Acer Swift 3 (2022) review: a solid system for the worth

Acer Swift 3 (2022)

MSRP $1,130.00

“The Acer Swift 3 offers class-leading performance and above-average battery life.”


  • Excellent productivity performance
  • Shiny display with deep contrast
  • Superb keyboard
  • Solid battery life
  • Full HD webcam


  • Display is old-school 16:9
  • Small touchpad

Acer’s Swift 3 is an interesting laptop. It’s offered some budget-level machines with tremendous value, similar to the 2020 AMD Swift 3 that maintains a spot on our greatest budget laptops list. The road also features machines that higher fit the midrange category, similar to the brand new Swift 3 Evo SF314-512. This laptop is meant to compete with 14-inch laptops within the $850 to $1,000 range, a highly competitive space.

I reviewed the top-end configuration that is available in at $1,130 for a Core i7-1260P CPU and a 14-inch 16:9 QHD (2,560 x 1,440) IPS display. Besides the old-school aspect ratio, the Swift 3 lived as much as its price point and can be a relative bargain at its starting price of $850. It offers strong performance and battery life that beats out much of its competition and even takes on costlier laptops, making the Swift 3 a solid value.

Price and configurations

The Swift 3 (SF314-512) is a distinctly midrange laptop. On the entry level, it’s $850 for a 28-watt 12-core/16-thread Core i5-1540P running at as much as 4.4GHz, with 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14-inch 16:9 Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS display. On the high end, which I reviewed, the Swift 3 costs $1,130 for a 28-watt 12-core/16-watt Core i7-1260P with a Turbo boost of 4.7GHz, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and a 14-inch 16:9 QHD IPS display.

On paper, those are attractive prices. They’re competitive with other mi-range 14-inch laptops just like the Asus Vivobook S 14X and the Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1, although the Asus advantages from its 120Hz OLED display.


Acer Swift 3 2022 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Because of an all-aluminum chassis, the Swift 3 within reason solid. There’s a tiny little bit of bending within the lid, however the keyboard deck resists flexing and the chassis bottom is rigid. The Swift 3 feels higher built than much of its competition at this price point, just like the Vivobook S 14X and the Inspiron 14 2-in-1, nevertheless it’s not quite in the identical league as costlier laptops just like the Dell XPS 15 and the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7. The standard carries through to the hinge, which allows opening of the lid with one hand but holds the display firmly in place.

Unusually for a 14-inch laptop, the Swift 3 has a second user-accessible SSD slot. Add one other SSD and you may either speed up the laptop or expand storage as much as 2TB.

Aesthetically, the Swift 3 is a simply designed laptop with none bling and with streamlined angles. It’s available in three lid colours — silver, blue, and gold — and my review unit was all silver. It’s a lovely and minimalist laptop, very like so many others produced these days, including the Vivobook S 14X and the Inspiron 14 2-in-1. Only the plastic display bezels detract from an overall quality appearance. The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is an example of a competitive laptop with a more elegant aesthetic.

The Swift 3 has thin side bezels, with top and bottom bezels that aren’t as modern. Overall, the laptop has an 86% screen-to-body ratio, which is tremendous for midrange laptops but well under premium laptops which can be at 90% or higher. The Swift 3 is thin at 0.63 inches and lightweight at 2.76 kilos, which compares to the Vivobook S 14X at 0.70 inches and three.53 kilos and the Inspiron 14 2-in-1 at 0.70 inches and three.61 kilos.

Due to the 16:9 aspect ratio, the Swift 3 is wider than laptops with 16:10 displays, but not as deep. It’s a highly portable laptop that won’t take up an excessive amount of space or weight in a backpack.


Acer Swift 3 2022 left side view showing ports.

acer swift 3 2022 review right side

Connectivity is solid with two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, and a 3.5mm audio jack. There’s no SD card reader, which is disappointing, however the inclusion of Thunderbolt 4 at this price point is welcome.

Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 provide up-to-date wireless connectivity.


Acer Swift 3 2022 top down view showing venting.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Core i7-1260P has been a powerful performer within the laptops we’ve reviewed, offering a major uptick from Intel’s Eleventh-gen CPUs. A few laptops have stood out, though, performing higher than the chip’s average. I’ve listed two of them within the table below, and considered one of them is the Swift 3.

Together with the MSI Prestige 14, the Swift 3 did exceptionally well in our benchmark suite. It beat out the Lenovo ThinkPad x1 Yoga Gen 7 with a Core i7-1260P that performed closer to average. It was also as fast or faster than a few thin-and-light laptops with the 45-watt 14-core/20-thread Core i7-12700H, specifically the HP Pavilion Plus 14 and Asus Vivobook S 14X. I tested the Swift 3’s balanced and performance modes and reported each results. The thermal management utility didn’t make as much difference within the Swift 3 as in another laptops.

The Swift 3 essentially tied the Prestige 14 in Geekbench 5, our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, and Cinebench R23, and each were at the highest of the list with the 45-watt chips competing most strongly in Cinebench. The Prestige 14 was faster within the PCMark 10 Complete benchmark, which is a powerful indicator of productivity performance, with the Swift 3 coming in third behind the MSI and the Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED with an AMD Ryzen 7 6800U.

Overall, the Swift 3 is a faster performer. It’s quick enough for demanding productivity workflows, and it may well also handle low-end creative tasks. It competes strongly against laptops costing a whole lot more.

(single / multi)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
PCMark 10
Acer Swift 3 2022
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,708 / 10,442
Perf: 1,694 / 10,382
Bal: 100
Perf: 98
Bal: 1,735 / 9,756
Perf: 1,779 / 10,165
MSI Prestige 14
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,505 / 10,041
Perf: 1,477 / 10,604
Bal: 114
Perf: 97
Bal: 1,553 / 8,734
Perf: 1,567 / 10,450
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,650 / 8,080
Perf: 1,621 / 8,544
Bal: 116
Perf: 120
Bal: 1,587 / 7,682
Perf: 1,611 / 8.078
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,462 / 8,531
Perf: 1,472 / 8,531
Bal: 104
Perf: 102
Bal: 1,523 / 8,358
Perf: 1,716 / 10,915
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,595 / 6,692
Perf: 1,681 / 7,175
Bal: 113
Perf: 102
Bal: 1,757 / 10,339
Perf: 1,792 / 12,051
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 7420
(Core i7-1255U)
Bal: 1,703 / 6,520
Perf: 1,685 / 6,791
Bal: 153
Perf: 141
Bal: 1,729 / 6,847
Perf: 1,773 / 7,009
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
Bal: 1,417 / 6,854
Perf: 1,404 / 7,223
Bal: 112
Perf: 111
Bal: 1,402 / 8,682
Perf: 1,409 / 8,860

The Swift 3 is restricted to integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, which suggests it’s not a serious gaming machine. But for what it’s, the Swift 3 performed well, achieving a high rating in 3DMark Time Spy and better-than-average frame rates in Fortnite at 1080p and epic graphics.

You won’t need to tackle modern 3D titles, however the Swift 3 must be tremendous for older games and a few lighter esports titles.

Time Spy
(1080p/1200p Epic)
Acer Swift 3 2022
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,967
Perf: 1,967
Bal: 19 fps
Perf: 19 fps
HP Pavilion Plus 14
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,520
Perf: 1,577
Bal: 15
Perf: 16
Asus Vivobook S 14X
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,251
Perf: 1,253
Bal: 6
Perf: 7
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 7420
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,492
Perf: 1,502
Bal: 12
Perf: 12
MSI Prestige 14
(RTX 3050)
Bal: 4,438
Perf: 4,451
Bal: 23
Perf: 26
Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(AMD Radeon)
Bal: 2,110
Perf: 2,213
Bal: 19 fps
Perf: 19 fps

Display and audio

Acer Swift 3 2022 front view showing display.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Swift 3’s biggest weakness is its old-school 16:9 display. Taller displays, either 16:10 or 3:2, have develop into increasingly popular, to the purpose where all however the least expensive budget laptops are making the transition. My review unit enjoyed a high QHD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution, and it looked like a top quality display as I used to be using it when writing this review, but its aspect ratio was disappointing nonetheless. Also missing was touch, but there’s a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) touch display option.

In accordance with my colorimeter, the display had average color width and accuracy for medium and premium laptops, although more IPS displays are starting to indicate wider colours. A yr ago, 98% sRGB and 75% AdobeRGB would have been a powerful showing, but recent quality displays have AdobeRGB gamuts within the 80s. The Swift 3’s color accuracy is decent for entry-level creative work, with a Delta-E of 1.51. Discerning creators will find it limiting, nonetheless. The display was plenty brilliant, though, at 368 nits, well above our 300-nit standard, and it enjoyed a high contrast ratio of 1,330:1, providing deeper blacks than our 1,000:1 threshold for quality images.

Overall, this quality display will work well for productivity work, media consumption, and even the occasional photo-editing or graphic design project. As your primary work computer for creative work, though, you’ll probably want something with tighter calibration.

Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is best)
Acer Swift 3 2022
368 1,330:1 98% 75% 1.51
HP Pavilion Plus 14
398 27,830:1 100% 95% 0.78
Asus Vivobook S 14X
403 27,930:1 100% 99% 1.07
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 7420
288 1,330:1 63% 48% 3.35
MSI Prestige 14
386 1,900:1 100% 81% 0.78
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
406 28,380:1 100% 95% 0.87

Two downward-firing speakers on the front bottom of the chassis provide the audio. The quantity was just loud enough to fill my small home office, and the mids and highs were clear without distortion. There wasn’t any bass to talk of, though, so for music and motion movies, you’ll need a pair of headphones.

Keyboard, touchpad, and webcam

Acer Swift 3 2022 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The keyboard has silver keys with gray lettering that’s easy to read with the backlight turned off, but a bit of harder to read with the backlight turned on. The keycaps are nicely sized, though, and there’s loads of key spacing. The switches are light and snappy with a responsive bottoming motion. It’s not quite pretty much as good because the keyboards on Dell’s XPS or HP’s Spectre lines, nevertheless it’s only a small step behind. I discovered the keyboard comfortable for longer typing sessions while creating this review.

The touchpad uses what Acer calls OceanGlass, which is definitely recycled plastic that’s meant to feel like glass. I discovered it a cushty surface with reliable support for Windows 11 multitouch gestures, and the buttons were quiet and precise. The touchpad’s only problem is that it’s a bit small, mainly because there’s not as much room on the palm rest as there may be with taller displays.

Windows 11 Hello passwordless login support is provided by a fingerprint reader embedded in the ability button, the right location. It worked quickly and reliably during my testing.

Finally, the webcam is a Full HD model able to capturing 1080p video at 60 frames per second (fps). Combined with Acer’s tools for cleansing up and brightening video, the webcam provided a wonderful image for videoconferencing. It’s a webcam you’re more prone to expect in a costlier laptop, and it’s great to see here.

Battery life

Acer Swift 3 2022 rear view showing lid and logo.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Swift 3 has a 56 watt-hour battery powering a quick CPU and a high-res display. That’s about average for the 14-inch laptops we’ve reviewed these days, with the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga Gen 7 configured with 57 watt-hours, the Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 with 54 watt-hours, and the MSI Prestige 14 with 52 watt-hours. Often, that ends in less-than-average battery life, however the Swift 3 and ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 (with a low-power Full HD display) proved to be exceptions.

The Swift 3 hit eight hours in our web-browsing test that cycles through a handful of complex web sites. That’s a solid rating. The Acer hit 14 hours in our video test that loops through an area 1080p movie trailer, which is above average. And within the PCMark10 Applications test that’s the most effective indicator of productivity battery life, the Swift 3 managed 10 hours.

Those results indicate a laptop that can last a full working day running a typical productivity workflow. In our comparison group, only the ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7 lasted longer, nevertheless it benefited from a low-power display. Against its primary competition, the Swift 3 was a frontrunner.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10
Acer Swift 3 2022
(Core i7-1260P)
8 hours, 2 minutes 14 hours, 10 minutes 10 hours, 1 minute
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Core i7-1260p)
10 hours, 10 minutes 16 hours, 12 minutes 10 hours, 33 minutes
MSI Prestige 14
(Core i7-1260P)
5 hours, 11 minutes 6 hours, 2 minutes 7 hours, 2 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
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1
(Core i7-1255U)
6 hours, 42 minutes 11 hours, 6 minutes 8 hours, 43 minutes
 Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
8 hours, 4 minutes 13 hours, 13 minutes N/A

Our take

The Acer Swift 3 is a typical 14-inch midrange clamshell laptop in appearance, nevertheless it excels in a couple of crucial areas. First, it’s well-built. Second, its performance is class-leading, And third, its battery life is above average. That mixes to create a laptop that must be on anyone’s shopping list.

The one negative is the 16:9 display. Not every laptop has transitioned to 16:10 or 3:2, but enough have that the Swift 3 stands out. Someday soon, I won’t recommend a laptop with an old-school aspect ratio irrespective of its other qualities, but that day hasn’t come just yet.

Are there any alternatives?

The HP Pavilion Plus 14 is a powerful competitor, coming in at $850 (on sale) for a machine with solid performance and a beautiful 2.8K OLED display running at 90Hz. It could’t match the Swift 3’s battery life, nonetheless.

Lenovo’s Yoga 9i Gen 7 is a solid alternative in case your wallet is a bit thicker. Its spectacular design, incredible OLED display, and solid battery life are definitely worth the extra cash.

Finally, you choose for the brand new Apple MacBook Air M2. It’s costlier at $1,200, with less RAM at 8GB and storage at 256GB, but it is going to offer faster performance and for much longer battery life. And its construct quality is second to none.

How long will it last?

The Swift 3 is built well enough to last for years of productive service, with components to match. The industry-standard one-year warranty is just OK at this price point.

Do you have to buy it?

Yes. The Acer Swift 3 is fast and offers strong battery life, making it a very good alternative amongst a competitive field of 14-inch laptops.

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