Acer Swift 3 (2022) vs Acer Swift 5 (2022): Which one’s better?

Acer Swift 3 (2022) vs Acer Swift 5 (2022): Which one’s better?

Hot on the heels of Intel announcing its new 12th gen Core processors for laptops, Acer unleashed some new laptops that are powered by Intel’s new hardware. The new Acer Swift 5 and Swift 3 (2022) both come with Intel’s latest CPUs and a bunch of other improvements over their last year’s counterparts. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the new Acer Swift 3 vs Acer Swift 5 comparison to find out which one’s better.

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Acer Swift 3 (2022) vs Acer Swift 5 (2022): Specifications

Before we jump into the comparison to find out how they stack up against each other, let’s first take a look at the specifications of each notebook to see what they bring to the table:

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Specification Acer Swift 3 (2022) Acer Swift 5 (2022)
CPU
  • 12th generation Intel Core i5-1240P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.4GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 12th generation Intel Core i7-1260P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.7GHz, 18MB cache)
  • Up to 12th generation Intel Core i7-1260P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.7GHz, 18MB cache)
Graphics
  • Intel Iris Xe graphics
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics
RAM
  • 8GB LPDDR4X
  • 16GB LPDDR4X
  • Up to 16GB LPDDR5 dual-channel memory
Storage
  • Up to 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • up to 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD
Display
  • 14-inch 16:9 Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS
  • 14-inch 16:9 Quad HD (2560 x 1440) IPS
  • 14-inch 16:10 WQXG (2560×1600), touchscreen display
Battery
  • 3-cell 56Whr, up to 10.5 hours
    • 65W charger
  •  3 cell (unspecified capacity)
    • 65W charger
Ports
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C)
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C)
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 1x HDMI 2.1
  • 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
Audio
  • Dual stereo speakers
  • Dual stereo speakers
Webcam
  • Full HD 1080p webcam with temporal noise reduction
  • Full HD Camera with temporal noise reduction.
Security
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Fingerprint sensor
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
Size (WxDxH)
  • 320.04 x 210.82 x 16 mm (12.6 x 8.3 x 0.63 in)
  • 309.88 x 213.36 x 14.986 mm (12.2 x 8.4 x 0.59 in)
Weight
  • Starts at 1.25kg (2.76 lbs)
  • 1.20kg (2.65 lbs)
Price
  • Starts at $849.99
  • Starts at $1,499

Acer Swift 3 (2022) vs Acer Swift 5 (2022): Performance

Both Acer Swift 3 (2022) and the Acer Swift 5 notebooks are powered by Intel’s new 12th gen Core processors. In fact, both of them are using P-series chips from the new 12th gen lineup, which is great. While we know the Acer Swift 3 will be available in both Core i5 and Core i7 flavors, we’re not entirely sure if the Swift 5 will only be offered with the Core i7 option or if there will be other variants such as the Core i5 too.

Acer hasn’t mentioned anything about the processors it’s using in the Swift 5, but we were able to spot a variant of this notebook powered by the Core i7-1260P. This is one of the most powerful chips in Alder Lake’s P-series lineup. It packs 12 cores in total out of which four are performance cores and the remaining eight are efficiency cores. We’re yet to get our hands on these new chips for a detailed performance review, but they’re bound to perform better than Intel’s 11th gen Tiger Lake processors. We suggest you take a look at our Intel 12th gen Alder Lake hub page to learn more about these new chips.

Intel 12th gen p series vs u series cpu for laptops

The Acer Swift 3 and Swift 5 notebook performance purely depends on how well the chassis handles these new chips. According to Acer, the Swift 5 comes with an upgraded TwinAir dual-fan system and D6 heat pipe for better thermal management. This could potentially mean that the Swift 5 may perform better than the Swift 3, in general. We’ll have more to talk about the performance of each notebook once we’ve had a chance to test them for a side-by-side comparison.

In addition to the new 12th gen processors, both laptops also have more memory and storage options now. Both the Acer Swift 3 and the Acer Swift 5 can be purchased with up to 16GB memory, although you get LPDDR4X memory with the Swift 3, while the Swift 5 is using LPDDR5 memory. This may not result in a significant performance difference, but the LPDDR5 is preferred. As for the storage, both the Swift 3 and the Swift 5 notebooks come with up to a 2TB PCIe SSD.

Acer Swift 3 (2022)

One important thing to note about the Acer Swift 5 laptop is that it meets Intel’s Evo spec, which means it promises to deliver experiences like an instant wake and over 10 hours of battery life. This is something that the Swift 3 lacks, so keep that in mind. We don’t expect a huge performance difference between the two notebooks, but we think Swift 5 is going to deliver a better experience overall.

Both laptops are using a 3-cell lithium-ion battery, but Acer doesn’t hasn’t mentioned the exact capacity yet. It’s tough to comment on the battery performance of these notebooks because it will also depend on the display, performance, and more. Acer is promising at least 10 hours of usage on a single charge for both notebooks, but we’ll have more to talk about it once we get our hands on the notebook. Also, both Swift 3 and Swift 5 use a 65W charger too.

Display

As far as the displays are concerned, both Swift 3 and Swift 5 notebooks come with a 14-inch panel. The resolution and display type, however, varies significantly. The Acer Swift 3 is offered with both a Full HD and a QHD 16:9 IPS panel. The Swift 5, on the other hand, features a 14-inch display with 2560 x 1600 resolution, meaning it has a 16:10 aspect ratio that’s ideal for productivity. A 16:10 aspect ratio panel isn’t ideal for everyone, but it offers more vertical screen real-estate that’s better for, say, reading webpages online, and editing documents.

It’s worth mentioning how the bezels around the display on the Swift 5 are quite slim. We’re looking at a 92.22% screen-to-body ratio and it even supports touch, which is another advantage over the Swift 3’s non-touch panel. The FHD and QHD display options on the Swift 3 definitely good for the money, but we suggest you step up to a Swift 5 notebook if you want to have the best experience.

Acer Swift 5 2022

Both laptops also have a webcam on top of the display. The webcams on both notebooks have a Full HD sensor with Acer’s Temporal Noise Reduction technology. We can’t quite comment on the quality of the camera since we haven’t had a chance to use them yet but we think they should be good for most video calling needs.

Design and ports

Looking at both laptops here, it’s quite evident that they both have a very similar form factor. The Acer Swift 5, however, is a hair thinner and about 500 grams lighter than the Swift 3. While the Swift 3 measures 320.04 x 210.82 x 16 mm in dimensions, the Swift 5 measures 309.88 x 213.36 x 14.986 mm. Both are clamshell notebooks but the Swift 5 arguably looks better.

The Swift 5 is the more premium of the two laptops, being made from CNC-machined aluminum and featuring a dual-tone green and gold design. The Swift 3 also looks good when compared with other mainstream notebooks on the market with its fun new color options, but it’s not as premium as the Swift 5.

Acer Swift 5 ports

Acer Swift 5 ports selection

Moving on to the ports, both the Acer Swift 3 and the Swift 5 features the same selection. You get two Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) ports, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s, however, worth pointing out that the Swift 3 features an HDMI 2.0 port whereas the Acer Swift 5 rocks an HDMI 2.1 port. But besides that, we’re looking at an identical port selection. It would’ve been nice to have some other options including an Ethernet port, but it looks like we’ll have to use an external dock for that.

Acer Swift 3 ports

Acer Swift 3 ports selection

Connectivity options on both laptops are also the same. You get support for WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 on both Acer Swift 3 and the Swift 5.

Which one should you buy?

Both the Acer Swift 3 and the Swift 5 laptops are expected to be quite similar in performance. We’re looking at Intel’s new 12th gen P-series chips for both notebooks, so the general performance should be more or less identical, save a few minor differences in some tasks. You also get good memory and storage options on both notebooks but the Swift 5 is a better pick here since you get LPDDR5 dual-channel memory to go with the new 12th gen Intel chips.

On the display and build quality side of things, we think the Acer Swift 5 beats the Swift 3. You get the same size 14-inch display on both laptops but the Swift 5 has a 16:10 touchscreen option that offers more versatility. The Acer Swift 5 also looks more premium due to the aluminum finish and its dual-tone design. The Swift 3 also looks good with its fun color options, but it’s not on the same level. Lastly, both laptops have the same ports and connectivity options, so no differences there.

Overall, it’s safe to say that both Acer Swift 3 and Swift 5 are two excellent notebooks that’ll serve you well for many years. We recommend picking the Swift 3 over the Swift 5 if you don’t want to spend too much money on fancy additives like a premium build quality, touchscreen option, and 16:10 aspect ratio panel. But if you are a power user who doesn’t mind spending more money to get the absolute best performance and a stylish notebook, then the Swift 5 is the way to go.

    The Acer Swift 5 (2022) is powered by Intel's new 12th gen Alder Lake processors and features a 16:10 display.
    The Acer Swift 3 is powered by 12th-generation Intel processors, and it comes with up to a Quad HD display and a new Full HD webcam.

If neither of these interests you that much, you can take a look at our collection of the best Acer laptops to see if you want to buy some other Acer notebooks. Alternatively, you can also check out our collection of the best laptops if you don’t mind looking at notebooks from other manufacturers.

About author

Karthik Iyer
Karthik Iyer

Karthik covers PC hardware for XDA Computing. When not at work, you will find him yelling at his monitors while playing video games.

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