Acer Swift 5 is a super-light Dell XPS 13 rival with Tiger Lake power

Acer Swift 5
(Image credit: Acer)

Acer’s Swift laptops have always treaded the line between being very lightweight and affordable while packing enough power to be capable workhorse machines when out and about. And that’s what the new Acer Swift 5 is trying to do once again. 

Revealed at Acer’s annual GPC Next event, the Swift 5 is one of the first laptops that’ll come with Intel’s new Tiger Lake mobile chips. And with a tweaked design, it could be a contender for one of the best laptops when it arrives later this year. 

Here's everything we know about the Acer Swift 5 so far, and what you can expect from the company's new slim laptop. 

Acer Swift 5 release date 

Despite being revealed today, the Acer Swift 5 won’t arrive until October.

The reason for that is likely down to Acer waiting on Intel to release its upcoming Tiger Lake processors. These promise to deliver a hike in both CPU and integrated graphics performance over the current 10th generation Intel Ice Lake chips found in slim machines like the Surface Pro 7

Acer Swift 5 price  

The Acer Swift 5 will start at $999.99 in the US, €1,099 in Europe and roughly £1,000 in the UK. That gives it a price tag on par with its predecessor. 

At the thousand dollar mark, the Swift 5 is reasonably well priced for a laptop that’s both thin and light but offers access to the latest Intel chips. However, configurations are set to vary region to region, so expect prices to also vary and get a little steeper once things like optional discreet graphics cards are added into the mix. 

Acer Swift 5 specs  

Acer Swift 5

(Image credit: Acer)

Not only will the Acer Swift 5 have access to Intel Tiger Lake CPUs, it will also have the option to be specced with an Nvidia GeForce MX350 graphics card. That’s an upgrade on the MX250 the previous Swift 5 had, and it should deliver a little more graphical grunt for people who want to do slightly more intensive tasks on the go, such as photo editing. However, don’t expect the Swift 5 to run modern games at high frame rates. 

Intel’s upcoming Tiger Lake chips will have its new Xe integrated graphics, which are set to deliver a solid boost in GPU performance over the Iris Plus graphics found in the Ice Lake CPUs. As such, there may not be any need for a dedicated graphics card if you don’t intend to do anything particularly demanding. We don’t know the Tiger Lake chips the Swift 5 will have, but we can assume they’ll come in Core i5 and Core i7 variants, tracking with the Ice Lake configurations the older Swift 5 had. 

RAM can be specced up to 16GB of LPDDR4X; Acer didn’t mention the starting amount of memory but we’d assume it would be 8GB. Storage comes in the form of M.2 PCIe SSD space, but Acer has yet to reveal storage configurations; we’d expect 256GB as a starting point and Acer noted that 1TB of SSD space comes with the top-end specification. 

If the Tiger Lake chips can deliver impressive performance, then the Swift 5 could stand a chance of challenging stellar ultraportables like the Dell XPS 13 2020, especially as its price could undercut Dell's laptop. 

Acer Swift 5 display and design 

The Acer Swift 5 has a single display option in the form of a 14-inch 1920 x 1080 resolution IPS touchscreen. With 300 nits of brightness and a 16:9 aspect ratio, it’s very similar to the screen on the older Swift 5. 

But Acer has trimmed the bezels slightly to give the new display a 90% screen-to-body ratio. And the touchscreen now has a layer of Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass, which promises to reduce the potential for microorganisms to grow on the touchscreen. 

Acer Swift 5

(Image credit: Acer)

Weighing under 1kg (2.2 pounds) even with a discreet GPU, the Swift 5 is still very lightweight. And at only 14.95mm thick, it’s still a super-slim laptop. 

You won’t notice any difference with the keyboard and trackpad layout with the new Swift 5. But we’re hoping Acer has improved the feel of the keyboard this time around, as its predecessor lacked a little tactility with its keys. 

Acer Swift 5

(Image credit: Acer)

Port selection is the same as well, with the Acer Swift 5 touting a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3, a pair of USB 3.2 Type-A connections, an HDMI port, Kensington Lock, and a 3.5mm audio jack. We’d have liked Acer to have squeezed in an SD Card reader, but no such luck.

Finally, the dark green with copper-gold trim is back with the new Swift 5, as well as a “safari gold” option, which is basically an off-white color with a slightly golden hue. Both these color options help make the magnesium and aluminium construction of the Acer Swift 5 look rather attractive.

Acer Swift 5 outlook 

The Acer Swift 5 is very much an evolution of its predecessor, with the main changes happening under the chassis. We’d have liked Acer to push the design a little further, but the Swift 5 remains one of the more attractive ultraportable machines you can buy.

If the Swift 5’s mix of Intel and Nvidia chips can deliver impressive performance for a reasonable price tag, then Acer could be onto a winner with the Swift 5. However, we’ll only know for sure once we put it through our testing. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.