The Acer 12 Gen Swift 5 is a brilliant, no-nonsense laptop that delivers enough power to satisfy most users, wrapped in a really beautiful two-tone rose gold and dark grey case.
With a 16:10 1920 x 1200 touch screen, an Intel i7 processor and just enough external ports for any application, I think the Gen Swift 5 is a brilliant contender against MacBooks and the Windows Surface line. Of those computers, it’s one of the most attractive laptops I’ve ever used.
We need to start with the aesthetic. Acer has gone above and beyond to make the 12th Gen Swift 5 absolutely gorgeous, breaking away from the subtlety of a single colour. Seriously, the pictures I’ve taken don’t do this computer justice.
Few laptop makers like to commit to such a deliberate two-tone colour design. Generally speaking, bold, neutral colours like black, grey silver and white tend to sell best, but while Acer doesn’t break ranks with the primary colour of the Swift 5, its secondary colour is a really beautiful rose gold.
This is visible at all angles on the device. The Acer logos, the side trimming and the cornering sport this gorgeous rose gold look. These are also metallic, giving the user a nice polished feel separate from the dark grey plastic texture.
Even the keypad illuminates as a dusty orange-brown to lend itself to the rose gold colour scheme. This makes the keys difficult to see in light-filled environments (like in well lit offices) but because the keys are all back-lit (without exterior key bleed through), it’s perfectly fine in low-light environments.
Additionally, the design of the computer is all very inoffensive, without many distractions or over-the-top additions to the shape (although the inside includes four stickers, one over the fingerprint reader to indicate where it is). The laptop isn’t particularly thick, with two Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, a kensington lock, a headphone jack and a HDMI port making up the periphery of the device.
Additionally, the laptop charges through one of the USB-C ports, which is of course very welcome, coming from someone who uses a Windows Surface laptop with its proprietary charging cable.
Grunt to go
Priced at $2,899, you’d expect the Acer 12th Gen Swift 5 to pack a punch. I can happily confirm that, with the power of an Intel 12th gen i7 1260P processor, the Swift 5 is more than capable of handling most tasks a user could throw at it.
In our Chrome tab test, we started to notice stutter with 37 YouTube windows open, all playing concurrently, before encountering a major freeze at 45 tabs. This score holds up quite well with the Windows Surface Studio and is an indicative test of its CPU and RAM, which is in healthy supply at 16GB.
Additionally, during everyday use, I never encountered any problems on the performance side, however I have gotten quite a few pre-installed application pop-ups that are quite annoying (and that I would simply uninstall were this my computer to keep), such as Norton (not my preferred antivirus) and “Acer Jumpstart” telling me I have in-game bonuses to claim on browser games. You know, essentials.
The processor performed quite well in testing. In CPU testing application Cinebench, the laptop achieved a score of 8,282 and position nine. In single core testing, the laptop scored 1,729 and position two (behind the i7-12700H). This outperformed the Windows Surface Studio and the Dell XPS 13 Plus in our reviews.
In our graphics/gaming test, we put the computer to work in Forza Horizon 5, where the computer achieved an average of 38 FPS with a recommended low setting. This gives me confidence that the laptop would be good at most things, including some demanding games on lower settings, however graphics designers and artists might not be well catered for with only 16GB RAM and the Iris Xe GPU. Of course, the Surface Studio, with its Nvidia 3060 GPU, outperformed the Swift on this front.
Finally in the battery test, the Swift held up quite well. Playing Avengers: Endgame on Disney+, the laptop was reduced to 80 per cent in the first hour, 66 per cent in the second and 52 per cent in the third. It’s a fairly standard result for a laptop with a 2K resolution. It didn’t have loud, deep sound, but it was fairly passable for casual use.
Shift to Swift
The Acer 12th Gen Swift 5 is probably the most impressive laptop from the computer company that I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.
The aesthetic of this thing really brings it together — it doesn’t let on that this computer has grunt to rival an RGB-soaked gaming PC, but it does indicate that this computer can keep up with the demands of the everyday user.
With that, I can recommend the Swift 5 to people looking to switch from an Apple laptop or people looking for a new high-end Windows laptop with a 2K touchscreen.
Where to buy the Acer 12th Gen Swift 5
The Acer 12th Gen Swift 5 is expected to be available in Australia in Q3 2022. It’ll be available from Acer online, Harvey Norman and Bing Lee for $2,899.
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