Thinks about thin and light yet powerful professional-centric laptops and your mind's eye will probably conjure up an image of the latest MacBook Pro models. Yet, times are a'changin with the rise of properly powerful yet slim and portable Windows 11 laptops. And the latest to enter the fray is the 2023 edition of the Acer Swift X16.
Building upon its 2022 predecessor, the new Swift X16 sports a more refined design and now weighs in at 4.1 pounds (1.9kg) with a thickness of 0.7 inches (17.9mm). It’s a tad heavier than its predecessor, which weighed in at 3.9 pounds, but it makes up for this in the form of new Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 graphics and an OLED display. By comparison, the MacBook Pro 16-inch with M2 Pro weighs 4.7 pounds.
The RTX 4050 GPU should make the new X16 better equipped for handling games and other graphically-demanding tasks compared to the older model, which came with an Intel Arc GPU. Add in a 16-inch 3.5K OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and you’re looking at a major display upgrade over the 60Hz LCD panel on the previous model.
Other key specs include access to AMD Ryzen processors, topping out at the Ryzen 9 7940H, as well as 16GB of DDR5 RAM and storage that tops out at 2TB of PCIe Gen4 SSD space. There’s also a 76Wh battery and a strong selection of ports, including two USB-C and a microSD card reader, with HDMI 2.1 and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity for good measure.
On top of this, people who eschew one of our best wireless mice will appreciate the Swift X16 having the largest trackpad on any Acer laptop, and one that offers 33% more scrolling space than the older X16.
All in all, the Acer Swift X16 looks like a potential Windows rival to the MacBook Pro 16-inch, and the rather impressive Samsung Galaxy Book 3 Ultra. We’d have to see the OLED display in action and see how the specs play out in real-world performance. But at a starting price of $1,249, the Swift X16 easily undercuts the $1,999 MacBook Pro 14-inch and the $2,199 Galaxy Book 3 Ultra.
If you’re looking for a powerful laptop that can handle almost anything for a reasonable price, then the Acer Swift X16 should be on your radar. Keep an eye on Tom’s Guide as we’ll aim to get this laptop tested and reviewed ASAP.
More power in portable packages
Acer arguably doesn't have the brand clout of Apple and Samsung, in the U.S. at least. But its move to offer 16-inch laptops with OLED displays and the latest Nvidia graphics is worth taking note of.
When the likes of Acer and Asus start making keenly-priced laptops with impressive specs and features, it’s generally a sign of the state of play for laptops. In this case it's the rise of slim-and-light machines that seem to keenly balance power, portability and eye-catching displays to make laptops that are capable of both work and play and whatever else in between.
Sure we’ve had the likes of the Razer Blade 14 and Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 present gaming laptops in slim packages. But they weren't exactly affordable and haven’t adopted the more creator-friendly OLED displays; the 2023 G14 is going with mini-LED so that could be a notable upgrade.
In short, expect to see more laptop makers embrace 16-inch OLED displays, as well as tap Nvidia up for its latest GeForce cards. In the meantime, if you’re after a laptop that looks set to handle all manner of tasks for a reasonable price, then the Acer Swift X16 should be in your sights.