New thin-and-light laptops primarily based on Intel’s newest 11th Gen Core CPUs have been hitting the marketplace for a number of months now, and immediately we have now one of many first ones to have launched in India – the Acer Swift 3X. It is a compact 14-inch Home windows laptop computer with an emphasis on slimness and lightness, but it surely additionally showcases Intel’s new 11th Gen CPUs and it is first discrete GPU in a really very long time, known as the Iris Xe Max.

The Acer Swift 3X guarantees all-day battery life, good wired and wi-fi connectivity, and powerful productiveness efficiency. It is time to see if it manages to dwell as much as these claims.

Acer Swift 3X design

The Acer Swift 3X could be very mild, which is the very first thing you will discover whenever you choose it up. The 1.37Kg weight is distributed nicely so this laptop computer does not really feel too top-heavy for those who apply it to your lap. It is also slim sufficient (17.9mm) to suit into most backpacks. The general dimensions are compact due to the slim bezels on three sides of the show.

Acer has used steel for the many of the physique work which makes the Swift 3X look a bit premium from the skin, however the black plastic insert across the show dilutes this a bit. Nonetheless, the physique is well-built with none kind of flex across the keyboard space, and the steel lid provides good safety for the show.

The Acer Swift 3X is slim and feels sturdy due to the steel chassis

 

The Steam Blue color that Acer despatched me seems distinctive, particularly with the teal accent alongside the size of the hinge. You may as well get the Swift 3X in a Safari Gold color trim. The bottom of the laptop computer is simply thick sufficient to accommodate full-sized ports on both facet. These embody one HDMI, two USB 3.zero ports, a headphone jack, and a USB Sort-C port with Thunderbolt 4.

The latter has the identical theoretical bandwidth as Thunderbolt Three however now helps connections for as much as two 4K shows or a single 8K show. There is a thin-pin charging port, though you’ll be able to cost through USB Sort-C too. The wall adapter pin feels flimsy, as there’s an excessive amount of play when it is hooked up to the laptop computer. There isn’t any SD card slot, which I discovered a bit disappointing.

The Acer Swift 3X’s hinge is designed in such a manner that it raises the bottom at a slight incline when opened, which makes typing a bit extra ergonomic. There are giant vents on the underside of the laptop computer for air flow and an exhaust vent that is seen simply above the keyboard.

The chiclet-style keys are a bit small, which takes a little bit of getting used to. The buttons are additionally flat and never contoured so it takes some time earlier than you’ll be able to confidently sort quick sufficient. I believe the keys may have been a bit bigger. The route keys additionally really feel squashed, and the Pg Up and Pg Dn keys are positioned very near them.

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The keys are snug however the dimension will take some getting used to

 

The trackpad is pretty vast but it surely does not have the identical responsiveness or accuracy as a glass trackpad. There is a fingerprint sensor on the proper facet of the palm relaxation space for Home windows Howdy authentication.

The Acer Swift 3X has a 14-inch IPS show with a full-HD (1920x1080p) decision, and most brightness of 300nits. This won’t sound like a lot, however in observe, the panel will get very shiny, and even through the day, I did not really feel the necessity to crank the brightness degree past 30 p.c.

Acer Swift 3X specs

The large spotlight of the ‘X’ variant of Acer’s new Swift Three collection is Intel’s Iris Xe Max discrete GPU. Intel introduced this a month after it unveiled its ‘Tiger Lake’ 11th Gen CPUs final yr. Iris Xe Max is a devoted entry-level GPU that is positioned towards Nvidia’s GeForce MX350, and guarantees 1080p decision gaming which would not be attainable with Intel’s built-in options in thin-and-light laptops.

Other than higher framerates, the brand new GPU is able to sharing thermal headroom with the CPU and its built-in GPU through a typical software program layer known as Deep Hyperlink. In concept, this could operate just like AMD’s SmartShift expertise which we noticed in motion within the Dell G5 15 (SE) (Evaluation) gaming laptop computer.

The Intel Iris Xe Max GPU has a base clock velocity of 1,650MHz and has 4GB of devoted LPDDR4 reminiscence. Along with the discrete GPU, you additionally get an built-in Intel Iris Xe GPU with the CPU, which is predicated on the identical structure because the discrete one. Intel claims you’ll leverage the AI processing and video encoding engines from each GPUs concurrently for sure workloads, with suitable apps sooner or later.

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The Acer Swift 3X is among the first laptops to have Intel’s discreet Iris Xe Max GPU

 

Coming to the CPU, my Acer Swift 3X evaluation unit had an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor which is one degree beneath the top-end mannequin on this era for thin-and-light laptops. It has 4 cores, eight threads, a base frequency of two.8GHz and a most turbo frequency of 4.7GHz. My unit additionally had 16GB of quad-channel DDR4 RAM, a 512GB NVMe SSD, and 32GB of Intel Optane reminiscence. That is fairly a powerful spec listing for an ultraportable laptop computer.

The Swift 3X options bottom-firing stereo audio system with help for the DTS Sound Processing app, an HD webcam, and a 57WHr battery. You additionally get Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

Acer ships the Swift 3X with Home windows 10 Residence, together with Microsoft Workplace Residence and Scholar 2019 and a trial model of Norton 360 antivirus. There are additionally the standard Acer apps corresponding to Care Centre, which is helpful for preserving monitor of firmware and BIOS updates. One choice I want Acer had included could be a solution to lock the default features of the Fn keys, since holding the Fn button after which hitting F3 or F4 to regulate the brightness is usually a chore. I might have prefered to do that with a single press.

Acer Swift 3X efficiency and battery life

The Acer Swift 3X does a superb job of dealing with common computing duties. Home windows 10 runs very nicely, apps open and shut shortly, and multitasking is not sluggish both. Movies look good on this show, and viewing angles are respectable. Nevertheless, the audio system aren’t very loud even at full quantity.

The contact response of the trackpad may have been a lot better, and at occasions even easy gestures weren’t registered appropriately. The keyboard solely has a single degree of white backlighting, and as i discussed earlier than, the keys are smaller than regular which takes some getting used to. The fingerprint sensor works nicely and the laptop computer is fast to wake from sleep and allow you to resume your work.

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The Acer Swift 3X seems trendy on this color and is snug to journey with

 

When it comes to heating, the Acer Swift 3X does run barely heat when idling on battery energy, however that is solely noticeable for those who contact are across the consumption vents beneath the laptop computer or the house close to the exhaust vent above the keyboard. The warmth is not felt a lot on the keys themselves so it did not trouble me an excessive amount of.

The speedy efficiency could be seen in robust benchmark scores too, for a laptop computer of its class. The Acer Swift 3X scored 579 and a pair of,282 factors within the single and multi-core exams of Cinebench R20. In 3DMark’s Evening Raid take a look at, it managed 16,802 factors, which is an efficient rating so far as slim and lightweight laptops go.

On the subject of file compression and video encoding, Intel’s new CPU and GPU placed on an excellent present. Compressing a 3.24GB folder of various information utilizing 7Zip took simply 2 minutes and 13 seconds, which is faster than what the Dell G5 15 (SE) managed with its AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU. Encoding a 1080p AVI file to MKV H.265 utilizing Handbrake took a bit greater than a minute, which is fairly fast.

Intel’s Iris Xe Max GPU and the 11th Gen CPU’s true potential could be absolutely realised for those who use productiveness apps designed to reap the benefits of Intel’s Deep Hyperlink expertise. Intel has partnered with firms corresponding to CyberLink, Topaz Labs, HandBrake, and so on, to assist velocity up duties corresponding to video encoding, 4K streaming, and AI-based picture upscaling, amongst others. However what about gaming? Is Intel’s new Iris Xe Max GPU able to working fashionable video games at playable framerates?

I fired up DOTA 2, which is a extremely popular MMORPG and is sort of forgiving on non-gaming laptops. At 1080p and with the graphics slider pushed all the best way to ‘Finest Trying,’ the Acer Swift 3X was averaging round 50fps. Subsequent up was Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, which is a handsome RTS recreation that occurs to have a helpful in-game benchmark. With the graphics preset at ‘Excessive’ and utilizing DirectX 12, I averaged 22.9fps, which isn’t nice. In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which remains to be a demanding open-world recreation, I obtained nearly playable framerates of round 23fps with the ‘Excessive’ preset. Dropping the standard settings in fact resulted in smoother gameplay, but it surely’s nonetheless good to see you can play this recreation even with most of the bells and whistles enabled. 

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The Acer Swift 3X will get scorching when enjoying video games and the exhaust fan above the keyboard is audible

 

Whereas older 3D video games ran okay, I then shifted my focus to newer, extra demanding titles simply to see how far Intel’s new GPU can go. I selected two pretty graphically demanding video games constructed on very scalable recreation engines – Far Cry 5 and Doom Everlasting. In Far Cry 5, I used to be capable of run the in-game benchmark on the built-in in addition to discrete Intel GPUs. With the graphics preset set to ‘Excessive’ and at 1080p, I averaged 26fps utilizing the built-in Iris Xe GPU, and 29fps with the Iris Xe Max GPU. It isn’t an enormous leap in efficiency, however a greater outcome nonetheless. Doom Everlasting ran solely on the discrete GPU, and right here, I managed to get a decently playable common of 29fps at 1080p, with ‘Medium’ high quality settings within the ‘Hell on Earth’ degree.

When gaming, the Acer Swift 3X obtained pretty scorching, and the exhaust fan was audible. The truth that newer 3D video games ran at 1080p with acceptable graphics high quality is sort of a departure from Intel’s earlier GPU options. The Iris Xe Max is not any substitute for Nvidia’s entry-level GeForce GTX or RTX GPUs but it surely appears like a step in the proper route. I might additionally suggest utilizing Intel’s Driver and Assist Assistant software to maintain the drivers of the Iris Xe Max GPU updated, somewhat than counting on Home windows Replace.

Acer guarantees as much as 14 hours of battery life from the Swift 3X however as everyone knows, these claims are sometimes achievable solely in managed lab testing circumstances. In the actual world, you must anticipate someplace round six to seven hours of precise utilization, which is what I averaged throughout my take a look at interval. The Swift 3X did carry out nicely in our Battery Eater Professional take a look at, working for a stable three and a half hours. I believe this type of battery life is respectable for a Home windows laptop computer of its weight and dimension, and you must be capable of get by a whole work day on one cost.

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The Acer Swift 3X is a power-packed ultraportable, with good I/O and efficiency

 

Verdict

The Acer Swift 3X is obtainable with a Core i7-1165G7 CPU, which is the variant that I had for this evaluation, or an Intel Core i5-1135G7 CPU, with the remainder of the configuration staying the identical. The Core i7 variant is priced at an MRP of Rs. 1,09,999, whereas the Core i5 variant is priced at Rs. 92,999. You need to be capable of discover these fashions promoting for a bit much less on Acer’s on-line retailer and at different e-tailers corresponding to Flipkart and Amazon.

General, the Swift 3X is a reasonably highly effective thin-and-light laptop computer. It provides ample storage, a very shiny show, respectable battery life, and powerful CPU efficiency. Intel’s devoted GPU can pull off 1080p gaming in some fashionable video games because it promised, and it is good to see new {hardware} choices that may make ultraportable laptops much more versatile.

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