When we reviewed the Acer Swift 5 in 2017 we were rather impressed with the slender, 14-inch notebook. For 2018 it's coming in a 15-inch format - but without stacking on much additional size or weight. It's one of the most compact 15.6-inch laptops we've ever laid hands on.

At the Next @ Acer global press launch, held in New York on 23 May 2018, we got to preview the laptop. However, at this early stage it's only a non-working mock-up shell of the forthcoming final version.

Design

  • 15.6-inch display
  • 88% screen-to-footprint ratio
  • 5.87mm maximum thickness; sub-1kg weight
  • Integrated fingerprint scanner
  • Ports: 2x USB 3.1, 1x USB-C 3.1, 1x HDMI, 1x 3.5mm, 1x SD card slot

At first glance the 2018 Swift 5 looks a lot like the 2017 model. Which is rather impressive given the new, larger screen size.

Pocket-lintAcer Swift 5 review image 4

The trick here has been in trimming the screen bezel to smaller proportions, which means that 15.6-inch panel dominates some 88 per cent of the laptop's overall footprint. And yes, there's still a camera squeezed into the top edge.

The laptop is marginally larger than its smaller brother, but that means there's more space for additional battery - something we had criticised of the 2017 model. Hopefully the 2018 version will provide longer innings.

Impressively the weight is still under one kilogram, too, which is more-or-less unheard of for a laptop with a screen at this scale. And that's not down to cheap production: this isn't a plastic laptop, it's forged from magnesium and aluminium alloys.

Pocket-lintAcer Swift 5 review image 5

There are a heap of ports on offer, too, including full-size USBs, a full-size SD card slot, plus a future-facing USB-C port. We'd have liked two Type C at this stage in product lifecycle, but otherwise it's got every angle covered.

Like the original Swift 5, the 15.6-inch model also features a fingerprint scanner on its surface for Windows Hello quick login.

Power

  • Up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU
  • Up to 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Up to 1TB SSD storage
  • No dedicated graphics hardware

With the latest Intel processors on board, up to Core i7, the Swift 5 should be more powerful and power efficient than its smaller-screen predecessor.

Pocket-lintAcer Swift 5 review image 12

The machine can be specced out to a reasonably high level, too, with up to 16GB RAM, but there's no scope for dedicated graphics in a slender machine such as this.

We anticipate seeing more of the new Swift 5 in September at IFA 2018, where we'll be able to get a better gauge on how its screen resolution, brightness, overall processing power, fan noise, and battery life combine. Until then, have a flick through our pictures for a taste of the future to come.