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Asus Zenbook 3 vs. Acer Swift 7: Two of the thinnest Windows laptops duke it out By Jayce Wagner — Nov.

13, 2016

It’s been a great year for ultra-portable laptops. With the MacBook Air sliding into obscurity, falling further and further

behind the curve, other manufacturers have stepped up to fill that void with their own high-powered, razor-thin, super-

premium laptops. Two in particular have been vying for the coveted crown as the best ultra-portable notebook on the

market, the Asus Zenbook 3 and the Acer Swift 7.

Both are impressively built, both are fast and reliable. But which one will come out on top when we pit them against one

another head-to-head, matching spec-for-spec?

Performance

Looking at the specs side-by-side, you can see some trends emerge. The Zenbook is a little more expensive, so it’s got

a little more power under the hood, but other than that the Zenbook and Swift are evenly-matched. The Swift has a

comparable graphics engine, similar battery life, and it has more ports. In an age when manufacturers are paring down

the profiles of their flagship notebooks, those extra ports are more important than ever. The Asus Zenbook 3, for

instance, only has one USB-C port.

Asus Zenbook 3 Acer Swift 7

Size 11.65 x 7.52 x 0.46 inches 12.8 x 9.0 x 0.39 inches

Weight 2 pounds 2.48 pounds

Display 12.5 inch IPS display 13.3-inch IPS display

Resolution 1920 x 1080 1,920 x 1080

Operating Windows 10 Windows 10

System

Storage 512GB SSD 256GB SSD

CPU 2.7GHz 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7500U or 1.2GHz 6th-generation Intel Core i5-

2.5GHz 7th-generation Intel Core i5-7200U 7Y54

RAM 16GB 8GB

Graphics Intel HD Graphics 620 Intel HD Graphics 615

Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 1x USB-C Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2x USB-C

Battery Around 7 hours of heavy use Around 7 hours of heavy use

Price Starts at $1,600 $1,100

Availability Available at Amazon Available at Amazon

DT review 3.5 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

In our tests, the Zenbook 3 easily outperformed the Swift 7, but that’s no surprise given their hardware disparity. Both

feature standard SSD read/write speeds, and on-board graphics, but the Zenbook really pulled ahead in CPU

performance.

Featuring cutting-edge 7th-generation Kaby Lake processors, the Zenbook 3 easily eclipses the Swift 7’s base

performance. The clock speed on its lowest-spec CPU is still more than double the clock speed of the Swift 7’s 6th-

generation CPU. So in terms of just straight-up performance, this round goes to the Zenbook 3.
Winner: Asus Zenbook 3

Display

1

It’s gorgeous. the quality of this display really cannot be overstated.07 inches thicker. with surprisingly deep blacks. and it shows. When it comes to battery life. This round would appear to be a draw. So you’ll get the same amount of battery life on either one. Winner: Asus Zenbook 3 Connectivity We all want our laptops to be smaller and lighter. Crisp. the metric which determines how “smooth” a display looks. the Zenbook 3 does have a slightly better pixel density than the Swift 7. and they’re both very portable laptops. and both have their flaws. The Asus Zenbook 3 is actually lighter. It’s a little wider. 2 . Luckily. is so light and insubstantial that it’s easy to forget it’s as light as it is. very close. Comparing size. colors. you’ll be looking at the screen in a variety of different lighting conditions. but neither one has an excess of USB connectivity. but those size decreases come at a cost. in particular. and so was the Swift 7. Both the Asus Zenbook 3 and Acer Swift 7 feature support for the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards. but the Zenbook 3 comes away with a narrow victory because it’s capable of getting more done with that battery life. which means you’ll be able to discern pixels even at a reasonable distance. but it feels a little more substantial. often cut laptops some slack when it comes to display quality – after all. with around 176 pixels-per-inch. While the Zenbook 3 is about half an inch narrower and about . According to our tests the Swift 7’s contrast ratio came in at a stellar 830:1. The Swift 7 has about 167 pixels per inch. That’s because it’s smaller. just slightly off. both displays look good. and they are very light. but only by fractions of an inch. denser. The Asus Zenbook 3 is no slouch either. Winner: Acer Swift 7 Portability Just looking at the Asus Zenbook 3 and the Acer Swift 7 it becomes immediately apparent that this round will be very. But the Acer Swift 7 comes away with the victory due to a good contrast ratio and near-perfect color accuracy. so sometimes it’s not going to look great. but the color accuracy and contrast more than compensate. Toss one in your bag and you might forget it’s there. as users. until you consider the fact that the Zenbook 3 gets comparable battery life with a much more powerful processor and double the amount of RAM under the hood. display quality has made leaps and bounds over the last couple years and the Acer Swift 7 and Asus Zenbook 3 really raise the bar for laptop display quality. so the weight is spread out over a larger area. but despite the Zenbook’s superior CPU and RAM. The Swift 7 weighs about a half pound more. clear. Red and blue hues looked a little weird. but it’s hard to tell when you pick it up. It’s not great. but thinner. This round is close.We. Starting with the Acer Swift 7. These are extremely thin laptops. The Zenbook 3 was capable of about 7 hours of heavy web use. The only downside is the relatively low pixel density. the color accuracy is a little off. you might expect some differences. With an overall contrast ratio of 900:1. neither one is going to weigh you down when you’re out and about.’ To be fair. and as a result. vivid. and shadows all look fantastic on the Zenbook 3’s 1080p display. and its color accuracy is near perfect. highlights. Unfortunately. The Swift 7. it just feels ‘weightier. both laptops produced almost identical scores in our battery tests. To compensate. the Zenbook 3 is smaller.

This one is very straightforward. Winner: Asus Zenbook 3 Pricing Price. With the Swift 7. It’s pricier. The Swift 7 also strikes out on its own. That one port is used to charge the device. but because it’s a little smaller than the Swift 7. a hairline spun concentric circle pattern. and a high-quality design. offering a premium chassis that looks and feels the part. improving on the standard premium-aluminum laptop design popularized by Apple’s MacBook Pro and miniaturized by the MacBook Air. Instead of using a silvery aluminum or matte black finish. while the Acer Swift 7 starts at $1. The Swift 7 wins this round with a much lower price. and that’s tough to ignore. despite its shortcomings. offering up only two USB-C ports and a headphone jack. more RAM. It’s lighter. and you can spec it up further if you want to. But the Asus Zenbook 3 somehow makes it work. In your hands. but if you’re looking for a new overall workstation. So which one comes out on top? It’s tough to name a winner. Unfortunately. the midnight blue Zenbook 3 is striking. lends an air of quality to an otherwise peculiar design that could easily have come off as tacky. the Asus Zenbook 3 edges out the Acer Swift 7. while the back of the display is an attractive matte-black with gold accents. This round goes to the Swift 7 but not by much. You do get more for your money with the Asus Zenbook 3. where the keyboard and trackpad rest.100. With a more capable processor. it limits functionality for anyone hoping to plug in even a single peripheral while you’re charging the laptop. The Asus Zenbook 3 starts at $1. 3 . you might be better off going with the Intel Core i7 version of the Zenbook 3. even less often on a premium laptop. the design is just a little higher-quality than the Acer Swift 7. but at the very least you’ll be able to charge your laptop and phone at the same time. Winner: Acer Swift 7 Design The Asus Zenbook 3 and Acer Swift 7 both feature avant-garde designs which eschew the typical laptop design language. Three wins for the Acer Swift 7. and puts it’s own spin on things. It feels airy. With glossy gold accents around the edge of the display. The interior. offering up a black-and-gold package that just screams premium. storage. they’re tied. and it looks amazing. and while the Zenbook 3 might put some users off. but taken as a whole the Asus Zenbook 3 comes away as the better buy.600. particularly when compared to the solid heft of the Zenbook 3. it just feels like a high quality piece of machinery. The gold finish is only found on the interior of the device. but the Swift is $500 cheaper. The fine details on the back of the laptop really push it over the top. and three wins for the Asus Zenbook 3. It’s unusual. A blue anodized metal finish is not something you see very often. but a lot more capable. and while it liberates the power-port from proprietary design. almost insubstantial. Each company has gone its own way. is decked out in a matte-gold finish with a luxuriantly large trackpad. the Swift 7 doesn’t feel quite as durable as the Zenbook 3. and a headphone jack. The fine details on the back of the display. Acer elevates a color scheme that we’ve seen before. Winner: Acer Swift 7 Conclusion If you’re keeping score. is not anywhere near as subjective as design. these two ultra-portables take a different path. on the other hand. The Swift 7 doesn’t fare much better. This one is very subjective. it feels very dense and durable.The Asus Zenbook 3 has one port.

and you’ll be able to see why. feel it. 4 . It’s a premium product and it not only performs like one.It is more expensive. and it just feels like a more substantial offering. Pick it up. but you’ll get a lot more out of it than you would the Swift 7. it feels like one. and the heavier price tag doesn’t do the Zenbook 3 any favors.