Deal of the day: A laptop with an i5-8250U and Pascal graphics for $680

Howdy, gerbil! I know, I know, I know, we just had a deals post yesterday. But how about the laptop you see in the picture below? It's a hot one, and we couldn't possibly let it go unnoticed by the gerbildom at large. Let it be known that our Editor-in-Chief Jeff Kampman's exact words about the Swift 3 were "that's an awesome machine, I'm testing its 14-inch counterpart here." Endorsements don't get much better than that.

The Acer Swift 3 is a 15.6" laptop with a 1920×1080 IPS screen. That by itself isn't earth-shattering, but keep reading. Inside, you'll find the latest Intel Core i5-8250U CPU with four cores, eight threads, and Turbo Boost speeds up to a healthy 3.4 GHz. The processor is accompanied by 8 GB of RAM (expandable to 16 GB) and a Pascal GeForce MX150 with its own 2 GB of VRAM.

For storage purposes, the Swift 3 has a 256 GB SSD—roomy and speedy for an entry-level laptop. The accoutrements don't end there. There's 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi on tap with MU-MIMO support, a smattering of USB 3.0 ports (including a Type-C connector), and a backlit keyboard. All the hardware is encased in a metal shell that hides a 3220-mAh battery inside.

You might be thinking this was a $800-or-up machine from its specs, but that'd hardly be worthy of a TR deals post. Instead, you can grab one of these for $679.99 from Newegg right now with the promo code BFDEAL10.

Comments closed
    • NovusBogus
    • 2 years ago

    I want to see some performance data on these U-series quad cores. I’ve mostly been looking at off lease Haswell-to-Skylake mobile workstations for W7 compatibility and a real graphics card, but I’m starting to wonder if maybe I could get away with a sufficiently fast quad, Linux/Wine for most stuff and a W7 VM for the remainder. And it’s a LOT easier to source a U-series than anything else. Still won’t touch consumer grade peasantry for something I expect to use for at least 15 years, but it’d be a strong mark in favor of waiting for the next generation of Latitude/Elitebook/Thinkpad. In general, Intel finally forcing the not-workstation product lines to not use anemic duallies is going to be a really big deal.

    Plus, I think I can get away with Intel integrated graphics for current gen or better–that should run the old games I’m interested in, and sticking with Intel and its pretty good open source drivers sounds a lot better than trying to get Bumblebee working with CentOS 7 and new GPU silicon.

      • rnalsation
      • 2 years ago

      15 years out of a new laptop? I honestly wish you luck with that one. 5 years seems a stretch for a lot of laptops these days.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Did you mean 5 or really 15? 5 is a good long life for a laptop, and then at that point everything around you feels like a sizable upgrade. 15 is oof, early pentium 4 or late pentium 3 stuff. Do you mean you’ve lasted 15 years going backwards, or that stuff will slow down going forwards?

      Even with process node tech slowing down, 15 sounds like a heck of a long life.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    Does this mean a review from Jeff for the 15″ Swift 3 is coming? Sweet, looking forward to it.

    • tipoo
    • 2 years ago

    On some of these U series quads, the TDP can be software unlocked, and makes it perform more like the big 45W boys if the cooling system can provide. The MX150 can also have its TDP uncapped. Both together make for an interesting cheap combo, same as here:

    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IAsVlxppu8[/url<]

      • thecoldanddarkone
      • 2 years ago

      Honestly, this seems like a terrible idea. While it’s obvious the cooling can handle it, can everything else? Look at the notebookcheck review. It’s already at 45c (casing wise)@45DB under full load and that’s without unlocking both the cpu and gpu. I’d be willing to up the tdp threshold on the processor but not that much.

        • tipoo
        • 2 years ago

        If the chips are still running cool (well under the tjunction max) and the VRMs aren’t throttling, I’m pretty comfortable. The casing may run hot but if you’re not touching it that’s not much of a worry, and any aluminum laptop with decent chips will run hot (my rMBP 15 got uncomfortably hot to touch the metal between the keys under a load).

    • Welch
    • 2 years ago

    Yeah, I don’t see it as being in the impulse by territory. The fact that their i5 has 4 core 8 threads in a laptop is finally nice to see. The graphics are ehhh, 8gb good but nothing special, 256…cool? The backlit keyboard and Type C is a nice way forward… but nothing earth shattering.

    My brother just picked up on a dell with with similar specs for $650 from Bestbuy

    [url<]https://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1050-ti-256gb-solid-state-drive-black/5872507.p?skuId=5872507&ref=17&loc=11&CampaignID=871923&SubscriberID=514676661[/url<] Now it's back to $899.99. Quite a bit more graphical power for a little less. I guess the downside would be the lack of HT, so if you really need 8 total threads then that is sort of a bummer. Lately, I've been a stickler for 4c with HT or bust. I guess that is a product of being on 4c without HT since 2011 πŸ˜›

    • Neutronbeam
    • 2 years ago

    Hmmmm….to me it doesn’t seem like much of a BF deal. πŸ˜‰

      • morphine
      • 2 years ago

      You mean Best Friends deal? Sure it is.

        • Neutronbeam
        • 2 years ago

        No, no, no…that’s the BFF deal.

    • rnalsation
    • 2 years ago

    Same specs on the Aspire E5-576G-5762 but for $599.99
    [url<]https://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-i5-8250U-GeForce-E5-576G-5762/dp/B075FLBJV7/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510946759&sr=8-1&keywords=acer+8250u+256[/url<]

      • Jeff Kampman
      • 2 years ago

      If you’re into a thicker, plastic body, almost a pound more weight, and a TN display…

        • NTMBK
        • 2 years ago

        But it also fits an optical drive in there.

          • Jeff Kampman
          • 2 years ago

          I’ve needed a DVD drive about 5 times in the past 5 years. I’m looking at the screen and carrying the machine around all the time.

            • Chrispy_
            • 2 years ago

            C’mon Jeff, you didn’t actually [i<]need[/i<] the DVD drive those five times, did you? πŸ˜‰ How many of those five times inconvenienced you for more than three minutes?

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 2 years ago

        Not to mention 8 GB less RAM too…

          • NoOne ButMe
          • 2 years ago

          er, they both have 8GB, the one in the article is at minimum upgrade to 16GB. The one rnalsation linked maybe not.

            • SomeOtherGeek
            • 2 years ago

            Oops, totally misread that. Thanks for correcting me.

        • chuckula
        • 2 years ago

        NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT!

        • vonWolfhausen
        • 2 years ago

        but its an ips also…

        • cygnus1
        • 2 years ago

        .

        • cygnus1
        • 2 years ago

        Yeah, all that can’t possibly be worth the $80 difference, right???

        • rnalsation
        • 2 years ago

        For the record Amazon usually list shipping weight. That would be box, charger, everything.

        From Acer’s website.
        Aspire E5 : Weight (Approximate) 2.2 kg (4.85lb)
        Swift 3 15 : Weight (Approximate) 2.1 kg (4.63lb)

    • Kretschmer
    • 2 years ago

    The MX150 is only about 25% faster than that bane of laptop shopping, the 940MX. So, I wouldn’t buy this machine on the graphical prowess, unless you’re comfortable running non-native resolutions or stick to graphically-light games (e.g. LoL).

    That said, it’s a lot of laptop for the money, assuming build and screen quality are up to snuff.

      • rnalsation
      • 2 years ago

      The [url=https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+MX150&id=3789<]Passmark[/url<] (grain of salt) is fairly close to the GTX 960m. I'd take one for some light gaming on the side of my work.

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      The MX150 is the mobile analog to the desktop GTX-1030, FWIW.

      At least it actually is Pascal and not yet-another-Maxwell-rebrand.

        • Chrispy_
        • 2 years ago

        Yes. I’m actually quite fond of the MX150 simply because it’s modern and highly efficient for it’s puny 25W power envelope.

        I’ll gladly drop some details down to make (occasional) gaming playable on a thin-and-light work laptop which, primarily, needs to be portable. If I wanted to game all the time I’d get something 3x the weight with a GTX1060 in it, but I don’t πŸ˜‰

          • chuckula
          • 2 years ago

          The only “integrated” graphics setup that will clearly beat this is Rajachip so it’s a solid solution for reasonable price.

      • Chrispy_
      • 2 years ago

      Yeah, it’s not really competing against the 940MX (even though it would win). It’s competing against other things in the sub-25W GPU catergory, which is basically the Intel IGP.

      When you look at it in that light, the MX150 is easily worth including in the laptop; It’s a 1080p30 solution on medium-high settings, as opposed to the IGP which is a 720p25 solution if you dump the settings down to lowest.

      The AMD APUs would be an option if the Raven Ridge ones were out, but anything current (based on the old Bulldozer lineage) is just ridiculously outmatched by Intel.

        • Kretschmer
        • 2 years ago

        Again, I wouldn’t mind this laptop for something like light DOTA 2, Diablo 3, or the like. But throwing “Pascal Graphics” in the headline suggests a level of general competence that the MX150 can’t deliver on.

        If you’re looking to maximize your graphics for $700ish your best bet is probably something like the Dell Inspiron 7000.

          • Chrispy_
          • 2 years ago

          I think you’re misunderstanding the term “Pascal Graphics”; It’s the [i<]generation[/i<], not the performance and it's relevant to mention this in a laptop since it tells you that it's on the latest process with the most efficient performance/Watt. Every generation Nvidia has ever made has ranged from high-end to low end chips. Going back 10 generations of GPU, the highest performing model is anywhere from 8x to 16x faster, so thinking that the generation is related to outright performance is completely nonsensical. It's more about the performance/Watt and performance/$. Pascal is much higher here than the re-badged GeForce 840M that is the 940MX

            • Kretschmer
            • 2 years ago

            I can parse the English just fine, but to me a graphics solution is either “fast enough to play games” or “iGPU with worse power draw.” If the MX150 stumbles in games, it’s a “meh” property of the laptop to stick in the article title.

      • tipoo
      • 2 years ago

      Sometimes a decent bit more than that. And 25% more at the same power draw (and probably better non-peak use) still makes it the most appealing chip in that power draw.

      [url<]https://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Graphics-Cards-Benchmark-List.844.0.html[/url<]

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