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Pulling out the Acer Swift 7 is like doing a great party trick at a bar. Do you want to see just how thin a laptop can get? Everyone nods and you reveal the 8.98mm thick (at these sizes, you really do have to split hairs) laptop, which looks even more impressive because of the big 14-inch screen. The crowd oohs and ahhs, and everyone walks off, nodding their heads in appreciation.

But, as my colleague Lori Grunin has pointed out on multiple occasions, a super-lightweight laptop beats a super-thin laptop any day of the week. Here, the Swift 7 is merely average, at 2.6 pounds, a bit heavier than the 2.4 pound HP Spectre, which may be its closest direct competitor in design. That very thin 13-inch laptop is 10.4mm thick, and even though it’s only a hair over a 1mm in difference, you can still easily tell when stacking them side by side.


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The 10.4mm HP Spectre on the left, and the 8.98mm Acer Swift 7 on the right. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

That’s great and all, but being the thinnest laptop in town isn’t enough to keep my interest after the that initial first impression. What’s more impressive is that I actually loved using the Swift 7 as my main all-day, every-day laptop for most of the past two weeks.

It manages to include a bright 14-inch full-HD display, and one that’s also a touchscreen — which isn’t always a given in the thinnest laptops. The backlit keyboard is reasonably typable, still on the shallow side, but not as much so as a MacBook Pro. A large touchpad offers multi-touch gestures, including the all-important two-finger scroll, that are about as good as you can get on a Windows laptop. But beware: Because this laptop is so thin, the touchpad is just that — a pad. It doesn’t click down, so everything is done through tapping.

As one might expect, it’s not for the budget-conscious shopper, at $1,699 or £1,499 in the UK. This model isn’t available in Australia yet, but the price works out to around AU$2,299


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Sarah Tew/CNET

Acer Swift 7 (SF714-51T)

Price as reviewed $1,699
Display size/resolution 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080 touch display
PC CPU 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-7Y75
PC Memory 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz
Graphics 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 615
Storage 256GB SSD
Networking 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.TK
Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

That super-thin HP Spectre I mentioned before frankly beats the Swift 7 in several categories. The overall design is nicer, with a unique white-and-gold color scheme and cool little visual touches everywhere from the speaker grille to the power button. It’s also faster, with a mainstream U-series eighth-gen Core i7 CPU, versus the older seventh-gen Y-series version here. One further point to the Spectre — it’s webcam is above the display, while the Swift 7 goes for the infamous up-the-nose webcam below the screen.

But the Swift 7 won me over with its larger screen, silent, fanless operation and 180-degree lie-flat hinge. It’s also got 4G LTE support, should you want to shell out a little extra each month to avoid tethering to your phone.

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