Just when you think the laptop has got about as slim as it can get, a company pushes the envelope. Which is exactly what Acer has done with the new Swift 7, described as the world's thinnest laptop.
It's a claim that we wouldn't dispute, either. Indeed, sat next to our smartphone at the company's CES pre-show showcase, the Swift 7 is entirely smartphone-thin in size, measuring sub-9mm total.
Even the 2017 model, which we reviewed a year ago, was a whole millimetre thicker - and while that might not sound like much, the 2018 Swift 7 (codename 'SF714-51T') is remarkably slender.
Design & connectivity
- 8.98mm thin
- Aluminium chassis
- Nano SIM slot (4G)
- 2x USB-C ports
- 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
- Adds keyboard backlight
- Integrated fingerprint scanner
That slim design does make for some slightly odd-looking quirks, though. The Swift 7 is stunning in one sense, but kind of gawky in the way there's a notable gap between the screen panel and base panel, plus the bottom bezel of the screen is huge.
Nonetheless, the amount that Acer has managed to squeeze into this solid, metal chassis is impressive. There are two USB-C ports - obviously no full-size ports, as there's simply not the space - alongside a 3.5mm headphones jack, the latter fitted into the spine to go almost unnoticed.
Interestingly, there's a nano SIM slot next to the power-on button, for on-the-go 4G (not specified in all models). Acer has also squeezed in a fingerprint scanner, positioned unusually to the left-side of the keyboard.
The large trackpad remains as high-end in appearance and feel as last year's model, while the shallow press keyboard has been upgraded to include a backlight (something that lacked from the previous model). It's all onward and upward.
- 14in 1920 x 1080 IPS touchscreen display
- Intel 7th Gen Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM
- 256 GB PCIe SSD storage
- Alleged 10 hours of battery life
The 14-inch screen of the Swift 7 finds a fine balance of features, opting for a Full HD resolution rather than anything higher, which ought to aid battery life. The touchscreen works responsively, if that's your preferred way to navigate through Windows 10.
Given the Intel Core i7 processor and 8GB RAM on board, we're not yet convinced the alleged 10 hours of battery life per charge will ring true, based on what the laptop on show was projecting, but with so little chassis space there's not a huge amount of room for the battery cells.
That Intel processor is the 7th rather than 8th generation, too, which seems an oddity when considering the Swift 7's £1,599 starting price. Surely it should have the latest and greatest chipset? Not that it'll be a slow performer by any means.
The 2018 Acer Swift 7 slims down an already slender and impressive laptop, adding 4G connectivity, more power and a keyboard backlight to improve over its predecessor.
Problem is, however, it's about £650 more for the pleasure, coming in with a mighty £1,599 starting price. Whether that'll be worth it or not likely depends on the performance and longevity per charge - which we'll take a closer look at when we come to review the product in full.
The Acer Swift 7 will be available in the UK from April 2018, with prices starting at £1,599.