In this year’s CES, Acer unveiled some very interesting Swift 3 notebooks. One of them is the 13.5″ Swift 3 (SF313-52). Indeed, this is not a very popular screen size to see, as most of the 13-inch laptops have 13.3″ panels. However, this notebook is fitted with a 3:2 aspect ratio display. This should be more interesting for people who browse pages and work with vertical scrolling content more than watching movies, or any 16:9 content to begin with.
On the hardware side, Acer gave this laptop the latest and greatest Intel has to offer in the ULV world. Yes, we are talking about the 10nm Ice Lake processors, providing it with the Core i7-1065G7 at the top end, and the budget-oriented Core i3-1005G1 at the bottom.
Ultimately, this laptop can compete with the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 (13.5) but at a lot lower price tag. Now, the question that immediately spawns is if the better price will result in a better value, or the compromises are too visible.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-swift-3-sf313-52-sf313-52g/
Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52 / SF313-52G) - Specs
What’s in the box?
Inside the package of this notebook we saw a 65W power brick, some paper manuals, and a Swift 3 (SF313-52).
Design and construction
Certainly, an atypical design from Acer with the Swift 3 (SF313-52). As it features a 3:2 aspect ratio of the display, we see a more squared-up form factor. This is expected to boost usability for business people, as well as any potential developers, interested in this notebook. They are calling the screen “VertiView Display”, because of the more vertical space that opens up. Additionally, we are talking about a magnesium-aluminum chassis that weighs only 1.18 kg and has a profile of just 16mm. Truly, the laptop is very easy to carry around and the body is quite rigid.
On the other side, this cannot be said about the lid. While it is presumably made out of the same material as the base, there is a lot more flex to be seen there. We give this to the large area it is spread, as well as the extremely thin structure of the lid, itself. Also, we weren’t able to open it with a single hand.
The next thing we’re going to talk about is the base. While there is more vertical space on the display, this is not reflected on the keyboard, whatsoever. Despite that, we are generally happy with the key travel and the tactile feedback, both of which result in a pleasant typing experience.
One thing that we didn’t particularly enjoy is the “Page Up” and “Page Down” keys, which are placed directly above the left and right “arrow” keys respectively. On the bright side, there is a fingerprint reader just below the latter. Then, the touchpad, which is a Synaptics device, has very good gliding properties, but we feel like the DPI is not that high. Ultimately, this results in a very slight feeling of skipping across pixels, which is nasty if you are working with small details on your screen. However, most people wouldn’t mind it, whatsoever, plus you can always plug an external mouse in the USB Type-A 2.0 port.
On the bottom plate, there is a duo of wide ventilation grills, which indicates that we should expect a rather big fan inside. Hot air, on the other side, is exhausted from in between the lid and the base. Another thing you will notice there are the speaker cutouts.
On the left side, you can find the power plug, followed by an HDMI connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) port and a Thunderbolt 3 connector. Switch sides, and you’ll see a pre-historic USB Type-A 2.0 and an Audio Jack.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
Nothing too exciting here – 11 Torx-head screws holding the bottom plate and some clips, which should be pried up with a plastic tool. A cool tip would be to start from the backside, around the hinges, as it is the easiest way we found.
While the cooling features a single, rather thin heat pipe, we were blown away by the fan (get it?). It looks huge in the tiny 13-inch package.
Expectedly or not, the Swift 3 (SF313-52) does not allow upgrading its RAM, as all of the chips are soldered to the motherboard. Thankfully, there is a single M.2 slot that supports PCIe drives. By the way, the memory is of LPDDR4 type – it’s quite fast!
On the battery side, there is a quite big 55.9Wh unit.
Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52) is equipped with an IPS panel, BOE NE135FBM-N41 (BOE08BC). Its diagonal is 13.5-inch (34.3 cm), and the resolution – 2256 х 1504p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 3:2, the pixel density – 200 ppi, their pitch – 0.126 х 0.126 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 43 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).
Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 466 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and also 448 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of just 7%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6670K – slightly colder than the 6500K temperature for sRGB. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 6700K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 34% Brightness (White level = 139 cd/m2, Black level = 0.1 cd/m2).
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio is excellent – 1400:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
The yellow dotted line shows Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52)’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 98% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 29 ms.
Health impact – PWM / Blue Light
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52)’s display backlight flickers at all brightness levels, except the maximum. Sadly, it also has a frequency of 200 Hz, which makes it especially harmful in this aspect.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52) has an IPS panel with a 3:2 aspect ratio and high resolution. Additionally, the viewing angles are comfortable, the maximum brightness is high, and the contrast ratio is good. On the color-reproduction standpoint, it covers 98% of sRGB, which makes the image punchy and saturated. Moreover, with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile you are safe to use the laptop for design work, as it complies with the standard Average dE value of <2.0. Speaking of safety, though… There is a very noticeable PWM across all brightness levels, except the maximum. It has a very low frequency, as well, but the issue is resolved with our Health-Guard profile.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52) configurations with 13.5″ BOE NE135FBM-N41 (BOE08BC) (FHD, 2256 × 1504) IPS panel.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52) produces a sound with relatively good quality but low maximum volume. It also has deviations across the entire frequency range.
All of the drivers and utilities for this notebook can be downloaded from here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/8233?b=1
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
Acer offers this machine with a set of processors part of the 10nm Ice Lake family. This includes the Core i3-1005G1, Core i5-1035G1, Core i5-1035G4, and Core i7-1065G7.
Results are from the Cinebench 20 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
As of now, the only available options for a GPU are the integrated solutions of the aforementioned processors.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|CS:GO||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||62 fps||40 fps||27 fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||90 fps||46 fps||26 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i5-1035G4 (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52)||2.47 GHz (B+125%) @ 90°C||1.54 GHz (B+40%) @ 69°C||1.58 GHz (B+44%) @ 67°C|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 7||3.07 GHz (B+188%) @ 88°C||2.10 GHz (B+91%) @ 76°C||1.62 GHz (B+47%) @ 67°C|
|Lenovo Yoga C940 (14)||2.46 GHz (B+124%) @ 94°C||2.29 GHz (B+108%) @ 94°C||2.15 GHz (B+95%) @ 92°C|
|Lenovo Yoga S740 (14)||2.64 GHz (B+140%) @ 100°C||1.89 GHz (B+72%) @ 83°C||1.66 GHz (B+51%) @ 69°C|
Despite the enormous cooling fan, we didn’t see particularly impressive clock speeds from the Core i5-1035G4. Especially, when you put it side by side with the Microsoft Surface Pro 7, which by the way is more thermally limited, due to the tighter package.
Comfort during full load
On the bright side, the laptop is pretty quiet under load. While the fan is definitely spinning, it is pretty quiet.
If we have to be honest, we rarely work with a 3:2 aspect ratio. We found it refreshing, as creators, and we certainly enjoyed having more vertical space, which makes reading our reviews easier by the way. However, media consumption is worsened, as viewing YouTube videos (for example) results in ugly black bars below and above every video. Especially, given the fact that more and more creators now go towards the 18:9 and even 21:9 aspect ratio.
Other than that, the design of the laptop is really smooth. Weight is super low and, more importantly, balanced. And while the body is somewhat structurally sound, the lid is flexing all over the place.
In favor of Acer, we would want to say that despite the flex, the magnesium-aluminum body is very well built and there are no annoying squeaky sounds coming from it. Additionally, the keyboard is great – it has a long travel and relatively clicky feedback. There is also a fingerprint reader, which is always neet.
Now, there is one thing that we would like to say – there is a backlight, but it has light-bluish LEDs, which make the characters hard to distinguish, especially if there is an outdoors light hitting them. Yes, it’s a teeny weeny minor problem, but we feel we have to mention it.
Thankfully, one of the essentials – the battery – is showing very good results. We got around 10 hours and 20 minutes of Web browsing, and playing videos will drain the battery for 11 hours and 40 minutes. Not too shabby.
Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52) has an IPS panel (BOE NE135FBM-N41 (BOE08BC)) with a 3:2 aspect ratio and high resolution. Additionally, the viewing angles are comfortable, the maximum brightness is high, and the contrast ratio is good. On the color-reproduction standpoint, it covers 98% of sRGB, which makes the image punchy and saturated. Moreover, with the help of our Gaming and Web design profile you are safe to use the laptop for design work, as it complies with the standard Average dE value of <2.0. Speaking of safety, though… There is a very noticeable PWM across all brightness levels, except the maximum. It has a very low frequency, as well, but the issue is resolved with our Health-Guard profile.
Next – the performance. Well, it is not great, not terrible. As we saw on the Microsoft Surface devices, the Ice Lake processors have a lot of horsepower. However, this laptop is not designed to extract the most of it. It is made to work quiet, cool and nonobtrusive. After all, this is not a workstation, but more of a business assistant.
What is more important here is to have fast and more memory. Well, the first checkbox is ticked by the LPDDR4 RAM modules, but the second is a different story. Since there are no slots for upgrades, you are stuck with a maximum of 16GB. And this is if you get the appropriate version that includes 16GB, otherwise, you might get 8GB for the rest of this laptop’s life. Thankfully, though, Acer was kind enough to include an M.2 NVMe-enabled slot for storage upgradability.
Also, the Swift 3 (SF313-52) features Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, setting it aside from the ASUS ZenBook devices.
- Ice Lake CPUs
- Decent battery life
- Covers 98% sRGB (BOE08BC)
- Our Gaming and Web design profile improves the color accuracy to comply with the standard Average dE of <2.0 (BOE08BC)
- Work-friendly 3:2 aspect ratio
- Thunderbolt 3 port onboard and support of NVMe M.2 drives
- No SD card reader
- Memory is soldered
- The unit we tested uses aggressive PWM to adjust its brightness levels (our Health-Guard profile deals with the issue) (BOE08BC)
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-swift-3-sf313-52-sf313-52g/