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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.