Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Acer upgrades its best budget laptop, the Swift 3, just in time for the holidays

Not waiting for the clock to turn to 2021, Acer released the latest iterations of its Acer Swift 3 this month as part of its new line of laptops. Although this portable machine is one of the company’s budget models, Acer has always packed a lot into the Swift 3 line. Indeed, the last version was our pick for the best budget laptop of 2020, as it outperformed many similarly priced — and even more expensive — laptops. With this update, Acer has seemingly addressed the few shortcomings we found previously, including upgrading the CPU, display, and port options. But even while making these improvements, Acer has managed to keep the Swift 3’s price low, with both the new 13.5-inch and 14-inch models being available for well under $1,000 in Most Configurations.

Shop at Acer

Acer Swift 3

Glancing at the spec sheet for the Acer Swift 3 laptop, you wouldn’t guess that it’s a budget laptop. But Acer has always delivered a lot of bang for the buck with this line, and with its two new versions of the Swift 3, it appears that you’ll get even more. The new Acer Swift 3 comes in two sizes — a 13.5-inch model and a 14-inch model — and both have been upgraded to 11th Gen Intel Quad-Core processors (i7 or i5, depending on the configuration you choose) and include an improved selection of ports to choose from, including USB-C and Thunderbolt4. Another area of improvement is battery life, which has purportedly more than doubled from 8 hours to 17 hours.

But perhaps the most immediately noticeable improvement will be the display, especially if you purchase the 13.5-inch model. While the 1080p screen in the new 14-inch version has improved color gamut percentage, the 13.5-inch model sports a 2K display with a 3:2 ratio, 400-nit brightness, and 100% color gamut coverage. Both have Acer’s Color Intelligence and Exacolor technologies for improved color contrast.

Obviously meant to be the more premium machine of the two, the 13.5-inch is available in configurations that include up to 16GB of RAM and hard drives that max out at 1TB, while the 14-inch is only available with 256GB or 512GB hard drives and preloaded with 8GB of RAM. Otherwise, the 13.5-inch is slightly lighter, at 2.62 lbs. compared to the 14-inch version’s 2.65 pounds. Both models come loaded with the Windows 10 Home operating system and an embedded fingerprint reader for verifying your identity. The 14-inch model starts at $700, while the 13.5-inch starts at $729.

Learn More

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Slaybaugh
Stephen Slaybaugh is a freelance writer with with more than 20 years experience. He’s written extensively about internet…
Acer Swift X debuts Arc graphics, Intel’s most powerful discrete GPU yet
Acer Swift X laptop.

The Acer Swift X puts a surprising amount of performance into its tiny chassis, and at CES 2022, it's getting even more.

Two new models, the Swift X 14 and Swift X 16, have been introduced, the latter of which debuts Intel's first competitive discrete GPU, known as Intel Arc graphics.

Read more
These Acer gaming laptops just got more powerful with a simple firmware update
acer predator helios 300 2020 review 06

It's not often that laptops get a free performance boost after launch, but that's what's happening with Acer's latest gaming notebooks. The company has released firmware updates for several machines that increase the total graphics power (TGP) on RTX 30-series graphics cards, which could lead to a significant performance increase.

TGP is a key spec when choosing a laptop with an RTX 30-series graphics card. Manufacturers have a lot of control over how much power the GPU receives from the board, leading to wildly different performance on what should be identical components. More graphics power means that RTX 30-series graphics cards in select Acer laptops will run faster than they did before, all while targeting the same temperature.

Read more
Acer’s new Swift X is an ultrathin laptop with the RTX 3050 Ti under the hood
acer launches new swift x and travelmate p6 laptops sfx14 41g 02

The fun, colorful hues on Acer's new slim Swift X laptop make it the perfect Windows alternative to those who were waiting for Apple to redesign its MacBook Air. In addition to beating Apple's rumored colorful MacBook Air redesign with bright tones, the Swift X also plays up its premium design and lightweight form factor.

This slim notebook with its aluminum chassis looks more like a premium ultra-thin laptop than a gaming notebook, but don't be fooled. The Swift X's gaming chops come from Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3000 series mobile GPUs under the hood. Specifically, the Swift X uses Nvidia's newly launched GeForce RTX 3050 Ti laptop graphics card alongside AMD's Ryzen 7 5800U mobile processor.

Read more