Hands on with Acer’s new Swift 3 and Spin laptops

This year at CES 2020, Acer went big on creators and gaming, but in the consumer PC space, there weren't any new premium products. For the last two years, we've seen a new Swift 7, but it seems like Intel's Ice Lake Y isn't ready yet.

On the Swift side of things, we got two new Swift 3 models, one of which is powered by Intel Ice Lake processors, while the other includes AMD's new 7nm Ryzen 4000 chips. As you can see above, they come in two different sizes.

The Intel model has a 13.5-inch screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio and an 83.65% screen-to-body ratio. The AMD model has a smaller 14-inch 16:9 screen. They're the same width, coming in at 15.95mm, and they both weigh in at around 2.6 pounds.

What's interesting about these PCs is that the Intel and AMD models start at $699 and $599, respectively. This seems to be about as premium as it gets at that price. They're made of aluminum, they're thin, they're light, and they have powerful internals.

I did note some compromises when I reviewed the Swift 3 last year, such as the inability to charge via USB Type-C. Unfortunately, we can see that they still have a dedicated charging port.

The Intel model will be available in March, while the AMD model is coming in May.

The other thing that Acer announced in the consumer space is the Spin 3 and the Spin 5, both of which are convertibles. They also include Intel Ice Lake processors, meaning that the 10nm CPU is paired with Intel's Iris Plus Graphics.

Spin 5

The main difference between the two devices is the size. The Spin 5 is thinner and lighter. Being made out of magnesium-aluminum, it weighs in at just 2.65 pounds, while the heavier aluminum Spin 3 weighs in at 3.31 pounds.

They have a Wacom pen built into them, and the device charges the pen while it's stored, so that's something that you never have to worry about. And if it does die, you can get an hour of usage on just a few seconds of charge time.

Another thing that's interesting here is that the fingerprint sensor is actually located in the top-left corner of the trackpad. It's certainly a unique placement of the sensor, although I think we've all decided that the best place for a fingerprint reader is in the power button.

Spin 3

That's about it. The highlights of these PCs are that they're all thinner and lighter than they were last year, and of course, that they have new internals. Both Intel and AMD made significant improvements this year with Ice Lake and Ryzen 4000, so it's definitely worth noting.

The Spin 5 is coming in June starting at $899, and the Spin 3 is coming in April starting at $699.

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