Acer’s Swift 7 (July 2019) 14-inch laptop still represents the pinnacle of the thin-and-light PC movement. Amazingly, this breathtakingly slim notebook PC is significantly lighter than its predecessor, while solving many of the usability issues which detracted from Acer’s previous Swift 7.

That laptop was frankly unpleasant to work on, with an average keyboard, a touchpad without click capabilities, and an absence of Thunderbolt ports—though the latter is admittedly still more of a spec we expect rather than one many peripherals take advantage of. Our updated Swift 7 (July 2019) review reflects how Acer solved those problems, though others remain: a poor webcam, mediocre performance, and a somewhat worrying amount of heat. That won’t altogether dull the sheer gasp of amazement that occurs when you first lift this sliver of a laptop out of its box.

Acer Swift 7 July 2019 outdoor 1 Mark Hachman / IDG

Acer Swift 7 (July 2019) basic specs

Think of Acer’s Swift 7 as a tablet with an embedded keyboard and an attached display, and you’ll  better understand its strengths and weaknesses. The processor inside is a Y-series Intel Core processor for tablets, as opposed to the more traditional U-series chip. We like the addition of Thunderbolt 3 capabilities to the USB-C ports, compared to the previous Swift 7. Even better, the available SSD storage and memory have doubled.

It’s all wrapped up in a package that’s somehow more than a half-pound lighter than its predecessor, at 1.84 pounds. Even the device that kicked off the thin-and-light craze, Apple’s 13.3-inch MacBook Air, looks bloated by comparison, at 2.75 pounds. Bravo!

The thin-and-light PC

Acer’s goal for the Swift 7—build the thinnest, lightest laptop you can—remains unchanged. It slips effortlessly into a backpack or the faux-leather sleeve that Acer ships with the laptop. At less than two pounds, its weight is barely noticeable, and the July 2019 edition shaved 0.7 pounds from its predecessor! Engineering this truly thin-and-light PC deserves applause, and its feathery weight is by far the top reason to consider buying it. 

As our recent review of the Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 showed, however, such an aggressive design goal can influence many aspects. A case in point: Acer designed the Swift 7 (July 2019) without fans. Every bit of heat its components generate is conducted through heat pipes to the outside of the chassis, raising the external temperature to slightly alarming levels. We talk more about this in our performance evaluation.  

In general, we absolutely think a lighter laptop is a better laptop. We care far less about how thin it actually is, however, as it begs the question: Is a thin laptop a flimsy laptop? The Swift 7 (July 2019) responds: Yes and no.

Acer Swift 7 July 2019 z height comparison Mark Hachman / IDG

The Acer Swift 7 (July 2019) is about as thin as the Google Pixel 3 smartphone (right).

Positioned correctly, with its four rubber feet flat against a desk, I noticed no flex in the Swift 7’s keyboard. Acer engineered the Swift 7 using a combination of magnesium-lithium and magnesium-aluminum alloys, which contributes to its lightness without detracting from its structural integrity. I sometimes work with a laptop perched on a keyboard drawer, however, which has a small ridge at the end. There, I noticed some flex when resting a hand on the palm rest. In general, however, I found nothing to complain about in the Swift 7’s construction.

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