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Acer Updates Swift And Spin Notebook Lines, Reveals Convertible Chromebook With Google Play Support (Updated)

Updated 10/14/16, 10:45am CT: The Acer Swift 7 is now available in US markets, starting at $999.

Acer unveiled a slew of thin, light and portable laptops during IFA, some of which will feature Intel’s upcoming 7th generation Kaby Lake processors. The new Swift series are the thinnest of the bunch, whereas the Spin series offers convertible touch screen systems. Acer also added a system to Chromebook line, too, which has a convertible design and Google Play support.

Thinner Than A Centimeter: Acer Swift Series

The Acer Swift series is aimed at consumers seeking a slim, portable laptop, and its members--the Swift 7, Swift 5 and Swift 3--will all feature 7th generation Intel (Kaby Lake) processors.

Acer crammed a 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor into the Swift 7 line and claimed it to be the world’s first sub-1 cm laptop. The Swift 7 measures 0.39 inches and only weighs only 2.48lbs. The Swift 7’s unibody design will be available in a black and gold-toned finish, and the 13.3-inch display is constructed with Corning Gorilla Glass.

It's tempting to think that the "Core i5" Kaby Lake chip in the Swift 7 will make for impressive performance, but the reality is that because Intel removed the "Core m" branding from some of its CPUs with this tock, it's completely unclear which Core i5 processor is in this or any notebook without a specific SKU, which Acer has thus far not provided. (You can see the full list of Kaby Lake SKUs in our review.)

No less noteworthy, in any case, are the Swift 5 and Swift 3. The Swift 5, while not as thin as the Swift 7, can be configured with up to a 7th generation Intel "Core i7" (Kaby Lake) processor. The Swift 3 line will be available in both Skylake and Kaby Lake models. The Swift 5 will be 0.57 inches thick and 3lbs, whereas the Swift 3 is slightly larger at 0.7 inches and 3.3lbs.

Finally, the Swift 1 targets the budget laptop market, offering Intel Pentium and Celeron models and up to 12 hours of battery life. Acer didn't specify which generation of Intel processors these would be, but because Intel hasn't announced any Pentium or Celeron Kaby Lake SKUs, we're assuming these are Skylake chips. It measures 0.7 inches thick and weighs 3.5lbs. The specs illustrate the Swift 1 as a no-nonsense, budget system packed with only the essentials, making it ideal for students.

The Swift 7 and Swift 3 will be available in North America in October; the Swift 5 and Swift 1 will arrive later in November.

Acer Swift 7Acer Swift 5Acer Swift 3Acer Swift 1
Screen13.3” FHD (1920x1080) IPS display withCorning Gorilla Glass14” FHD (1920x1080) IPS display14” FHD (1920x1080) IPS display14” HD (1366x768) display14” HD (1366x768)Acer ComfyView display
Processor7th Generation Intel Core i57th Generation Intel Core i3/i5/i76th/7th Generation Intel Core i7/i5/i3Intel Pentium or Intel Celeron
Memory8 GB of onboard LPDDR3 memory4 / 8 GB of onboard LPDDR3 memory4 / 8 GB of onboard DDR4 memory4 GB of onboard DDR3L
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 615Intel HD GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 520Intel HD Graphics 520
StorageSSD: 256 GBSSD: Up to 512 GBSSD:  Up to 512 GBeMMC: Up to 128 GB
Dimensions324.6 x 229.6 x 9.98 mm (WxDxH)327 x 228 x 14.58 mm (WxDxH)341 x 236.6 x 17.95 mm (WxDxH)339.4 x 234.9 x 17.9 mm (WxDxH)
Weight1.12 kg1.36 kg1.5 kg1.6 kg
Battery LifeUp to 9 hoursUp to 13 hoursUp to 10 hours (FHD panel)Up to 12 hours (HD panel)Up to 12 hours
CameraHD webcam with HDR supportHD webcam with HDR supportHD webcam with HDR supportAcer Webcam
Starting Price$999$749$499$249

Multiple Portable Convertibles: Acer Spin Series

First and foremost among Acer's Spin series of convertible laptops is the Acer Spin 7, which will feature a 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel "Core i7" processor. The touchscreen measures in at 14 inches, and like the Swift 7, is constructed with Corning Gorilla Glass. The Spin models aren't quite as thin and light as the Swift line, but the Spin 7 is still quite portable, measuring 0.43 inches thick and weighing 2.6lbs.

Acer’s Spin 5 and Spin 3 are larger than the Spin 7 and have trimmed-down processor options. In return, the Spin 5 and Spin 3 feature increased memory, storage and battery capacities. The Spin 5 offers a proprietary 360° dual-torque hinge that Acer claimed is wobble-free. The Spin 3 has ample room for dual storage and features a backlit keyboard.

Acer also provided a budget-friendly convertible touchscreen laptop, the Spin 1, which features an antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass display. Like the Swift 1, the Spin 1 can also be configured with either a Pentium or Celeron processor. (Just as with the Swift 1, Acer didn't disclose which generation of CPUs these would be. Again, we're assuming Skylake.)

The Acer Spin 7, Spin 5 and Spin 3 will be available in October, whereas the Spin 1 come in December.

Acer Spin 7Acer Spin 5Acer Spin 3Acer Spin 1
Screen14” FHD IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 and 10-point touch13.3” FHD (1920x1080) IPS with 10-pointtouch15.6” FHD (1920x1080) IPS15.6” HD (1366x768) with 10-point touch1.6” FHD (1920x1080) IPS11.6” HD (1366x768) with Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass
Processor7th Generation Intel Core i77th Intel Core i5/i36th Intel Core i7/i5/i3, Intel Pentium or Intel CeleronIntel Pentium or Intel Celeron
Memory8 GB of onboard LPDDR3 memoryUp to 16 GB of DDR4 memoryUp to 12 GB of DDR4 memoryUp to 8 GB of DDR3L memory
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 615Intel HD Graphics 520Intel HD Graphics 520 / 510Intel HD Graphics
StorageSSD: 256 GBSSD: Up to 512 GBSSD:  Up to 512 GBHDD: Up to 1TBHDD: Up to 1 TBeMMC: Up to 64 GB
Dimensions324.6 x 229.6 x 10.98 mm (WxDxH)328.8 x 228.5 x 19.7 mm (WxDxH)381.5 x 250.9 x 22.5 mm (WxDxH)298 x 210 x 20.3 mm (WxDxH)
Weight1.2 kg1.6 kg2.15 kg1.5 kg
Battery LifeUp to 8 hoursUp to 10 hoursUp to 9 hoursUp to 9 hours
CameraHD webcam with HDR supportHD webcam with HDR supportHD webcam with HDR supportHD webcam
Starting Price$1,199$599$499$249

A Convertible Chromebook With Google Play Support: Acer Chromebook R 13

Chrome-savvy customers who are also looking for some convertible action ought to consider the Chromebook R 13, the industry’s first convertible Chromebook. The Chromebook R 13 is powered by the MediaTek M8173C Core Pilot and has a battery life of up to 12 hours. You can prop it up at multiple angles and use its 13.3 inch IPS touch screen just as you would with a Windows-based convertible laptop.

Most notably, the Chromebook R 13 will support Android apps from Google’s Play Store. Ever since Play Store support for Chrome OS was announced, we've been expecting new Chromebooks to launch with the new capability. Suddenly having access to the vast app catalog available on Android will make Chromebooks even more attractive than they already are to budget-conscious consumers and school systems.

The Acer Chromebook R 13 will be available this October for $399.

Acer Chromebook R 13
Screen13.3” FHD IPS display
ProcessorMediaTek M8173C Core Pilot quad-core processor
Memory4 GB of onboard LPDDR3 memory
GraphicsImagination PowerVR GX6250 GPU
StorageeMMC: Up to 64 GB
Dimensions326 x 228 x 15.5 mm (WxDxH)
Weight1.49 kg
Battery LifeUp to 12 hours
CameraHD FOV webcam with HDR
Starting Price$399
  • wifiburger
    finally about time google play on a convertible notebook, those will sell like crazy,
    bye bye to microsoft market share on notebooks