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Whenever people hear the name "Nvidia," a majority of them will think of gaming PCs. After all, Team Green has made quite a name for itself among gamers as a developer of some of the best hardware on the market. Whenever Nvidia releases a new graphics card line, people treat it like the launch of a new console.
This brings us to the Acer Swift X 14, a laptop that can come equipped with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 GPU. You may be wondering, "Does a work laptop really need such hardware?" Yes, it does. You see, Nvidia's GPUs have other use cases outside of just gaming. Its powerful ability to render 3D graphics is very helpful for professionals and students in creative fields.
Acer has told me this computer is a combination of a powerful processor and a discrete graphics card, making it "ideal for video editing, photography, design... and more." The Swift X 14 comes pre-installed with Nvidia Studio, too, a software suite aimed at creative professionals. So with all that in mind, I put the latest Acer laptop to the test.
When it comes to stress-testing a laptop and really understanding how performant it is, benchmarking is the way to go. I decided to run this laptop next to two other devices I had with me at the time: the ASUS Zenbook 14X and Alienware x14 RS. Although the Swift X is no powerhouse, it still did surprisingly well, exceeding other laptops in some cases.
As you can see, the Acer Swift X 14 came out on top on two tests, pointing to its powerful hardware. Needless to say, this is a great performing laptop, and the numbers prove it.
Of course, there is more to the Swift X 14 besides the benchmarks.
The laptop sports a gorgeous-looking 14-inch OLED display and outputs a max resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels with a refresh rate of 120Hz. A big part of the screen's quality comes from image-enhancing software. It supports DisplayHDR True Black 500, enabling high contrasts. Plus, the Swift X 14 covers the entirety of the DCI-P3 gamut, allowing for lifelike color.
I want to shout out the wide array of ports it has on the side. For as lightweight as it is, the Swift X 14 comes with a lot of them: two Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB 3.2 inputs, an HDMI port, and a slot for an SD card. So if you ever need to connect this laptop to a monitor, or want to use it as your on-the-go photo-editing machine, you have a variety of options at your disposal.
As for any negatives, they come down to the design. There are aspects that I'm not a fan of, but that's just me.
Appearance-wise, the Swift X 14 has a metallic silver finish with a black keyboard. It's nothing flashy -- it's not trying to be -- but it gets the job done. The keyboard is mostly nice to type on; however, the keys do feel a bit flimsy. In fact, the whole laptop feels rather fragile. If you decide to buy this, I urge you not to eat or drink near the machine, or let your little cousin clamp down on the keys.
Additionally, I wish the placement of the speakers were anywhere but the bottom. Bottom-firing speakers can sound muffled, even if they're relying on bouncing audio from the surface the laptop is on. Be aware there's no subwoofer, too, so the bass levels won't start any dance parties. At the very least, the audio in general sounds crisp, with plenty of volume for most use cases.
I do recommend keeping a charger close by because this is one hungry computer. During my testing, the laptop lasted around 7.5 hours on a single charge, which is just good enough to get you by a workday but nothing more.
ZDNET's buying advice
As a writer primarily, I personally won't get a lot of use out of the Swift X 14. But I still recommend it to creative professionals looking for a MacBook-esque laptop but want to remain in a Windows environment. This is a good choice thanks to its high level of performance (as detailed in the benchmark tests), OLED screen, and software suite. You can't go wrong with the Swift X 14, in my opinion.
If you are buying this, I recommend going all out by purchasing the model with the GeForce RTX 4050 graphics card. It'll cost you around $1,500, but you do benefit greatly from the more powerful and capable hardware. If you're on a budget, you can opt for the GeForce RTX 3050 which will run you $1,099. Rendering will be a little slower, but it's still plenty powerful and more than capable for design work.