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Acer Swift X14 review: a powerhouse machine with Ultrabook looks

 Acer Swift X14 angled.
Acer Swift X14 angled.

Acer Swift X14: Two-minute review

Let’s get the easy part out of the way: I’m a fan of the Acer Swift X14. The short version of it is the fact that Acer managed to put a powerful CPU and GPU, not to mention a gorgeous OLED screen, in a slim Ultrabook package.

While it doesn’t feel as premium as a MacBook Pro 14, it truly belongs among the best Ultrabooks right now. There are certainly some trade-offs as the price is nowhere near close to the best cheap laptops and the battery life suffers a little since it has to power an Nvidia graphics card. I find the trackpad to be annoying to use as well. And, for a device legitimately vying for attention among the best laptops out there, it surprisingly skips out on a Windows Hello-capable webcam.

That said, the pros vastly outweigh the cons, especially if you don’t want to lug around a gaming computer and prefer the experience of using Ultrabooks, but still want the power of a gaming computer, whether that’s for booting up Cyberpunk 2077 or for some photo and video editing. When it comes to competing with the Dell XPSes of the world, the Acer Swift X14 may be one of the most surprising laptops I’ve used.

Acer Swift X14 open front
Acer Swift X14 open front

Acer Swift X14: Price and availability

  • How much does it cost? Starting at $1,099 (about £870 / AU$1,670)

  • When is it available? Available now

  • Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK, and Australia

The Acer Swift X14 is not the most affordable laptop out there. While its most basic configuration is available for $1,099 / AU$2,699 (about £870), which is certainly affordable – this is a model that comes with an 13th-Gen Intel Core i5 and a last generation Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, not to mention 512GB of RAM and a lower 1600p resolution – it seems to only still be available in the US and Australia.

For everyone else or those wanting a current gen 4000 series GPU, you’re looking at $1,499 / £1,429 (about AU$2,277). That gets you a faster 13th-Gen Intel Core i7, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 2880 x 1800p screen. And, if you’re in the UK, there are some slight variations as you can pay £170 more for 32GB of RAM.

The Acer Swift X14 isn’t the only light and thin laptop to come with a powerful GPU. The Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra covers a lot of the same ground. In fact, our Galaxy Book3 Ultra review unit, which is the base model, has the same specs as the Acer Swift X14 including the screen (well, it’s AMOLED vs OLED), but goes for a much pricier $1799.99 / £2,649 / around AU$4,875. Of course, you can pay even more – $2399.99 / £3,049 / around AU$5,610 – for a configuration with a 13th-Gen Intel Core i9 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070.

That said, many Ultrabooks come with that premium price tag without the kind of hardware to keep up with a gaming laptop. For instance, as great as its performance is, the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 only has Intel Iris Xe graphics and goes for $1,399.99 / £1,440. At least, it has that same OLED screen with HDR.

Value: 4 / 5

Acer Swift X14: Specs

There are basically two configurations of the Acer Swift X14. The more affordable one isn’t available in the UK, and comes with a 13th-Gen Intel Core i5, a last-generation Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, and 512GB SSD.

The more expensive configuration that we've reviewed here upgrades the CPU to an i7, the GPU to a 4050, and the SSD to 1TB of storage. And, in the UK, you can spend a little more for 32GB of RAM instead of 16GB.

Beyond the internal components, there aren’t any additional variations as there aren’t different colorways except for the screen. If you go with the cheaper model, you also have a slightly lower resolution (2560 x 1600p).

Acer Swift X14 closed lid
Acer Swift X14 closed lid

Acer Swift X14: Design

  • Gorgeous display with HDR and accurate colors 

  • Trackpad has issues with dragging and dropping 

  • Webcam doesn’t support Windows Hello, but fingerprint reader does 

The Acer Swift X14, like most Ultrabooks, comes in an elegant if discreet shade of gray called 'Steel Gray'. It doesn’t quite set itself apart from the pack visually, but it certainly looks good and is light and diminutive enough for easy on-the-go computing.

The display is probably the most impressive outward-facing feature on this laptop as the 14.5-inch OLED screen comes with a sharp 2.8K (2880 x 1800) resolution that runs natively at 120Hz for smoother results. Plus, it comes with Vesa Certified Display HDR True Black 500 to really make the colors pop.

The colors are definitely impressive. Not only is it incredibly accurate, measured at Delta E of 0.09, but it has fantastic color coverage, making this laptop more than good enough for video and photo editing. Specifically, it has 195% sRGB and 138.1% DCI-P3.

The keyboard is good enough, though I wouldn’t consider it to be the most comfortable I’ve ever used. The trackpad, however, gave me some issues. It’s nice to the touch and moving the cursor around is smooth, but the trackpad didn’t seem to want to cooperate when dragging and dropping unless I had my fingers positioned very accurately.

Acer Swift X14 keyboard and trackpad
Acer Swift X14 keyboard and trackpad

At least the port selection is robust enough for an Ultrabook with two USB-C ports (that are also Thunderbolt 4 / USB 4), two USB-A, an HDMI, and a microSD reader, along with the requisite headphone jack. Those worried about security will be happy to note that there’s a Kensington lock as well.

Beyond that, there’s a 1080p webcam that unfortunately doesn’t support Windows Hello Facial Recognition. However, there’s a fingerprint reader in the power button for that purpose.

There are some aspects of the Acer Swift X14 that are a bit hard to pin down but worth mentioning and that is in regards to its use in AI tech. The laptop supports Windows Copilot, enhancements for the webcam and mic, as well as using AI to accelerate the performance of a number of apps.

Design: 4 / 5

Acer Swift X14 left ports
Acer Swift X14 left ports

Acer Swift X14: Performance

  • Fast render scores 

  • Powerful gaming performance 

  • Good thermal performance 

Acer Swift X14: Benchmarks

Here's how the Acer Swift X14 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 27,076; Fire Strike: 13,642; Time Spy: 5,730
GeekBench 6: 2,500 (single-core); 12,118 (multi-core)
Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm:
92.030fps @1080p
25GB File Copy: 13.7
Handbrake 1.6: 7:46
CrossMark: Overall: 1,924 Productivity: 1,847 Creativity: 2,022 Responsiveness: 1,872
Web Surfing (Battery Informant): 7:26:37 @ 60Hz

Whether that AI acceleration puts the Acer Swift X14 over the top or it’s just a matter of powerful components, the performance of this laptop is a dream. With its 13th-Gen Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, and 16GB of RAM, it’s no wonder that it can easily handle day-to-day work without breaking a sweat.

But, it can handle much more intensive workloads as well. Taking a quick look at the benchmarks, its 3DMark scores are much higher than the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 mentioned before and its Handbrake score, which measures how quickly a computer can render video, is two minutes faster. This is surely due to that powerful GPU.

I was also able to capably game on this laptop as well, running titles like Starfield and Gotham Knights on fairly high settings, certainly on par with settings I’ve used on gaming laptops equipped with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050.

Acer Swift X14 screen
Acer Swift X14 screen

Since the screen is an OLED panel with HDR as well as that great color coverage and accuracy, images pop and look rich and vibrant.

Really, every aspect of the Acer Swift X14’s performance is to be lauded in my opinion. Even its thermal performance is good, with it only really heating up underneath a bit when pushed.

The webcam is clear and sharp with auto framing, and comes with a feature that can make it look like you’re making eye contact with whomever you’re on a video call with (rather than looking down at the screen).

The audio quality is, as it is with most laptops, passable. It lacks some low-end and can be just a little hollow sounding, but it’s not bad and about what I would expect from a laptop like this.

Performance: 5 / 5

Acer Swift X14 underneath venting
Acer Swift X14 underneath venting

Acer Swift X14: Battery life

  • Good battery life considering hardware 

  • Fast charging on hand 

Since the Acer Swift X14 has to power some robust components, it’s no wonder that it doesn’t have the battery life of a lot of other Ultrabooks.

Make no mistake, a benchmark score of 7:26:37 for the Battery Informant test (though at 60Hz) is pretty good when compared to gaming laptops with similar internals, which are considered to have amazing battery lives when reaching the same scores, but don’t expect the 15 hours that you would get with a MacBook. And, if you run this laptop hard, expect that battery to go down pretty quickly.

It does seem to charge up pretty quickly when plugged in. However, it does seem to not quite hold onto its charge as well as it should when the lid is closed. But, this seems to be something that most Windows laptops don’t do as well as they should.

Battery life: 4 / 5

Acer Swift X14 screen close up
Acer Swift X14 screen close up

Should I buy the Acer Swift X14?

Buy it if…

Don't buy it if...

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How I tested the Acer Swift X14

  • Tested for a couple weeks 

  • Used for regular work as well as gaming 

  • Used regularly unplugged 

Acer Swift X14 angled
Acer Swift X14 angled

I used the Acer Swift X14 for a couple weeks as a work computer. I did a decent amount of writing here, including this review. I also used it to do some gaming to see if it really had what it takes (clearly, it does). I took a look at all the features, not to mention used it regularly to see how it does unplugged.

After spending time with the Acer Swift X14, I was impressed by the fact that its power is more on par with a gaming computer than with its Ultrabook competition.

I’ve spent the last few years reviewing tech gear for gaming and otherwise, where 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 February 2024