Sporting the brand-new Intel Iris Xe Max Graphics, the Acer Swift 3x is one of the first ultra-thin Intel 11th Gen laptops that comes with some nifty tech that makes it a great value device – if you’re willing to overlook a few tiny things. For our Acer Swift 3x review, we deep dive into the main features of this new device with an interesting selling point – the first discrete mobile GPU of Intel.
- Acer Swift 3X Laptop
- 65Wh Power Adapter
- Quick Start Guide
- User Manual
The Acer Swift 3x comes in an all-aluminum body which is sleek but has a matte finish. This helps not to attract any fingerprints. Colors come in “Safari Gold” which is our unit, and also “Steam blue”
In addition, despite being metallic, it weighs only 1.37 kg. This is fantastically light for a mid-range notebook that comes with both an Intel Core i7 processor and a discrete GPU solution. It is a bit thicker than the regular Swift 3, but that’s understandable. Portability was definitely the key factor in Acer’s development of the Swift series, and particularly this laptop.
The Acer Swift 3x comes with a military grade standard. It should be able to work even with occasional drops or bumps. The device itself is quite thin at 17.55m, which is roughly ¾ the diameter of a 5-peso coin. Being able to withstand minor physical damage is a great factor. The reason why it’s given this kind of standard is that it doesn’t have a lot of internal moving parts.
The only moving part, the screen hinge, raises the entire laptop slightly when opened. This provides better overall cooling overall, which is a pretty cool feature.
The keyboard is a standard chiclet-style type with white (non-RGB) backlight. It has a very soft, less tactile but responsive feel to it. This is perfect if you’re not the type who likes keyboards with noisy mechanical switches. The backlighting option is great especially for those who like to work in the dark. In addition, it also has a built-in fingerprint scanner on the lower-rightmost portion of the device.
The Acer Swift 3x has a 14-inch IPS Full HD (1920×1080) LED-backlight TFT LCD screen with an 84% screen-to-body ratio and 72% NTSC color gamut. It’s a fantastic laptop for viewing movies or editing videos and photos. Colors pop out brilliantly and at the right tone, not too sharp or not too vivid for usual use. It also has a solid 300 nits brightness rating, which means that while screen legibility can be great during a sunny day (seen in picture below). It will be a bit difficult to use in direct sunlight, though.
Bezels are quite thin. The screen itself has a matte finish, which makes it overall a real pleasure to use because there’s barely any glare. The HD webcam can be found on top of the panel.
The Acer Swift 3x runs on the Intel Evo platform, thus its built-in WIFI 6 improves connectivity greatly. This new standard enables the Acer Swift 3x to be compatible with WIFI-6 networking devices. This also makes bandwidth problems much less compared to previous connectivity standards. Take note though that it doesn’t make internet connections necessarily faster (that’s still reliant on your actual internet speed). However, WIFI-6 does make overall experience significantly better, especially when multiple users are sharing the network.
The Acer Swift 3x also has a Bluetooth 5.0, which also has remarkable improvements over the previous bluetooth version. This enables the laptop to be able to connect to two audio devices at the same. In addition, it also has BLE which will enable it to use bluetooth at a significantly lower energy consumption. Aside from a stronger reach with farther transmission distance, it will also enable twice the normal thoroughput at 2MBPS. This makes transfers using bluetooth much faster.
At the sides of the notebook, here’s the ports:
- Left side:
- Charging port
- HDMI 2.0
- USB 3.2
- Thunderbolt 4.0
- Right side:
- Combo audio (mic/headphone) jack
- USB 3.2
- Kensinton lock
USB 3.2 ports are great and enable a much faster transfer. But, do take note that slower type-A devices connected will still be based on their max output. The Type-C Thunderbolt 4.0 port is quite different. It allows the device to connect to multiple devices that have much, much more bandwidth capabilities compared to any standard. Thunderbolt 4.0 enables 8k video output or 4K x 2 monitors.
Intel’s 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 processor is a 4-core, 8-thread powerhouse with a max turbo frequency of 4.70Ghz. This provides exceptional performance for a fraction of the previous power consumption. It also houses the Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. Thus, the Acer Swift 3x does come with both integrated and discrete graphics; and switches between them depending on the load needed from the running applications.
On Cinebench R23, the Acer Swift 3x scored 4601 points on multi-core, and 957 points on single core. This puts it just a smidge above the previous-generation Intel Core i7-1065G7. While synthetic benchmarks are an indicator of performance, this doesn’t usually tell the whole story. The 11th Gen CPU’s of Intel do promise a better overall experience along with improved battery life (due to Dynamic Power Sharing and Additive AI), which we had experienced while using the Acer Swift 3x.
The Acer Swift 3x also has a massive 16GB of LPDDRX (low-power DDR4) DRAM which was built to consume less power vs standard DRAM (1.12v vs 0.61v) while increasing potential transfer rates. However, the DRAM is not upgradeable or expandable. The 16GB LPDDR4X DRAM is soldered into the motherboard and no extra slots are available.
As for storage, the Acer Swift 3x comes with a 1TB of PCIE NVMe M.2 SSD. However, it can be replaced or added with another M.2 SSD. There are two PCIE Gen 3×4 M.2 slots available on the laptop.
On Crystaldiskmark 8.0, the blazing-fast Micron 2210 SSD scored 2,126 MB/s read and 1,958 MB/s write on the sequential test. For random test, it scored respectable 594 MB/s read and 463 MB/s write. The random test scores basically suggest that transferring smaller amounts of data (i.e. thousands of small documents) would take a much longer time compared to transferring big files (a 30GB video file). While the difference is quite far between random and sequential, it is quite normal for some SSD’s.
The audio quality of the stereo speakers is nothing breathtaking, which is probably why Acer didn’t highlight it. Both speakers are found on the left and right sides on the bottom of the laptop. While playing music, output seems on the thin side, with bass a little muted. Overall volume is just but turn it up too much and overall sound gets too tinny. But hey – who uses built-in speakers nowadays? With a device this sexy, just plug in your favorite bluetooth headset and enjoy the device.
Although it can play casual games, triple A titles is a bit more difficult to play smoothly at 1080P. To be fair, similarly speaking, laptops with an Nvidia MX350 discrete GPU, which is the closest competitor to the Intel Iris Xe Max, also does have some problems playing triple A titles at 1080P.
In retrospect, Intel built the Intel Iris Xe Max for media content creation (photo editing, video editing), apart from the obvious physical benefits of the GPU being separate from the CPU. This makes devices like the Swift 3x run more efficiently compared to a laptop with an integrated graphics solution. With Hyper Encodel, the Intel Iris Xe Max GPU should be able to match or beat the single stream rendering performance of an Nvidia RTX3080 Super GPU (although definitely not its gaming performance).
That said, the Acer Swift 3x was able to perform enjoyably with 1080P gaming at medium to high settings with games such as CS:GO, DOTA 2, and Valorant.
The Acer Swift 3X has a rated battery life of 17.5 hours, with 57Wh battery. Using the included 65Wh charger, it can also carry 4 hours worth of battery life in just a 30 minute charge. One of the ports can also double a charging port if used with a PD3.0 compatible charger. We used a Baseus 65w GAN charger and it worked perfectly.
Our tests showed though that in real life, the actual battery life should be around less than 9 hours. On gaming, the laptop lasted around 2-3 hours (mixed use). This is great in comparison to other standard laptops, and the Acer Swift 3x should definitely be a worthy companion to a full day of meetings or a few hours of editing in the coffee shop.
The Acer Swift 3x is a great midrange laptop for those prioritizing the balance of performance and battery life. Packed to the brim with some latest-gen tech such as Thunderbolt 4, WIFI-6, and of course Intel’s 11th gen Intel Core i7 processor, the Acer Swift 3x is a portable, sexy beast. Although not an full-fledged ultrabook, it’s as close as anyone can get. The Intel Iris Xe Max discrete GPU does boost its overall value much more than standard laptops with integrated graphics. However, with some software still not optimized for the Iris Xe Max GPU, end users might have to wait a little bit more for compatibility updates to catch up to Intel’s newest GPU hardware. At the moment though, it’s still a pretty good buy.
- Processor : Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 processor
- OS : Windows 10 Home
- Memory : 16 GB LPDDR4X Dual Channel memory
- Storage : 1TB PCIe Gen3, 8 Gb/s, NVMe
- 13.3-Inch, Res, Ratio, Panel : 14.0″ IPS Full HD (1920 x 1080), 300 nits, Acer ComfyView™ LED-backlit TFT LCD, 72% NTSC/100% sRGB, Wide viewing angle up to 170 degree.
- Graphics : Intel® Iris® Xe Max Graphics
- Features : Iris Xe Max, Thunderbolt 4™, Fingerprint, Backlight
- Battery: 57Wh capacity, 17.5hrs rating
Acer Swift 3x69,995
- Thin and light, very portable
- Powerful CPU for daily tasks
- Fantastic battery life
- Great keyboard
- Thunderbolt 4 option
- Only 60hz screen refresh rate
- Iris Xe Max GPU full potential to be unlocked only with future updates
- Touchpad could have been better