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CNET

Oct 21, 2020
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About this Deal

The Acer Swift 3x isn't all too different from the Swift 3 released earlier this year. At least on the outside. Inside, along with an Intel 11th-gen Core i7-1165G7 processor, is the chipmaker's new Iris Xe Max discrete graphics. That's a step up from the integrated graphics you'd typically find in a laptop like this. And if it performs as promised, it'll keep Intel competitive with AMD's latest Ryzen processors and graphics chips and take some business from Nvidia's entry-level discrete graphics like the MX350.

With this CPU and GPU combo, the Swift 3x is built for the basic needs of creators and creatives with a price starting around $900 when it's available in December. I had a chance to use an early sample of the Swift 3x with 16GB of dual-channel LPDDR4X memory and a 1TB NVMe SSD that's expected to sell for around $1,200. It'll hit the UK in November for £899. No word on Australian availability but the UK price converts to AU$1,660.

Since I had a preproduction laptop, I can't say 100% how it will perform. But, in my anecdotal testing, it was able to handle what it was designed for. You'll be able to do light photo or video editing, basic graphic design and casual gaming. Essentially, it's something lightweight to get those things done and with better battery life -- up to 17.5 hours, Acer says.

The rest of the laptop is fairly similar to what you'd find on the current Swift, which is a good thing overall. Although with the addition of the 11th-gen Intel processor, it will have Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 and a Thunderbolt 4 port. There's also an efficient cooling system with dual heat pipes and a big vent on the right side at the top, giving it an interesting asymmetrical design.

The 14-inch full-HD display has a brightness of 300 nits and covers 72% NTSC color gamut, which is close to 100% sRGB. It has a matte finish, too, so you can more easily use it outdoors or under bright lighting without fighting reflections. It's disappointing there's no SD or microSD card slot, since this is designed for amateur creators. And there are no shortcut keys for muting the mic or blocking the camera to help with privacy.

The Swift 3x is just barely heavier than the regular Swift 3, too, with the whole thing weighing about 3 pounds (1.4 kg). Considering the potential performance here with the new Intel processors, this could be a great option if you need more than integrated graphics and mobility and long battery life.

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