Review of Acer Swift 7 and Spin 7: The World’s Thinnest Ultrabook and its Brother-Transformer
We get acquainted with the new Acer ultrabooks, which were presented at the IFA 2016 exhibition in early autumn. We’re already familiarized with the 14-inch Swift 5, and now it’s the turn of Acer Swift 7. It’s less than 1 cm thick and so, the company calls it the world’s thinnest ultrabook. And its brother Acer Spin 7, which cannot boast such a slender design, has a 360-degree rotatable larger touchscreen. Otherwise, the design and characteristics are almost identical, so two separate reviews did not make much sense.
What is it?
Acer Swift 7 is a 13-inch ultrabook with a thick case. It has Intel Core m processor that does not require active cooling, RAM storage is up to 8 GB of and the solid-state drive – 256 GB. The Spin 7 is slightly thicker, but has a 14-inch touchscreen and hinges that allow the screen to rotate 360 °.
Why is it interesting?
Acer Swift 7 is interesting for its 9.98 mm record thickness. And I think the limit of the thickness/ comfort/ reliability ratio is very close. Ultrabook is equipped with a 13.3-inch IPS-screen with a resolution of 1920×1080, energy-efficient Intel Core m7-7Y75 processor, 8 GB of RAM and SSD format M. (2-256) GB. The internals of Spin 7 are absolutely similar, but it has 14 inches touchscreen, (the transformer is equipped with non-touch panel). The width and length of the laptop are similar to Swift 7. Both models are covered with a protective glass on their screens. What’s the shortcoming? The keyboard is without lighting. On the contrary, we count its touchpad as its pleasant side, which we’ll talk about a little later.
How it looks like and how well made it is?
Swift 7 is only available in black and gold color version (at least for now). The top cover is made of black matte plastic, with a Soft-Touch feeling. Keeping it in hand is convenient and the laptop does not strive to slip, but fingerprints remain. The panel with the screen is covered with glass and around the screen, the frames are quite wide. Under the screen, there’s the Acer logo. The working surface is made of golden metal. On the top lid is a golden logo:
Almost the entire rear end is made of metal, the hinges are placed on the sides, there are no connectors or holes behind:
At the front side, there’s only a slot, in order to make the laptop opening convenient.
The set of connectors of all modern ultra-thin ultrabooks is very modest. In this case, this is a combined 3.5 mm audio jack and two USB Type-C, but we don’t regret the absence of USB hub.
On the left side, there is only a small slot for connecting the lock.
The lower part of the case is made of black matte plastic. On it, you’ll see four rubberized legs for stability and anti-slip, fixing screws and holes for stereo speakers. No holes for cooling and there should not be, because inside it, there’s Intel Core M.
Above the screen, the webcam and microphone are in the usual place. Along the perimeter of the inside of the cover, there is a thin rubber insert that protects the glass from damage.
In general, the layout, materials and dimensions of the Spin 7 are similar to the Swift 7 (only the thickness is 1 mm). Spin is completely black; hinges are silvery though. On the left side, there was added a power button and a volume rocker, which are necessary when using in tablet mode. Previously we saw, the screen of Spin 7 is bigger. Accordingly, the frames around it are smaller than those of Swift 7.
Both ultrabooks are well. Qualitatively, they are collected from nice materials and look very sound. The only minor drawback is that fingerprints cover the black surfaces very quickly.
How convenient it is to use ultrabooks?
Swift 7 uses two hinges at the edges of the screen. Apparently, the maximum angle is about 145°. Hinges are made intelligently and fit the display reliably. When open, Swift 7 has a pretty decent distance between the screen and the main unit of the laptop. Spin 7, as already understood, can take different forms.
In addition to the standard laptop mode, it can be used in the form of a tablet and in the “presentation” and “tent” modes. Of course, in such positions, the keypad is disabled:
As for the keyboard blocks, they are almost identical to the models. The working surface is made of metal, the buttons are in a small groove, the gaps on the sides are relatively small and the layout is close to the standard one. In Spin 7, the power button is on the side face, as already mentioned above, whereas in Swift 7, it is added by the extreme right in the top row, next to Delete. Both Shifts are large. The arrows block is slightly separated and there are no additional buttons on the sides of the arrow “up”. PgUp, PgDn, Home and End are combined with arrows. Also on the main layout, there are combined buttons of the digital block which will be useful for amateurs to enter specials.
At the first moment, it seems that either the distances between the buttons are too large or too small. In fact, everything is in order. The buttons have a slightly rubberized surface and a good, convenient move. In general, we really liked the keyboard, though we compromised the absence of the backlight.
Acer decided not to waste time on trifles and equipped both ultrabooks with really big touchpads. In height, they are standard, and the width is really impressive. Regarding sensitivity and slipping, it passed our test quite well. Self-supported multi-touch and gestures are brilliant add-ons.
In general, both the keyboard and the touchpad are very comfortable. However, for full happiness, the illumination is not sufficient. Oddly enough, it’s not in the modern flagship ultrabook.
How good are the screens?
Apparently, both models are equipped with IPS-screens with very pleasant color rendition. In Swift 7, this is a 13.3-inch screen with 1920×1080 pixels. On the other hand, in Spin 7, it’s a 14-inch touchscreen with a similar resolution. Both screens are protected from damage by Gorilla glass. Though there is glare, the probability of damage is much lower. Viewing angles are fine, and they are typical for IPS-matrices:
Measurements with the colorimeter showed that both screens are of very high quality. Swift 7 is slightly more interesting in both brightness and factory calibration though. The maximum brightness is 301.358 cd / m2, the brightness of the black field is 0.35 cd / m2, and the contrast is 861: 1. The color reproduction is really very good, the error ΔE ranges from 2 to 4, and the color temperature is about 7000K (at the conditional ideal value of 6500K). However, the blue and green components are very close to the reference values, and the red is slightly smaller. The CIE -diagram shows that deviations from the color space sRGB are minimal.
Spin 7 screen is not so good, but the difference is insignificant. The maximum brightness is 280.667 cd / m2, the brightness of the black field is 0.318 cd / m2, and the contrast is 866: 1. Factory calibration is also slightly worse:
What about the “iron”?
Swift 7 is already sold in Ukraine with another processor, but we will consider what we’ve got. We got ultrabook with absolutely identical stuffing. Inside it, we find new processors Intel Core m7-7Y75 family Kaby Lake Y (without active cooling) with two cores at 1.3 GHz, which can work at 2.8 GHz in turbo mode (and up to 3.3 GHz – Turbo-mode with one core). Hyper Threading is supported.
For the graphics, the integrated video accelerator is Intel HD Graphics 615 (24 execution units). The base frequency is 300 MHz, the maximum acceleration is up to 1.05 GHz. The laptop has 8 GB of RAM LPDDR3-1866. For wireless communication, the dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n / ac modules and Bluetooth are responsible.
In front of us, here’s a typical modern ultraportable laptop with a typical for its class of stuffing. Productivity is appropriate. Operating the normal office applications, a browser with a decent number of tabs and basic work in graphics and photo editors are possible with it. The laptop is equipped with solid-state Kingston drives of M.2 format with 256 GB capacity.
The maximum reading speed is about 550 MB/s, and the typical record for its class is 460 MB/s.
As for autonomous work, engineering samples survive about 2.5 hours at maximum load and brightness of the screen. In real conditions, this figure, of course, will be much higher.
Both models turned out really interesting and will clearly find their audience among those who need a lightweight, compact laptop for everyday work with office applications, web surfing and watching movies somewhere on the way. However, for video editors and serious graphics, it is worth looking at something on Intel Core i. Both models are well assembled from quality materials and look interesting. Laptops received good quality screens, comfortable keyboards and excellent touchpads of large sizes. Formally, Swift 7 is more interesting with a smaller thickness (although 1 mm in this case does not solve anything) and obviously a lower price tag. In Ukraine, the modification with Intel Core i5-7Y54 comes for 33 000 UAH. Spin 7 is interesting with a transformable design and a larger touch screen, but the price tag will obviously be higher. We do not have it yet (and we don’t think it will be on sale). Drawbacks that concern both models? A very meager set of ports (2xUSB Type-C and audio connector) and lack of keyboard lighting.
4 reasons to buy Acer Swift 7 and Spin 7:
• quality materials and assembly;
• excellent screens;
• compact size and light weight;
• very comfortable touchpad and keyboard.
2 reasons not to buy Acer Swift 7 and Spin 7:
• very few connectors;
• lack of keyboard backlight.