To be specific, it’s Intel’s Iris X Max GPU, so new that it isn’t expected to be officially announced until 29 October. The Swift 3x is expected to be the first of many devices to support the new technology, which is combined here with Intel's 11th-gen Tiger Lake processors.
Relatively little is known about the Iris X Max, making it difficult to know how much of a performance boost it will provide over the built-in Iris Plus we’ve become accustomed to. Acer’s Co-COO Jerry Kao says it is aimed at “those who need style and performance on the go”. It was impossible to verify these claims without testing for an extended period, but performance seemed more than satisfactory in my short time with the device.
In pitching the device to creatives, the importance of battery life is brought to the forefront. Acer claims the 58.5Wh cell in the Swift 3x can get you 17.5 hours of usage from a single charge, although this probably doesn’t apply to demanding tasks like gaming and video editing. It’s good news, then, that the fast charging tech will get you an estimated 4 hours from just 30 minutes plugged in.
You can also plug in HDMI, USB-A and 3.5mm jack cables in without an adapter, thanks to the Swift 3x’s plentiful port selection.
Like the Porsche Design Book RS, it comes with a 14in LCD touchscreen at a Full HD resolution. Unlike that device, not having OLED is just fine at this price point. Acer stressed its preference for a matt screen, which reduced glare and improved visibility in the bright environment where I was testing the Swift 3x.
Speaking of price, the Swift 3x will start at €849 (approx £770) when it launches in Europe in November. North American markets will have to wait until December and can expect to pay at least £899.99. This positions it between the Swift 3 and Swift 5 in Acer’s lineup.
The Swift 5 is a regular in our best laptop chart, while the Swift 3 is currently one of our best budget laptops. It remains to be seen if Acer can replicate this success with the Swift 3x, but the early signs are promising.