Last week, Intel’s chief performance strategist posted a clip of a laptop with Intel’s new integrated XE graphics running Battlefield 5 surprisingly smoothly, and today, Acer followed that up by announcing one of the first laptops to feature Intel’s new integrated graphics in an actual device.
At just 0.59-inches thick and weighing just 1 kg, Acer’s 14-inch Swift 5 looks to be quite portable for a system that offers a choice between Intel’s integrated XE graphics or Nvidia’s Mx350 discrete graphics. And with a starting price of just $US1,000 ($1,445), the Swift 5 shouldn’t present a huge strain on your wallet either.
But the big deal is that if Intel’s integrated XE graphics can deliver on the teases that Intel has been pushing out, that could mean something as thin and light as the Swift 5 could let you play older AAA games reasonably well without the need for a more expensive and power-hungry discrete GPU. In some ways, that’s kind of one of the holy grails of integrated graphics, but up until now, companies like Intel and AMD (and I guess now Apple too) have never really been able to make it happen.
Graphics aside, the Swift 5 looks like a well-designed package, with the system also offering a range of 10th-gen Intel CPUs, up to 16GB of RAM, and a selection of M.2 PCIe SSDs. And with the Swift 5 boasting a healthy selection of ports including two USB-A ports, one USB-C port, and even a full size HDMI port, you should be able to bring this thing on the road while leaving the dongle at home. The Swift 5 also has a small fingerprint reader that works with Windows Hello next to its arrow keys.
Honestly, when it comes to the kind of specs you get for the money, the only thing that looks a bit lacking is the brightness on the Swift’s 14-inch full HD touchscreen, which tops out at just 300 nits. While that’s more than enough for normal indoor use, 300 nits means you might struggle a bit outdoors, which is kind of a shame for a system mean to be used on-the-go. Thankfully, the Swift 5 features relatively thin bezels that deliver a screen-to-body ratio of around 90%, which might make its mediocre brightness a bit easier to forgive.
So while the Swift 5 may not be the most exciting or powerful new laptop on the market, it looks like a pretty good value for the money, and if that new integrated XE GPU can actually perform as well as Intel thinks it can, we could be looking at a solid and still quite portable all-around machine.
The Acer Swift 5 is expected to go on sale sometime in October.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned for Australian pricing and availability.