Acer Swift X 16 review: the anti-MacBook Pro

Acer Swift X 16 front view showing display and keyboard.

Acer Swift X 16

MSRP $1,600.00

“The Acer Swift X 16 will draw you in with its OLED display and keep you around with its excellent performance.”


  • Superfast productivity performance
  • Good midrange creativity performance
  • Good value
  • Exceptional OLED display
  • Solid build quality


  • Keyboard isn’t the best
  • Battery life is below average
  • A bit thick

If you’re looking for a larger laptop for creative work, then you’ll find a bunch of options. Of course, the MacBook Pro is the first you’ll come across. But not everyone wants a Mac or has the cash on hand to afford it.

Acer’s latest Swift X 16, which technically fits into the company’s thin-and-light category while promising good enough performance for less demanding creators. And even though the Swift X 16 isn’t all that thin or light, but it’s a relatively affordable choice for this amount of performance. As it turns out, the Swift X 16 offers just enough speed to keep up with similarly priced machines, along with an OLED display that provides some of the best colors I’ve seen on a laptop of this type.

Specs and configurations

  Acer Swift X 16
Dimensions 14.03 x 9.82 x 0.85-1.06 inches
Weight 4.25 pounds
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS
AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS
Graphics Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050
Display 16.0-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS, 165Hz
16.0-inch 16:10 WQXGA+ (3200 x 2000) OLED, 120Hz
Storage 1TB SSD
Touch No
Ports 2 x USB-C USB4
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x microSD card reader
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 1080p
Operating system Windows 11
Battery 76 watt-hours

Acer offers two configurations of the Swift X 16 (SFX16-61G to refer to the specific product). The entry-level model comes in at $1,250 for an AMD Ryzen 7 7840HS CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU, and a 16.0-inch WQXGA IPS display running at up to 165Hz. For $1,600, the CPU is upgraded to a Ryzen 9 7940U, the GPU to an RTX 4050, and the display to a WQXGA+ OLED panel at up to 120Hz.

The HP Envy 16 is a little more expensive at $1,750 for an Intel Core i7-13700H, the same amount of RAM and storage, and a faster RTX 4060 GPU. You have to pay a lot more with the HP for an OLED display, though, and even then, it isn’t as sharp or colorful as Acer’s option.

Not truly thin and light

Acer Swift X 16 front angled view showing display and keyboard.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

As mentioned in the introduction, Acer includes this laptop in its Swift lineup, which usually focuses on being thin and light. The Swift X 16 isn’t really that, though, at up to 1.06 inches thick and weighing 4.25 pounds. It’s not that heavy, but quite a few other 16-inch laptops with similar specs are thinner. The HP Envy 16, for example, weighs 5.12 pounds but is just 0.78 inches thick, while the Dell XPS 15 weighs about the same at 4.23 pounds but it’s 0.71 inches thick. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is also thinner at 0.64 inches thick.

The Swift X 16 is built well, though, with no bending, flexing, or twisting anywhere in the all-aluminum lid or chassis. It’s not quite as rigid as the XPS 15 but it’s close, and it feels more durable than the Envy 16. Only the plastic display bezels detract from an overall high-quality quality feel.

Aesthetically, the Swift X 16 is simply designed with an all-grey color scheme that’s only broken up by the black keyboard. The lines are aggressive, especially at the rear where the lower edge of the display is quite angular. The XPS 15 and Envy 16 are both more attractive laptops, but the Swift X 16 is just fine as well. Just a little bland compared to something like the MacBook Pro.

Acer Swift X 16 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

I didn’t like the keyboard, though. The keycaps are a little small and the spacing is a little tight, primarily to fit in a numeric keypad that I don’t think is likely to be in high demand on a modern laptop. The switches were also quite loose, which is a shame because they’re quite snappy.

A little firmer action and I’d rate the keyboard as close to the XPS 15. Apple’s Magic Keyboard on modern MacBook Pros remains the best, however. The Swift X 16’s touchpad is quite large and takes up most of the space on the palm rest, and its button clicks were confident and quiet.

Connectivity was good, with plenty of modern and legacy ports. This is an AMD machine, though, so no Thunderbolt 4 support. Wireless connectivity was up to date.

Finally, the webcam runs at 1080p and is fine for the usual videoconferencing needs. There’s no infrared camera for Windows 11 facial recognition support, but the fingerprint reader embedded in the power button worked well.

More than competitive performance

Acer Swift X 16 rear view showing lid and logo.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

My Swift X 16 review unit used AMD’s latest Ryzen 9 7940HS, an 8-core/16-thread CPU running at up to 5.2GHz. It clocks between 35 and 54 watts, making it a strong competitor to Intel’s 45-watt chips. My review unit also equipped the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 running on Nvidia’s Studio drivers.

In our benchmarks, the Swift X 16 was competitive with laptops running the Intel Core i7-13700H and Core i9-13900H. That was particularly apparent in our Handbrake benchmark which encodes a 420MB video as H.265, and in the Cinebench R23 benchmark. The Swift X 16 also did well in the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark, which runs in a live version of Adobe’s video editing app and uses the GPU to speed up certain tasks. Even with just an RTX 4050, the Acer was competitive with laptops running theoretically faster GPUs.

Acer Swift X 16 side view showing ports, vents, and lid.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Overall, performance is a strength. The Swift X 16 will plow through the most demanding productivity workflows, and it will provide decent performance to less demanding creators. The Swift X 16 isn’t more than an entry-level gaming laptop, but it did manage around 80 frames per second in Fortnite at 1200p and epic graphics.

Cinebench R23
Premiere Pro
Acer Swift X 16
(Ryzen 9 7940 HS/RTX 4050)
Bal: 1,840 / 11,741
Perf: 1,893 / 11,681
Bal: 64
Perf: 64
Bal: 1,793 / 16,407
Perf: 1,799 / 16,760
Bal: 567
Perf: 568
Dell Inspiron 16 Plus
(Core i7-13700H/RTX 4060)
Bal: 1,812 / 12,309
Perf: 1,773 / 12,693
Bal: 74
Perf: 79
Bal: 1,855 / 12,480
Perf: 1,867 / 13,535
Bal: 606
Perf: 627
HP Envy 16 (2023)
(Core i9-13900H/RTX 4060)
Bal: 1,997 / 12,742
Perf: 1,992 / 12,645
Bal: 73
Perf: 75
Bal: 1,944 / 15,596
Perf: 1,954 / 15,422
Bal: 544
Perf: 608
MSI Prestige 16 Studio
(Core i7-13700H/RTX 4060)
Bal: 1,880 / 6,951
Perf: 1,903 / 11,945
Bal: 139
Perf: 80
Bal: 1,797 / 7,959
Perf: 1,921 / 13,647
Bal: 460
Perf: 521
Dell XPS 15 (9530)
(Core i7-13700H/RTX 4070)
Bal: 1,787 / 11,978
Perf: 1,830 / 11,769
Bal: 79
Perf: 76
Bal: 1,865 / 13,386
Perf: 1,868 / 13,927
Dell XPS 17 (9730)
(Core i7-13700H/RTX 4070)
Bal: 1,901 / 12,654
Perf: 1,928 / 12,911
Bal: 79
Perf: 71
Bal: 1,933 / 13,384
Perf: 1,912 / 15,462
Bal: 568
Perf: 614

Unsurprisingly, the Swift X 16 didn’t get great battery life. It has a 76-watt-hour battery, which is on the low end for a large laptop, and its OLED display is power-hungry. But these results aren’t terrible for a machine that can handle demanding tasks, although if you’re mobile the large power brick will weigh you down.

Web browsing Video
Acer Swift X 16
(Ryzen 9 7940HS)
6 hours, 28 minutes 7 hours, 48 minutes
Dell Inspiron 16 Plus
(Core i7-13700H)
9 hours, 8 minutes 7 hours, 36 minutes
HP Envy 16 (2023)
(Core i9-13900H)
5 hours, 56 minutes 7 hours, 47 minutes
Dell XPS 15 (9530)
(Core i7-13700H)
9 hours, 43 minutes 11 hours, 46 minutes
Dell XPS 17 (9730)
(Core i7-13700H)
4 hours, 46 minutes 5 hours, 17 minutes

A top-of-the-line OLED display

Acer Swift X 16 front view showing display.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Most OLED displays are uniformly excellent, looking great out of the box with dynamic colors, plenty of brightness, and deep, inky blacks. The Swift X 16’s high-res version is no different. It also benefits from a fast 120Hz refresh rate that makes Windows 11 a lot smoother, something that’s more common on recent displays.

According to my colorimeter, the Swift X 16’s panel is among the best we’ve tested. It was brighter than most, albeit not by that much, and its blacks were perfect with the incredible contrast we’ve come to expect from the technology. It stood out most in its colors, with a near-perfect score of 100% sRGB, 99% AdobeRGB, and 100% DCI-P3 coverage. Its accuracy was also excellent at a DeltaE of 0.70, well below the 1.0 mark where the human eye can no longer tell the difference. Note that my colorimeter wouldn’t return a contrast ratio value, which has happened with a number of OLED displays. But with perfect blacks, there’s no doubt that the Swift X 16’s display has the same deep contrast as other OLED panels.

This is a great display for productivity workers, creators, and media consumers. Acer offers a lower-resolution IPS panel running at up to 165Hz on the lower-power base model, but it’s worth the extra money for the OLED panel alone.

Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is better)
Acer Swift X 16
406 N/A 100% 99% 0.70
Dell Inspiron 16 Plus
308 1,510:1 98% 76% 1.19
HP Envy 16 (2023)
395 1,010:1 97% 73% 1.01
Dell XPS 15 9530
358 24,850:1 100% 96% 1.31
Dell XPS 17 9730
501 1,570:1 100% 100% 1.33
MSI Prestige 16 Studio
455 3,140:1 98% 82% 3.46
Apple MacBook Pro 14
511 34,450:1 100% 89% 1.13

Two stereo speakers fire down from the front bottom of the chassis, and they’re surprisingly weak. That is, they put out minimal volume even when turned all the way up. Mids and clears are high and there’s a touch of bass, so that’s good. But if you want to entertain a group of people, you’ll want external speakers.

Another competent option for lighter creativity

The Swift X 16 provides excellent performance for demanding productivity work and enough power to handle less creative workflows — especially for this price. Creators will have to spend a lot more to get significantly better performance, but for everyone else, the Swift X 16 is an affordable option.

It also offers enough quality to meet its premium price, and its OLED display is superb. The Swift X 16 is a solid choice in the growing field of 16-inch laptops.

Editors’ Recommendations