Today we will get acquainted with Acer Swift 5 (SF514-56T) – this year’s update of the line of compact and productive ultrabooks Swift 5. In the “swift” lineup, this model is slightly above the affordable Acer Swift 3 SF314-512, which we had for review in early fall.
|Acer Swift 5 SF514-56T
|Touch, IPS, 14″, resolution 1920×1200, aspect ratio 16:10, refresh rate 60 Hz
|Intel Core i7-1260P
|16 GB LPDDR5
|1 TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
|Intel Iris Xe
|2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 3.5 mm combo jack, HDMI 2.1
|Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) + Bluetooth 5.2
|Built-in stereo speakers and dual microphone
|Island type keys with backlight
|Battery and charging
|56 Wh, 65 W PSU (20 V, 3.25 A)
|Cost of this configuration
Design and layout
Acer Swift 5 is a very compact and light ultrabook, like the 14-inch model. Its dimensions are 31x21x1.49 cm, and the weight is only 1.2 kg (a little smaller and thinner than the Acer Swift 3 with the same diagonal and 50 g lighter). At the same time, the case of the new model is also completely made of aluminum, including the inner surface around the keyboard.
At first glance, it seems that the body is black or dark gray, but in fact the color is more complex. If you try to catch the reflections on its surface, it will become clear that it has a barely noticeable greenish tint – Acer calls this color solution Mist Green. Another variant – Steam Blue may also appear. The side facets have a “polished” texture and are painted in gold color. In combination with the dark gray-green main color, it looks interesting and a little unusual.
The frames around the screen are quite small – 4 mm on the sides and ~9.5 mm on top; in general, the screen occupies 92.22% of the cover area (85% in Acer Swift 3). The case feels solid, it doesn’t bend or creak. You cannot open the lid with one hand – the base must be held so that it does not come off the table; for relief, a special cutout is made on the lower side edge near the touchpad.
The maximum opening angle is approximately 130°, while the base rises slightly, which adds ergonomics to the keyboard. The hinge loops are quite tight, they fix the screen well in any position.
All interface connectors are located on the side panels: on the left you can find two USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 support and charging, HDMI 2.1 video output and full-size USB 3.2. On the right are a mini-jack for a headset, another USB 3.2 and a Kensington lock (the configuration is completely identical to the one we saw on the Swift 3). Ventilation holes are located below and above the keyboard, so hot air does not cause discomfort when using the mouse.
Acer Swift 5 is equipped with an island-type keyboard with a typical laptop key stroke. The keyboard without an additional digital block, the width is quite a bit smaller than the usual desktop model (the difference is about 6-7 mm), so it is almost not necessary to get used to the reduced size of the keys or the distance between them for typing blindly. The keyboard does not bend during operation; it is possible to bend it a little only if you specially press on it with a fairly noticeable effort.
The layout is almost standard ANSI, with long left Shift and single-line Enter. The arrow control unit, traditionally for compact ultrabooks, is embedded in the main unit, under the right Shift — for this, they had to reduce the space and shift the right Alt and Ctrl to the left.
The power button with a built-in fingerprint scanner is located in the upper right corner, in line with the upper keys, just above the Backspace. It is not recessed into the body, so it is possible to press it accidentally; to reduce the likelihood of this has a different shape of the cap, which can be felt to the touch.
The keys have a yellow backlight (for a harmonious combination with the “gold” of the side facets), with two levels of intensity and the possibility of complete shutdown. The backlight is not very strong, even at maximum brightness, and when viewed from the side, it is lost against the background of a rather bright leak of white illumination from under the caps. However, with a typical location of the user behind the laptop, this leak is completely invisible, and the backlight of the keys is perceived quite well in a moderately lit room.
The medium-sized touchpad is 10.5×6.5 cm and is easy to use. Like the Acer Swift X laptop that we had for review at the beginning of summer, this model uses proprietary OceanGlass technology. The surface of the touchpad is very slippery and really feels more like a glass screen of a smartphone than the plastic from which it is actually made. And not from any plastic — but from plastic waste collected in the ocean.
The copy we received for review was equipped with a 14-inch IPS panel manufactured by AU Optronics (B140UAN02.2) with a resolution of 1920×1200 pixels, an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a maximum declared brightness of 400 nits. The density of points is 162 PPI, the refresh rate is standard, 60 Hz. Also, the Acer Swift 5 (SF514-56T) model range includes versions with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels and a maximum brightness of 500 nits. The screen in Acer Swift 5 is touch-sensitive, covered with protective Corning Gorilla Glass.
The color coverage of the screen is standard — 99% sRGB (82% Adobe RGB, 83% DCI-P3). The gamma value is slightly lower than the standard one — 2.1, but it is hardly noticeable, the image has a balanced saturation. The brightness is adjustable in the range from 20 to 372 cd/m², which will be quite enough both for work in complete darkness and with strong office lighting. The maximum static contrast ratio reaches 1650:1, which is an excellent result for a laptop IPS panel. The color temperature over the entire brightness range is almost unchanged and is 6700-6800K, which is slightly higher than the standard 6500K. This gives a barely noticeable “cold” shade.
The uniformity of the color temperature is very good — the maximum deviation from the standard is only ΔE=3.5. Acer Swift 5 also has very high uniformity of brightness — the difference between the lower part of the screen (the brightest zone) and the left (the darkest) does not exceed 10% (usually this indicator is at least one and a half times higher in laptops). The accuracy of color reproduction is also high — the average value of ΔE is at the level of 1.5, which fully meets the requirements for factory calibration of screens; for it, this indicator should usually be no higher than 2 (the only color that “stands out” from the overall picture is explained by the nuances of the test colorimeter).
When looking from the side, the brightness does not decrease very much, and the image acquires a slightly cooler shade, but overall the quality remains at a very decent level.
The Acer Swift 5 SF514-56T model range uses Intel 12th generation processors: Intel Core i5-1240P or i7-1260P (just like this year’s Swift 3 and Swift X lines); in the model that came to us for review, the second option is installed. As for the video system, here Swift 5 also repeats the configuration of Swift 3: it does not have options with discrete video (unlike Swift X, which has such an option).
Intel Core i7-1260P is a mid-range 12-core processor for thin laptops, which was introduced in early 2022. It belongs to the Alder Lake P family, is manufactured using a 10 nm process and uses big.LITTLE technology: the processor has 4 productive cores with with support for HyperThreading and 8 economical ones without it — so it can process up to 16 threads simultaneously. Productive cores operate at frequencies of 2.1-4.7 GHz, economical ones at 1.5-3.4 GHz, the recommended basic power consumption is 28 W, in turbo mode the TDP can rise to 64 W. The processor has integrated Iris Xe graphics with 96 computing units operating at 1.4 GHz.
RAM is soldered on the board, so there is no way to add more. In the available configuration, the laptop is equipped with 16 GB of LPDDR5 operating in dual-channel mode (an 8 GB version is also possible). Possible SSD configurations are 512 GB or 1 TB PCIe Gen4 NVMe, in the test instance a WD PC SN810 SDCQNRY-1T00-1014 (1 GB) was installed. The Wi-Fi 6E module (Intel Killer AX1675i) + Bluetooth 5.2 is responsible for wireless communication.
Acer Swift 5 performance
The Intel Core i7-1260P demonstrates high performance in applied tasks, and in synthetic benchmarks this laptop quite expectedly outperforms the Acer Swift 3 SF314-512 (which we tested with an Intel Core i5-1240P processor). Interestingly, in some cases Swift 3 shows slightly higher results — for example, in the Cinebench R23 multi-threaded test; most likely, it is due to the nuances of the TDP in different situations. NVMe PCIe 4 SSD WD PC SN810 SDCQNRY-1T00-1014 shows very high performance: read speed of almost 7000 MB/s, writу speed of more than 5000 MB/s (twice the performance of the drive in Acer Swift 3).
The Acer Quick Access utility allows you to choose between three cooling modes that also affect system performance: Silent, Normal, and Performance (they can also be switched using Fn+F hotkeys).
We compared the performance of the system in them using the Cinebench R23 utility during the load on all cores. In Silent mode, the processor’s dedicated TDP was 28 W, its temperature rose to 79 degrees, the productive cores worked on average at frequencies of 2.05-2.1 GHz, the noise level was low (~39 dB at a distance of 1 m from the laptop) . In Normal, the TDP and core frequencies remained the same, but the cooling system worked more intensively, so the noise level increased to 43 dB, and the processor temperature decreased to 74 degrees. And finally, the Performance mode is minimally different from Normal: TDP at the level of 29 W, the noise of the cooling system is 44 dB, the temperature is a little lower – 73 degrees, the frequency is again ~2.1 GHz. As you can see, there is no big difference in performance between them, so it is quite possible to use any of the first two – the choice of one or another mode is rather a choice of the noise level of the cooling system and the temperature of the processor.
|Cinebench R23 rating
|TDP value, W
The Acer Swift 5 lacks discrete video, so gaming use is clearly not a priority. But we still checked what its owner can count on if they want to take a break from work. In relatively old or “light” games at Full HD resolution and low graphics settings, you can expect 40-60 fps and even more – but in newer and “heavier” projects, the performance will be much worse.
Performance in games, low quality graphics, Full HD (fps):
So to get decent performance in new games, you will most likely have to lower the resolution to 720p.
Performance in games, low quality graphics, 1280×720, (fps):
If we compare the gaming performance of the Acer Swift 5 with that demonstrated in our tests of the Swift 3 on the Intel Core i5-1240P, we can note a slightly higher average FPS – which is not surprising, because the i7-1260P has slightly more powerful integrated graphics (96 blocks versus 80, frequency 1.4 GHz vs. 1.3 GHz).
Like the Swift 3, this model is also equipped with a battery with a capacity of 56 Wh – not a lot, but thanks to the energy-efficient platform, the Acer Swift 5 shows excellent battery life, and even better than the Swift 3 with a “simpler” processor. At a brightness level of 120 cd/m² in the PCMark 10 benchmark battery test, the laptop lasted for almost 18 hours in “idle” mode! (4 hours more than Swift 3). In simulated office use and when watching video, the Swift 5 lasted just over 11 hours in both cases, also longer than its predecessor. In games, the result was much more traditional — a little less than an hour and a half of battery life.