Acer has upgraded yet another of their strong selling line-ups. This creature’s new name is Swift 3 (SF314-56G) – G standing for a dedicated graphics card. Visually, it is hardly any different from its predecessor. However, the new device definitely feels more premium as it catches the eye far more easily.
Essentially, Swift 3 laptops are meant for people in a hurry but with “style” according to Acer. While we can’t argue with the visual pleasure, we can sure dig more into the performance and usability of this laptop.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-swift-3-sf314-56/
Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G) technical specifications table
What’s in the box?
Despite, the representative look of the device, the box itself is nothing fancy. Inside you can find some manuals, the laptop itself packed in a white cloth bag and in a separate compartment – the 65Wh power brick.
Design and construction
Acer has incorporated all aluminum design for their Swift 3 (SF314-56G). The lid of the laptop is made of brushed aluminum, while its edges are chamfered and polished. This definitely gives the Swift 3 an exceptional look. In addition to that, the design is simplistic and features only Acer’s logo on top of the lid. Size-wise, there weren’t any major changes compared to the old model – 17.8 mm profile and 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) of weight.
Opening the lid reveals the only plastic part of this laptop – the frame around the screen. By the way, in order to open it, you’ll definitely need two hands as the hinge is super stiff (it had to have a downside…).
Moving to the base of the Swift 3 (SF314-56G) we see a keyboard without illumination, which at this price is nothing unexpected. It feels clicky, while the key travel is a little short. Personally, we adore how the black keyboard sits on the silver body. The touchpad is accurate and has Windows Precision drivers, so it supports the regular hand gestures. Furthermore, there is a fingerprint reader which is relatively fast.
On the bottom of the notebook are located the ventilation grills plus the speakers which are firing towards the desk (or the area the laptop stays on).
|Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G)||323 mm (12.72″)||228 mm (8.98″)||17.8 mm (0.70″)||1.50 kg (3.3 lbs)|
|ASUS VivoBook S14||326.4 mm (12.78″)||225.5 mm (8.88″)||18.8 mm (0.74″) (+6%)||1.30 kg (2.87 lbs) (-13%)|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 330s (14″)||323 mm (12.72″)||235 mm (9.25″)||19 mm (0.75″) (+7%)||1.67 kg (3.7 lbs) (+11%)|
Most of the I/O ports are located on the left side of the notebook. There you can find the charging plug, an HDMI port, followed by three USB 3.1 (Gen. 1) – two Type-As and one Type-C, and finally an audio jack. We would love to see Type-C charging on this notebook as we see on some of the competition – Xiaomi NoteBook Air 13 (2018).
On the other side, you can see a single USB Type-A 2.0 port as well as a full-sized SD card reader.
Disassembly, upgrade options and maintenance
Getting inside the Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G) is relatively easy. There are no hidden screws. Just unscrew all of them and remove the bottom plate with the help of a plastic pry tool.
Inside we see a tightly packed space with a cooling solution comprised of a single (but bulky) heat pipe cooling both the CPU and the GPU. This is usually not the best decision since the heat from the CPU is transferred to the graphics card.
This laptop is equipped with a single RAM DIMM slot. We are still happy to see one, whatsoever.
On the bright side, the storage upgradability is on point with one SATA port and a single M.2 NVMe slot.
The battery pack, itself, is placed at the bottom of the notebook and has a 50.7 Wh capacity. This should be plenty for a 14-inch notebook.
Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56) is equipped with a Full HD IPS display – LG LP140WF8-SPP2 (LGD0599). Its diagonal size is 14.0 inches (35.56 cm). The screen ratio is 16:9 and the resolution is 1920 x 1080p which translates into a pixel density of 157 PPI. The pixel pitch is – 0.161 х 0.161 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from further than 22 inches (55 cm). From this distance, the individual pixels become indistinguishable for the average human eye.
Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images to evaluate quality.
The maximum measured brightness is 251 nits (cd/m2) in the middle of the screen and 244 nits (cd/m2) average across the surface with a maximum deviation of 8%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6320K (average) – a little warmer than the optimal 6500K for sRGB, which is not bad at all. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is 6160K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from uniformity perspective. In other words the leakage of light from the light source. The illustration below shows how matters are for operational brightness levels (approximately 140 nits) – in this particular case at 57% Brightness (White level = 138 cd/m2, Black level = 0.12 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 good – 1130:1.
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 (SF314-56)’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers just 54% 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 (SF314-56) 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 = 31 ms.
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.
Gladly, there is no flickering on Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56)’s screen to be seen. This makes it comfortable for extended work sessions or a full season of Game of Thrones 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.
Lenovo had used a pretty budget 14″ Full HD IPS panel for IdeaPad 330s (14″). While it has the main pros of an IPS display like comfortable viewing angles and good contrast ratio, all the other specs are mediocre. It covers just half of the sRGB colors and uses aggressive PWM for brightness adjustment. However, we have a fix for the latter in the form of 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 (SF314-56) configurations with 14.0″ BOE LG LP140WF8-SPP2 (LGD0599) (FHD, 1920 × 1080) IPS.
*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.
THealth-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 (SF314-56)’s speakers sound good enough. Their tones are clear of noise in the low, mid and high-frequency range.
The configuration of Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G) we got came with Windows 10 preinstalled. However, if you wish to reinstall the OS of your system or you ever have any problems, you can find all the drivers and utilities on Acer’s support page: https://www.acer.com/ac/en/LA/content/support-product/7779?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. Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G) comes with a 50.7 Wh battery pack.
This helps the notebook go through 11 hours and 40 minutes browsing the web and 10 hours and a half playing videos. Truly impressive. However the dedicated GeForce MX150, despite being very energy efficient, sucked the battery charge for just over an hour.
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.
As of the moment of writing this review, Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G) is available with three CPU choices. All of them are from the Whiskey Lake line-up: Intel Core i3-8145U, (two cores / four threads), Intel Core i5-8265U (four cores / eight threads), Intel Core i7-8565U (four cores / eight threads).
Results are from the Cinebench 15 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)
If you won’t settle with an integrated UHD 620, you can get this laptop with NVIDIA GeForce MX150. It operates at a relatively high base frequency of 1469 MHz, while the Boost frequencies can go up to 1532 MHz. The GPU incorporates 384 shaders (CUDA) cores while the memory is clocked at 6008MHz (effective). Moreover, it has a TDP of 25W compared to up to 40W used by GTX 1050.
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)
MX150 performed as usual, if not a little better than the majority of the laptops using this GPU.
|CS:GO||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G)||120 fps||92 fps||64 fps|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||116 fps||93 fps||74 fps|
|DOTA 2||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G)||83 fps||63 fps||48 fps|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||86 fps||56 fps||45 fps|
|TC Rainbow Six Siege||HD 768p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 768p, High (Check settings)||HD 768p, Very High (Check settings)|
|Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G)||89 fps||72 fps||68 fps|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||78 fps||67 fps||63 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||HD 768p, Lowest (Check settings)||HD 768p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 768p, Very High (Check settings)|
|Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G)||68 fps||45 fps||14 fps|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||61 fps||42 fps||14 fps|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||90 fps||35 fps||17 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 temperature (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i5-8265U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G)||2.67 GHz (B+67%)@ 93°C||2.16 GHz (B+35%)@ 86°C||1.66 GHz (B+4%)@ 71°C|
|Acer Aspire 5 A515-52G-55KB||3.07 GHz (B+92%)@ 93°C||1.84 GHz (B+15%)@ 63°C||1.87 GHz (B+17%)@ 67°C|
Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G) is not equipped with one of the best cooling out there. The single heat pipe just manages to keep the frequencies above the base at the end of the test. In addition to that, the maximum clock speeds we got was 2.67 GHz at the whopping 93C. For refference, the 15-inch budget Aspire 5 A515-52G at the same time period was able to push 400 MHz more.
|NVIDIA GeForce MX150||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G)||1604 MHz @ 77°C||1560 MHz @ 77°C|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||1591 MHz (-1%) @ 74°C (-4%)||1475 MHz (-5%) @ 74°C (-4%)|
|Acer Aspire 5 (A515-52G)||1341 MHz (-16%) @ 74°C (-4%)||1280 MHz (-18%) @ 74°C (-4%)|
On the GPU side though, the picture looks quite different. We see a major difference in the frequencies, compared to the Aspire 5. However, this comes at the expense of a little higher temperature.
Looking at the IR image of Swift 3 (SF314-56G) during gaming shows us what we were fearing the entire time. Acer Swift 3 … is a rainbow. With the heat becoming less intensive from the top left corner down to the bottom right one it should be no problem for your hands. The highest temperature it reached was around 48C between the “4” and “5” keys.
Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G) is one of the most beautiful laptops on the market. Its brushed aluminum finish and polished chamfered edges help it “shine” above the competition. Well… at least in this aspect. One of the main target groups for this device is business people and students. Believe us, it is definitely going to ramp up your reputation points in society.
However, there are quite many obstacles on the inside – the keyboard is nothing spectacular – it’s travel is too short and doesn’t have backlight illumination. This is where it lacks the most against some of its notable competitors – Lenovo Ideapad 330s (14″) and the ASUS VivoBook S14 S410.
Its screen is also not a spectacular one. Acer has picked a budget panel (LG LP140WF8-SPP2 (LGD0559)) with just 54% of sRGB coverage and maximum brightness of 250 nits. However, its white balance is warmer than the standard, which is not bad and it doesn’t use PWM for brightness adjustment – at least it is safe for extended periods of use.
On the performance side, however, Acer Swift 3 (SF314-56G) feels snappy and gaming performance is pretty good for an MX150 GPU. Not only that, but it had amazing battery life – more than 11 hours of web browsing and 10 hours and a half of video playback. However, we would recommend buying a laptop with an SSD drive, since the one we got seemed a little sluggish in the file explorer.
- Adequately priced
- Doesn’t use PWM to adjust screen brightness (LG LP140WF8-SPP2 (LGD0559))
- Exceptional battery life
- Elegant and robust build
- GeForce MX150 option
- Good upgradability
- Keyboard has a very short travel
- Only 54% coverage of sRGB (LG LP140WF8-SPP2 (LGD0559))
- Keyboard lacks backlight
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-swift-3-sf314-56/