Acer - Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-357V


Acer Swift 3: the notebook that had it all

Aprox. 565€

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We were very curious and impatient to test this Swift 3 from Acer, a notebook in great demand by our readers and which seemed to display one of the best value for money at the moment. Unfortunately, not all promises are kept.

Our review


At first glance, the Acer Swift 3 is not the sexiest notebook on the market. It must be said that manufacturers are increasingly focusing on offering ultra-thin chassis, discreet screen frames, noble materials ... Here, we have more the impression of being in front of a MacBook Air from 3 years ago. This vaguely "old-fashioned" look is not, however, a defect in itself, as it is difficult to fault anything about the Swift 3 in terms of construction, finish and ergonomics. The slightly brushed aluminum frame looks solid and retains little fingerprints, the hinge is both flexible and resistant, while offering a good tilt of the screen. The large frame around the screen is quite unsightly and stands out too much from the aging MacBook Air.

Both the keyboard and touchpad are much more successful. The keys are well spaced while being wide enough and offer a fairly long stroke. The typing is precise, pleasant and we will not hesitate to type a long text. Finally, the presence of a backlight level is a significant plus. The fairly large touchpad is well integrated and offers precise gliding.

The Swift 3 does not skimp on the connections and that's good, especially at the time of the disappearance of most of the ports in favor of the USB-C. There is indeed a USB 3 port, a USB 2 port, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, an HDMI output, a jack, as well as an SD card reader.

A word on the temperature and noise generated by this notebook: after running the Unigine Heaven benchmark for about an hour, we found a hot spot at 44.6 ° C at the front and 45.2 ° C under the frame. Quite correct figures, which are accompanied by a very slight breath that is difficult to hear, unless you stick your ear to the laptop (37.5 dB recorded).


The tested version of this Swift 3 is equipped with a 14 '' TN panel, displaying a definition of 1366 x 768 px. Note that different versions of this laptop 3 are sold commercially, including one equipped with an IPS panel and Full HD (1920 x 1080 px). Let's say it right away, if the purchase of the Swift 3 tempts you, we strongly advise you to opt for this latest version rather than the one tested here.

Indeed, the TN panel of our test model is really disabling. We are dealing with a particularly poorly calibrated screen, which also displays a very low contrast ratio. We measured a maximum brightness of 260 cd / m², a contrast ratio of only 360: 1, a delta E at 12.4 and a color temperature set at 13890 K. Recall that the delta E represents the difference between the actual colors and the colors displayed and that it is considered very good below 3. The color temperature should for its part be set at 6500 K, the value of the video standard.

delta color E = 12.4 gamma 2.2 temperature 13890 K

The rendering is therefore very poor here, with particularly low viewing angles, readability which takes a serious hit under strong light, as well as a colorimetry to review. The temperature of 13890 K is particularly striking with the naked eye, with a rendering that draws too much towards blue. The screen of this version of Swift 3 is clearly its biggest weak point.

The configuration tested

The configuration received in test includes an Intel Core i3-6100U processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD.


The Intel Core i3-6100U is a previous generation two-core CPU (Skylake), displaying a frequency of 2.3 GHz and a TDP of 15 W. It is a processor suitable for use mainly oriented towards office automation, surfing the web, playing videos and a little editing and light retouching.

Our power index is thus quite good and this configuration is particularly comfortable with audio conversion in iTunes and video with Handbrake. It does not demerit either under Lightroom.


The Acer Swift 3 does not have a dedicated graphics card, so you have to settle for an iGPU Intel HD Graphics 520, a chip found in most Intel processors of the Kaby Lake generation. The practice of video games is therefore strongly limited and we must, overall, forget all recent 3D games. A few less dated and more modest titles can, however, turn, like Mother Russia Bleeds or Inside.

Mobility / Autonomy

With a weight of 1.5 kg and a thickness of 18 mm, The Swift 3 is a laptop compact enough for a 14 inch. It is located on the borders of the ultraportable and is very easy to transport. The weight is well balanced and the grip very good.

The autonomy is quite good, especially if we take into account the screen diagonal. Our streaming video playback test (in Chrome, brightness at 200 cd / m², headphones plugged in) ran for 6h23. A fairly high figure for a 14 inch notebook, and which is even better in the context of more versatile use, where it easily goes up to almost 9 hours of use.


The headphone output of the Swift 3 is particularly good: the distortion rate is low (0.01%) and the output power very high (420 mVrms). The entire sound spectrum is well rendered.

Speakers side, the results are much more mixed (graph above). The latter are indeed of poor quality. The rendering suggests a lot of saturation and, above all, a very limited sound spectrum, only focused on the mediums. The voice remains relatively well restored, but one should not hope to profit from a convincing musical experience.


This version of the Acer Swift 3 could easily have reached 4 stars if it did not drag a TN screen of such poor quality. It's a real mess as the rest is convincing on this mid-range notebook; the construction is solid, the configuration modest, but balanced, the autonomy is good, the connections very complete. Fortunately, the Full HD version with IPS screen should not suffer from the same faults.