If there’s any lesson to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that you can be productive from almost anywhere. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home, in an office, a coffee shop, or a mix of all of the above. All you need is a reliable Internet connection and a laptop that’s compact and light enough to bring with you without causing major back pains. It also helps to have a system that’s powerful enough to handle tasks that range from everyday word processing and photo editing to watching streaming videos and playing some games when the workday is done, which is partly what makes the 13.5" Acer Swift 3 the ideal notebook for almost any kind of work environment. Not only does this compact laptop check off all the boxes, but it also takes productivity even further by being bigger on the inside.
Having a seemingly large interior might sound a bit confusing, but I’ll explain. Let’s start with the thin bezel 13.5" glossy display, which supports 2256 x 1504 resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio that provides more room to view documents, photos, and applications than a traditional 1080p screen. Then there’s the large touchpad, complemented by an equally large wrist rest area, for added comfort. The backlit keyboard itself has full-size typing keys surrounded by half-size F- and supporting keys, which admittedly took me some time to get used to―especially since the DEL key is right next to the power button―but it ended up providing a smooth and accurate typing experience.
Underneath the silver aluminum chassis is an 11th generation 2.8 GHz Intel® Core™ i7 quad-core processor with 8GB of onboard memory and 512GB NVMe PCIe solid-state drive that work together to load files quickly and multitask applications. Coupled with the integrated Intel® Xe graphics, the Swift 3 had enough power for me to get some light gaming in while on the bus or lounging on the couch, waiting for my takeout food order to arrive. Even when deep into playing Civilization VI, I barely noticed the fans blowing warm air out of the vented hinge.
Perhaps most importantly, this notebook only weighs about 2.6 pounds with a battery that’s rated to last up to 14 hours. I almost didn’t notice the added weight while carrying it around in my backpack each day during my commute.
A Flexible Design
Although the Acer Swift 3 isn’t a 2-in-1, the screen can lay flush with the rest of the system, which came in handy when switching from watching Netflix at my desk to sitting on the couch with the notebook resting on my lap, to simply putting it on the coffee table. Having a wide tilt was also useful for video calls since I had more freedom to position the 720p webcam and dual array microphone.
However, one of the biggest stand-out features of this notebook is the Thunderbolt™ 4 port, which can transfer up to 40 Gb/s with compatible devices while supporting external monitors and power delivery. So, not only did I get the highest possible speeds out of my flash drives, but I also saved myself the trouble of having to carry the included power adapter around by having a 65W USB Type-C charger at the office. In that case, I would use one of the two 5 Gb/s USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports for my storage drives and other peripherals.
That’s not to say that more subtle features, such as the built-in 802.11ax Wi-Fi connectivity, didn’t play a huge role in keeping me productive and entertained. The fast wireless connection let me quickly upgrade from Windows 10 to 11 and install applications while still providing me with the bandwidth to watch streaming videos without buffering issues. I was also glad to have the built-in fingerprint reader, which let me log into Windows without having to type in my password in public spaces. The slim sensor, located on the right of the wrist rest area, is highly responsive and worked even when my hands were slightly damp.
Which of the Acer Swift 3's multiple features most grab your attention? Let us know in the Comments section, below.