Acer Swift X 14 laptop review: GeForce RTX graphics and OLED display in a compact metal case

By: Alex Chub | 30.06.2023, 15:11

Previously, the phrase portable workstation was associated with rather massive enterprise-class laptops. Now there is a kind of intermediate class between such laptops and ultraportable low-power models that offer fairly high performance in a compact package. The Acer Swift X 14 is just such a laptop. It has a powerful Intel H-series processor and a discrete GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop graphics card, while still having a light and thin metal body typical of ultrabooks. Its performance is sufficient not only for working with documents, but also for processing photos, videos or working with 3D graphics. The laptop also has an excellent OLED display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, a sufficient number of modern interfaces, and the cooling system copes well with the heat of the Acer Swift X 14's insides. Unfortunately, high performance also has its downsides: if you need a laptop that will run all day without recharging, you should look for something with a more modest processor and no discrete graphics.

Acer Swift X 14
Acer Swift X 14
Ultraportable laptop with a metal body, a 14.5-inch OLED display 2880x1800, a 13th generation Intel i7 processor, a GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop video card, 16 GB of RAM and a fast PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD storage with a volume of 1 TB

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  • High performance
  • Excellent 14.5-inch OLED display
  • Compact metal case
  • Efficient cooling system
  • Connectors for all occasions

2 reasons not to buy Acer Swift X 14:

  • You need a laptop that will work full-time without recharging
  • Weak audio system

Quick transition:

  1. What's in the box?
  2. What does the Acer Swift X 14 look like and what are the design features?
  3. Is the laptop comfortable to use?
  4. How good is the screen?
  5. What about performance, battery life, and sound?
  6. In a nutshell

What's in the box?

The Acer Swift X 14 comes in a regular double box made of recycled thick cardboard in a mustard colour. The package is standard: the laptop itself, a 100W power supply, a power cable and all the necessary documentation. We received a sample without a manual, which, of course, no one reads.

What does Acer Swift X 14 look like and what are the design features?

Since its introduction, the Acer Swift line has grown and has several directions. Swift is a classic ultrabook, Swift Go is a more affordable portable model, Swift Edge is a lightweight model with a large 16-inch OLED screen, and Swift X is a more productive hardware and discrete graphics model available with 14.5 and 16-inch screens. We're reviewing the 14.5-inch Acer Swift X 14. The entire body is made of dark grey aluminium with a nice matte texture. Only the thin frame around the screen is plastic. The front of the working surface has a bevelled chamfer, and there are ventilation holes behind the keyboard. The top lid looks minimalistic, with only a small Acer logo at the top.

The laptop has a very good set of connectors, especially considering that it is a compact model. On the right there is a MicroSD card slot, a full-size USB 3.2 Gen 1 and a Kensington Lock connector.

On the left are HDMI 2.1, USB 3.2 Gen 2 with the function of charging devices when the laptop is switched off, two Type-C version 4 with Power Delivery, DisplayPort and Thunderbolt 4, a combined 3.5 audio jack and status indicators.

The back has only two hinges on the sides and the decorative Swift line name.

There is no front notch, but the lid is quite comfortable to lift thanks to its bevelled shape.

Above the screen there is a quite standard set of two microphones, a FullHD webcam and a status indicator.

Below are a large number of ventilation holes, a small battery drain hole, and two massive rubber strips almost the full width of the laptop, which prevent it from sliding around on the table. The stereo speakers are located on the bevelled sides and are placed at an angle to the surface.

The laptop is quite compact and lightweight: 322.8x228.1x17.9 mm, 1.55 kg. It's not the most compact among 14-inch models, but it's fully justified by the powerful components inside. It is made of very high quality: quite thick metal is used and the lids hardly bend. The matte surface does not collect fingerprints.

Is the laptop comfortable to use?

The laptop can be opened to a maximum of about 135°. The hinges are comfortable: the lid locks well in position, and the screen hardly shakes if you accidentally hit it. The keyboard of Acer Swift X 14 is quite usual for the company's ultraportable laptops: full-size, without an additional number pad. So it won't take long to get used to it. The top row of function keys is smaller. Volume, brightness, keyboard backlight and other additional functions are activated via Fn and the F row. The row ends with the power button with a built-in fingerprint scanner. Home, End, PgUp and PgDn are duplicated with arrows via Fn. The navigation block is not separate, but the left and right arrows are full-size. Both Shift and Enter are long, Enter is single-level.

The buttons have a rather long, pleasant and clear click. There is a white backlight with two brightness levels.

The touchpad is quite large. Acer calls it OceanGlass, although in fact it is not made of glass. It is a mixture of eco-friendly ABS polymer and recycled plastic from the oceans. The surface is very pleasant, it really resembles a glass touchpad. The sensitivity is good and it is very comfortable to use. In most cases, you don't need a mouse.

How good is the screen?

The Acer Swift X 14 has a 14.5-inch OLED display with an aspect ratio of 16:10 and a resolution of 2.8K (2880x1800). The display is said to have 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 colour space, with a maximum brightness of 400 cd/m² and a peak brightness of 500 cd/m². The refresh rate is 120Hz and the pixel response time is 0.2ms. The screen is really of excellent quality, with a very clear picture, rich colours and maximum viewing angles. Measurements have shown that the maximum brightness is 387.019 cd/m² (almost the declared figure ). The colour gamut of the screen is much wider than the sRGB range, the calibration is very good, and the deviation towards cool shades is minimal:

What about performance, battery life and sound?

Despite its compact dimensions and light weight, the Acer Swift X 14 has a 13th-generation Intel Raptor Lake processor of the high-performance H-series inside. In the tested configuration, it is an Intel Core i7-13700H. The processor is manufactured using the Intel 7 process, has a TDP of 45 W and a cache of 24 MB. The configuration of cores includes 6 productive cores with a frequency of 2.4-5 GHz and 8 energy-efficient cores with a frequency of 1.8-3.7 GHz. There is support for multi-threaded computing: up to 20 threads. The built-in Intel Iris Xe has 96 executive units, the maximum frequency can reach 1500 MHz. And the discrete graphics is NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop with TGP up to 50W in this case. It has 2,560 CUDA cores, 80 texture units and 32 rasterisation units. There are 80 4th generation tensor cores to accelerate machine learning applications. There are 20 3rd generation RT cores for ray tracing. In the basic version, the GPU operates at a frequency of 1455 MHz, which can be increased to 1755 MHz. The amount of video memory is 6 GB of GDDR6. This graphics card is not the best option for gaming, but it is enough for working with graphics and video in most cases. This is exactly what the laptop is designed for, which is confirmed by the NVIDIA Studio drivers installed on the laptop. The RAM is 16 GB LPDDR5-4800.It issoldered on the motherboard, so there is no upgrade option.There is a 32 GB configuration. The wireless adapter is the top-of-the-line Killer Wireless Wi-Fi 6E 1675i, which is usually found in expensive gaming models. It supports 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax standards, 2X2 MU-MIMO technology, and has Bluetooth 5.2.

The Acer Swift X 14 demonstrates quite impressive results in both processor and graphics performance tests, especially considering its size. It has enough power for office applications, photo and video processing, and 3D graphics in Blender or Maya.

The Acer Swift X 14 is equipped with an M.2 SSD, the Samsung PM9A1 M.2 PCIe 4.0 x4 model. The manufacturer promises read speeds of up to 7000 MB/s and write speeds of up to 5100 MB/s.

The SSD's performance is fully consistent with the claims. This is a very fast drive:

The laptop's cooling system proved to be very efficient. Even at maximum loads, the laptop is not very noisy, and the fan sound itself is not annoying. Only the area above the keyboard becomes warm, the keyboard itself does not heat up. In the AIDA64 stress test, at maximum load, the temperature initially rose to about 80°, and then stayed in the range of 50-65°. So the laptop works stably, with no performance issues.

Gaming will definitely not be the main use case for a potential Acer Swift X 14 owner. But it was still interesting to test whether it was possible to play relatively modern games on a laptop. Yes, formally, GaForce RTX 4050 Laptop supports ray tracing. But it should not be enabled if you want to get a normal FPS level. God of War with DLSS in maximum performance mode demonstrates about 50 FPS. Gears Tactics with high settings and native resolution is 45-60 FPS. The Ascent with native resolution, high graphics settings, and DLSS in performance mode - 44-52 FPS. So it's quite possible to play on the laptop if you reduce your appetite for graphics settings a little.

Acer Swift X 14 uses a four-cell 76 Wh battery. And this is where the productive components (primarily the Intel H-series processor) make themselves felt. In normal office mode with a constant Wi-Fi connection, using a browser, basic photo processing in Photoshop, working with documents at 50% brightness, the laptop lasts just over 5 hours. So if autonomy is the main criterion for choosing a laptop, then you should take a closer look at models with more modest U-series processors. But, of course, the performance will be at a completely different level.

The laptop's acoustics include two speakers directed at an angle to the surface. Unfortunately, sound is not the strong point of the Acer Swift X 14. The speakers are quite quiet and we are not talking about low frequencies.

There is not much proprietary software. The Acer Care Centre has laptop usage statistics, diagnostic, cleaning, optimisation and update tools.

The DTS X application is designed to adjust the sound in the laptop.

Killer Intelligence Centre allows you to optimise WLAN performance, monitor wireless signal strength and prioritise different applications.

Acer Swift X 14
Acer Swift X 14
  • High performance
  • Excellent 14.5-inch OLED display
  • Compact metal case
  • Efficient cooling system
  • Connectors for all occasions

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The bottom line. Four things you need to know about Acer Swift X 14.

  • The Acer Swift X 14 features a 14.5-inch 2.8K OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Inside, there are productive components, including a discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card.
  • It has a large set of connectors.
  • The battery will not last for a full working day.
Acer Swift X 14 specifications
Display. 14.5 inches, OLED, 2880x1800, 16:10, 120 Hz, 0.2 ms
Dimensions 322.8x228.1x17.9 mm
Weight 1.55 kg
Operating system Microsoft Windows 11
Processor. Intel Core i7-13700H (Raptor Lake, Intel 7), 14 cores/20 threads, 2.4-5.0 GHz
Graphics. Intel Iris Xe, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop 6 GB GDDR6
Storage 2xSSD 512 GB NVMe PCIe 4.0 x4
Communications. Killer Wireless Wi-Fi 6E 1675i (802.11ax) (Dual band) 2*2 + Bluetooth 5.2
Connectors 2xUSB Type-C 4 (with support for DisplayPort, Power Delivery, Thunderbolt 4), USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, HDMI 2.1, Kensington Lock, MicroSD, 3.5mm audio
Camera FullHD
Battery. 76Wh, 4-cell
Acer Swift X 14
GeForce RTX graphics and OLED display in a compact metal case

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