Review: Acer Swift 3 with Ryzen 7 4700U 8-Core laptop for $650. Octa-Core Monster (SF314-42-R9YN)

The new Acer Swift 3 is a thin and light mid-tier laptop capable of demolishing top-tier brands like the MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 13 in both performance and battery life. So, how is that even possible? Well the answer is a monster 8-core AMD Ryzen processor operating at only 15 watt thermal envelope. Acer Swift 3 is powered by Ryzen 7 4700U processor. At the time of making this video, this laptop was selling for an insane price. So, does this laptop mark the end of Intel’s domination in laptop space? Let's find out?

👉 Buy Acer Swift 3 with Ryzen 7 4700U 8-Core laptop


I think Acer Swift 3 is a big deal because for the first time, we are seeing an “8-core processor” in a budget thin and light laptop. Swift 3 is rocking Ryzen 7 4700U processor which is the first laptop-focused CPU from AMD with their “Zen 2” cores. Designed hand-in-hand with TSMC's 7nm process technology, the Zen 2 architecture boasts impressive performance across both IPC and clock speeds. IPC stands for instructions per clock and it represents how much work a CPU can do in 1 clock cycle. This CPU has a base clock speed of 2.0 GHz and max boost clock speed of 4.1 GHz. This high clock speed coupled with improved IPC means significantly improved performance over previous generation chips.
The fact that AMD has managed to cram in 8 cores in a thin and light laptop is no joke. That’s twice the number of cores that you will find in Intel’s latest 10th-gen Icelake chips. So let's compare these 2 processors. As you can see Ryzen 7 4700U beats intel in every category while still maintaining the 15 watt thermal envelope. In Passmark CPU benchmark, Ryzen 7 4700U scored 13,348 points while the latest Intel Core-i7 managed to score only 9,057 points.

So that means this Ryzen chip is 47.38% faster than the competing Intel chip. This is what happens when you bring a gun to a knife fight. In order to get 8 cores in an intel laptop, you will have to jump to a Core i9 laptop like the Dell XPS 15. These laptops are big and heavy and cost thousands of dollars. So long story short, AMD has absolutely decimated Intel with this chip. You will have no trouble running any application on Swift 3. Whether you are planning to use this laptop for internet surfing or casual gaming, or productivity work like word processing, spreadsheet or running intense applications like video editing & photoshop, this laptop will breeze through all these tasks without any hiccups.


Swift 3’s design ethos gives this laptop a refined and polished look. It features an all metal design using premium materials like magnesium and aluminum alloy. When I held this laptop in my hands, it felt more like a 1500 dollar laptop than a 650. Swift 3 takes a utilitarian approach when it comes to visual design. It is encased in gray aluminum/magnesium shell with no outside detailing, aside from a reflective silver Acer logo at the center of the top lid.

Opening the laptop reveals a 14 inch screen surrounded by textured plastic bezel and a reflective Acer logo along the bottom. Swift 3 has tapered sides allowing this laptop to remain thin while still offering plenty of ports. Despite its thin design, Swift 3’s aluminum chassis feels very solid in hand. There is little to no flex regardless of how you pick up this laptop. At 2.65 lbs, this 14-inch laptop is extremely portable, and more compact than Surface laptop 3 which weighs 3.4 pounds. Overall, I think Acer has hit the ball out of the park when its comes to build quality with Swift 3

Keyboard & Trackpad

Let's talk about the keyboard. Swift 3 comes with an island style keyboard with silver keys and white backlighting. This gives the keyboard an attractive frosty vibe which I really like. The keyboard provides good typing experience. There is plenty of key travel which means the keyboard does not feel mushy. The individual keys offer a springy feedback and you get a satisfying, audible click with each keystroke. These keys have a nice bottoming-out action and the layout feels comfortable. Acer has also included a fingerprint reader under the arrow keys on the right, which is great for passwordless login. It unlocks the device in well under a second even if the display is off.

One thing that I don't like about this keyboard layout is the power button. The power button is situated right next to the delete key, and is prone to accidental presses. So you may find yourself accidentally turning off the laptop while trying to delete something. Moving on to the trackpad, its wide and silver colored measuring 4.2 by 2.6 inches. The trackpad is made of plastic but it feels pretty smooth. Swift 3 laptop comes with windows precision drivers and supports all windows 10 gestures. So stuff like pinch and zoom, double tap for right click and customizable 3 finger gestures all work without issue. Overall this is a pretty good trackpad with larger than average size and snappy performance.


Swift 3 comes with a 14 inch Full HD widescreen display. It's an LED backlit IPS panel with a maximum brightness of 250 nits. This makes it a great laptop for indoor use. You should have no trouble using this laptop in a bright  classroom or office space. But this display will struggle outdoors. If you are planning to use this laptop on a beach in bright sunlight, you will be disappointed. When it comes to color reproduction, the screen does a fairly decent job. Pictures and videos look bright and colorful. While the color gamut is limited to 64%, it's good enough for day to day activity like web surfing, gaming, watching videos on youtube and checking out pictures on Instagram.

But If you are a content creator who color grades videos & pictures, then consider using a more color accurate external monitor. OK let's quickly talk about the screen bezels. The side bezels measure 0.21 inches giving this laptop an impressive 82.7% screen-to-body ratio. The top bezel is wide enough to house a 720p webcam which is adequate for zoom video calls. One thing to note about this display is that it is not touch enabled. Touch is a nice to have feature but it's not a necessity in my opinion. If you are looking for a touchscreen laptop, I would recommend checking out my 2-in-1 laptop review playlist linked in the video description below. This playlist contains detailed reviews of my pick of 2-in-1 laptops from Dell, Acer and Lenovo. Purchase links to all these laptops can be found in the video description below


Swift 3 comes with an integrated GPU based on Vega graphics. It's a newer configuration derived from AMDs’s 2000 and 3000 series APUs. Thanks to the new 7nm process technology, AMD has been able to crank up the GPU frequency. This GPU comprises of 7 Vega-architecture Compute Units (CUs), with a maximum clock speed of 1.6 GHz. As a result, the overall performance of this GPU is significantly better than the previous generation.

I was able to play 4k videos on youtube without any dropped frames or stuttering. I also played fortnite at low settings and got an average frame rate of about 60 fps, pretty good for a smooth gaming session. In 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, Swift 3 bested far more expensive Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 running on 10th generation intel core-i7 processor. Considering that this laptop is less than half the price of Surface laptop 3, I am simply blown away by the performance of this laptop


Now let's talk about the system memory and on board SSD storage. Acer Swift 3 comes with 8GB system RAM and 512 GB of fast PCIe NVMe SSD. While Acer is using a fast and power efficient LPDDR4 RAM, it's soldered to the motherboard which means you cannot upgrade it. But at least there is 8GB RAM which should be fine for most folks. I was able to run over 20 chrome browser tabs and switch seamlessly between them without any issues. The laptop always felt very snappy when running productivity apps like microsoft word and excel sheet. When it comes to SSD storage, the good news is that the PCIe NVMe SSD is user upgradeable. It can be accessed by opening the back of the laptop. If you are interested in replacing this SSD with a bigger one, checkout links to compatible PCIe NVMe SSD in the video description below

👉 Buy recommended PCIe NVMe SSD upgrades
👉 Buy M.2 NVME SSD Enclosure Adapter
👉 Macrium reflect free for SSD cloning

Battery & thermals

Let's talk about the battery life. Acer Swift 3 ships with a 48 Wh battery, which for a 14 inch laptop is average capacity. Historically when it comes to battery life, Ryzen CPUs always trail behind their Intel counterparts. But Swift 3 is different. It is powered by Ryzen 7 4700U, which has a brand new Zen 2 architecture and is built using the latest 7 nm process technology. This improved processor helps Swift 3 deliver some of the best battery life that I have seen on any AMD laptop. In my battery test where I kept the screen at 200nits of brightness, I got over 10 hours of battery life while doing light-weight internet browsing.

During continuous 1080p video playback, Swift 3 ran for ten straight hours before the battery died. Acer includes a generous 65-Watt A/C adapter which is able to charge the laptop from 0 to full in under 2 hours. It also supports fast charging, going from 0 to 40% in under 30 minutes. Pretty impressive. BTW you can also charge this laptop via the USB Type-C connector which is an added bonus. Regarding thermal heat dissipation, Swift 3 uses one heat-pipe and 1 fan to keep both the CPU, and integrated GPU cool. I would have preferred a 2 fan setup for extra cooling, but the single fan does an OK job. Under heavy use, this fan does get moderately loud making 45 decibel sound. Overall, for a thin and light laptop, I am pretty happy with both the battery life and the thermal performance of Swift 3.

Audio and webcam

Let's talk about audio. Acer Swift 3 comes with stereo front-facing speakers featuring DTS Audio. Even though the speakers are forward facing, they are located on the bottom of the notebook. Sound quality is quite good, with reasonable bottom end response for a laptop of this size. The speakers are reasonably loud measuring around 75 decibels and I didnt notice any distortion. Obviously for gaming or watching long videos and movies, I would prefer a nice pair of headphones. Luckily this laptop comes with a headphone jack and also supports bluetooth headphones.

Ok, now let's talk about the webcam. Swift 3 comes with a 720p webcam mounted at the center of the top bezel. I think the placement of this webcam is perfect for making zoom video calls. As long as you have good lighting, the video quality looks fine. Acer has put two built-in microphones to capture good quality audio while simultaneously reducing background noises such as typing sound. I think this is a great laptop for folks working from home who are constantly on zoom video calls. I would recommend getting a led light to brighten your face during zoom calls if you want to look good. I will drop a link to an led light with builtin tripod stand in the video description below


For a thin and light laptop, Swift 3 offers a good selection of ports. There is a USB 3.2 Gen-2 Type-C port which supports data, power delivery and displayport. So that means you can not only charge your laptop via this port, you can also hook up an external monitor via USB to HDMI dongle. There is no thunderbolt 3 support which means you cannot connect an external GPU to this laptop. You get 1 USB 3.2 Gen 1 port featuring power-off charging. You also get a USB 2.0 port for connecting all USB peripheral devices. There is also an HDMI port which means you can hook up 2 external monitors to this laptop, one via HDMI port and one via USB TypeC to HDMI dongle.

This can be really useful for folks working from home, who would like to take advantage of dual screen setup to boost their productivity. Swift 3 supports the latest WiFi 6 standard which gives the fastest and most robust wireless internet connection, assuming you have a compatible router. It also supports Bluetooth 5.0 which allows connecting multiple bluetooth devices to this laptop. One thing missing is an SD card slot which sucks for folks like me who routinely transfer pictures and videos from their cameras. But overall I think Acer has done a good job with port selection. Companies selling expensive laptops with 1 or 2 ports should learn something from Acer. You can design a powerful thin and light laptop and yet provide all the ports


OK, so what do I think of this laptop? I think with Swift 3 Acer has created a compact thin and light laptop with great design and premium construction giving it a very modern feel. You could easily mistake it for a far more expensive laptop costing 1000s of dollars. Considering that Swift 3 costs only $649, comes with 8 GB LPDDR4 RAM, 512 GB NVMe SSD, and has a processor that totally smokes the competition, I think this is the laptop to buy in 2020. So what do you guys think of Acer Swift 3? Please let me know in the comment section below.

Purchase Links

👉 Buy Acer Swift 3 with Ryzen 7 4700U 8-Core laptop

👉 Buy recommended PCIe NVMe SSD upgrades
👉 Buy 1080p webcam
👉 Buy M.2 NVME SSD Enclosure Adapter
👉 Macrium reflect free for SSD cloning

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