Intel released the Iris Xe Max GPU, the company’s first discrete graphics chip in 20 years. Although, this latest graphics chip from Intel doesn’t in anyway insinuate a competition with Nvidia for gaming laptops. This is because, it wasn’t particularly designed to accelerate games, but rather to complement the CPU to speed up the processes for a host of other tasks. Which is quite interesting for an ultraportable laptop.
The Iris Xe Max has featured in three laptops so far, and the Acer Swift 3x is one of them. The Acer Swift 3x is not exactly cheap for a Swift laptop, as it costs about $1200 for the version with the highest configurations. A 1TB SSD storage, Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a Full HD 14-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS display in a 16:9 ratio. However, there is a lower configuration version available for about $900, Core i5 processor, 512GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM.
But is the Acer Swift 3x worth spending $1200 on? Let’s take a deeper look at the specifics.
Build And Design
Acer didn’t go in line with the Acer Swift 3 design for the Swift 3x. Yes, there is a similarity in some aspects, but generally, the Swift 3x comes with its look which includes the choice between Safari Gold and Steam Blue instead of plain utilitarian silver.
The hinge also saw a change as it comes in electric blue, a color that pulls more attention to the lid on the laptop. The angularity of the rear corners is also nice and it contributes to its aesthetics. Although the bezels were a bit disappointing as they were slightly bigger than what you will find in modern laptops.
It has an all-aluminum chassis with a bendable lid and a keyboard deck with slight flex. Although the chassis is sturdy at the bottom, the hinges are stiff and they require both hands when you want to open the laptop.
The design doesn’t ooze premium, it is more mid-range. The Swift 3x isn’t exactly svelte too when compared to some of the other 14-inch laptops. It weighs in at 3.02 pounds and has a thickness of 0.71 inches. It is still ultraportable and light but it doesn’t feel as light and thin as some other laptops in its category.
The Swift 3x has a full HD 14-inch IPS display with a 16:9 ratio aspect. The color accuracy is decent but the brightness is not all that great at 284 nits of peak brightness. It has a 740:1 contrast, below the 1000:1 contrast for premium laptops.
The display will get you through Netflix and productivity work but it is nothing exceptional. Combine this with the 16:9 ratio and it is all quite underwhelming.
Keyboard And Touchpad
The keyboard looks and feels exactly like the one in the Swift 3. The keycaps are just as small which makes you hunt for keys. It is quite clicky but has a solid bottom.
The touchpad is functional, although small. The swiping is good and it has responsive buttons that might be quite loud. The Windows gestures are precise and responsive.
As stated earlier, Intel designs the Iris Xe Max to complement the CPU and speed up processes. One performance feature that connects the GPU and CPU is the Deep Link. This technology from Intel connects both to activate some refined capabilities. This technology has the Deep Link Dynamic Power Share, a feature that enables the system to switch off the GPU and hand over all of the system’s power to the CPU.
This will allow the 11th Generation Core i7 CPU to deliver better performance and operate with more speed in executing tasks.
The Iris Xe Max had a real impact on performance after being put through several tests. It blazes through productive tasks and isn’t bad in creative tasks.
The Swift 3x has a good range of ports. On the right, there is the Type-A USB port and the audio jack. On the left, a USB Type-A port, a Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C port, and the HDMI 2.0 port. However, there is no SD card reader.
The Swift 3x has a good battery life, which is quite shocking giving its performance rate. It delivers about 11 hours after a full charge in our tests. It will get you through a day’s work without hiccups.
If we were to put aside the Iris Xe Max, the Swift 3x is an ordinary ultra-book with components fine enough for $1200 but with an under-par design and keyboard. Trade your used laptop with us if you’re short on cash.
However, if we add the performance of the Iris Xe Max and the Deep Link technology, along with the solid battery life, the Swift 3x becomes attractive for its price.