Display Analysis

Acer has outfitted the Swift 3 with a 1920x1080 IPS display, which is a big improvement over the TN displays that used to plague AMD based systems. This is a display with a Corning Gorilla Glass cover, but there’s no touch.

To test the display capabilities, we leverage SpectraCal’s CalMAN software suite, along with an X-Rite i1DisplayPro colorimeter for brightness and contrast, and an X-Rite i1Pro2 spectrophotometer for color accuracy testing.

Brightness and Contrast

Display - Max Brightness

Display - Black Levels

Display - Contrast Ratio

The Acer doesn’t come close to other laptops in terms of overall brightness, at just 260 nits, so outdoor usage, especially with the glass over the display, is going to be a challenge, but the black levels are very good, so the contrast ratio is very solid. The display goes down to 20 nits, which is still fairly bright, but would be fine in a dim room. This isn’t a tablet you’d use in bed, so there’s likely no need to go down to the low single-digits we see on some devices.

Grayscale

SpectraCal CalMAN

Display - Grayscale Accuracy

Here was a surprise. Acer absolutely delivers in terms of grayscale out of the box, with fantastic RGB balance, and a great average result without the big spikes we sometimes see closer to 100% white on some systems. Gamma is a bit low, but still close to the 2.2 level we’d like to see.

Gamut

SpectraCal CalMAN

Display - Gamut Accuracy

Here’s a good sign that Acer considers the Swift 3 a lower-tier model. This display doesn’t even come close to covering the entire sRGB gamut, with all three primary colors short of the target at 100%. The blue results are especially terrible, with an error level of 17.6 at 100% when you’re looking for a result under 3.0.

Saturation

SpectraCal CalMAN

Display - Saturation Accuracy

This is just a more comprehensive view of the gamut results, so it’s not surprising to see a less than amazing average error level here too. All of the sweeps are well short of the targets, and the error levels start to creep up very early.

Gretag Macbeth

SpectraCal CalMAN

Display - GMB Accuracy

The GMB test is the most comprehensive, covering not just the primaries and secondaries, but also various colors in between, and the important skin tones. With the lack of gamut coverage, there’s plenty of errors here, but for the most part, they are a lot less severe than the pure primaries.

The following image shows the target color on the bottom and the actual displayed color on the top. This image will be relative though because any errors in your own display will prevent an absolute look at the differences, but you can still clearly see the excellent grayscale results, marred by the lack of gamut coverage on the deeper colors.

SpectraCal CalMAN

Display Conclusion

This is definitely a mixed bag conclusion. Acer is targeting a lower price bracket on the Swift 3, and that shows when you see a display that is this far short of covering all of sRGB, but at the same time, they offer some of the best out of the box grayscale results we’ve seen outside of perhaps a Surface device. Still, at a $949 MSRP for the laptop tested, it would be nice to see a display that can cover all of sRGB.

The 1920x1080 resolution is the perfect fit for this laptop as well, allowing Acer to keep the price down, but still offering enough resolution for a 15.6-inch device. You can easily run this at 100% scaling, which avoids any issues you’d see with higher resolution laptops, although most of those issues are a huge problem anymore.

GPU Performance: Vega at 15-Watts Battery Life and Charge Time
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  • Flunk - Thursday, May 3, 2018 - link

    Or it hits a point where it can't fit the frame-buffer into the cache memory and has to draw it in main memory instead. I think that's pretty likely, there is only so much you can do with 128MB of memory, this is the same problem the Xbox One suffers from. Performance falls off a cliff once you overflow the eDRAM cache. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, May 3, 2018 - link

    Nope, which is why I talked about Notebookcheck's result. Reply
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, May 3, 2018 - link

    OK "IntelUser2000". It's great to have your objective input. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, May 3, 2018 - link

    Okay Mr. Objective. Reply
  • oynaz - Friday, May 4, 2018 - link

    The Internet. The place where usernames like "FartsOnChickens" are more trustworthy than ones like "IntelUser" Reply
  • Krysto - Thursday, May 3, 2018 - link

    Throttling maybe? Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, May 3, 2018 - link

    those're certainly interesting configurations. The only way to get a 512GB SSD is AMD, the only way to get 16GB of ram is Intel. The latter's especially sad since the AMD configuration's more powerful GPU is capable of using more of the system memory for VRAM.

    I'll second the comment about the 3 column num-pad being an awful idea. If you're part of the majority of people who don't use one, it adds to the BOM and is guilty of putting the main keyboard and trackpad off center. If you do want a numpad, you probably touchtype it and the truncated layout means you're not able to on this one anyway.

    The 15.6" laptop numpad needs to be limited to models that are either thick enough to do ports under the keyboard or that have so few ports that they can put them all in the hinge area and still run the keys out to the edge of the chassis. Or using oldschool inch thick chunky bezels I guess; but if you're making the chassis that large you might as put a slim bezel 17.3" screen in instead.
    Reply
  • Targon - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - link

    And due to the nature of these things, a bad keyboard is going to keep people from buying a given laptop. This is all about Acer, and really the few companies that are releasing Ryzen based laptops not really being focused on sales. What are the deal breakers when it comes to laptops? You have keyboard, you have screen, and you have battery life. If you don't provide good choices for these things, people will not buy the laptop, even if the CPU is amazing.

    Some of this may have to do with the NVIDIA GPP and companies really trying not to get cut off by NVIDIA, or there is another reason.
    Reply
  • LarryTempleton - Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - link

    What is it then? Sheer incompetence? Why can’t a laptop PC maker ever get all the parts right at the same time? Is there an in-built insecurity to actually challenging Apple with a truly thought through design?

    Even when Apple really drops the ball (as they have with their current MacBook Pro) PC laptop makers still can’t even figure out a functional keyboard option... It’s embarrassing.
    Reply
  • Jimster480 - Monday, May 28, 2018 - link

    its called being paid by intel to make sure a specific set of components never ends up in a laptop. As the DIY market has shown.... everyone is choosing Ryzen over inferior Intel chips riddled with bugs, exploits, slowdowns and other nonsense. And Intel giving everyone the finger in terms of fixing these bugs.. Reply

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