Home Technology I tested Acer’s Swift X Laptop and its performance surprised me in 3 ways

I tested Acer’s Swift X Laptop and its performance surprised me in 3 ways

I tested Acer’s Swift X Laptop and its performance surprised me in 3 ways


Cesar Cadenas/ZDNET

ZDNET’s key takeaways

  • The 2024 Acer Swift X 14 is a little pricey at $1,400, but it offers a lot of bang for your buck.
  • It houses the latest Intel Ultra processor, Nvidia 40-Series graphics card, 32GB of memory, and an OLED display.
  • However, the laptop is held back by its limited battery life and underwhelming speakers.

I view Acer as one of the premiere manufacturers of work laptops in the industry. They consistently roll out great machines year after year, and I’m happy to say the trend continues with the 2024 Swift X 14. It has a lot of similarities to last year’s model, but with a handful of differences, as well. 

Also: This Acer laptop surprised me with one of the best OLED screen and webcam pairings I’ve tested in a while

One of the features I was happy to see carry over is the stunning display. It houses a hi-res 2.8K screen (2,880 x 1,800 pixels) supported by a wide array of supportive features. It covers the entire DCI-P3 color gamut and portions of the sRGB and Adobe RGB color spaces, allowing for a truly vivid image. 

Acer upped the ante even more by equipping the Swift X 14 with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, made possible for top-tier visual fidelity. But this wasn’t even my favorite feature; what I truly enjoyed was the 120Hz refresh rate.

Acer’s 2024 Swift X 14 is a solid laptop for creatives and professionals alike thanks to its powerful hardware and stunning display.

A refresh rate that fast is normally found among the best gaming monitors, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it here. Images look sharp and crisp, and UI elements feel very responsive. A high-end performance feature like this may not matter to the average office worker looking at spreadsheets all day, but photographers, video editors, and content creators will greatly appreciate the higher speeds.

It takes powerful hardware to support a refresh rate as high as 120Hz, and Acer included some performance-driving components under the hood to get there. The Swift X comes with an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card with a solid 32 GB of memory.

Also: The work laptop I recommend to most people is not made by Apple or Lenovo

These components performed very well during my tests, resulting in some seriously snappy performance. I had over 50 tabs open across multiple windows with videos playing, and not once did I experience heavy slowdown. Load times were almost nonexistent. 

Even though it’s not marketed as such, the powerful hardware on board the Acer Swift X 14 also lets it serve as a capable gaming laptop. It can run warm when the graphics card is working hard, but the laptop is well-designed, with a large vent on the bottom and a smaller one below the display that keeps the air flowing.

The F12 key also brings up the AcerSense app, where you can configure the cooling fans should you need them to work harder. Just know that the fans can get pretty loud under a heavy workload — to the point where other people will notice them. Also, the heat they expel can be uncomfortable if you have the computer on your lap.

Regarding the laptop’s overall design, Acer made several great choices here. It has a decent selection of ports: a couple of USB-C inputs, two USB-A ports, an SD card slot, and a HDMI port for connecting to a monitor. The speakers sit above the keyboard and fire upward for clear audio. As much as I appreciate the placement, however, the speakers aren’t the greatest. There’s little to no bass in the audio and they don’t get very loud even, when you crack the volume up to max.


Cesar Cadenas/ZDNET

You’ll notice the Swift X 14 isn’t particularly small. It’s not super heavy, clocking in at 3.42 pounds, but it is thick and bulky, and might be difficult to fit inside a bag. The keyboard isn’t the greatest either, as the keys feel mushy when typing.   

Also: This Acer laptop has a game-changing feature for media, and its price is just as nice

Also, the battery life on the Swift X 14 is not great. It seems all the solid hardware, specifically the RTX 4070 GPU, is taxing on the battery. I found the laptop can run for about six hours and 20 minutes at most before dying. If you try to push its performance, the battery drains even faster; barely hitting four hours on a single charge.

ZDNET’s buying advice

I recommend Acer’s 2024 Swift X 14 to professionals looking for a powerful work laptop capable of doing a little bit of everything. Its hi-res display and powerful hardware can tackle tough tasks with ease, and it can even act as a solid gaming laptop. Unfortunately, it does have a lot of bloatware. Nearly 50 GB of the 1TB SSD is devoted to software you’ll likely never use.

Another thing to keep in mind is the cost. Prices start at $1,399.99 for the model with the GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card, whereas the review unit I had with the RTX 4070 runs for $1,699.99 on Acer’s website.

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