New thin-and-light laptops based on Intel’s latest 11th Gen Core CPUs have been hitting the market for a few months now, and today we have one of the first ones to have launched in India – the Acer Swift 3X. This is a compact 14-inch Windows laptop with an emphasis on slimness and lightness, but it also showcases Intel’s new 11th Gen CPUs and it’s first discrete GPU in a very long time, called the Iris Xe Max.
The Acer Swift 3X promises all-day battery life, good wired and wireless connectivity, and strong productivity performance. It’s time to see if it manages to live up to these claims.
Acer Swift 3X design
The Acer Swift 3X is very light, which is the first thing you’ll notice when you pick it up. The 1.37Kg weight is distributed well so this laptop doesn’t feel too top-heavy if you use it on your lap. It’s also slim enough (17.9mm) to fit into most backpacks. The overall dimensions are compact thanks to the slim bezels on three sides of the display.
The Steam Blue colour that Acer sent me looks unique, especially with the teal accent along the length of the hinge. You can also get the Swift 3X in a Safari Gold colour trim. The base of the laptop is just thick enough to accommodate full-sized ports on either side. These include one HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports, a headphone jack, and a USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 4.
The latter has the same theoretical bandwidth as Thunderbolt 3 but now supports connections for up to two 4K displays or a single 8K display. There’s a thin-pin charging port, although you can charge via USB Type-C too. The wall adapter pin feels flimsy, as there’s too much play when it’s attached to the laptop. There’s no SD card slot, which I found a bit disappointing.
The Acer Swift 3X’s hinge is designed in such a way that it raises the base at a slight incline when opened, which makes typing a bit more ergonomic. There are large vents on the bottom of the laptop for ventilation and an exhaust vent that’s visible just above the keyboard.
The chiclet-style keys are a bit small, which takes a bit of getting used to. The buttons are also flat and not contoured so it takes a while before you can confidently type fast enough. I think the keys could have been a bit larger. The direction keys also feel squashed, and the Pg Up and Pg Dn keys are placed very close to them.
The trackpad is fairly wide but it doesn’t have the same responsiveness or accuracy as a glass trackpad. There’s a fingerprint sensor on the right side of the palm rest area for Windows Hello authentication.
The Acer Swift 3X has a 14-inch IPS display with a full-HD (1920x1080p) resolution, and a good maximum brightness of 300nits. This might not sound like much, but in practice, the panel gets very bright, and even during the day, I didn’t feel the need to crank the brightness level beyond 30 percent.