Acer Swift 5: An antimicrobial laptop that needs a good cleaning


If you are heading to the Acer swift 5 product page, it looks like the standard pitch for an Intel Evo laptop: light, thin and solid battery life.

The page even has a discrete Nvidia GPU that the Swift 5 series doesn’t.

But scroll down, and under the fold is a feature that appears to be made for a planet struggling with a pandemic – a antimicrobial solution.

The short version is that the laptop has a silver ion coating on the chassis and screen, which is believed to reduce the amount of bacteria on the laptop’s surfaces.

“For screens as well as touchpads, by incorporating silver ions (Ag +) as an antimicrobial agent into Corning Gorilla Glass, the glass surface can stay cleaner longer and less susceptible to odor-causing bacteria,” Acer said.

“This is done via traces of silver ions leaching from the surface of the glass to remove surface bacteria while providing other benefits such as improved durability and improved scratch resistance.”

It all sounds good, but does it actually help?

Antimicrobial protection is limited to the touch surface. All antimicrobial solutions, including Corning Gorilla Glass antimicrobial glass, do not claim to protect users or provide a direct or implied health ‘benefit’, a footnote states. of page.

That would appear to be a no then, which is probably for the best as testing for microbes per square millimeter is not a measure I’m willing to take.

The full irony of bragging about such a feature in the 2020s is that the Acer laptop is absolutely riddled with crapware that customers certainly haven’t asked for.

The Swift 5 has some cool additions, such as Firefox preinstalled, but then it has a collection of crap that is very boring.

From almost full-screen Dropbox and Firefox takeovers, to the Amazon Assistant and NortonLifeLock pop-ups, and even free in-game currency, the advertising is relentless.

If you buy a Swift 5, the first recommendation for this machine is to either wipe it with your own, purer copy of Windows, or put Linux on it, which is a shame because otherwise it is a very usable machine.

The main improvement that users will notice on the Evo platform is the upgrade to onboard graphics, otherwise the 11th gen Core i5 might be a few years old and you wouldn’t really notice it except that it’s a bit quieter. when pushed, but not completely silent as the fan is noticeable.

Beyond its silver ions, the addition of the touchscreen is good, but the display resolution is only Full HD, and when combined with the default zoom level of 150% in Windows, barely passable.

The selection of ports on the Swift 5 is curious. There is a single USB-C port which can take power, as is the Acer barrel plug, both of which are on the left side, but the battery indicator light is on the right. Otherwise, an HDMI port and a pair of USB-3 ports round out the lineup.

Another factor that doesn’t help the Swift 5 is its recommended price of AU $ 2,400 for the Core i7 version. At the time of writing, it was available for pickup at a major retailer for AU $ 1,800. That puts it directly opposite Dell’s latest XPS, which also carries an Evo sticker, or potentially the Lenovo Yoga 9i.

It also means the Swift 5 is roughly the same price as an Apple M1 MacBook Air. In this competition, Intel needs all the extra grunts to compete, and doesn’t need to be slowed down by Norton wanting to bore you with an ad claiming that it will speed up your laptop. The best way to do that would be to uninstall ASAP.

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