not point out that backlighting must be a should in a 500$+ pc lately anyway.

The mouse is an averagely sized plastic floor with Precision drivers. I discovered it it a bit too quick with out-of-the-box settings, however total a good choice with some tweaks, each with on a regular basis swipes and with gestures. All the implementation does really feel moderately low-cost although, because the floor rattles with even the gentlest of touches and the clicks are stiff and clunky, so I really feel that inputs are one thing Acer ought to tweak on their future updates and one of many compromises you’d have to simply accept with this 2020 Swift Three mannequin.

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 positive with Home windows Howdy.

Display screen

The display is one other, and surprisingly so, because the Swift Three SF314-55 model we’ve reviewed previously received a higher-quality panel.

For the SF314-57 Acer went with a special variation of the Chi Mei panel used earlier than, the CMN14D4 additionally carried out on the earlier AMD based mostly Swift Three SF314-41, which is dimmer and extra washed out. At round 220 nits max-brightness in the course of the panel and 65% sRGB protection, that is OK for indoor use and for unpretentious customers, however not an awesome alternative by at the moment’s requirements even within the budget-oriented phase.

Right here’s what to anticipate, knowledge collected with our Spyder4 sensor:

  • Panel HardwareID: Chi Mei CMN14D4 (N140HCA-EAC);
  • Protection: 64.eight% sRGB, 45.four% AdobeRGB, 46.5% DCI P3;
  • Measured gamma: 1.96;
  • Max brightness in the course of the display: 216 cd/m2 on energy;
  • Distinction at max brightness: 742:1;
  • White level: 7160 Okay;
  • Black on max brightness: zero.29 cd/m2.

Additional calibration could be required to right the cool white level and gamma imbalances, and as soon as calibrated, colours get inside wonderful DeltaE 2000 limits. The gamut remains to be a limitation, although, so colours are simply not as wealthy and good wanting as on higher-quality panels.

Then again, blacks and total mild uniformity are superb on this implementation, so that you’re not going to expertise pronounced mild bleeding on darkish backgrounds. Flickering shouldn’t be a priority both, as PWM is simply used for very low brightness ranges of below 10%, and I doubt you’ll ever wish to use this that low.

Indoors visibility, max brightness, subsequent to the Swift Three SF313-52 (left)


and efficiency

Our pattern is a mid-tier configuration of the Swift Three SF314-57 mannequin, with an Intel Ice Lake Core i5-1035G1 processor, eight GB of RAM and 512 GB of PCIe x2 SSD storage.

The i5-1035G1 is the mid-range IceLake supply and can make its method inside a variety of ultraportable laptops within the first a part of 2019. It’s a dual-core quad-thread processor, a lot because the Whiskey Lake i5-8265U it replaces, however constructed on Intel’s 10nm processor and runs at decrease default and turbo speeds. That apart, an even bigger a part of the design is reserved for the built-in GPU. The G1 is a Gen11 Intel UHD chip with 32 EUs (execution models), a 50% enhance from the 24 EUs within the Intel UHD 620 embedded with the i5-8265U.

This text gives a comparability between the Ice Lake i5-1035G1, Comet Lake i5-10210U, and the Whiskey Lake i5-8265, each when it comes to fundamentals and when it comes to efficiency.

Acer additionally provides the SF314-57 with the higher-tier i7-1065G7 Intel IceLake processor and elective Nvidia MX250 graphics on each the i5 and i7 variations, as additionally implied by the interior design that features house for one. Choosing the dGPU makes little or no sense on the i7 mannequin, as it might negate its major power, the G7 Iris Professional graphics. Pairing it with the i5 is perhaps worth-while, however total I’d moderately go together with final 12 months’s Swift Three with MX150 graphics if you happen to’re after a dGPU, it’s a greater total product and would carry out equally to this 2020 mannequin, for a fraction of a value.

Again to our unit, getting inside is pretty simple and requires you to take away the again panel, maintain in place by a handful of Torx screws. Right here you’ll discover the upgradeable M.2 2280 SSD and M.2 WiFi chip, in addition to the fundamental thermal module, the tiny audio system and 48Wh battery. Fairly normal design for a price range laptop computer, with some unused house and visual routing cables for the audio system and wi-fi antennas.

A good thing about transferring to the Intel IceLake platform is the help for LPDDR4x reminiscence, which is extra environment friendly than the DDR4 and quicker than the LPPDR3 carried out with the varied WhiskeyLake designs. The RAM and CPU are soldered, so ensure you get the suitable configuration, storage is the one side you possibly can later improve. Our unit got here with a middling Kingston PCIe x2 SSD, which is ok for on a regular basis use, however the platform helps quicker alternate options as effectively.

This kind of configuration is primarily designed for informal use, for searching, text-editing and films, which it handles easily, whereas maintaining thermals and noise at wonderful ranges.

We additionally examined our pattern in additional demanding hundreds. The Cinebench loop take a look at runs Cinebench R15 for 10+ loops, with 2-Three sec delay between every run, to check for efficiency in taxing longer-term situations. The i5-1035G1 did effectively out of the field on the Finest Efficiency Home windows energy mode, settling for its designed 15W TDP, frequencies of two.1 GHz and temperatures of round 75-77 levels Celsius. The 15W TDP alocation is the limiting issue right here, and higher efficiency might be obtained if Acer would enable the i5 to run at greater energy.

Since that’s not an choice proper now, we additional regarded to enhance the efficiency by undervolting the CPU, doable with the newest variations of Throttlestop. Our take a look at unit ran stably at -100 mV, which interprets in 10% improved frequency and scores inside the similar 15W envelope, with related 76-77 C temperatures. We additionally received the identical outcomes with the laptop computer unplugged, which proves this implementation received’t wrestle with severe multitasking or extra demanding chores on battery.

Moreover, to check the efficiency in mixed CPU+GPU hundreds that will simulate duties like video encoding or knowledge processing, we ran out 3DMark and Luxmark Three.1 stress exams. The system handed 3DMark with flying colours, and did very effectively in Luxmark as effectively, consistently operating at its 15W energy allowance for your entire period of the take a look at. After all, the CPU drops in frequency compared to the Cinebench take a look at, because it has to separate its allowance with the iGPU.

Subsequent, we ran our normal set of benchmarks, for these of you interested by numbers. Right here’s what we received on inventory settings:

  • 3DMark 11: P2775 (Graphics – 2546, Physics – 6238);
  • 3DMark 13 – Fireplace Strike: 1643 (Graphics – 1748, Physics – 8315);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 532 (Graphics – 466, CPU – 2769);
  • Uniengine Superposition – 720p Low: 2989;
  • GeekBench four.four.2 64-bit: Single-Core: 5178, Multi-core: 15615;
  • GeekBench 5.zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1152, Multi-core: 3485;
  • CineBench R15 (greatest run): CPU 541 cb, CPU Single Core 166 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (greatest run): CPU 1210 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark four.zero 32-bit: Go 1 – 142.85 fps, Go 2 –29.84 fps;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 109.78 s.

We additionally reran a few of them on the -100 mV undervolted CPU profile:

  • 3DMark 11: P2775 (Graphics – 2508, Physics – 6884);
  • 3DMark 13 – Fireplace Strike: 1566 (Graphics – 1660, Physics – 8723);
  • 3DMark 13 – Time Spy: 510 (Graphics – 445, CPU – 2971);
  • Uniengine Superposition – 720p Low: 2973;
  • PassMark: Ranking: 4088, CPU mark: 10287, 3D Graphics Mark: 1674;
  • PCMark 10: 3799 (Necessities – 7651 , Productiveness – 5777 , Digital Content material Creation – 3367);
  • GeekBench four.four.2 64-bit: Single-Core: 5092, Multi-core: 16270;
  • GeekBench 5.zero.1 64-bit: Single-Core: 1159, Multi-core: 3810;
  • CineBench R15 (greatest run): CPU 618 cb, CPU Single Core 170 cb;
  • CineBench R20 (greatest run): CPU 1320 cb;
  • x264 HD Benchmark four.zero 32-bit: Go 1 – 152.24 fps, Go 2 –43.92 fps;
  • x265 HD Benchmark 64-bit: 95.85 s.

Undervolting helps enhance CPU efficiency throughout the board. Nevertheless, the system remains to be restricted by the 15W energy allowance, and there’s room for enchancment if Acer decides to boost the restrict in the direction of 25W, which is an choice for IceLake platforms. That’s why the mixed CPU+GPU outcomes comparable to 3Dmark and Uniengine are decrease on the undervolted profile, because the GPU scores drop barely because the CPU outcomes enhance.

The ability restrict is probably not that a lot of a problem for the i5-1035G1, however the i7-1065G7 would certainly profit from the next TDP threshold in mixed hundreds and in video games.

Talking of video games, we ran a number of titles on our pattern. Remember the G1 is the bottom stage Intel UHD Gen11 model out there with current Ice Lake chips. For comparability, Intel additionally provides an i5-1035G4 model, with 25% further EUs (48, vs 32 on the G1), in addition to the i7-1065G7 with 64 EUs, twice of what G1 provides.

Right here’s what to anticipate when it comes to gaming on the i5-1035G1 powered Swift Three SF314-57, and we’ll replace with additional particulars on the i7 model if we get to check one sooner or later. We did throw in our outcomes of a Ryzen 3700U platform (from our overview of the Lenovo IdeaPad S540) and an Intel i7 WhiskeyLake + devoted MX250 graphics configuration (from our overview of the Asus ZenBook 14), for comparability.

FHD decision, lowest graphics presets Swift Three IdeaPad S540 ZenBook UX434FL 
Bioshock Infinite (DX 11, Low Preset) 34 fps 52 fps 77 fps
Far Cry 5 (DX 11, Low Preset, TAA) 11 fps 18 fps 23 fps
NFS: Most Needed (DX 11, Lowest Preset) 32-40 fps 46-54 fps – fps
Center Earth: Shadow of Mordor (DX 11, Lowest Preset) 30 fps 32 fps 50 fps
Rise of Tomb Raider (DX 12, Low Preset, FXAA) 14 fps 18 fps 32 fps
The Witcher Three: Wild Hunt (DX 11, Low Preset, Hairworks Off) – fps 17-21 fps 27-38 fps
  • The Witcher Three, NFS – recorded with Fraps in marketing campaign mode
  • Bioshock, Far Cry 5, Center Earth, Tomb Raider video games – recorded with the included Benchmark utilities

The logs beneath additionally present you what to anticipate when it comes to temperatures and CPU/GPU efficiency whereas taking part in video games, on the undervolted CPU profile.

The efficiency is OK, with each the CPU and iGPU sides operating at excessive speeds, however inside the platform’s talents and 15W energy allowance. The configuration is unquestionably not made for contemporary gaming, however you possibly can often play older titles if you happen to’re prepared to drop on settings and even decrease the decision to HD. Nonetheless, configurations with an AMD APU or Intel Core + MX stage graphics are higher suited to mild gaming.

Noise, Warmth, Connectivity, audio system, and others

This 2020 Swift Three SF314-57 will get a really fundamental thermal module, with a single fan and a skinny heatpipe between the CPU and radiator.

As an fascinating side-note, the thermal plate solely covers the CPU a part of the chiplet, however not the PCH (Platform Controller Hub) as effectively. Nonetheless, this doesn’t appear to have any affect on efficiency and thermals, so it really works positive for this laptop computer. When you’re not conscious of this, IceLake chips are completely different than Whiskey Lake Core Us and previous variations, with the PCH and GPU separated and an total bigger footprint. The CPU half is constructed on Intel’s 10nm lithography, whereas the PCH remains to be 14 nm.

The fan inside is lively on a regular basis, even with fundamental use, but it surely’s additionally very quiet, barely even noticeable even in a superbly silent room. We additionally haven’t ntoiced any coil whinning or digital noises on our pattern, which turned out to be one fo probably the most silent ultrabooks reviewed in latest months.

The fan kicks up with demanding hundreds and video games, however nonetheless stays quiet (at 37-38 dB max quantity, at head-level) and may be simply coated even be the mediocre audio system on this system.

On the similar time, the Swift Three on this i5-1035G1 configuration barely passes 40 levels Celsius on the again with video games, so thermals are by no means going to be a priority.

In all equity, i7 variants (if allowed to run above 15W) and particularly the MX250 dGPU variants will certainly run hotter and noisier.

*Each day Use – operating Netflix in EDGE for 30 minutes, followers 32-34 dB
*Load – taking part in Want for Pace: Most Needed for 30 minutes,  followers 37-38 dB

For connectivity, there’s latest-gen WiFi 6 with an Intel AX200 module on this laptop computer. It did very effectively with our setup, almost 2x quicker than the WiFi 5 implementation within the earlier Swift Three with Wifi 5 wi-fi. On the similar time, the sign and efficiency remained very sturdy at 30-feet with obstacles in between.

Then again, for audio Acer went with a number of the smallest audio system I’ve seen shortly, and so they fireplace downwards, via grills on the stomach. These will not be utterly terrible, but it surely’s certainly no shock they sound mediocre, with almost no bass and volumes of as much as 70 dB. Total, I really feel these are a downgrade from each the earlier Intel and AMD Swift Three variations.

Lastly, there’s an HD digital camera on the prime of this laptop computer’s display, flanked by an array of microphones. These are positive for infrequent calls, however the digital camera high quality is muddy and washed out.

Battery life

There’s a 48 Wh battery contained in the Swift Three SF314, a standard measurement for ultrabooks on this phase lately. This Intel implementation proved, nevertheless, much less environment friendly than the Whiskey Lake construct on the earlier Swift Three, so we solely ended up with middling runtimes.

Right here’s what we received on our overview unit, with the display’s brightness set at round 120 nits (~80 brightness).

  • eight.5 W (~5 h 30 min of use) – textual content enhancing in Google Drive, Higher Battery Mode, display at 80%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 7.eight W (~6+ h of use) – 1080p fullscreen video on Youtube in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display at 80%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 7 W (~7- h of use) – Netflix fullscreen in Edge, Higher Battery Mode, display at 80%, Wi-Fi ON;
  • 12 W (~four h of use) – searching in Edge, Higher Efficiency Mode, display at 80%, Wi-Fi ON.

The laptop computer comes with a 45W charger that plugs-in through a traditional barrel plug. It’s a two-piece design with a small brick, and a full cost takes about 2 hours. USB-C charging is just not supported.

Worth and availability

The Acer Swift Three SF314-57 is out there worldwide as of January 2020.

The configuration reviewed right here, with the Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, eight GB of RAM and 256/512 GB SSD is out there at this level for $679 within the US and 749 EUR in Germany/France. Each are MSRP costs and can more than likely drop sooner or later.

Retailers in Europe and the UK additionally record Core i7-1065G7 configurations with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, in addition to variants with MX250 graphics. These may additionally make it to North America within the close to future.

Comply with this hyperlink for up to date configurations and costs on the time you’re studying the article.

Remaining ideas

The Swift Three FS314-57 is likely one of the most competitively priced Intel Ice Lake ultraportables of the second, in addition to one of the vital compact and light-weight 14-inch choices within the $600-$1000 price range. Moreover, Acer didn’t sacrifice the IO within the course of and carried out the very effectively, permitting good efficiency in each every day use and extra demanding hundreds, mixed with wonderful thermals and noise ranges.

On the similar time, this 2020 replace downgrades the typing expertise, battery life, audio, and display high quality of the earlier Swift Three SF314-55 lineup, and that displays in our total score and total conclusion of this overview.

For what’s price, I contemplate the older Swift Three to be a greater total product and the one I’d nonetheless suggest over this replace if you happen to’re procuring at round 600-700 USD/EUR. Sure, it’s a heavier product and lacks Wi-fi AX or Thunderbolt Three, however that form of cash will purchase you a flexible Whiskey Lake i7 + MX150 dGPU lately, and also you’ll find yourself with a extra environment friendly implementation, brighter and richer show, and an total nicer keyboard.

On the similar time, if you happen to resolve to stay with the SF314-57 replace for the IceLake and light-weight construct, I’d solely contemplate the i5-1035G1 configuration reviewed right here and never spend further for the MX250 or the i7 on this product. As an alternative, if you happen to’re prepared to spend nearer to 800-1000 USD/EUR for an ultraportable, go together with the 13-inch Swift Three SF313-52 as an alternative. That’s additionally a compact product with IceLake , Thunderbolt Three and AX wi-fi, however with a a lot nicer Three:2 show and extra snug keyboard.

After all, the Swift 3s will not be with out competitors of their area of interest of worth ultrabooks, from choices such because the Asus Vivobook S14, the Huawei MateBook D 14, the Lenovo IdeaPad S340 or Dell Inspiron 14, amongst others, and you must test them as effectively, for an even bigger image of your choices. That apart, if I had been you I’d additionally test the higher-tier phase for potential reductions, you would possibly discover some wonderful worth choices there for $100-$150 further, effectively definitely worth the distinction in some instances.

Total, I’m moderately disenchanted with this 12 months’s Acer Swift Three SF314-57 and Acer’s selections to sacrifice on essential elements for an ultra-lightweight development and newest Intel Ice Lake . Fortunately, that Swift Three SF313 is a a lot nicer product, but it surely’s unhappy the Swift Three 14-inch collection is now not spectacular, not like it’s been for the previous years.

Disclaimer: Our content material is reader-supported. When you purchase via a number of the hyperlinks on our web site, we might earn an affiliate fee. Be taught extra.

Andrei Girbea, Editor-in-Chief of Ultrabookreview.com. I have been protecting cell computer systems because the 2000s and you will principally discover opinions and thorough guides written by me right here on the positioning.

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