Acer's Latest Notebook Couldn't Be Thinner

BERLIN — Thin is in at Acer, where the laptop maker just took the wraps off what it says is the world’s first notebook that’s less than 1 centimeter thin. And even if there are other notebooks as thin as the newly unveiled Swift 7, it’s hard to imagine them matching the striking gold look of Acer’s new model.

Priced at $999 and due out in October, the Swift 7 was unveiled during Acer’s press event at the IFA trade show where it was joined by a lineup of thin convertibles that, while not as thin as the Swift 7, are every bit as eye-catching.

But it’s the Swift 7 that grabs the eye, thanks largely to its shockingly thin 9.98-millimeter frame — that translates to 0.39 inches for those of you who spurn the metric system. Acer’s notebook doesn’t pack on the pounds. When I had the chance to pick up the 2.48-pound laptop, I thought it might fly out of my hands. To put that weight in perspective, the 13-inch MacBook Air currently available through Apple weighs 2.96 pounds.

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To get the Swift 7 looking so svelte, Acer shed some ports. There’s a headphone jack and a pair of USB 3.1 Type-C ports — one of which powers the notebook — and that’s it.

With its lid closed, the Swift 7 has a black finish. Open up the notebook to reveal the 13.3-inch Full HD IPS display, and your eyes are likely to wander to the gold look of the laptop’s body. Even the noticeably wide trackpad is gold

There’s something noteworthy about what’s inside the Swift 7, though. The machine features a new 7th Gen Core i5 processor just announced by Intel. Other specs include a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. Acer says the Swift 7 should have 9 hours of battery life.

Acer makes other Swift models, and while they cost less than the $999 Swift 7, they’re also not as thin or as fully powered.

The $749 Swift 5 is slightly thicker at 0.58 inches, but it also manages to pack a 14-inch display into its frame. Its touchpad also features an integrated fingerprint reader. The Swift 3 costs $499: it’s also thicker at 0.7 inches, and it gives you the choice of either a 6th or 7th Gen Core processor. Acer’s budget offering, the $249 Swift 1, is also 0.7-inches thin. Featuring a textured design, it trades power for battery life, with either a Pentium or Celeron processor powering the machine while lasting for 12 hours, according to Acer. You can also choose between 32, 64 and 128GB of eMMC storage on the Swift 1.

The Swift 3 ships in October with the Swift 7. The other two models arrive in November.

Spin 7 Leads New Acer Convertibles

Stack the $1,199 Spin 7 next to the Swift 7, as we did in Acer’s demo area at IFA, and you’d have a hard time telling the two machines apart. There’s the thickness factor, of course — at 0.43-inches thin, the Spin 7 can’t quite match the slenderness of the Swift 7. Of course, you can also rotate the 14-inch screen on the Spin’s 360-degree hinges, turning it from a laptop into a tablet.

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Like the Swift 7, the Spin 7 also features the latest Intel chips — a 7th Gen Core i7 in the Swift’s case. Acer also packs 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD into this convertible. The Swift 7 should give you eight hours of battery life, Acer says.

The 2.6-pound Swift 7 felt sturdy in my hands, and rotating it screen from laptop to tablet and back again was a breeze. I suspect people will be taken with the Full HD display, particularly how Acer got a 14-inch screen into the Spin 7’s 13-inch frame.

If not, the Swift lineup of convertibles features other options. The Swift 5 has a 13.3-inch display and promises longer battery life — 10 hours — than the Swift 7; the $599 convertible runs on up to a 7th Gen Intel Core processor.  The $499 Spin 3 features a larger, 15.6-inch display — you’ll be able to choose between HD and Full HD resolution — with 6th Gen Core CPUs providing the processing. The budget Spin 1 targets students with a $249 price tag, though they’ll have to make do with Pentium or Celeron processors powering the convertible, which also offers a choice of 13- and 11.6-inch displays.

Three of the Acer Spin convertibles arrive in October. The exception is the Spin 1, which will ship this December.