Acer Swift X 16 review: a big, budget laptop with a lot to offer

If big screen and budget top your list of laptop priorities, the Acer Swift X 16 will have a lot of appeal.

Acer Swift X 16 keyboard close up
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The Acer Swift X 16 offers a big screen and decent power for a very reasonable price. Compromises have had to be made to accommodate the low(ish) cost, and they present in the somewhat underwhelming design and battery life. But it's still a solid laptop, with lots of connectivity options, a quality 2.5K display and comfortable typing experience.


  • Big, quality display
  • Good selection of ports
  • Good performance for the price


  • Battery life not the best
  • Clunky trackpad

Why you can trust Creative Bloq Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

When it comes to laptops, getting one with a big, decent screen usually results in an eye-watering price tag. And while the Acer Swift X 16 isn't necessarily what you'd consider cheap, it offers a whole host of features – huge screen included – for less than one might expect. 

It's a no-frills, sturdy laptop with enough power to run complex creative software and not-quite-so-complex games (and definitely not at the same time). It delivers a lot for the price, making it a good candidate for one of the best Acer laptops around right now. The question is whether what it has to offer suits your needs. It's certainly not going to make our list of the most powerful laptops anytime soon, but it's a solid, quality machine for those on a budget looking for a larger device. 

Acer Swift X 16 laptop open on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X 16 review: Key specs

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Operating system:Windows 11
CPU:Intel Core i7-1260P 2.10GHz
GPU:4GB Intel Arc A370M
Storage:1TB SSD
Screen:16-inch 1920 x 1200 / 2560 x 1600 WUXGA display (16:10)
Ports:2x USB-C, HDMI, 2x USB 3 Type A, 3.5mm Jack, microSD card slot
Connectivity:Wireless Wi-Fi 6E AX211
Weight:3.8lbs (1.7kg)
Dimensions:0.7 x 14 x 9.4 inches (18 x 355 x 239 mm)

Acer Swift X 16 review: Design and display

It's hard to describe the Acer Swift X 16 as anything other than plain, but that's not necessarily a bad thing (depending on your style, of course.) The aluminium chassis is a, frankly, drab grey, that is in keeping with the overall no-frills approach to its look. But at this price, there had to be a compromise, and Acer has, quite rightly, placed more focus on what's under the lid. 

Speaking of what's inside, I was really pleasantly surprised by the quality and brightness of the screen, particularly when image editing. I managed a much higher level of zoom on fine detail than I was expecting. That said, if this is the sort of work you want a device for, you'd be better off going for the higher-resolution option to keep the detail as refined as possible. 

Acer has done a good job of keeping the edge bezel to a minimum to really make the most of the display. And the 16:10 aspect ratio also means it's slightly taller than the traditional 16:9, which further helps deliver a big window to your work. 

It's worth noting, that while the Swift X's integrated Intel Arc make it a good choice for video editing, the resolution caps out at 2.5K, so you'll need to invest in another monitor if you want to edit in 4K. 

Acer Swift X laptop open with bright yellow flower on screen

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X 16 review: Features

The design falls short somewhat with the trackpad, which feels clunky and weirdly like plastic (even though the whole chassis is metal) to touch. I felt like I had to press uncomfortably hard to get it to work, so instead adopted a touch-tap method wherever possible. 

The keyboard is, again, no frills but does the job. The keys have a short travel distance and are responsive and pleasant to use. The only slight bugbear is the slimmed-down number pad, which resulted in me pressing the wrong button a couple of times at first, but it didn't take long to adjust. On the plus side, the keyboard has a backlight, which might not be a big thing for some, but it's a feature I personally really value. 

The Swift X features a 1080p webcam, which is more than sufficient for video calls. I did find it was easily affected by lighting though, and had to end a call early when the video was almost entirely blown out by the natural light pouring through some floor-to-ceiling windows. 

In terms of physical connectivity, there's a decent offering here with an HDMI 2.1 port, two USB-A and two USB-C ports, which are Thunderbolt 4 enabled (and allow for charging). 

I mentioned compromises earlier, and I would say the battery is another area the Swift X has taken a hit. The device managed just over 7 hours with the screen on full brightness and a whole day of internet use and typing documents. It's not the best result, but I could have dimmed the screen to stretch that out. It's not a massive issue if you've got easy access to charging, but something to bear in mind if not.

Side view of Acer Swift X laptop

(Image credit: Future)

Acer Swift X 16 review: Performance

Performance is where the Swift X 16 really earns its money. It's equipped with a 12th-Gen Intel Core i7 processor, which can handle a lot of heavy lifting. It was also the first laptop Acer built with its Intel Arc GPU to help with complex tasks like video editing. The combination of both offers a lot of capability at an affordable price, particularly when you consider how much architecture like this in other devices will set you back. 

Here's how the Acer Swift X performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Acer Swift X: Benchmark scoring
Cinebench R23:Single-core: 1,136Multi-core: 8,040
Geekbench 6:Single-core: 1,697Multi-core: 7,284

Our benchmark tests showed good (but not great) results when it comes to power. The Swift X will comfortably handle everyday tasks and quite a bit more. I'm terrible for having dozens of tabs open in Chrome, all the while image editing in Photoshop, and the machine didn't slow at all. 

The device has dual fans to aid cooling and avoid the fan kicking in during heavy-duty use, however, they fired up after an hour in Photoshop. It's definitely not the loudest laptop fan I've ever heard, and the performance of the device wasn't affected, so it was more just mildly annoying than anything.

Acer Swift X 16 review: Price

The Swift X 16 with 12th-gen Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, Intel’s Arc A370M GPU, 16GB of RAM, 16-inch 2,560 x 1,600 WUXGA display and 512GB SSD running on Windows 11 Home will set you back $1,249.99 in the US and £1,299 in the UK (for the 1TB SSD version). However, if you don't need as much storage or memory, you can get base models for a little cheaper at $999 / £899.

Should you buy the Acer Swift X 16?

If you're in the market for a 16-inch laptop, the Acer Swift X 16 offers a decent amount of power and a big screen without the typically large price tag. Because of this, compromises have had to be made: the battery life isn't the best and the design is lacking in certain areas. But none of these are enough to detract from the fact that the Swift X is a solid laptop at an excellent price. 

It's a great choice for image and video editing, particularly with that big bright screen, although if that's a priority I'd definitely opt for the high-resolution model. And if you want a device specifically to handle heavy gameplay you'll need to look elsewhere. 

Overall, the Swift X 16 offers great value for money, with solid, all-round performance for everyday tasks and that little bit more. 

The Verdict

out of 10

Acer Swift X 16

The Acer Swift X 16 offers a big screen and decent power for a very reasonable price. Compromises have had to be made to accommodate the low(ish) cost, and they present in the somewhat underwhelming design and battery life. But it's still a solid laptop, with lots of connectivity options, a quality 2.5K display and comfortable typing experience.

Kerrie Hughes

Kerrie Hughes is Editor at Creative Bloq. One of the original CB crew, Kerrie joined the team back in 2013 after moving from her role as staff writer on 3D World. Since then she's written regularly for other creative publications. Kerrie's work for Creative Bloq involves managing the team and the site's content, developing and maintaining commercial partnerships, and finding innovative ways to bring Creative Bloq's audience the content they're looking for.