CES 2022: Acer refreshes Swift X laptop, Chromebook lineups

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Acer Swift X SFX14-51G

Acer has announced new laptops at both ends of the user spectrum: those looking for power and portability in a refined design and those who need the basic computing experience of a Chromebook. At CES 2022, the manufacturer has refreshed its Swift X ultraportable line as well as introduced a trio of new Chromebooks.

It was just a couple of months ago that we reviewed the Swift X, a svelte notebook that packed performance thanks to AMD’s Ryzen 7 processor and Nvidia discrete graphics. Now Acer is adding new versions with Intel instead, specifically the just-launched 12th-generation “Alder Lake” Core processors. The 14-inch SFX14-51G is the Intel analogue to the AMD version we previously looked at, while the SFX16-52G adds a 16-inch edition to the Swift X family.

The SFX-51G maintains the same form factor as its AMD predecessor (3.1lbs chassis with 0.7-inch thickness) as well as the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, which is included in the U.S. version. The larger SFX16-52G takes a slightly different tact, eschewing the Nvidia GPU for Intel’s new Arc discrete graphics, and touts cooling features (dual fans, dual copper pipes, larger exhaust port) to handle the resulting heat. At just under 4lbs, the 16-inch Swift X remains highly portable, and according to Acer, it meets the performance and responsiveness requirements for Intel’s Evo platform.

Both new Swift X systems offer up to 16GB of RAM, 2TB of solid-state storage, and 16:10 aspect ratio displays, though the SFX-51G’s screen sports 2,240×1,400 resolution and the SFX16-52G’s has 2,560×1,600 (WQXGA) resolution. Acer claims a 92.22% screen-to-body ratio for both new models and includes its BluelightShield technology to reduce eye strain. Pricing and availability details were not part of the announcement, so you’ll have to wait for Acer to divulge those details in the near future.

The company’s new Chromebooks, on the other hand, already have release dates and pricing teed up. In fact, the latest Chromebook 315 offering (CB315-4H/T) is slated for release later this month at $299.99. Despite the low price, it provides the largest screen — a 15.6-inch full HD (1,920×1,080) display — along with a roomy keyboard complete with a numeric keypad. Other specs are in line with the low price point (Intel Celeron N4500 or N5100 or Pentium Silver N6000 processor, up to 8GB of memory, 64GB or 128GB of storage capacity), though Acer claims a decent 10 hours of battery life for the 315.

The other two Chromebooks have been given a June release date. The latest Chromebook 314 (CB314-3H/T) is configured similarly to its bigger 315 sibling (albeit with a 14-inch screen) but boasts enhanced durability to pass MIL-STD-810H testing. It’s also priced from $299.99, and Acer is touting the OceanGlass touchpad, which is made from ocean-bound plastics, on both Chromebooks.

Rounding out the new Chromebook trio is a refreshed Chromebook Spin 513 2-in-1, which updates its predecessor that rolled out last May. That was the first Chromebook to make use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7c Compute Platform, but the updated configuration goes a different direction with a MediaTek Kompanio 1380 octo-core processor. At 10 hours of claimed battery life, the Kompanio promises less juice than the Snapdragon but may provide better performance for multitasking. The screen is also updated from 13.3 inches to 13.5 inches, with a 3:2 aspect ratio and 2,256×1,504 resolution, and the Spin 513 has MIL-STD-810H durability features like the new Chromebook 314. With its convertible form factor and advanced design, the new Spin 513 comes with a higher starting price tag for its June release: $599.99.

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