Acer Swift 3 OLED review: a great package with one thing missing

The Acer Swift 3 OLED combines the brilliance of an OLED screen with the power of the Alder Lake mobile processor, making it an intriguing option for those seeking a Windows laptop with top-notch visuals and performance. Priced at $1,199, it offers a compelling package for users interested in a powerful device without breaking the bank. However, the Achilles’ heel of the Swift 3 OLED lies in its disappointing battery life, which limits its appeal to a narrower audience.

Design and Build Quality

The Swift 3 OLED strikes a balance between portability and functionality with its compact design. It measures 0.7 inches thick and weighs 3.09 pounds, making it lightweight and easy to carry. While the chassis has a standard silver color and thin bezels, it does have a somewhat plasticky feel and exhibits flex, which may raise durability concerns. Nevertheless, considering the price point, it offers an attractive design overall.

Display and Keyboard

The highlight of the Acer Swift 3 OLED is its 14-inch OLED display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, 400 nits of brightness, and a sharp 2880 x 1800 resolution. The screen provides ample room for multitasking and delivers vivid and detailed visuals. It outperforms many Windows laptops in its price range, including the M2 MacBook Air, which would cost significantly more for a similar configuration. However, the lack of touch functionality may deter students who require precise input for tasks like graphing.

The keyboard on the Swift 3 OLED impresses with its rigidity and excellent typing experience. The keys offer a satisfying click and a snappy feel, allowing for swift and accurate typing. However, the silver keys and grayish lettering may lack contrast for visually impaired users, especially when the backlighting is low. Additionally, there is noticeable backlight bleed in some instances, though it may not bother most users.

Performance and Software

Equipped with an Intel Core i7-12700H processor, Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, the Swift 3 OLED delivers zippy performance for various tasks. It handles photo editing, web browsing, and multimedia streaming with ease, thanks to the capable processor and ample memory. However, the device’s fan can become loud under heavy workloads. The inclusion of preinstalled programs and bloatware is a downside, although they can be uninstalled to improve the user experience.

Battery Life and Efficiency

One of the most significant drawbacks of the Swift 3 OLED is its disappointing battery life. With an H-series processor and a high-resolution screen, the device averages between 3.5 to 4 hours of continuous use, even with a light workload. This limited lifespan significantly hampers the laptop’s portability and may deter users who require longer battery endurance. While it is expected that an H-series chip consumes more power, a device marketed as portable should offer a better balance between performance and battery life.

Agreements and Optional Features

To use the Acer Swift 3 OLED, users must agree to the Microsoft Software License terms and the Manufacturer’s Limited Hardware Warranty and Agreement. Additionally, there are several optional agreements related to privacy settings, Microsoft 365 and Xbox Game Pass trials. These agreements offer users some customization options but are not mandatory.

The Acer Swift 3 OLED stands out with its powerful performance and stunning OLED display, all at a relatively affordable price point. It caters to users who prioritize visuals and productivity on the go. However, the device’s poor battery life significantly limits its appeal and portability. While some users may overlook this drawback, it remains a significant compromise, especially considering other OLED-equipped laptops on the market that offer longer battery life without sacrificing performance. Nevertheless, for those seeking a 14-inch laptop with exceptional screen quality and strong performance, the Acer Swift 3 OLED remains a compelling option.

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