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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.

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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.

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