Acer Swift 3 SF314-42 Laptop Review: Fast, slim and with good battery life – The Ryzen subnotebook is almost completely convincing
The Acer Swift 3 SF314-42 is a 14-inch laptop with a sleek and slim metal chassis. All things considered, the new Swift 3 has a more compact chassis than its predecessor, but this does not hold back the potential of its more powerful processor.
Acer offers, with the Swift 3 SF314-42, a high-performance 14-inch laptop that does not suffer from any serious weaknesses. The Swift 3 series continues to deserve a brighter and more colour accurate display, though.
The new AMD Ryzen 7 4700U performs exceptionally well for a 15 W APU. Not only does it provide significantly more performance than is necessary for office and internet applications, its integrated RX Vega 7 GPU makes the Swift 3 powerful enough for some light gaming. The RX Vega 7 GPU trumps its predecessors too and gets within striking distance of dedicated solutions like the NVIDIA GeForce MX250 GPU.
The performance that the Ryzen 7 4700U offers does not affect battery life, either. The Swift 3 achieved a runtime of approximately 12 hours in our practical Wi-Fi test, for example, and managed to outlast its predecessor by almost 4 hours despite having the same battery capacity. The SF314-32 can not only be charged by a proprietary barrel connector, but also via its USB Type-C port. The latter operates on the new USB 3.2 Gen2 standard and supports DisplayPort, too.
Additionally, the small computer is not lacking on storage space. Acer has equipped our review unit with a 1 TB NVMe SSD that also delivers very good transfer speeds. It is possible to replace the drive with one that has a larger capacity too. You must remove the bottom case to do this, but that is not a particularly complex task. Acer has soldered the RAM to the motherboard though, making it impossible to this component. Our review unit has 8 GB of RAM, but we would recommend choosing 16 GB if you want to future proof your device.
The IPS and 1080p display delights with stable viewing angles, a matte finish, decent colour reproduction and a good contrast ratio. Its peak brightness lets it down though, and a €1,000 laptop should offer more in this department. The colour space coverage is lacking too. Finally, the keyboard is good enough for everyday use, and we like that Acer has included backlighting.