Acer is previewing an update to an existing Windows laptop that’s expected to debut with Intel’s new “Tiger Lake” processors and Xe graphics technology.
On Tuesday, Acer announced the company’s refresh to the Swift 5, a 14-inch notebook that’s designed to be thin and light. Expect it to launch in October, starting at $999.
The Swift 5 is slated to arrive with Intel’s “next gen” processor, the PC maker said, a likely nod to the Tiger Lake family of mobile CPUs. The same laptop will also feature, in some models, Intel’s new Xe graphics architecture deployed in graphics silicon as part of the CPU. Xe is designed to compete, in coming integrated-graphics and dedicated-chip flavors, with GPU solutions from Nvidia GeForce family and AMD’s Radeon group.
However, the Xe architecture won’t arrive as the basis of a discrete graphics chip inside this laptop. Instead, the technology backs the graphics silicon that is integrated into the next-generation processor, according to Acer. This Xe-based graphics will be the successor to the “Gen 11” Iris Plus and UHD Graphics solutions integrated into Intel’s “Ice Lake” 10th Generation mobile processors.
Taking Tiger Lake by Strategy
Last week, Intel gave a taste of what we can expect from a Tiger Lake setup like this one. On Twitter, the company demoed a prototype laptop with Tiger Lake and the integrated Xe architecture running the game Battlefield V at 1080p on high graphics settings. The clip shows the game, which was published in 2018, running fairly smoothly at 30 frames per second, despite the laptop having no dedicated GPU.
Still, consumers who want a bigger graphical boost will be able to buy the Swift 5 with an optional Nvidia GeForce MX350 dedicated chip, which will presumably be a step up from the Xe silicon on the Swift 5’s processor.
As for Tiger Lake, Intel is promising the chips will offer a “double-digit” performance gain, thanks to the company’s 10-nanometer manufacturing technology. The Tiger Lake processors and its motherboards have also been designed to be smaller, enabling PC makers to create thinner and lighter laptops.
To improve the Swift 5, Acer has managed to minimize the bezels around the 14-inch screen even more. The product now has a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio, an increase from the 86.4 percent ratio of last year’s Swift 5 model. The laptop also comes with a touch display that features Corning’s antimicrobial coating to help keep germs at bay.
“Additionally, users have the option to further include an antimicrobial coating on the touchpad, keyboard, and all covers of the device,” Acer noted in its initial release.
Another change is to the product’s hinge, which will slightly elevate the rear of the laptop when fully opened, “allowing for a more ergonomic typing experience,” and better cooling, according to the company.
The laptop still weighs in at 2.2 pounds and retains its metallic chassis. Buyers can outfit it with up to 1TB of SSD-based storage, and up to 16GB of RAM. Other key perks include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, two built-in stereo speakers, and a USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 port.