Acer Swift Go 14: Two-minute review
Laptops, it turns out, don’t really always need to be exciting, and the Acer Swift Go 14 is proof of that. We’re so used to laptop manufacturers one-upping one another in design that we’ve kind of been conditioned to just expect that as a mark of a good laptop.
Not that we shouldn’t also value a brilliant design and gorgeous aesthetics, of course, but we do sometimes forget that there are a lot of users out there who don’t need a stunning notebook to showcase to their colleagues and the strangers at their usual coffee spot. And this laptop is a good reminder of that.
Bringing things back down to Earth, the Swift Go 14 isn’t one for frills. In fact, its plain-looking chassis makes it easy to be overlooked. But a closer look reveals a capable machine that will see you through your daily productivity tasks without breaking a sweat. Kind of literally, in fact, since its heat management system is impressive for a laptop its size. And while its battery life isn’t going to surpass the best MacBooks, it’ll certainly see you through a full day’s work so you don’t have to lug around that charger during commutes.
There’s also a lot more to appreciate here: the selection of ports is surprisingly good, and the display, being OLED, is vibrant. So while you’re obviously not getting a luxurious laptop in the Swift Go 14, you’re looking at one of the best laptops and one of the best Ultrabooks in terms of value.
Acer Swift Go 14: Price & availability
- How much does it cost? Starting at $799.99 (about £630, AU$1,200)
- When is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? Configurations vary per region
Availability of the Acer Swift Go 14 is a little tricky right now as not all configurations Acer has planned are out in the world yet and also vary per region. For example, the model I reviewed here isn’t available in the UK and in Australia. So, if you’re hoping to purchase this laptop, be sure to pay close attention to what you’re getting.
My review unit (Acer Swift Go SFG14-71-785V), which comes with an Intel Core i7 13700H, Iris Xe graphics, 16GB RAM and a 14-inch 2880 x 1800 90Hz OLED display, is available in the US for $1,099.99 (about £865, AU$1,650). However, as I mentioned, it currently isn’t available in the UK and Australia.
Even the cheapest US configuration, the $799.99 (about £630, AU$1,200) base model with a Intel Core i5-1335U, Iris Xe graphics, 8GB RAM and 14-inch 1920 x 1200 60Hz IPS touch display isn’t available outside the US at the time of writing.
The price tag on my review unit might feel a little steep for some, however. Don’t get me wrong; you’re definitely getting a lot of value here – considering you’re getting robust specs and an OLED display. At the same time, not a lot of people are ready to shell out that much for a laptop they’ll only use for general work and everyday use.
Acer Swift Go 14: Specs
Let’s just say for now that the Acer Swift Go 14 comes in several different configurations. The problem is that at the time of writing, not all configurations have been released. My review model, for example, is not available outside the US and currently the only 2880 x 1800 configuration available. On top of that, the UK currently only has the 16-inch models available while Australia only has an AMD 14-inch version on their respective Acer online shops.
|Component||Base model||Review unit|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-1335U||Intel Core i7-13700H|
|GPU||Intel Iris Xe Graphics||Intel Iris Xe Graphics|
|RAM||8GB LPDDR5||16GB LPDDR5|
|Storage||512GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Screen||14″ WUXGA 1920 x 1200 60Hz IPS Touchscreen (16:10 )||14-inch 2880 x 1800 OLED 90Hz display (400 nits brightness, 16:10, 100% DCI-P3 color range, Certified True Black and TÜV Eyesafe certified)|
|Ports||2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x HDMI, 1x microSD card reader||2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x HDMI, 1x microSD card reader|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6E (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth 5.2||Wi-Fi 6E (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth 5.2|
|Camera||1440p webcam||1440p webcam|
|Weight||2.76 lbs (1.25kg)||2.76 lbs (1.25kg)|
|Dimensions||12.32 x 8.58 x 0.59 inches (312.9 x 217.9 x 14.9 mm)||12.32 x 8.58 x 0.59 inches (312.9 x 217.9 x 14.9 mm)|
If none of the currently available configurations appeal to you, I would suggest waiting until Acer makes more models available.
Acer Swift Go 14: Design
- Boring design
- Decent keyboard and trackpad
- Great port selection
Acer keeps things simple on the design front. As a result, the Acer Swift Go 14 is a powerful device wrapped in an unexciting package. It doesn’t look ugly; it’s not like you’d be embarrassed to take this to a coffee shop. It’s just boring especially compared to the likes of the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 and the HP Spectre line.
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I would definitely consider this a thin and light laptop, but it’s thicker than many of the premium options at 0.59mm thick. But that just means there’s a bit more space for a wider selection of ports, giving you not just two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, but also two USB 3.2 Gen 1, an HDMI port, and a MicroSD card reader. It is also decently light at just 2.76 pounds.
And it doesn’t feel cheap. In fact, it feels robust enough to survive hard falls – though I wouldn’t take this in extreme conditions. And since it can take a beating, you won’t really feel the need to coddle this during use.
The 2880 x 1800 OLED display looks premium enough, but it’s really hard to tell if Acer put some sort of ineffective anti-reflective coating or just skipped it altogether because the glare and reflection on this display is really bad. Using it outdoors in the middle of the day was tough, especially when I was editing images in Lightroom, but it was also bad using it in my kitchen with the lights on. And that’s with the brightness turned all the way up to 400 nits.
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At least the keyboard and trackpad are comfortable to use. The keys on the keyboard are on the smaller side, and the switches underneath feel slightly squishy. However, the keyboard is very comfortable to type on. Meanwhile, the trackpad, while also smaller, feels responsive and great to use.
Acer Swift Go 14: Performance
- Great productivity performance
- Effective, if loud, cooling system
- Sharp and vivid display, bright audio
Acer Swift Go 14: Laptop benchmarks
Here’s how the Acer Swift Go 14 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark: Night Raid: 19,924; Fire Strike: 5,533; Time Spy: 2,025
GeekBench 6: 2,535 (single-core); 11,950 (multi-core)
25GB File Copy: 1,481MBps
Handbrake 1.6: 5m 35s
CrossMark: Overall: 1,937; Productivity: 1,858; Creativity: 2,048; Responsiveness: 1,856
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (1080p): 27fps; (1800p): 18fps
Web Surfing (Battery Informant): 8 hrs 4 mins
Though the Acer Swift Go 14 has some of the makings of a creator’s laptop – the 1440p webcam, its cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, its robust cooling system – it doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to demanding creative workloads. During my time with the laptop in which I used it for both productivity tasks and editing high-res RAW images, I have found it to somewhat struggle with the latter.
In Lightroom, for example, it took longer than five minutes for it to export 50 or so high-resolution images with some basic edits from RAW to JPEG, which was frustrating and is definitely not ideal when you’re trying to roll out a time-sensitive story. I doubt it would be powerful enough to see through rendering and exporting a five-minute 4K video without some hair-pulling on the user’s end.
When it comes to productivity workloads, however, the Swift Go 14 delivers impressively. I didn’t experience any slowdows even when I had 20 browser tabs open with four different streaming services playing content simultaneously. In our benchmarks, it also managed to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Asus ZenBook 14X OLED and the Acer Swift X 14 in Geekbench in both its single-core and multicore performance. It also beat out the Zenbook 14X OLED in both the CrossMark test and Handbrake.
What’s more, it managed to stay relatively cool under pressure even when I was doing my photo editing workloads. It helps that its hinge is designed to prop up the bottom half, ensuring there’s good, consistent airflow. Fair warning though: it does get pretty loud when its fans go on overdrive when performing demanding tasks.
Though made for productivity tasks, you will find the Swift Go 14 a fantastic laptop for watching the latest blockbusters and newest season of your favorite show. That display, despite the very distracting reflections you’re getting, is plenty sharp and offers decent dynamic range so you’re still getting plenty of detail in dark scenes. The bright audio helps with the experience as well – although I would have preferred better-sounding speakers. Sadly, you’re not getting a lot of low end here, the mids are pretty recessed, and the soundstage is not particularly wide.
- Performance score: 4 / 5
Acer Swift Go 14: Battery life
- All-day battery
- Not too long, not too short, just right
If you require MacBook-level battery life, you should look elsewhere. But if you just want something to last you through an entire workday without needing to recharge, the Acer Swift Go 14 will suit you just fine, giving us about a little over eight hours of battery life in our web surfing test, outlasting the Acer Swift X 14 for about 30 minutes.
Turn down brightness, and you should be able to squeeze a bit more juice out of it so you can leave the charger at home.
Should you buy the Acer Swift Go 14?
|Price||It’s an affordable laptop, but it feels like it should be cheaper for what it offers.||4 / 5|
|Design||There are lots of prudent design choices here, but the overall look and the glare and reflection on that display are a little hard to overlook.||3.5 / 5|
|Performance||A true productivity laptop, this will see you through your everyday productivity tasks without breaking a sweat.||4 / 5|
|Battery||Lasting a little over eight hours in our test, this should see you through an entire day on a single charge.||4 / 5|
|Average rating||It’s a capable laptop for those people who care less about looks and more about real-world performance.||4 / 5|
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
Acer Swift Go 14: Also consider
|Acer Swift Go 14||Asus Zenbook 15 OLED (2023)||Acer Swift X 14|
|Price:||From $799.99||TBA||Up to $1,499.99|
|CPU||From Intel Core i5-1335U||Up to AMD Ryzen 7 7735U||Up to Intel Core i7-13700H|
|GPU||From Intel Iris Xe Graphics||AMD Radeon graphics||Up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050|
|RAM||From 8GB LPDDR5||Up to 32GB LPDDR5||16GB LPDDR5|
|Screen||14″ WUXGA 1920 x 1200 60Hz IPS Touchscreen (16:10)||15.6” 120Hz OLED display 16:9 2880 x 1620 resolution||14.5″ WQXGA+ (2880 x 1800) 16:10 120 Hz|
|Storage||From 512GB SSD||Up to 1TB||Up to 1TB SSD|
|Ports||2x USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports, 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1, 1x HDMI, 1x microSD card reader||1 x USB4 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.2 Type-C, 1 x USB 3.2 Type-A, 1 x HDMI 2.1, 1 x audio jack||2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4 / USB 4), 1x HDMI 2.1, Wi-Fi 6E 3, and a MicroSD slot|
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6E (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth 5.2||Wi-Fi 6e (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3||Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth|
|Camera||1440p webcam||1080p HD webcam with IR||1080 FHD camera|
|Weight||2.76 lbs (1.25kg)||3.09 lbs (1.4kg)||3.41 lbs (1.55kg)|
|Dimensions||12.32 x 8.58 x 0.59 inches (312.9 x 217.9 x 14.9 mm)||13.97 x 8.92 x 0.59 – 0.62 inches (35.48 x 22.66 x 1.49 ~ 1.58 cm)||Row 10 – Cell 3|
If the Acer Swift Go 14 has you considering other options, here are two more laptops to consider…
How I tested the Acer Swift Go 14
- Tested the laptop for about three weeks
- Used it for work, photo editing, and streaming, as well as to work events
- Stress-tested it using our suite of benchmarks
During my three week testing, I used the Acer Swift Go 14 for work and photo editing, taking it with me to Google I/O to see how it fared tackling the more demanding workloads in a time crunch. I also used it for work video meetings as well as personal video calls with friends. I also ran it through our suite of benchmark tests.
With years of extensive experience testing and reviewing laptops, and as one of the Computing editors at TechRadar, I have all the right tools to determine whether or not a laptop is worth your time and money. You can trust me to put them through their paces and make the right recommendations.
Read more about how we test
First reviewed July 2023