Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023): One-minute review
With the Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023), the company has managed to do two things incredibly well. The slim design of this laptop is peak portability even though it’s a 16-inch laptop. And, the OLED display is as accurate as it is gorgeous, and that’s not taking its HDR capabilities into account.
By mastering that portability along with offering a fantastic screen, the Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023) covers a lot of the same ground as the best Ultrabooks. After all, they’re more than just status symbols. This could be among the best Windows laptops – though perhaps just shy of the best laptops list – in general, if those are the most important factors for you.
It’s not going to tackle video projects, 3D design, or intensive gaming, but the power on this machine is certainly capable of day-to-day productivity and light editing work. Plus, it has a very good webcam, making this ideal for video conferencing.
There are a few minor cons, mainly its somewhat cramped keyboard and, more pressingly, its price. The Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023) is not cheap, probably due to its two most impressive features. However, if you want an OLED-equipped laptop, you’re going to have to pay for it, so you might as well get one with a large, color-accurate panel on a thin and light chassis.
Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023): Price & availability
How much does it cost? $1,299.99 / £1,300.00 (about AU$3,215)
When is it available? Available now
Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK
While no version of the Acer Swift Edge 16 has yet to hit Australia, the 2023 model reviewed here is available in a single configuration in both the US and UK. Going for $1,299.99 / £1,300.00 (about AU$3,215), it sports an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U, AMD Radeon shared graphics, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD. Probably the biggest upgrade over previous generations outside of a newer CPU is a panel capable of producing a 120Hz refresh rate as opposed to 60Hz.
Considering that you’re essentially paying for a light, thin laptop with a large 16-inch WQUXGA OLED panel, the price is not outrageous though it is expensive. After all, something like the Acer Zenbook S 13 OLED also comes with a sharp OLED screen but is much smaller, yet it's just a bit more than the Swift Edge 16 at $1,399.99 / £1,499.99 / AU$2,099. That said, it does come with 32GB of RAM.
Price score: 4 / 5
Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023): Specs
While there are several versions of the Acer Swift Edge 16 available to purchase, there's only one 2023 model. The way to differentiate it from the older generations is by looking for the AMD Ryzen 7 7840U CPU. The other noticeable upgrade is that that panel now has a 120Hz refresh rate instead of a 60Hz one. It's also ever so slightly thicker with a max thickness of 0.60mm instead of 0.55mm.
Though there's only one configuration available currently for the Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023), the line supports up to 32GB RAM and 2TB of storage. This could indicate a more powerful model down the line.
Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023): Design
Thin and light despite its larger footprint
Sharp OLED panel
Full if cramped keyboard
One of the most exciting factors of the Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023) is its svelte shape despite its large footprint. Frankly, it’s surprising that it’s only 0.60 inches thick yet accommodates a 16-inch screen. And, its weight, partly thanks to its thin aluminum alloy chassis, reinforces this laptop’s portability. Its weight of 2.73 lb (1.24kg) is less than the Apple MacBook Air 15-inch. That laptop, which Apple has positioned to also offer a larger screen without sacrificing portability, weighs 3.3 lbs (1.51kg).
The second most impressive part of the Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023) is its gorgeous OLED panel. It not only has a sharp 3840 x 2000p 3.2K resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio for extra real estate but has incredibly accurate colors with a Delta E of 0.27 as well as 196.6 sRGB and 139.2 DCI-P3 color coverage. The panel also has a pretty good HDR, specifically VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500. Lastly, the panel doesn’t suffer too badly from glare as it’s plenty visible even when used outside in the sun.
Less impressive is the keyboard and trackpad. They’re certainly not bad by any means but they’re far from the best I’ve used. Acer managed to fit a full-sized keyboard on the laptop complete with a numpad. While a nice feature for those who want that full layout, it does push the keys to the left making for a less comfortable typing experience. The keycaps are flat so they don’t quite fit the fingertips the way some do. Some people might like the keyboard, but I would have preferred a 75% layout that’s more centered on the chassis.
The trackpad works well for the most part but is a little bit too sensitive, meaning that I sometimes experience it dragging something across the screen when I didn’t intentionally double-click. It’s also oriented a bit to the left, which aligns well with the keyboard but is not to my preference.
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Lastly, the port selection is pretty good for an Ultrabook with two USB-C ports with 65-watt power delivery and alt DisplayPort mode along with two USB-A ports, a micro SD card reader, a HDMI 2.1 port, and a 3.5mm combo-jack. The only minor complaint is that the USB-C ports are both on the left side of the chassis. Considering these ports are the only way to charge, it would have been great to have one on each side.
Design score: 4.5 / 5
Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023): Performance
Solid performance with productivity work
Great looking 1440p webcam
Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023): Benchmarks
Here's how the Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Night Raid: 26686; Fire Strike: 6873; Time Spy: 2996
GeekBench 6: 2427 (single-core); 10168 (multi-core)
25GB File Copy: 21.1
Handbrake 1.6: 6:04
CrossMark: Overall: 1628 Productivity: 1595 Creativity: 1781 Responsiveness: 1321
Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (1080p): 44.775 fps
Web Surfing (Battery Informant): 7:18:20
When it comes to power, the Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023) relies heavily on its AMD CPU. There’s no discrete graphics card and there’s a good but not great 16GB of RAM on hand. That means that heavy video editing projects and demanding games are out of the question.
However, there’s more than enough power to handle just about any regular day-to-day work as well as casual gaming and light photo editing, especially considering how great the screen looks.
To test the Acer Swift Edge 16’s limits, I had 20 tabs open at once including multiple video streaming sites playing movies and shows. Even with all that open in Google Chrome, a known RAM hog, I could seamlessly switch tabs without any lag. I also was able to do some casual gaming, though as soon as I booted up a more demanding game – Battlefield 2042 on the lowest settings in this case – the laptop was not able to keep up. At least it didn’t get too hot while under a heavy load.
As is to be expected with a very thin laptop not made by Apple (who have somehow cracked the code), the speakers were not all that impressive. While not bad, the audio was thin without much in the way of bass.
At least the webcam is a point in the Acer Swift Edge 16’s favor. It offers up to a 1440p at 30 fps resolution. On top of that, it’s able to auto-zoom, which keeps my face centered in the image when I move my head around. It also has an eye contact feature that adjusts where the eyes are pointing so that it looks like you’re looking at the camera instead of the screen. To complete the video conferencing package, the mic has background noise cancellation.
Performance score: 4.5 / 5
Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023): Battery life
Underwhelming battery life
Okay fast charging
The Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023)’s battery life is nothing special when compared to other laptops at large. But, considering that its rivals are other high-end Ultrabooks, its seven-hour and 18-minute results in our battery benchmark are fairly underwhelming. For comparison, the Acer Zenbook S 13 OLED gets a little over 12 hours of testing. And, while that laptop has a smaller screen, it’s still powering a high-resolution OLED screen with HDR. And, it's the OLED screen on the Acer Swift Edge 16 that is most likely the biggest culprit for the lackluster battery life.
Since its battery life is just okay and this laptop recharges via a USB-C port, it’s not surprising that it has fast charging. However, it’s not as fast as I would expect. Ten minutes of charging offers about a 15% boost in battery. That’s not bad, but it’s not all that impressive either.
Battery score: 3.5 / 5
Should you buy the Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023)?
Buy it if...
You want big screen in a portable package
Even though the Acer Swift Edge 16 has a 16-inch screen, it’s light and thin making for a very portable package.
You want a gorgeous screen
The 3.2K OLED panel on this laptop is a pleasure to look at in no small part due to its accurate colors, wide color coverage, and solid HDR.
Don't buy it if...
You want to do intensive tasks
Though the screen on this laptop is powerful, the performance on the laptop is only good for regular productivity work. It’s not suited for heavy editing projects or serious gaming.
Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023): Also consider
If our Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023) review has you considering other options, here are two laptops to consider...
How I tested the Acer Swift Edge 16 (2023)
Tested for a couple weeks
Used it as my main laptop for stretches at a time
Tested the various features
I used the Acer Swift Edge 16 for a couple weeks, using it for my day-to-day productivity to see how I liked using it. I got a feel for not only its gorgeous OLED screen but the keyboard and touchpad. I also tried to push it to its limits by opening up over 20 tabs with some of them streaming video to see if I could slow it down.
Having spent some time using this laptop, I got an idea of the best use cases for it, namely for people who are interested in Ultrabooks for their thin and light design but want a larger screen.
I’ve spent the last few years reviewing tech gear of all sorts so I’ve gotten a feel for what to look for and how to put a piece of kit through its paces to see whether it’s worth the recommendation.
First reviewed August 2023