First look: Acer Swift 5 – the lightest 15-inch laptop we’ve ever held

Acer Swift 5

Acer surprised everyone during its annual keynote event in New York City when it unveiled the brand new Acer Swift 5, a whole new take on its flagship 15-inch laptop. This version puts a laser focus on portability and light weight without sacrificing power.

The result is a 15.6-inch laptop within a 14-inch frame that weighs just 2.2 pounds (1kg) and features the latest – though unspecified – Intel Core processors. 

Acer has equipped the laptop with a Full HD (1080p) touch display that bends back 180 degrees, touting an impressive 87.6% screen-to-body ratio. The screen will also adjust gamma and color saturation in real time through Acer’s Color Intelligence technology. 

Within the tiny frame rests up to 1TB of solid-state storage paired with up to 16GB of DDR4 memory, as well as a USB-C 3.1 port, two USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port and an SD card reader. That’s quite a lot for a 15-inch laptop weighing about as much as a 13-inch device.

The company wasn’t prepared with a working model for the event, but had allowed us to get our hands on a design prototype that we’re told was weighted to match the final weight of the product when it launches later this year – that is, at an undisclosed time for an undisclosed price.

A luxury laptop that feels mainstream

Holding the Swift 5 reminds us of the LG gram 15 quite a bit, with Acer’s laptop weighing just two tenths of a pound less than LG’s. This is thanks to an all-new compound material used to comprise the laptop’s base and lid.

It’s called magnesium-lithium alloy, an apparently ultra-light metal compound, supported by a magnesium-aluminum alloy for extra sturdiness around the palm rest.

This is undoubtedly an impressive achievement in material design, but the end result is a product that simply doesn’t feel as luxe as, say, a straight aluminum laptop. That likely has to do more with our own preconceptions than any truth in one material being less-so than the other.

Ultimately, the Acer Swift 5 comes with serious looks and the promise of uncompromised power and all-day battery life. While we weren’t able to glean much from our time with the laptop, one thing is for certain: it’s going to be that much tougher lugging any other old 15-inch laptop around.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.