Acer Swift 3X takes on MacBook Air with a whopping 17-hour battery life

Acer Swift 3X
(Image credit: Acer)

Typically, laptops go with ARM  processors to get long battery life. But the Acer Swift 3X is rated to offer a downright shocking amount of endurance — 17.5 hours of battery life on a single charge — on Intel's 11th Gen Tiger Lake CPUs. Sounds like a competitor for the best laptop title if we've ever heard of one. 

Yes, that also means the Apple Silicon MacBook Pro we expect to drop in November also has a challenger — and one that won't make you worry about app compatibility. Plus, Acer's looking to deliver great performance with the Intel Iris Xe MAX graphics first announced in the Asus VivoBook Flip 14 this past weekend.

Acer's also targeting the creative crowd by giving the Swift 3X a display that's rated for 72% of the NTSC color spectrum (roughly equivalent to 100% of the sRGB gamut) for accurate color output.

Acer Swift 3X specs

Display: 14-inch Full HD screen
Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i5, i7 CPUs
Graphics: Intel Iris MAX
Memory: Up to 16GB
Storage: 256GB to 1TB SSD storage
3 pounds
Thickness: 12.7 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6
Ports: USB-C, Thunderbolt 4, USB-A, HDMI

Acer Swift 3X release date and price

The Acer Swift 3X is set to come out in the U.S. in December, with a starting price of $899. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, it drops a month earlier (Nov., 2020) at 849 Euro.

Acer Swift 3X design

Available in gold and dark blue colorways, the Acer Swift 3X puts interesting colors on a traditional laptop design. It weighs 3 pounds and measures 12.7 x 8.4 x 0.7 inches, which makes it slightly larger and heavier than the MacBook Air (11.9 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches, 2.8 pounds).

Also, the Swift 3X looks to pack way more ports than the Air, with USB-C, Thunderbolt 4, HDMI and USB-A.

Acer Swift 3X display

Acer rates the Swift 3X's 14-inch 1920 x 1080-pixel display for producing 72% of the NTSC color gamut, which should provide accurate pictures for video and photos. Its 84% screen-to-body ratio is pretty good, but it doesn't touch the Dell XPS 13's 91.5% rate.

The only downside that we can see from here is that Acer rates the laptop display for 300 nits of brightness, and that's on the dimmer side of bright. The latest MacBook Air hits 386 nits, while the XPS 13 registered 417 nits on our test.

Acer Swift 3X

(Image credit: Acer)

Acer Swift 3X performance

Often times, battery life is sacrificed at the altar of performance. But the Acer Swift 3X comes in two flavors of the new 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake CPUs: the Core i5-1135G7 and the Core i7-1165G7. Either should be good for a day's work, and we look forward to putting them through the benchmarking tests.

The Swift 3X also packs Wi-Fi 6 connectivity for fast internet speeds.

Acer Swift 3X battery life 

"HOLY [expletive]!" is what I'll say if the Acer Swift 3X's rated battery life — 17.5 hours on a single charge — comes true. We look forward to benchmarking it on our web surfing-based battery test.

Acer notes you can get 4 hours of use off of 30 minutes of fast-charging.

Acer Swift 3X outlook

The Acer Swift 3X could be the laptop that brings Acer to the front of the best laptops table, if its battery life endurance matches the company's claims. And to do so with an Intel Tiger Lake CPU, available in up to Core i7? 

This is the kind of laptop we can't wait to try out. Stay tuned for the results, dear readers.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.