Earlier this year, Acer revealed a 13-inch laptop that was aimed at workaholics. It sported a 3:2 display with a rather high resolution and a very light chassis. Now, we have its successor – the Swift 3 (SF313-53). What’s different? Well, expectedly you get the higher performance and better optimization of the Intel Tiger Lake processor family. Yep, this means that you get the fastest integrated graphics yet – the Iris Xe Graphics G7.
Nevertheless, let’s keep the details for the lines below. Other than that, Acer is boasting with its lightweight design. To achieve it, they have used aluminum and magnesium-aluminum alloy. Yep, this makes the laptop a bit premium, so don’t expect to get it on the cheap.
Let’s waste no more time, though, and get straight to the review.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-swift-3-sf313-53/
Acer Swift 3 (SF313-53) - Specs
What’s in the box?
Inside the package, you should find some paper manuals, a 65W power brick, and the laptop, itself.
Design and construction
As we said, this device is very thin and light. The exact measurements are 16mm and 1.20 kg, and the structural integrity of the chassis and the lid is ensured by the magnesium-aluminum alloy. Well, the laptop isn’t what we would call rigid, but it sports almost no flex when twisted.
We weren’t able to open the lid on our unit with a single hand. Also, it is a bit twisty, and the finish is glossy, which is a bit unfortunate for outdoors users (although, there is a little surprise later). Additionally, the laptop sports narrow bezels, while the HD camera is placed on its traditional sport above the display.
Next, we go to the base, where we see a very pleasant keyboard. It is great for typing thanks to its long key travel and clicky feedback. This is something you don’t see often on a laptop this thin. Moreover, it has a backlight. Interestingly, the surface of the keycaps is smooth, while the palm rest area, and the base in general – is matte. On the downside, however, the “Page Up” and “Page Down” keys are placed directly to the Left and Right Arrow keys. It’s not a big issue, but can be annoying sometimes. And on top of that, there is a bit of keyboard flex as well.
Furthermore, Acer offers an optional fingerprint reader. Now, the touchpad on our unit had a bit higher latency than what we’d like, but since it is an engineering sample, we can’t be really sure whether the retail units will sport the same problem.
When you look at the bottom panel, you’ll see the speaker cutouts, as well as the ventilation grill. Hot air, respectively, escapes the machine from in between the lid and the base.
The I/O here includes the power plug, an HDMI connector, a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and a Thunderbolt 4 port on the left, as well as a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) port, and an audio jack on the right.
Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance
To get inside this notebook, you have to undo 11 Torx-head screws. After that, pry the panel with a plastic tool, and lift it away.
Cooling-wise, there are two thin heat pipes, attached to the CPU, leading the heat away to a heat spreader. Then, a medium-sized fan blows it out of the chassis – pretty conventional setup.
As you can see, the RAM chips are soldered above the processor. This means you won’t be able to upgrade the memory, so you’re left with the 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR4x RAM you get in the beginning. However, there is one M.2 PCIe x4 slot for storage upgrades.
Lastly, there is the battery, which has a capacity of 55.9Wh.
Acer Swift 3 (SF313-53) 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 and is very good for a laptop).
Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images at different angles to evaluate the quality.
The maximum measured brightness is pretty high – 444 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and also 418 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 12%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6470K – basically matching the 6500K temperature for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 35% Brightness (White level = 144 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 very good – 1450:1.
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 on 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 (SF313-53)’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 99% 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 (SF313-53) 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 = 33 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 (SF313-53)’s display backlight doesn’t flicker at any brightness level. This makes it comfortable and safe for use for long periods of time.
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 (SF313-53)’s IPS panel has a high resolution, comfortable viewing angles, high maximum brightness, great contrast ratio, and 99% of sRGB coverage. Additionally, its backlight doesn’t flicker at any brightness level. Another thing we were impressed by, was the color accuracy. Especially when our Gaming and Web design profile is present, we monitor an Average dE of 0.6, which is among the best we’ve ever tested. So, no matter your workflow – Web design, interior design, art, photography, engineering, or e-commerce, this laptop will provide everything you need, to get the most accurate color representation.
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 (SF313-53) 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 (SF313-53)’s speakers are rather quiet, and the sound they produce has average quality. And although the lows have deviations, the mids and highs are clear.
All of the drivers and utilities for the notebook can be found here: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/support-product/8631?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. This notebook’s 55.9Wh battery lasts for 8 hours and 37 minutes of Web browsing and 8 hours and 25 minutes of video playback.
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.
This device will be available with the Core i5-1135G7 and the Core i7-1165G7 Tiger Lake CPUs from Intel.
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)
Expectedly, you only get an integrated GPU here. However, it is the reasonably powerful Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7. There is also a “G” version of the notebook, which comes with the NVIDIA GeForce MX350.
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||160 fps||115 fps||69 fps|
|DOTA 2||HD 1080p, Low (Check settings)||HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings)||HD 1080p, High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||135 fps||70 fps||57 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 i7-1165G7 (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Acer Swift 3 (SF313-53)||3.55 GHz (B+27%) @ 95°C @ 44W||3.17 GHz (B+13%) @ 95°C @ 34W||2.32 GHz @ 64°C @ 17W|
|Acer Swift 5 Pro (SF514-55GT)||3.54 GHz (B+26%) @ 94°C @ 39W||3.27 GHz (B+17%) @ 94°C @ 31W||2.44 GHz @ 74°C @ 17W|
Interestingly, in the latter two checkpoints of the test, the Swift 3 (SF313-53) works at a higher TDP but lower frequencies than the Swift 5 Pro (SF514-55GT) that uses the same processor.
Comfort during full load
Although the temperature on the keyboard was not too high, we found that the fan-produced an annoying whiny noise.
Having more vertical space enables you to be a lot more productive. Would it be developer work, Web design, or just browsing the Internet? Indeed, multimedia consumption may feel a bit weird, because most of the content out there is has a 16:9 ratio, not to mention the 21:9 Cinema standard.
Acer Swift 3 (SF313-53)’s IPS panel (BOE NE135FBM-N41 (BOE08BC)) has a high resolution, comfortable viewing angles, high maximum brightness, great contrast ratio, and 99% of sRGB coverage. Additionally, its backlight doesn’t flicker at any brightness level. Another thing we were impressed by, was the color accuracy. Especially when our Gaming and Web design profile is present, we monitor an Average dE of 0.6, which is among the best we’ve ever tested. So, no matter your workflow – Web design, interior design, art, photography, engineering, or e-commerce, this laptop will provide everything you need, to get the most accurate color representation. By the way, thanks to the high maximum brightness, working outdoors should be no issue, even with the glossy display.
Also, you have a Thunderbolt 4 connector, Wi-Fi 6 support, and quite the I/O when compared to the Macbooks of Apple. However, the Swift 3 (SF313-53) bears some of the downsides of the aforementioned laptops. The biggest one here is definitely the upgradeability. While you can swap your M.2 SSD for a bigger and faster one, you won’t be able to do the same with the RAM, as all of it is soldered to the motherboard.
And even though the chassis is made out of aluminum and magnesium, and it feels great, while being thin and light, we feel that there is a bit too much of a keyboard flex. On the other side, though, the keyboard is on point.
As far as the performance goes, the Core i7-1165G7 is definitely a keeper. It outperforms the 45W Core i5-10300H, and the integrated Iris Xe Graphics G7 is nothing short of phenomenal. Exactly what you need for low-end gaming. However, we should mention that despite the satisfactory results from the battery, we’ve seen a lot better results than the 8 hours and a half of Web browsing. Especially from the Spin 5 (SP513-54N) that sports the same display – it got more than 17 hours out of the battery, but on the downside, its panel uses PWM, while this doesn’t.
So, at the end of the day, you get a solid laptop that provides everything you’d want, apart from the ability to add more memory and the lack of an SD card reader.
- Tiger Lake CPU, that provides capable integrated graphics
- Decent battery life
- Covers 99% sRGB (BOE08BC)
- Our Gaming and Web design profile improves the color accuracy to comply with the standard Average dE of 0.6 (BOE08BC)
- Work-friendly 3:2 aspect ratio
- Thunderbolt 4 port onboard and support of NVMe M.2 drives
- No SD card reader
- Memory is soldered
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-swift-3-sf313-53/