AMD has played second fiddle to Intel for years, but the chipmaker's new Ryzen 4000-series mobile processors are grabbing the attention of laptop vendors.
Acer is the latest to embrace AMD with the unveiling of its new Swift 3 and Aspire 5 laptops, both of which are powered by Ryzen 4000 U-series mobile processors and Radeon graphics.
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Acer Swift 3 and Aspire 5 price and availability
These two laptops are firmly in what we consider the mainstream pricing category.
The Swift 3 will start at $630 when it ships in April while the Aspire 5 will cost just $520 when it goes on sale in June.
Acer Swift 3 specs
The Swift 3 prioritizes portability and performance above all else. At 0.6 inches, the Swift 3 isn't the thinnest machine but it weighs just 2.6 pounds, which means you won't feel weighed down with it in your backpack.
The 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 4700U CPU inside the Swift 3 is a lower-tier Core i7-equivalent, but it should offer solid performance, especially for the price. We haven't tested AMD's 4000-series processors yet, so we don't know what exactly what to expect from them or their accompanying Radeon graphics.
The Swift 3 has a 14-inch, 1080p display surrounded by narrow (0.2-inch) bezels that provide a screen-to-body ratio of 83%.
If Acer's 11.5 hours of promised battery life holds up, then the CPUs powering the Swift 3 should be fairly efficient. We'll take that claim with a grain of salt considering the margin we often see between claimed battery life and actual real-world runtimes. When the battery is running low, you can plug in for just 30 minutes for 4 hours of juice.
Acer Aspire 5 specs
As a cheaper alternative to the Swift 3, the Aspire 5 doesn't have a svelte, ultrathin design.
Also, it packs a less powerful AMD Ryzen 5 4500U CPU paired with Radeon graphics. The chip should be comparable to a Core i5 CPU, so expect decent speeds for running everyday workloads. Other specs include up to 24GB of RAM and up to 1TB PCIe SSD with up to a 2TB HDD. Those max specs are much higher than what we typically get from such an affordable machine.
The Aspire 5 has a 15.6-inch, 1080p display with relatively thin bezels. Acer touts its Color Intelligence tech for accurate colors and TrueHarmony speakers for powerful audio.
All eyes are on AMD's new Ryzen 4000-series mobile chips as they promise to finally catch up or even surpass Intel. Acer's Swift 3 and Aspire 5 will give us our first taste of what the new AMD chips can achieve.
If they can deliver the same performance and efficiency as a 10th Gen Core i5 or Core i7 CPU but at a much lower price, then these two new entries from Acer will be the sub-$1,000 laptops to beat.