Good things come to those who wait and if you've been waiting for the right time to buy yourself a new laptop then you're sure to reap the benefits in the form of the latest Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-384Z. This laptop makes a huge leap forward from most laptops within its price range by adopting a whole new set of innovative and cutting edge technology at a convenient price point.
Specifically, in our review of the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-384Z we're gonna tackle the SSD storage unit, 6th generation processor, fingerprint reader as well as its fairly extensive battery life. Make no mistake, if you're looking for a budget ultrabook that will meet all your needs then you most certainly found it. But enough small talk, lets get down to our review so you can see for yourself why we believe so firmly in this laptop.
Lightweight design with a high end display that won't hurt your eyes
The Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-384Z is an ultrabook and therefore being light was kind of a big deal. Many laptops have done this but few have managed to design a lightweight laptop that packs killer features at a low price point.
In this regard, the quality build of Acer's latest foray onto the ultrabook market weighs just 3.3 pounds and with a 14 inch display that's about the same weight as a 13 inch 2015 MacBook Pro. Surely it's not the lightest of the bunch but its a long way from your standard 5 pound laptop.
As for the display, it's an IPS LED-Backlit screen with a 14 inch diagonal and a 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution. If you think about it, this laptop has an even higher pixel density than its 15 inch counterparts which makes both image and text cristal clear. But that's not all this screen is packing. No, Acer has embedded it with its signature BlueLight Shield technology which is used to cut down on the blue light emissions managing to reduce eye fatigue when you work with this laptop for hours on end.
Finally, as if all on this wasn't reason enough for us to love this laptop's design, they went ahead and added a fingerprint sensor that links to Windows Hello meaning that the moment you securely unlock your laptop you're also simultaneously accessing your own Windows account. Pretty neat, huh?
To round everything up in a nice little bow Acer has also taken the liberty to add a backlit keyboard, making late night typing sessions even easier than before.
High end performance every step of the way
On a standard laptop within this price bracket you'll typically get a good enough processor, ok RAM and most likely a hard drive as the sole storage option. However, Acer's Swift 3 SF314-51-384Z isn't just any "ordinary laptop" and therefore it's managed to pack the best of the best onto its affordable ultrabook.
First we've got a 6th generation Skylake Intel Core i3-6100U dual core processor with 3MB of L3 cache and an impressive 2.3GHz clock speed. This isn't the best CPU in town, an i5 would've been a better choice like the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 proved, however, it's a good enough processor for 99% of the tasks most people will end up doing.
Stuff like streaming videos, editing documents, working with integrated development environments and doing some home video editing work is all fine with this CPU, though I wouldn't do all that much HD video editing if I where you unless you wanna have some lags on performance.
The next thing we're excited about is RAM, on this department we've got the newest DDR4 standard RAM with a 4GB capacity. Truth be told, 8GB would've been better. That said, 4GB of the latest generation RAM is still better than a bit more of your typical DDR3 RAM. Multitasking on stuff like having a bunch of browser tabs open whilst listening to music and downloading software should be ok but doing even more stuff than that at a time is not advised if you don't wanna wait around.
Finally, our favorite feature is the 128GB SSD storage option integrated onto this laptop. Not long ago having an SSD storage unit at this price point would typically mean you'd get anywhere between 16 and 32GB, however, now you that you've got 128GB, while not optimal in capacity it's enough to get you by without having to resort to an external drive for everything.
All in all, you've got about 80-90GB of free storage once you take away the space occupied by Windows 10 and that's not all that bad for a standard user that isn't looking to upload his entire media library onto this machine.
Overall, this set of specs is very consumer oriented. Ideal for students or people looking for a home laptop. It's got enough power to work as a main laptop though if you're really struggling with the storage we'd recommend looking into the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2 instead.
Up to 10 hours of battery life and a solid graphics chip
Battery life on the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-384Z is a huge pro, managing to deliver up to 10 hours of battery life on a 4 cell 3220 mAh battery. That's more than enough for most users and certainly enough for students on the go who don't wanna carry around a power cord. That said, battery life varies and so if you're gonna stream all your favorite shows in a row you might wanna have a power outlet close by after 4-5 hours.
As for the graphical side of things, we've got an integrated Intel HD 520 Graphics chip that, while not suited for gaming, should work well with stuff like Full HD video streaming and simple, low resource games like SIMS 4 or Minecraft.
Amped up connectivity to meet all your needs
Ok, that was kind of misleading since there's no ethernet port on the SF314-51-384Z but that's easily solvable by simply adding a USB C dongle . That said, we have a USB 3.1 Type C port which also serves as a charger and displayport connector, there's a standalone USB 3.0 port that delivers power off charging as well as a typical 2.0 port and an HDMI output. We've also got an SD card reader to view your pics on a crystal clear display.
Aside from this it's worth noting that the WiFi standard on this model is 802.11ac, which is the latest standard with a dual band antenna as well as MU-MIMO technology for optimal download speeds. Sure enough we've got Bluetooth 4.1 integrated onto this machine as well as HD webcam for seamless chatting over Skype or your preferred platform.
It's time to bring this review of the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-384Z to a wrap and in the end we're pretty excited about this laptop. As an ultrabook it offers the absolute best price to specs relationship at this time. Obviously it has a couple of things that make it fall behind such as a more constrained 4GB of RAM as well as its 128GB SSD storage unit. If you're looking to double these numbers and you don't mind extending your budget a bit to do so then we'd recommend going in on the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-52W2.
On the flip side, if you're a poweruser but your not into intensive multitasking and you don't really care that much for the additional storage then you could save big bucks and still come out winning by purchasing the Acer Swift 3 SF314-51-384Z at its very low price point.
This laptop is perfect as a student laptop as well as a home laptop. It's great to watch movies, get your docs edited and doing some light video editing. Couple that with a Full HD display, extreme portability and a fingerprint reader and quite honestly there's no way you can make a mistake on this one. All in all, just about the perfect choice for most users.