Acer Swift Go 14 review: less style, more substance

A fine mid-range for mainstream users

Acer Swift Go 14
(Image: © Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

TechRadar Verdict

Though it might not be the prettiest laptop on the block, the Acer Swift Go 14 is a capable mid-range machine, perfect for no-nonsense users who want to get right down to business. It’ll see you through an entire work day without slowing down, heating up, or needing a charge, for that matter. I only wish it was a lot cheaper.

Pros

  • +

    Great performance

  • +

    Effective, if not quiet, cooling

  • +

    Sharp and vibrant display

  • +

    Fairly lightweight

  • +

    Fine port selection

Cons

  • -

    Design not exciting

  • -

    Display is plagued with glare

  • -

    Not for creative tasks

  • -

    Could be cheaper

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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.

  • Price score: 4 / 5

Acer Swift Go 14

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

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.  

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These are the specs for the Acer Swift Go 14
ComponentBase modelReview unit
Price$799.99 $1,099.99
CPUIntel Core i5-1335UIntel Core i7-13700H
GPUIntel Iris Xe Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM8GB LPDDR5 16GB LPDDR5
Storage512GB SSD 512GB SSD
Screen14" 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)
Ports2x 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
WirelessWi-Fi 6E (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth 5.2 Wi-Fi 6E (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth 5.2
Camera1440p webcam 1440p webcam
Weight2.76 lbs (1.25kg) 2.76 lbs (1.25kg)
Dimensions12.32 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. 

  • Specs score:  / 5

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.

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.

Acer Swift Go 14

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

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.

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.

  • Design score: 3.5 / 5

Acer Swift Go 14

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

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.

Acer Swift Go 14

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

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.

Acer Swift Go 14

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

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.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

Acer Swift Go 14

(Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy)

Should you buy the Acer Swift Go 14?

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Acer Swift Go 14
AttributesNotesRating
PriceIt’s an affordable laptop, but it feels like it should be cheaper for what it offers.4 / 5
DesignThere 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
PerformanceA true productivity laptop, this will see you through your everyday productivity tasks without breaking a sweat.4 / 5
BatteryLasting a little over eight hours in our test, this should see you through an entire day on a single charge.4 / 5
Average ratingIt’s a capable laptop for those people who care less about looks and more about real-world performance.4 / 5

Buy it if...

You want a no-nonsense everyday laptop
What the Acer Swift Go 14 lacks in frills, it makes up for in essentials with its robust build, excellent everyday performance, and abundance of ports.

You need a mid-range machine
With a bit more power than most budget laptops, this should get you through all your productivity needs without slowing down or overheating – it does get loud, however.

You don’t care about looks
Looks-wise, there’s nothing extraordinary about how it looks, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. A stunning design always places a premium on devices anyway.

Don't buy it if...

You really care about how your laptop looks
If you prefer a laptop you can show off to your friends or at a coworking space, look elsewhere. The Acer Swift Go 14 isn’t here to look pretty.

You need something for content creation
While it is a very capable laptop for productivity, its performance when photo editing wasn’t all that impressive. You might get frustrated editing videos on this laptop.

You’re budget’s a little tight
Though it isn’t a premium purchase, it’s not the cheapest option out there either. You could get its base configuration, which is well under $1,000/£1,000, or choose from one of the best budget laptops available.

Acer Swift Go 14: Also consider

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Acer Swift Go 14Asus Zenbook 15 OLED (2023)Acer Swift X 14
Price:From $799.99TBAUp to $1,499.99
CPUFrom Intel Core i5-1335U Up to AMD Ryzen 7 7735UUp to Intel Core i7-13700H
GPUFrom Intel Iris Xe Graphics AMD Radeon graphicsUp to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050
RAMFrom 8GB LPDDR5 Up to 32GB LPDDR516GB LPDDR5
Screen14" WUXGA 1920 x 1200 60Hz IPS Touchscreen (16:10)15.6” 120Hz OLED display 16:9 2880 x 1620 resolution14.5" WQXGA+ (2880 x 1800) 16:10 120 Hz
StorageFrom 512GB SSD Up to 1TBUp to 1TB SSD
Ports2x 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 jack2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4 / USB 4), 1x HDMI 2.1, Wi-Fi 6E 3, and a MicroSD slot
WirelessWi-Fi 6E (802.11b/g/n), Bluetooth 5.2 Wi-Fi 6e (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth
Camera1440p webcam 1080p HD webcam with IR1080 FHD camera
Weight2.76 lbs (1.25kg) 3.09 lbs (1.4kg)3.41 lbs (1.55kg)
Dimensions12.32 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...

Image

Asus Zenbook 15 OLED (2023)
With a bigger OLED display, super-powered processor, and a gorgeous design, this slightly more premium option must be considered if your budget is a little more flexible.

Read our full Asus Zenbook 15 OLED (2023) review

Image

Acer Swift X 14
We’re still in the process of testing the Acer Swift X 14, but from our benchmark results, it already proves to be a capable laptop for content creation.

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

Michelle Rae Uy
Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor

Michelle Rae Uy is the Computing Reviews and Buying Guides Editor here at TechRadar. She's a Los Angeles-based tech, travel and lifestyle writer covering a wide range of topics, from computing to the latest in green commutes to the best hiking trails. She's an ambivert who enjoys communing with nature and traveling for months at a time just as much as watching movies and playing sim games at home. That also means that she has a lot more avenues to explore in terms of understanding how tech can improve the different aspects of our lives.