If Apple is searching for another reason why its share of the PC market has recently declined -- besides aging hardware -- it should take a look at the Windows competition. While those laptops may lack the cachet of the Mac name, they've clearly caught up in the look-and-feel department.
Apple once cornered the market on skinny, chic laptops that were in stark contrast to the boxy ones running Windows. But manufacturers have responded with models that out-svelte MacBooks while managing to include the latest hardware. Six months ago, HP debuted its Spectre laptop, which was just 0.41 inches thick and delivered the luxurious features of an Apple system -- at a MacBook-like starting price of $1,149.
At that time, HP touted the Spectre as the world's thinnest notebook. Fast forward to October, and Acer is claiming to steal that title away with its new Swift 7 laptop family. The company has managed to shave 0.02 inches off the height of its chassis, though at 2.48 pounds, it still is slightly heavier than Apple's MacBook (as is the Spectre).
Like the Spectre, the Swift 7 is clearly targeting the upscale with its features and design. It may not be as flashy as the Spectre, but Acer's offering has a matte black aluminum exterior with a gold interior. The first available Swift 7 model, the SF713-51-M90J, includes a Core i5-7Y54 Kaby Lake processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive, and a full HD 13.3-inch protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. It also comes with MU-MIMO 802.11 ac Wi-Fi for what Acer says is three times faster wireless performance, and the company claims up to 9 hours of battery life for the Swift 7.
In addition to being ever-so-thinner, the Swift 7 is slightly less expensive than the similarly spec'd Spectre. The Spectre starts at $1,169.99, and the Acer laptop is now available at $1,099.99. If you're not ready to purchase either one of these now, don't worry: Some other manufacturer will find a way to shave off a fraction of an inch off another new laptop soon enough -- whether it's useful or not.