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Acer’s new laptops include a liquid-cooled 2-in-1, $250 fanless Chromebook

Swift 7
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Acer has a unique lineup of hardware offerings at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), with the new Acer Swift 7 offering powerful internal hardware alongside 4G LTE connectivity and a Swift 7 Black Edition with a 2-in-1 design and Nvidia MX150 graphics processor. They’re joined by upgrades to the Nitro 5, Spin 3, and Chromebook 11 ranges, giving you more options and more powerful hardware for your money.

The different hardware lines are distinctly different from one another, marketed at different segments of consumers with very different purposes, but they’re all making their debut at CES 2018 and will go on sale over the next few months.

Acer Swift 7

Key Specs

  • Thickness: 9mm
  • CPU: Seventh-generation Intel Core i7
  • Connectivity: 4G LTE, 2×2 801.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Display: 14-inch 1080p touchscreen
  • Memory: 8GB LPDDR3
  • Storage: 256GB PCIe solid-state drive
  • Price: $1,700

As Acer’s flagship, ultrathin and lightweight notebook PC, the Acer Swift 7 is a profoundly portable laptop. At just 9mm thin, it packs a seventh-generation Intel Core i7 CPU under the hood, helping to power its 14-inch touchscreen display with a 1080p resolution and fronted by protective Gorilla Glass. To make it even nicer to use, that touchscreen has a “soft-touch feel,” which is said to make it feel like silk as you glide your fingers across it.

To further enhance its portability, the Swift 7 comes with integrated 4G LTE connectivity and a powerful internal antenna built into the solid aluminum shell, so you can access a high-speed internet connection wherever you go. Backed up by 10 hours of battery life, the Swift 7 will keep you working and consuming for longer, no matter where you go.

Set to go on sale in March, the new Acer Swift 7 starts at $1,700.

Acer Switch 7 Black Edition

Key Specs

  • Form factor: 2-in-1
  • CPU: Eighth-generation Intel core
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150
  • Display: 13.5-inch IPS 2,256 x 1,504 touchscreen
  • Memory: 16GB LPDDR3
  • Storage: 512GB solid-state drive
  • Price: $1,700

The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition takes things in a decidedly more powerful and flexible direction. Although it lacks the 4G LTE connectivity, it makes up for that with a 2-in-1 design so it can fold into a tablet mode, and the internal hardware is far more impressive. It measures just 0.39 inches thick and weighs only 2.6 pounds with the keyboard attached.

Keeping pace with the times, it sports an eighth-generation Intel CPU paired up with an Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics processor (a mobile version of the GT 1030). That helps power the 13.5-inch IPS display running at a native resolution of 2,256 x 1,504, which supports touch input from your fingers or the included Wacom EMR powered stylus with up to 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support. The whole laptop can tilt to your preferred angle using its built-in kickstand.

To make sure that the creatives using this laptop aren’t distracted by its noise output, Acer fitted the Switch 7 Black Edition with a “Dual Liquidloop” fanless cooling system, so this laptop should operate silently.

You can also use Windows Hello to login to your Windows account thanks to the built-in optical fingerprint sensor.

The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition goes on sale in January with a starting price of $1,700.

Acer Nitro 5

Key Specs

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560
  • Memory: Up to 32GB DDR4
  • Storage: Up to 512GB solid-state drive
  • Software: Nitro Sense monitoring application
  • Price: $800

Designed with casual gamers in mind, Acer’s Nitro 5 lineup has been given a slight upgrade over its predecessors, with the latest AMD Ryzen processors and the introduction of new RX 560 graphics. That’s a slight improvement over the previous iteration’s RX 550, but is notable as only the second model in the Nitro 5 line to utilize AMD graphics. Everything else has come with Nvidia GTX 1050 or 1050 Ti.

The upgrade to a Ryzen CPU is arguably more impactful, however, as the last AMD Nitro 5 system leveraged the much weaker AMD FX-9830P. We’re told that the combination of new CPU and graphics processor (GPU) and faster memory deliver “amazing performance for gaming,” and multitasking, the latter of which is a hallmark of the Ryzen range.

Like other Nitro laptops, Acer will include its Nitro Sense CPU/GPU monitoring software with the new entry in the range, helping users to stay on top of their system’s clock speed and temperatures.

The new Acer Nitro 5 will go on sale in May, with a starting price tag of $800.

Acer Spin 3

Key Specs

  • CPU: Eighth-generation Intel Core
  • Battery life: 12 hours
  • Display: 14-inch, 1080P
  • Hinge: 360-degree
  • Price: $600

Keeping its convertible laptop up with the times, the new Acer Spin 3 upgrades the onboard processor to the eighth-generation of Intel Core CPUs. It also comes with a smaller 14-inch display at 1080p resolution, for those who prefer a more compact computing experience.

The added efficiency of the new hardware helps extend the battery life from nine-hours in the previous generation, to 12 hours for the new one. Its hinge design maintains the full 360-degree rotation, letting you utilize your new Spin 3 as a laptop, as a tablet, and everywhere in between.

The Acer Spin 3 goes on sale in February, with a starting price tag of $600.

Acer Chromebook 11

Key Specs

  • Display: 11.6-inch, touch and non-touch
  • Battery life: 10 hours
  • Connectivity: 2 x USB 3.1 Type C
  • Price: $250

Keeping its low-cost Chromebook line competitive, Acer’s new Chromebook 11 is the latest entry in that market with an 11.6-inch display. It provides a lengthy 10 hours of battery life in an entirely fanless build — so it’s whisper-quiet.

With two built-in USB 3.1 Type-C ports, charging external devices, attaching peripherals or expanding to a larger external display, is all possible. Set to launch with touch and non-touch models, it will have full support for existing Chrome OS applications, as well as the full suite of Google Play Store Android apps. These are some of our favorites and here’s how to get hold of them.

Availability starts in April, with a price tag that starts at $250.

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Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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