We tested and compared the Acer Swift 3 versus the Acer Aspire 3 in terms of Performance, Display Quality, Price, Portability, Battery life and more.
Above you can see the Ranking with the test results and below you will find the in-depth test reports of each Acer Laptop.
Ranking First: Acer Swift 3
- Pure & great image quality and comfortable screen size
- Fast loading times due to the built-in SSD data memory
- Especially light and slim design
- Insufficient sound quality
The Acer Swift 3 is known as an all-round talent. Thanks to its long battery life and the mobility that comes with it, the laptop has quickly made a name for itself. In the meantime, there are new models – we took a closer look at the Acer Swift SF314-57-58VL. In the Techtestreport test you can find out if the Swift model can convince us and what its advantages and disadvantages are.
The Acer Swift SF314-57-58VL advertises mobility in everyday life and is supposed to be space-saving and flexible. The laptop is delivered with Windows 10 Home and can be used immediately after a short setup.
We have tested the device extensively in everyday life in order to form our own opinion and to be able to draw a comparison to other models of the Swift 3 series.
Our first impression of the Acer Swift 3 wasn’t very positive. The material doesn’t feel particularly high-end in a closed state, and the light weight doesn’t contribute to a valuable feeling, either. The weight isn’t an advantage when opening either: The Acer Swift 3 is so light that it can’t be opened with one hand.
Moreover, the notch, which is intended for opening the laptop, is not sufficient. For everyone who likes to work outdoors, the low weight is a big plus point in return.
And when opened, the laptop immediately looks much more valuable. Besides the pleasant color scheme, the keyboard also contributes to this. The feeling while typing is very pleasant and the test device’s operation is intuitive from the start.
The key illumination, which can be adjusted in 3 levels, makes coordination easier. In return, the touchpad isn’t as precise and lets the mouse pointer occasionally jump jerkily across the screen when putting the finger on and off. Here, the purchase of an additional mouse is recommended.
The fingerprint sensor also doesn’t work reliably and often needs several attempts before it unlocks the device. After all, the fingerprint sensor is well placed and doesn’t disturb everyday life at all.
The display of the Acer Swift 3 is quite small with 14 inches and thus decisive for the compact size of the device. Although the display only has 14 inches, it contributes significantly to the high-quality look when opened. Even cinema lovers will get their money’s worth with the 16:9 format.
The Acer Swift scores 3 decent plus points with its picture quality. In addition to the Full HD resolution, which ensures razor-sharp pictures, the display offers bright colors and a decent brightness. This lays the foundations for a great movie night. If it weren’t for the sound…
Videos and movies are fun with the Swift 3 until the first sound leaves the speakers. The tinny sound makes sure that an unpleasant shiver is coming down your spine.
In a nostalgic way, you’re transported back to the childhood where tin cans replaced the smartphone. Nowadays, even smartphones have better sound quality – fortunately, even a decent headset can help.
The video quality, on the other hand, again speaks for the Acer Swift 3. With a refresh rate of 60 Hz, videos run smoothly and thanks to the intense colors, especially animated (children’s) movies are nice to watch.
The standard processor clock frequency is 1 GHz, but can be increased to 3.6 GHz if required. Thus, the built-in Intel Core i5 provides sufficient performance to handle everyday tasks in the best possible way.
The CPU temperature averages 45°C when working, surfing and YouTube. This is so cool that even the fan doesn’t show any signs of special efforts and the device works continuously quietly.
Unfortunately, the Acer Swift 3 doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card. This is also clearly shown in 3DMark in the time spy test. Whilst the Intel Core i5 scores 2.645 points, the GPU only reaches 468.
This doesn’t make itself felt in everyday use, but becomes relevant in games like Anno 1800 at the latest. In our test the game stutters even in the lowest graphic settings – and Anno 1800 isn’t exactly demanding!
The Acer Swift 3 also quickly reaches its limits in image and video editing. Simple video editing in Vegas Pro 17 is still no problem.
The rendering of a three-minute Full HD video with few effects takes 15 minutes and runs accordingly fast. A particularly positive feature is that the fan is again not audible during rendering.
But as soon as the first video effects and transitions are inserted, the preview of the video only runs smoothly under lowest settings. The Acer Swift 3 is therefore not suitable for current games, complex image and video editing.
Interfaces and Storage
The Acer Swift 3 benefits from its Bluetooth 5.0 interface, whose range is four times greater in comparison to its predecessor, Bluetooth 4.2. The built-in Wi-Fi 6 is also state of the art and enables particularly fast downloads.
In addition to a USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port, the laptop also has a USB C port that uses Thunderbolt 3 for rapid data exchange.
The 1 TB SSD hard drive boots up in seconds and executes installed programs in no time. Merely the size of the built-in RAM could turn out considerably more opulent in this price category. We expect more than just a built-in, non-expandable RAM bar with 8 GB RAM in an $800 laptop.
With normal use of Firefox, Word and Google Drive, as well as occasional playing of short YouTube videos and downloading of smaller files, the Acer Swift 3’s battery lasts around 6 hours.
That’s reasonable considering that many laptops in the same price category have a lower battery life. For commuters and people who like to work out of a café, this is always enough.
The matt display speaks for using the laptop outside of dark rooms. But it can also be used at night or in a darkened room without any problems thanks to the illuminated keyboard.
With its light weight, size and good battery life, the Acer Swift 3 that we tested is perfect for commuters who regularly work from out of town.
Frequent flyers who don’t feel like the boring in-flight programme will also get a great screen on which to watch movies and series of all kinds.
The Swift 3 is also perfect for writers and other professionals who edit a small number of pictures or cut short videos. And also users who are simply looking for a solid laptop for surfing, Skype and everyday use are welcome to access it.
Too slow for gaming, too fast for everyday use: This version of the Acer Swift 3 is too expensive with a purchase price of around $800. At least for what the laptop offers. We especially complain about the sparse equipment and the insufficient sound quality.
The hardware would also have to be stronger to justify the price. So we had hoped for more! The device can score points with its great picture quality, the pleasant typing feel of the keyboard and the long battery life in normal use.
Thanks to its compact form and low weight, the Acer Swift 3 is ideal when you want to work on the go, which is why it is ranking first versus the Acer Aspire 3.
Ranking Second: Acer Aspire 3
- Bright & good Display
- Cheaper price than the Acer Swift 3
- Fast SSD storage
- Ports interfaces not the best
Acer has a large multimedia notebook in its program with the Aspire 3, which should be suitable for all use cases: Multimedia, office and thanks to a dedicated graphics card also for occasional gaming and image/video editing.
Whether the $670 notebook meets these demands is something we’ll clarify in the review.
The Aspire 3 series from Acer includes a number of models. The 17-inch models are largely similar in terms of equipment: an Intel® Core™ i5 processor, 8 GB RAM and an SSD with up to 1 TB of memory and either an internal Intel UHD 620 or a dedicated Nvidia MX graphics card.
The Aspire 3 looks pretty good with its understated design. Apart from a reflective Acer logo and a discreet Aspire lettering, you won’t see any decoration on the front. Otherwise, the notebook is simply black.
The body is made of slightly glossy, the display front of matt plastic. The case unfortunately has a disadvantage. You can see fingerprints quite clearly.
You should therefore treat yourself to a good cleaning cloth if you want to have a respectable notebook. Because the plastic is quite thin, it can be pressed in quite easily and thus reduces the good impression that the workmanship leaves behind.
The keyboard offers you a number pad, as it is usual for 17″ notebooks. Its keys are a bit smaller than the rest. But that’s no problem in everyday life.
The keys themselves offer hardly any resistance. This makes typing a bit difficult to get used to and the error rate is initially quite high. Once you get used to the short stroke and the very low resistance, typing works quite well.
The touchpad does its job solidly, but reacts a bit sluggishly for my personal taste. That’s not a problem for me, though, as I use a mouse in most cases anyway. And a 17″ notebook isn’t really intended for mobile working anyway, but rather a desktop replacement.
The display frames are relatively wide and therefore look a bit old-fashioned, but that is the case with many 17″ notebooks. A webcam is integrated in the upper frame.
There’s nothing to complain about in the workmanship. The Aspire 3 has no burrs or edges to get caught on. The gap dimensions are even and small. That’s the way it should be.
The connections are the first time you get into the socket. A total of three USB-A ports are installed, two of which belong to the USB-2 standard. The third is a USB 3.0 port. Why USB 2.0 ports will still be used in 2020 is not at all clear to me. From my point of view this is a clear fail. By the way, you won’t find a USB-C port on this notebook.
There is another HDMI port on the left side, which you can use to connect an external display. Ethernet and 3.5mm headphone jack round off the connection package. However, I also miss a cardreader besides type-C.
The Aspire 3 17″ also has a DVD drive. Personally, I can’t remember the last time I used a DVD drive on a notebook. But there are still enough users for whom it makes sense.
The Aspire 3 has a matt IPS display that resolves with Full HD. This gives a PPI of 127, which means your content is crisp and clear.
As with all matte displays, you won’t have any problems with annoying reflections. The viewing angles are also wide. But that’s no surprise with an IPS display. The colours are vibrant, but the black level could be more accurate.
The color space coverage is perfectly okay for casual users. The sRGB color space is covered to 91%. The AdobeRGB (70%) and NTSC (68%) coverage is also within normal limits.
So you have nice colours for movies and can also edit your holiday photos without any problems and without any nasty surprises when printing. You can see how the Aspire 3 compares to similar notebooks in the graphics.
The display is pleasantly bright. At the peak I measured 352 cd/m², the average is 322 cd/m². On the positive side, the Aspire 3’s display is fairly evenly lit.
The darkest areas are at the bottom in the corners. But even these still show 295 cd/m². Thus, you can see the screen contents well even in bright surroundings.
The Aspire 3 comes with Windows 10 pre-installed, so you can start right away. As so often it is not a clean Windows version.
You will find several programs on the disk, whose use is sometimes more or less doubtful. Candy Crush Friends, Farm Heroes Saga, Forge of Empires, Netflix, Xing and a 30-day trial version of Norton. The good news is that you can completely uninstall the stuff you don’t need.
The SSD comes with 512 GB of free space.
When it comes to performance, there’s nothing to complain about. You get enough power for all the tasks it’s designed for. The Aspire 3 is powered by a tenth-generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor. It is supported by 8 GB RAM and an Nvidia MX230. The combination ensures a smooth workflow for image and even light video editing.
A Western Digital SN520 with 512 GB is used as SSD. It doesn’t belong to the upper class in terms of performance, but is still fast enough in everyday life. There are no delays and even large files are loaded quickly in programs.
The Aspire 3 is only conditionally suitable for gaming because the MX230 simply doesn’t have enough performance for current games.
Strategy games should hardly be a problem, but especially faster games should be played on another device. In addition, the 60 Hz display isn’t designed for them. So you would have rather little fun.
For the battery life test, I set the display to 200 cd/m² and selected the energy profile “Balanced”. The display brightness is 59%.
Afterwards I used it for my normal working day (Office, Photoshop, Lightroom, surfing). This meant I was able to go four and a half hours without a power outlet – a value to be expected.
By default the display is set to 40% brightness when you select the energy profile “Balanced” in battery mode.
If you stick to this brightness level and avoid power guzzlers, you will of course get there even longer. Acer itself speaks of a 5.5 hour battery life that the Aspire 3 should offer.
Heat & Noise levels
In everyday life you will rarely hear the Aspire 3. The fans start up, but remain pleasantly quiet. Even under heavy load it only gets a bit louder.
The temperatures also stay within the green range. In the stress test, the Intel® Core™ i5 processor warms up to a maximum of 82°C, the GPU is at a maximum of 80°C.
The cooling system thus does a good job and the Aspire 3 stays correspondingly cool on the top side.
In theory, all you have to do is loosen 13 screws, pull out the DVD drive, remove the base plate and you have free access to the components.
In practice, Acer makes it difficult for you to open the Aspire 3. The base plate sits very tightly in the case and is also held by many long plastic lugs. But with gentle force and patience the plate can be released.
Inside you can exchange the SSD for a bigger or faster version. In addition, the built-in 4 GB RAM can be replaced with an 8 GB RAM, giving you a total of 12 GB RAM. 4 GB are hard-soldered.
The battery can also be replaced if the worst comes to the worst, as it’s not stuck.
A multimedia notebook should offer a decent sound. As with all notebooks, the depths turn out a bit flat due to the lack of resonance chamber.
But they are present and easily recognizable. The mids are slightly underrepresented in comparison to the highs. The highs, on the other hand, are well hit at half volume and don’t tend to be shrill or jarring.
At full volume the sound image changes only slightly. The trebles become more present, but are not shrill or jarring. I like that quite well.
The maximum volume is not enough to fill a party with sound. That was not to be expected. But it is absolutely sufficient for a relaxed movie night.
The Aspire 3 leaves a mixed impression in the test. On the one hand, it is an all-rounder with which you can do justice to all everyday tasks due to the built-in hardware.
The SSD is large and fixed and thanks to the MX230, even image and light video editing is no problem. The display is bright and offers a reasonable color space coverage. There’s also nothing to complain about in terms of sound.
In terms of criticism, the incomprehensible focus of the connections on USB 2.0 and the renunciation of USB-C is clearly evident.
The choice of ports also prevents an unrestricted recommendation of the Aspire 3, which is why it is ranking behind versus the Acer Swift 3.
It is still a good Laptop though and round about $100 cheaper, so if you are on a tighter budget you might want to get this well performing machine.