Acer on Wednesday introduced its most portable Swift 3-branded laptop to date. The new Swift 3 notebook features a 13.3-inch display and uses a thinner & lighter chassis than its 14-inch predecessors. Furthermore, premium versions of the laptop include a 4G/LTE modem to make them more attractive to road warriors. Quite naturally, the new Swift 3 laptops will be positioned above the existing PCs of the same series and will be more expensive.

When Acer first announced its Swift 3 series notebooks in 2016, the company positioned them as inexpensive ($499 and up) highly-portable 14-inch mobile PCs for productivity applications. Eventually, Acer started adding premium features to its 14-inch models (e.g., discrete GPUs), as well as introducing SKUs featuring a larger 15.6-inch screen, thus slightly changing market positioning of the whole series. Today the company continues to broaden its Swift 3-branded lineup with its newest addition, introducting the all new Swift 3 with a 13.3-inch Full-HD display.

The upcoming Swift 3 SF313-series comes in a unibody aluminum chassis featuring a z-height of 15.9 mm (0.63”), which is 2 mm (0.08”) thinner compared to the original Swift 3 notebooks with a 14-inch LCD. The new Swift 3 with 13.3-inch display weighs in at 1.3 kg (2.86 pounds), which makes it significantly lighter than 1.8 kg (4 pounds) of the original models. Besides being more portable, the new notebooks will also run for up to 13 hours on one charge, three hours longer than its larger predecessors.

Moving on to technical specs of the Swift 3 SF313-series laptops. Acer says that the new notebooks are powered by Intel’s Core processors, yet does not disclose exact models. While it is safe to say that the CPUs in question belong to Intel’s Whiskey Lake-U or Amber Lake-Y families, it is not clear which chips Acer uses. Considering the fact that the manufacturer advertises a 13-hours battery life for its new Swift 3 SF313-series machines, it is highly likely that it uses Amber Lake-Y processors with a 5 W TDP. As for RAM and storage, the Swift 3 13.3-inch laptops will be outfitted with up to 8 GB of DDR4 as well as an up to 512 GB NVMe PCIe SSDs.

When it comes to connectivity, the Swift 3 (SF313-51) has an 802.11ac + Bluetooth controller as well as an optional 4G/LTE modem for those who need to connect to the Internet everywhere, and who are not inclined to use their smartphone for tethering. As for physical I/O, the new 13.3-inch Swift 3 has two USB Type-A ports (a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0), a USB Type-C header, an HDMI output, a TRRS audio connector, a microSD card reader, an optional fingerprint scanner, speakers, and a Windows Hello-compliant webcam.

Acer plans to start sales of its Swift 3 (SF313-51) laptops in EMEA this October starting at €799 ($934) including taxes. It is unknown whether the company intends to offer these 13.3-inch machines in North America and other regions.

Acer Swift 3 13.3-Inch Laptops
Display Diagonal 13.3"
Resolution 1920×1080
Type IPS
CPU Intel's Whiskey Lake or Amber Lake CPUs
Graphics Intel UHD 620 Graphics
RAM Capacity 4 or 8 GB
Type DDR4 (frequency unknown)
Storage up tp 512 GB PCIe/NVMe SSD
Wi-Fi 802.11ac Wi-Fi module (unknown vendor)
Bluetooth ?
USB 1 × USB 3.0 Type-A
1 × USB 2.0 Type-A
1 × USB Type-C
Other I/O HDMI, webcam, TRRS connector for audio, speakers, microphone, SD card reader
Dimensions Thickness 15.9 mm | 0.63"
Width ?
Depth ?
Weight 1.3 kg | 2.86 lb
Battery Capacity Capacity unknown, provides 13 hours of battery life
Price Starting at €799 ($934) including taxes

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  • ingwe - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    8 GB of ram max seems anemic for 2018. With laptops lasting longer I would want 16 GB.
  • Dug - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    Not really, it matches the laptops other specs perfectly. This is a standard well equipped laptop for the 99.9% of public, not some workstation laptop. Even running Photoshop, web browsers, and some video at the same time, I never get to 8GB.
  • megadirk - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    The bigger problem is that the starting price is $934 and the base model has only 4GB of RAM. That's a $1000 laptop after tax with the same amount of RAM that a laptop half its price would come with.
  • iwod - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    I think something is not right because Swift 3 were suppose to be affordable. we will just have to wait till they actually release.
  • MrSpadge - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    800€ includes a higher VAT than in the US. There it should be around 800$ after tax, +/-50$ depending on current exchange rate.
  • iwod - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    Without the VAT is $778, and probably even cheaper because there are less consumer protection to account for in US. May be $749. Which is still *expensive* for a laptop that only comes with 4GB Memory.
  • niva - Thursday, August 30, 2018 - link

    Yeah, there are a lot of unknowns regarding this machine including the SSD it comes with because all we see is "up to 512 GB". I suspect the base model will come with 128GB SSD, what type of expand-ability will there be?

    I've actually had really good luck with Acer laptops. They are cheaper and in my case lasted for years. My mom still uses an Acer she bought 8 years ago. The chasis of this machine looks nice and solid, so at first glance this seems interesting, and I expect a higher price since this is a proper ultrabook.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    Thicker, larger laptops will always be the pure price/performance winners, but what you're paying for is thinness and hopefully battery life with these, vs a few hours on a wal mart special at your half the price.

    I think the problem is actually the pure conversion from €799, which includes VAT, to USD, which usually doesn't, I think that USD price may be wrong.
  • abufrejoval - Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - link

    I entirely understand your sentiment. Thing is, the ability to swap means they have to put in a DIMM socket which in these form factors means space they don't have, some cover that can be openend and stuff that can break. So it's off the list on the commodity SKU.

    And at current RAM prices, 16GB as a default puts you out of search-engine results and as an option duplicates your SKUs, while big-data research will show that nobody buys 16GB (well, mostly since you can't, right?).

    Honestly, I'm expecting PoP RAM on x86 SoCs any day now, like they already do with phones, or better yet an HBM package for some extra iGPU Ooomph: The distinctions between "PC" and "phone" become pure form factor, less technology.

    And running 4VMs with SAP HANA in a cluster of two won't really be a lot of fun on a 5Watt CPU anyway: You'll just have to resign yourself thinking of this as a tablet with a keyboard.

    But with USB 3.1 or TB going multi-gigabits I am thinking that it's time to rethink "docking stations". We see external dGPU cases these days, what about external dAPU cases, which serve as desktop GPGPU accellerators to a device like this?

    When you dock, your apps will migrate to the BIG node on the desktop while your little ones in your keyboard go to sleep until you undock: You can have extra RAM, x0Gbit network, plenty more CPU-GPU power on the dock, but suspend HANA, your HPC and your games when you undock, but leave the browser, the spreadsheet and the weekly report open and quite responsive enough even at 5 Watts of Skylake/Ryzen glory.

    It might take a few tweaks in Windows, lots of systemd in Linux, but it's far from rocket science, really... Just in case iCompany attempts to patent this, remember this prior art ;-)

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