Whereas the Microsoft Surface Pro is a beautiful piece of package, the Acer Swap 5 is a exceptional various that received’t hit your pockets fairly as exhausting. You get the identical diploma of portability and specs, although there just a few compromises you’ll should put up with.
It’s a tool that’s perfect for college students who have to take fast notes at school, or for designers that have to fast sketch or annotate issues throughout conferences. For illustrators it’s an incredible sketchpad for fast concepts when inspiration hits, and for media hoarders it’s a cushty dimension to prop up and revel in some Netflix in mattress or on the go.
Pricing and availability
Pricing for our Acer Swap 5 evaluation unit is available in at $799 or AED three,999 (about £610, A$1,090). That’s not a nasty deal, contemplating a same-spec Microsoft Floor Professional retails at $1,299 (about £990, A$1,770, AED four,900), and that’s excluding the keyboard cowl and Floor Pen.
Sadly, the Swap 5 doesn't come touting the newest Intel Coffee Lake processor. That stated, the out there Kaby Lake Refresh CPU choices are not any slouch and it helps to maintain the worth tag down. The Swap 5 is out there now in most areas, with an Intel Core i7-7500U 512GB storage mannequin additionally on provide for people who want the additional little bit of house.
The Swap 5 is a cultured piece of package, with a slight industrial appear and feel to it. The darkish gray aluminum casing is fortunately solely vulnerable to slight smudges, that are straightforward to wipe off. There’s a little bit of a heft to the Swap 5 as nicely, with no seen flex to the display or chassis. Oddly, there’s a slight grooved in edge that runs across the perimeter of the system, but it surely appears to be extra for a visible impact than anything.
On the left facet you’ve acquired the quantity rocker in addition to the ability button with built-in fingerprint reader. It's usually fairly fast to unlock the Swap 5 with Home windows Hiya and our registered fingerprint, which makes it straightforward to unlock the system for a presentation or fast assembly.
The best facet sports activities the ability connector, one USB three.zero Kind-A port, and a 1x USB three.1 Kind-C port, which ought to suffice on your fundamental connectivity wants. Proper above the 1MP entrance digicam on the very prime is the microSD reader, which is a barely odd place for it to be situated, as we might have favored this to be on the perimeters of the system as an alternative.
On the again there’s a 3MP digicam must you want it, in addition to the Swap 5’s kickstand. It’s designed to regulate mechanically relying in your viewing angle, so should you push it too far again, you possibly can simply tilt the Swap 5 ahead slightly bit for a greater viewing angle – a easy, one-handed operation. You’ll be able to push the system all the best way all the way down to a 165-degree angle, which ought to go well with just about most utilization situations.
What we don’t notably like in regards to the kickstand is how tough it’s to pry away from the principle physique. The kickstand sits nearly flush with the Swap 5’s physique and there’s no straightforward groove to latch on to love on the Floor Professional, so that you’ll be fumbling and lodging your fingernail in between the unforgiving metallic items till it comes aside (the kickstand, not your fingernail).
It’s a critical design flaw on Acer’s half, and we’re hoping that future fashions introduce a a lot simpler method to get the kickstand out. It additionally makes a loud snapping noise whenever you shut it, so use warning whenever you’re doing so to keep away from startling anybody close to you.
What we did respect, nonetheless, is the truth that the Swap 5 comes with a snap-on keyboard that doubles as a display cowl. It’s well-spaced and backlit, making it nice for typing on most secure surfaces. The truth that it’s included within the value you’re paying for the Swap 5 is definitely an enormous plus level.
The keyboard attaches securely through magnets to the Swap 5's backside edge, and there’s a second row of hid magnets that attaches to the underside bezel, thus tilting the keyboard at a slight angle for higher typing. For moments whenever you don’t want the keyboard, you possibly can merely detach it or fold all of it the best way again (the place it can disable the keyboard) to make use of the Swap 5 in pill mode.
The trackpad can really feel slightly cramped at occasions, however manages to do its job successfully. We really discover ourselves utilizing the touchscreen greater than the trackpad at occasions, however once more this can be all the way down to no matter feels probably the most pure to you.
Efficiency and Benchmarks
So what precisely would you do with the Swap 5? Effectively, for our on a regular basis workplace use the Swap 5 performs superbly, by no means as soon as hiccupping or working into points. Typing up emails and paperwork, flipping by means of tabs in Chrome, and having fun with a spot of Netflix throughout lunchtime was all accomplished with a breeze.
Our benchmark scores have been nothing extraordinary, however highlights the Swap 5 as a greater than succesful machine.
Curiously, Acer Swap 5 options LiquidLoop cooling tech, which forgoes conventional cooling followers in favor of a closed loop liquid-cooling system that makes use of the physics of evaporation and condensation to dissipate warmth. The Swap 5 by no means will get too sizzling throughout our use, and solely after watching movies for a really very long time does it get noticeably heat.
Whereas theoretically you can squeeze a little bit of gaming on the Swap 5, it’s not the most effective system to be having fun with a fast recreation of Overwatch or Fortnite. Whereas each video games did really run on the bottom settings, they rapidly wander into the under-30fps area, making them actually tough to play correctly.
Take into account you additionally solely have one USB port, you’ll definitely have to tag alongside a USB hub to attach a correct keyboard and mouse – or join them through Bluetooth a minimum of.
Audio on the Swap 5 is kind of mediocre – the 2 skinny speaker slots close to the highest bezel are hardly efficient in any respect, so audio sounds extraordinarily tinny. Acer boasts that the Swap 5 has a sensible amplifier and TrueHarmony to enhance audio high quality, but it surely doesn’t appear to make a lot of a distinction. Even should you’re stress-free in mattress and watching one thing on YouTube, you’ll need to plug in headphones to make sure a good listening expertise.
There’s additionally fairly a little bit of software program pre-installed on the Swap 5 – Norton Safety, Acer’s Care Middle, an assortment of video games, in addition to pointless hyperlinks to Reserving.com and eBay. Fortunately all of it may be purged fairly rapidly inside a few minutes.
The Swap 5’s 12” display sports activities a QHD (2,160 x 1,440) decision, barely lower than the Floor Professional’s 2,736 x 1,824 providing. However that doesn’t imply the Swap 15 is any much less sharper – each textual content and pictures are crisp, and video is usually acceptable to observe when trying on the system straight-on.
The place the Swap 5 does disappoint is whenever you try to make use of it in brilliant environments, and even in reasonable daylight. Even at most brightness it fails to impress us, so we’re relegating the Swap 5 to strict indoor use. The show can also be fairly reflective, so when watching media with darker scenes we will all the time see our dumbstruck faces staring again at us.
Throughout our normal battery life film check, the Swap 5 did a decent eight hours and 45 minutes earlier than it shut down. Throughout a standard day of use at work together with just a few conferences, we have been capable of breeze by means of with out having to succeed in for the charger. That’s fairly spectacular, because it’s straightforward to dismiss these type of units as having poor battery life. It additionally took the Swap 5 slightly below three hours for a full battery recharge.
Acer quotes round 10.5 hours of battery life, and this might definitely be achievable should you used the Swap 5 with all wi-fi capabilities turned off, which is barely unrealistic. Whereas we wouldn’t use the Swap 5 as an entire substitute for our customary workplace PC, it makes for an incredible second system to take to conferences or to journey with.
The included stylus is a dream to make use of, although we did have some preliminary recognition points when our palm was on the show. This could rapidly be corrected in Windows 10, and shortly after we have been capable of relaxation our palm on the display and draw with none random splotches or marks showing.
The stylus doesn’t assist angled use, however it’s pressure-sensitive and purposes like Autodesk Sketchbook actually shine on the Swap 5. It's straightforward to rapidly choose brush sorts and modifications utilizing solely the stylus, so for fast sketches on the go, the Swap 5 is a superb device.
We hope that future variations of the stylus include a chargeable battery, although having stated that the AAA battery is certain to maintain you going for fairly some time, even with heavy stylus use.
The Swap 5 undoubtedly will get prime marks in its general development and construct high quality, and is greater than able to dealing with on a regular basis duties with ease. It has sufficient battery life to handle most of your time away from the charger, and delivers respectable efficiency at a way more reasonably priced value level.
It really works brilliantly for designers who have to rapidly sketch issues on the go, but additionally for anybody who wants a transportable system for rapidly taking notes in conferences. It’s additionally an incredible system for catching up on their favourite TV exhibits throughout the morning commute, relatively than making an attempt to squint down at your telephone.
The sore level of the Swap 5 needs to be the finicky hinge mechanism, which could be a chore to open in comparison with the glossy kickstand on the Floor Professional. The lower than stellar show can also be a priority, and the audio high quality may have you reaching for headphones each time.
Whereas the Swap 5 does have just a few flaws, it’d be exhausting to discover a comparable product at an analogous value. The Swap 5 is definitely no slouch, and firmly earns our badge of respect within the pill section.