Acer Swift 3 (SF315-51) review: Ryzen for office

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The year 2017 marked the moment AMD returned to the processor market, launching the Zen architecture, which is built on its entire range of chips, from those aimed at the wide audience of the Ryzen range to the enthusiasts in the Threadripper range and up at the Epyc server dedicated range. While Ryzen drew a few eyeballs on desktop computers, we were wondering how it would perform in a mobile format, and the first model of the Ryzen laptop we got our hand is Acer Swift 3, an office laptop that hides under the carcass more surprises than I originally thought.

Construction and design

The Swift range is part of Acer's top offer, so we can see a few major enhancements to other models such as the Aspire, Nitro or Predator families. The entire Swift 3 case is made of aluminum, nice to touch and beautifully finished, with a polished aluminum pattern on top and around the keyboard, all around gray. The outer edges of the laptop are bevelled and brilliant, adding an eye-effect contour effect, but in long use they can cause discomfort in use

The quality materials are kept in the construction of the display, which is protected by a glass panel Gorilla Glass. Generally, when we see glass on a laptop, we expect it to come equipped with a touchscreen, but also in Acer's Swift 3 case. As a laptop for productivity, however, we would have preferred the screen to be protected by a matte material that would not reflect the surrounding light, even if this would lead to a less bright screen.

The Swift 3 keypad is the standard for most Acer models, offering a little cramped format to the right, with a compacted number pad, which keeps most of the normal keys, which ensures a pleasant user experience especially for those who use many key shortcuts or use a lot of the numpad. The Trackpad is also standard for Acer laptops in recent years, providing a medium-sized work surface with an active button all over the surface. Strange, however, is that the fingerprint sensor has been moved from the trackpad corner to the left in a manner that reminds of the old fingerprint readers before the capacitive ones

Swift 3 is a well-built and well-meaning laptop, but with a big drawback. This computer is not upgradable once it was purchased. The RAM is integrated on the motherboard and there is no door to easily access any storage devices, requiring complete disassembly to put a new SSD or HDD

Specifications

  • Name: Acer Swift 3 (SF315-51-N17P4)
  • Screen: 15.6 ", IPS, Full HD, glossy
  • CPU: Ryzen 7-2700U (4-core / 8-threads, 2.20-3.80 GHz, 4 MB cache)
  • GPU: AMD RX Vega 10 (integrated) + RX 540 2GB (dedicated)
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • SSD: Intel 256 GB
  • HDD: Toshiba 1 TB
  • Sound: stereo
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0, 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI, card reader, 3.5mm jack (combo)
  • Other features: Keyboard with illumination (white)
  • Battery: 4 cells
  • Weight: 2.2 kg
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)

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