The £ mark is something of a sweet spot for laptops these days. It’s a lot of money to spend, but if you choose wisely, you can get a great laptop that does most things well. The latest iteration of Acer’s 14in Swift 3 is a good case in point – good enough, in fact, to become our new favourite Buy It! laptop, dislodging the Asus Vivobook S 15 OLED after just one issue as our top choice. Read our Acer Swift 3 14in (2022) Review.
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Its hard-working processor makes everything zip along
For starters, it’s fast. It contains the same 12th-generation Core i7-1260P processor you’ll find in Intel’s NUC 12 Pro mini PC reviewed on page 22, but the Swift 3 extracts even more from this excellent chip.
In our Windows benchmark tests it outstripped the speed of the NUC 12 Pro. In terms of raw processor power, it runs more than a third faster than the Vivobook S 15 OLED, despite costing only £ more. Even some light gaming is possible, with the built-in graphics managing decent frame rates at high-detail settings, as long as you restrict the output resolution to 1080p.
The 2560×1440-pixel IPS screen isn’t as sharp as the Vivobook’s OLED display, but it’s impressive for its type. Whites look clean, especially if you increase the brightness level to its peak of 339cd/m2, and the effective anti-glare coating keeps reflections to a minimum. Its 92-per-cent coverage of the sRGB colour standard means colours are always fairly vivid.
Acer even gets the keyboard right. While there are no frills, the keys land with a satisfying clump and, unless you really bash the keys, they won’t bother anyone else. The touchpad does the job, but we would have preferred it a fraction larger.
With the screen at 170cd/m2 and Wi-Fi on, the laptop lasted 8 hours 56 minutes in our video-playback test, and 8 hours 52 minutes in light office tasks.
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On the left edge there are two Thunderbolt 4-compatible USB-C ports, one HDMI 2.1 and a USB 3.0 port. The right-hand edge (pictured below) has a second USB 3.0 port and a 3.5mm jack.
Acer manages to pull off one final surprise, which is a fast 1TB SSD. This is the holy grail of laptop storage, so it’s nice to see it in such an impressive laptop at a reasonable price.
Twelve-core Intel Core i7-1260P processor • 16GB RAM • 14in 2560×1440-pixel IPS screen • 1TB SSD • Wi-Fi 6E • Bluetooth 5.2 • 1x HDMI port • 2x USB-C ports • 2x USB 3.0 ports • Windows 11 Home • 15.9x321x211mm (HxWxD) • 1.3kg • One-year warranty
A great all-round laptop with lightning performance, a good screen and a satisfying keyboard
Best Acer Swift 3 14in (2022) prices ?
See also THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO…OLED laptops
Dell XPS 13 (2022)
This 13in laptop is lighter and has a decent screen, but it has only two ports