ACER SWIFT 5
Some may know that I have resigned myself to not being able to shake off Microsoft (just yet) in lieu of my beloved Chromebooks, as there is still some stuff that just isn't as good or achievable (yet) without specific locally based hardware/software. But that's a topic for another day. For now, I've settled on the purchase which, thankfully, someone else was paying for, and frankly, it's the best Windows PC I've ever used.

In case you're looking to find one for sale from the likes of Amazon, for now, this just doesn't seem available. This is hot off the press and I had to import mine, direct from Acer in Europe. It's not cheap, but is classified as an 'Ultra' slim/book/laptop, which means it's pretty well powered but shrunk down to be very portable and won't break your bag carrying it around.

There are Swift 3 and Swift 7 models, both with compromises/enhancements, but for my purposes, I plumped for the middle one with an i5 processor, 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM. It's £699 delivered, which seems a lot, but actually about right for what it is. And it has an awful lot going for it. I have a few gripes, but most of them are because of the small footprint created and compromise on features/size.

So, what do I like about it? Well, it's just the right size at 14" with a 1080HD 16:9 IPS screen which goes so far out to the edges that the whole unit feels much more like a 13.3" device. It has a backlit keyboard as standard, fingerprint scanner for sign-on via Microsoft Hello, lovely trackpad and a pretty sturdy feeling frame. It's light and made of aluminium with, and here it is for me, a 13 hour battery. I needed to get a good battery and considered the clever battery arrangements of the Lenovo ThinkPad X260 giving up to 21 hours, but in the end the 12.5" was just too small. Apart from the extra £300+ involved!

It runs under Windows 10 Home, has an SDCard Reader, HDMI, USB-C port (not for charging) and two USB 3.0 ports. Sadly, there's no Ethernet Port and the stereo speakers are just OK, nothing to write home about. Though actually, the connectivity over wifi is as fast as lightning and for listen-while-you-work purposes, speakers perfectly OK. There's no Optical Drive of course! I've never had a sole SSD memory in a PC before and it really is seriously fast in comparison to a spinning drive.

I'm very impressed and think that even taking into account the super Predator I had, this is the nicest and dinkiest Windows PC I've ever had. A lovely piece of kit that I'd thoroughly recommend. I think I'm becoming a bit of an Acer fan, having been seriously committed to their products for work for years and now personally. My Chromebook 14, again, is a really super product, again 14", which I'm very pleased with.
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