Acer Swiftly adds Kaby Lake to ultra-thin notebooks

— 4:47 PM on August 31, 2016

Pretty much everybody has announced new Kaby Lake-powered machines at IFA Berlin, and Acer is no exception. Now, this may be personal taste, but "Acer" and "style" are two words we don't usually put together too often. That may be about to change, thanks to the introduction of the Swift lineup of ultraportables.

The Swift 7 laptop is spear-heading this new charge, and it's quite a looker. Its black-and-gold chassis is made completely out of aluminum, and the 13.3" 1920x1080 IPS screen is covered by Gorilla Glass. Acer calls the Swift 7 the "world's first" laptop with a thickness of just a hair under one centimeter (or 0.39"). The weight is equally low: a mere 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg.) Under the aluminum hood, there's a Kaby Lake Core i5 CPU, up to 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.

The niceties don't end there, either. The Swift 7 also includes a 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter with MU-MIMO support, as well as an HDR-enabled webcam. A couple of USB 3.1 Type-C ports round out the package (no word if they're 5 Gb/s or 10 Gb/s, though). Acer says that the Swift 7's battery should be good for approximately 9 hours of mixed usage. This ultra-slim machine can be yours come October, for $999 in North America and 1299€ in Europe.

The Swift 7 is only the fanciest in a range of Swift notebooks. If you're browsing for something fancy but with a more reasonable price tag, look no further than the Swift 5 models. Though not as absurdly skinny as the Swift 7, the Swift 5 laptops are still only 0.57" (or 15mm) thick and weigh in at 3 lbs (1.36 kg.) Once again, Kaby Lake CPUs power the machines, coupled with up to 8GB of RAM and a choice of 256GB or 512GB SSDs, in SATA or PCIe flavors. The 1920x1080 IPS screen measures 14" across, though Acer says it fits a "13-inch frame," which likely means it has very thin bezels.

The Swift 5's keyboard is backlit and there's a USB 3.1 Type-C port on tap. Additional options include a touch-enabled display and a fingerprint reader. The battery is quite capacious, offering 13 hours' worth of juice. The Swift 5 is available in pearl white with gold trims or black with silver trimming. You can get your hands on one of these in November for $749, or 749€ in Euro-land.

Not all wallets can stretch past the $500 mark, and Acer is very much aware of that fact. With that thought in mind, the company created the Swift 3 series, a more afforable option to the upper echelons of the lineup. These machines' chassis are 0.7" (or 18mm) thick and they weigh in at 3.3 lbs (or 1.5 kg). The screen size is 14", and Acer offers a choice of either "HD" or a 1920x1080 IPS displays. Computing power is provided a choice of Skylake or Kaby Lake CPUs, accompanied by up to 8GB of RAM. Storage is provided by 512GB SSDs.

Additional features include a 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi adapter with support for the MU-MIMO standard, an HDR-enabled webcam, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, and a fingerprint scanner. Backlit keyboards are available as an option. The Swift 3's battery should last you around 12 hours. Prospective buyers can grab one of these laptops in October for $499 in the US or 499€ in Europe.

Finally, Acer has a cheap-but-cheerful option—the Swift S1 range. These machines pack 14" "HD" displays in a frame that's 0.7" (18mm) thick and weighs around 3.5 lbs (or 1.6kg.) Procesing power is provided by a choice of Pentium and Celeron processors, accompanied by 4GB of RAM. For storage purposes, users can pick between 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of eMMC drives.

Despite the affordable pricing, the Swift 1 still offers a brushed metal finish. Battery life clocks in at around 12 hours. Students and otehr folks with modest wallets and needs can grab a Swift S1 for $249 in North America by November, or for 249€ in Europe come October.

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