Acer revamps the Swift 3 and Swift 5 and gives Chromebooks a Spin

We've already covered Acer's Predator and Orion desktops revealed at the next@Acer event in New York, but the company also had a bevy of portables on display. Windows users looking for a combination of performance, light weight, and style probably want to focus on the metal-shelled Swift 3 and Swift 5 laptops. Those who prefer Google's Chrome OS get to choose from 13" and 15" Chromebook clamshell laptops or the gymnast-hinged Chromebook Spin convertibles.

Acer Swift 5

Acer says the Swift 5 is the thinnest laptop on the market with a 15.6" screen, but didn't provide an actual figure. The manufacturer says the ultrabook weighs under 2.2 lb (1 kg) and that the bezels around the screen measure just 0.23" (5.9 mm), giving the Swift 5 an 87.6% screen-to-body ratio. The company said buyers will be able to spec out the machine with an unspecified Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16 GB of memory, and SSDs up to 1 TB in capacity. The Swift 5 will have a pair of USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, too. Acer didn't share much information beyond those little nuggets.

Acer Swift 3

The revised Swift 3 stuffs a powerful Intel Core i7-8550 processor, up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory, and two storage devices into a chassis just 0.67" thick (1.7 cm). Buyers can rip out the memory and replace it with up to 32 GB of DDR4 thanks to two accessible SO-DIMM slots. Acer offers all kinds of storage options for the machine's M.2 slot and 2.5" drive bay, including 16-GB Intel Optane cache drives, 512 GB NVMe or SATA SSDs, and 2.5" hard drives up to 2 TB in capacity.

Buyers will also get to pick between 1920x1080 and 3840x2160 screens getting pixel-twisting instructions from either Intel UHD 600-series IGP graphics or a beefier Nvidia GeForce MX 150. The manufacturer says it was able to stuff in a battery that's good for ten hours of use while keeping the laptop's weight down at a trim 3.7 lbs (1.7 kg).

Acer Chromebook 13

Acer also showed off four different Chromebooks in two sizes and two styles. The Chromebook Spin 13 is probably the speediest of the bunch thanks to its available Core i5-8250U four-core processor, up to 16 GB of memory, and up-to-128-GB eMMC storage device. Its cousin the Chromebook 13 clamshell is almost as fast, topping out with a Core i3-8130U two-core, four-thread chip, 16 GB of memory, and 64 GB of flash memory. Lesser Kaby Lake-based Celeron and Pentium chips are also available at a lower cost on the clamshell model.

Both 13" Chromebooks get 13.5" IPS displays with a resolution of 2256x1504, though only the Spin's has touch capability. These machines are Chromebooks, so I don't think anyone will be surprised to learn that discrete graphics are not offered.

Acer Chromebook Spin 15

The Chromebook 15 and the similarly-sized Spin model are less capable than their smaller siblings by most measures. The Intel Celeron N3350, Celeron N3450, and Pentium N4200 processor options are substantially slower than the Core-based offerings in the 13" Chromebooks, and maximum memory capacity is limited to just 8 GB. The only storage options are either 32-GB or 64-GB eMMC SSDs. Though the 15.6" touchscreens are larger than those in the smaller machines, their resolution is reduced by 63% to a quite-vanilla 1920x1080.

Acer didn't provide pricing or availability information for the Swifts or the 13" Chromebooks. The clamshell Chromebook 15 will start at $349 and the Chromebook Spin 15 will begin at $449 when they go on sale in July. We imagine the other machines will be on shelves in time for back-to-school shopping season.

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