Acer Swift 3 SF314-52 review – budget 14-inch laptop with Nvidia MX150 graphics


  1. Sushil

    July 23, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Man i have obeserved a 240GB kingston ssd in every review of yours.. I was thinking how do you add that additional drive even when there is not space & connection for another ssd drive.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 23, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      it's just an external SSD hooked up through USB. I use it to load up the benchmarks and usually don't disconnect it before taking the hwifno pic :)

  2. alex

    July 26, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks for the review. Not surprising to see cpu throttling, hopefully intel improved heat a little bit with coffee lake, otherwise throttling could be even more aggressive in those parts.

    afaik, the dell xps 13 and and some hp 13 inch will be receiving coffee lake, they are being tested right now but not sure if dell will release in early fall or towards the end.

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 26, 2017 at 1:41 pm

      I'm really curious on that XPS 13 with Coffee Lake

      • Nitesh

        July 31, 2017 at 3:01 pm

        I hope Coffee Lake means 13"ers will start using 15-28 watt quads.

  3. alex

    July 26, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Here are the links for the i5-8250u


  4. Bappy

    July 31, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    If you could do a video review that would be great!

  5. Anon

    August 2, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Is this out yet? I can't find it anywhere?!

  6. Matt

    August 18, 2017 at 2:38 am

    "I absolutely hate laptops with glossy non-touch displays."
    That is what anti-glare screen protectors are for. Also makes the touch experience with fingers/stylus much better thanks to their smooth matte coating. I'm quite surprised very few people know of their existence and dismiss a laptop/tablet/phone just because of its glossy screen.

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 18, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      But this is not a touchscreen :) I don't have a problem with glossy touchscreens, I understand the need for the glass in that case, I don't on something without touch. I've been using laptops with normal matte screens for a very long time and without an issue, I can't accept or encourage this approach that for me makes no sense.

      And yes, I'm aware of screen protectors. But my experience with them isn't great. Not that easy to apply perfectly, not that reliable and an added expense that I can't justify. Just my2c, of course :)

      • Matt

        August 19, 2017 at 1:20 am

        That is true indeed. Precisely one of many reasons why I prefer business and gaming laptops to consumer laptops.

      • Andrei Girbea

        August 19, 2017 at 4:33 am

        I do too, I've been using ThinkPads for a long time in the past, but business laptops are expensive and I'd reckon most users can't justify paying the extra. Luckily there are a lot more mainstream laptops with matte screens these days.

  7. John Smith

    August 20, 2017 at 11:31 am

    In the specs a 512gb ssd 2.5inch bay was mentioned. Does that meam there is a 2.5inch bay inside the laptop you can install a hdd?

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 20, 2017 at 1:56 pm

      Yes. I didn't get to take a pic of the insides for this laptops, but yes, there are an M.2 80 mm slot and a 2.5" bay for storage

  8. Igor Juric

    September 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Do you happen to know if RAM can be upgraded to 16GB?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 3, 2017 at 4:42 am

      I didn't get to openm this one, so I don't know if the memory is soldered or if it comes with a DIMM. If it's soldered it's non-upgradeable, and from what I'm seeing from HWinfo, I believe it is soldered. Make sure to check in other sources though, perhaps you can find a disassembly guide

  9. Roy

    September 5, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Do you know if the HDMI port is 2.0 or not?

  10. Seeratlas

    September 24, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    for those with questions bout the i5 coffee lake/mxx150 14" version, I am typing on it now :) A few comments, 1st, when hard/long gaming you Can get it to throttle-barely, and not all the time, depends a LOT on whether you use a cooler. I have done several hour long sessions and hwinfo shows a max of 82-83 degrees on core 0. If running on the intel 620, but maxxing the cpu, it has NOT throttled. The Nvid Gpu has registered a max of 70c.
    Second, the included ssd is an 256 gig intel nvme, not quick as a Samsung 900 series, but faster than the sata ssd's by a bunch. The fan DOES NOT run constantly as the author noticed on his unit. The i5 8 series seems a very efficient chip. I do NOT notice hot spots on the chassis, and sometimes game in bed with the unit on my lap. It is not at all uncomfortable. I'm surprised at the comments on the screen. I have noticed neither a lack of brightness, nor washed out colors-seems fine to me, but I don't work outside with a laptop. Similarly, i cannot recall any incidents of reflection issues. The screen seems just fine to me. This is NOT an easy laptop to open up, the fit and finish, seem exceptionally good, and Tight! Even after removing all the screws, I was unable to 'ease' my my pry tools into any seam, and I have a full set of pro tools and have building, disassembling laptops and desktops since before the compaq luggable (infer "LOOONG damned time" here..). Anyway, i took the chance, pulled the trigger with Amazon, and am both amazed and fully satisfied with what Acer has done here. In truth, a rather remarkable effort, and hats off for a job well done. Excellent review here, and your predictions are pretty much borne out..

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 24, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks for the feedback. Are you sure the fans aren't always active, but just very quiet and inaudible in a normal environment?

      As far as the screen goes, is it the same panel as on my unit? you can tell that with HWInfo. Even if it is, my impressions can be subjective, I test a lot of laptops, some of them with very nice screens, so there's a good chance my expectations are higher than the average user's, despite the fact that I do my best to post an objective opinion in the articles.

    • TCJ

      September 27, 2017 at 2:41 am

      Thanks for all the info! Does your model also have a slot to add another SSD? Or is it limited to only the storage that it ships with?

  11. Peter Wiersma

    September 29, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Thanks for the review Andrei Girbea. Are you gonna do a review on the new version (SF314-52G-55WQ) with the 8250u CPU and the mx150 GPU? The specs look promising but there is not much information on it. Except for the comment from Seeratlas and a user review on Amazon. I really like to know if they improved the screen and fan noise.

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 29, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Can't tell for sure, but probably not. I don't think that model is available over here yet.

  12. Kris

    October 2, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    I'd be interesting in seeing some comments on the 15.6" version. While I prefer the 14" form factor, I'd also like to be able to go up to 16 GB. It seems that to get the MX150 with expandable RAM, you have to go for the 15.6" version, as the 14" uses LPDDR3.

    I'm wondering how hard it's going to be to get a 13" or 14" with an MX150 that's upgradable to 16 GB at a reasonable price.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 3, 2017 at 3:22 am

      The 15 inch model is not available in my region yet. Have you actually seen a disassembly guide that shows accessible DIMMS inside, or are you just assuming the RAM isn't soldered on those one based on the fact that the specs sheet claim DDR4 memory?

  13. Kris

    October 3, 2017 at 9:57 am

    I know DDR4 can be soldered as well as the Spin5s have soldered DDR. At least with one model here in the US, it's showing that it comes with 8 GB standard and up to 16 GB maximum. Now how that's done I'm not sure. I'm not sure if there's just one DIMM with an 8 GB that can take a 16 GB module, 2 DIMMs with one available, or one DIMM available with 8 GB soldered on. Any of those would work for me.

    I've only seen tear downs of the 14" model. At least from what I've been seeing in some of the Lenovo and Asus models, the 15" class has had actual DIMM slots while the 14" and smaller have been soldered. Of course, there are exceptions to everything.

    I'm just hoping the 16 GB maximum is allowing for expandability.

    15" is starting to pop up here (Amazon has a iGPU model only), so maybe we'll find out soon.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 4, 2017 at 5:31 am

      That could also mean that there's either an option with 8 GB or 16 GB, both soldered. Normally the 14 and 15 inch models share the same internals, but hopefully that's not the case here.

      • Kris

        October 4, 2017 at 11:18 am

        True. I'm hoping there's a socket as Acer seems to skimp on memory quantity except in their higher end laptops. More available if you want it, but they don't have to include the cost or create a different SKU. Most seem to settle around 8 GB, with 4 GB on low end.

        Guess we won't know until you get one or someone else is able to open one up.

        Sometimes I wish vendors would make this info easier to find.

      • Andrei Girbea

        October 4, 2017 at 11:27 am

        I double checked with Acer today, they don't have an estimate for the 15inch model's availability over here. Hopefully someone else gets it and posts these details, I'd keep an eye on Reddit and the forum on

  14. Kyle

    October 11, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    I know this is the 14" model review but,

    What's the difference between Acer Swift 3 and Aspire 5, the 15.6" models with MX150)? Other than maintenance, ports, and some parts like Wi-Fi chips and power supply they seem almost identical which doesn't explain the price gap. Build quality maybe? I've read both yours and NBCs' reviews yet can't seem to figure this out.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 14, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      They're very similar specs wise, same CPU/GPU and nearly the same battery. Not sure if the internals are the same as well, I didn't get to look at the 15-inch Swift 3. As far as I can tell the main difference between them is just at the case level, aesthetically.

      You should also check out if they have different screens, different keyboards and what notebokcheck have to say about the speakers and wireless performance.

  15. Jonathan

    November 4, 2017 at 4:29 am

    Hi, will you be re-reviewing this laptop with the i5-8250U processor and MX 150 now that it has been released?

    If you are able to get a hold of a unit that has the i5-8250 with the HD620 internal graphics only that would be a favor to canadians since at this time I can't find a canadian seller with both the 8th gen CPU and the MX 150 card in a 14 inch frame (not even the canadian acer site has this option :/ )

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      I might, can't tell fro sure though. Everything mentioned in here stands for that config as well though, aside for the performance and temps sections.

  16. Hugo

    November 20, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    Hi thanks for this amazingly detailed review !
    I was wondering, the games and the fps shown, were they tested on this laptop, the acer swift 3 with i7-7500U and MX150 or are these from another system with just the MX150 but other CPU,ram etc?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 21, 2017 at 6:15 am

      This laptop in the mentioned configuration: i7-7500 and mx150.

  17. Simon

    August 4, 2018 at 10:43 pm


    i5-8250U Intel UHD graphics 620, 3220 mAh Li-ion battery 10 hours.

    Sorry to be late to the party but we just bought this for our mom, mostly for the screen (!!!) who looked much better at Best Buy then the other cheaper laptops, and for the 10 hours battery life.

    Now, I know nothing about nothing, dumb as a stick here, but the 10 hours marketing battery thing got me. Yet, my mom tells me she's getting about 5 hours battery life on her 5 days old brand new Acer. I thought the 10 hours battery life meant she would be getting at least 8-9 hours for the first year or two…

    All my mom does is browse, facebook, Skype, email, browse, browse, browse… That's pretty much it. No games, no movies.

    Now, coming here what I understand is that what she does is everyday browsing and that's the second most taxing on the battery after gaming. So the 5 hours she's getting looks okay after all.

    Is that an Acer thing or any laptops would give her around 5 hours battery life for everyday browsing?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Andrei Girbea

      August 5, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      It's not. Browsers are pretty taxing these days and you can expect to get about 1h of browsing per 10-12W of battery capacity, generally speaking, from this kind of hardware and the screen's brightness at about 50%, no matter the manufacturer. This laptop gets a 48 Wh battery, hence about 4-5 hours of browsing. The advertised 10h are, well, advertisement, but you can get close to that with video content, so it's not entirely untrue :)

      And for what it's worth, this Acer actually gets a bigger battery than most other laptops in the same price range. Using the power profiles in Windows (click on battery, choose Better Battery) and dimming the screen should help getting longer run-times to some extent, but don't expect much.

      • Simon

        August 5, 2018 at 10:12 pm

        Thank you Andrei,

        I was about to return the laptop thinking the battery might be defective but it doesn't seem to be the case after all. You're the only review I read that talks about how a battery works so thanks for that. All other reviews says the Acer has great battery life… 5 hours isn't great in my book but it is what it is after all.

        Thanks again Andrei!

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