Acer Swift 3 (2022) vs Acer Aspire 5: Which one’s better?

Acer recently introduced the latest generation of the Swift 3, one of the most popular mainstream notebooks on the market. The new refreshed Acer Swift 3 (2022) model packs Intel’s 12th generation Intel Core processors and has a bunch of other improvements. You also get up to 2TB SSD and a fun few colors to choose from. The Acer Swift 3 (2022) model comes with a rather palatable price tag, putting it more in line with a lot of other budget notebooks out there. We’ve already compared the Acer Swift 3 (2022) to a couple of other notebooks in a similar price range or with the ones with similar specs. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the new Acer Swift 3 vs Acer Aspire 5 comparison to find out which one’s better.

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Acer Swift 3 (2022) vs Acer Aspire 5: Specifications

Before we take a look at the comparison between the Acer Swift 3 (2022) and the Acer Aspire 5, let’s check out the specifications of each notebook to find out what each of them brings to the table:

Specification Acer Swift 3 (2022) Acer Aspire 5
CPU
  • 12th generation Intel Core i5-1240P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.4GHz, 12MB cache)
  • 12th generation Intel Core i7-1260P (12 cores, 16 threads, up to 4.7GHz, 18MB cache)
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i5-1235U processor
  • 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U processor
Graphics
RAM
Storage
  • up to 512GB SSD, Optional 1TB HDD
Display
  • 14-inch 16:9 Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS
  • 14-inch 16:9 Quad HD (2560 x 1440) IPS
  • 16:9 14-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS
Battery
  • 3-cell (unspecified capacity), up to 10.5 hours
  • 3 cell (unspecified capacity), up to 10 hours
Ports
  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C)
  • 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • 1x 3.2 Gen 2 USB Type-C port, Thunderbolt 4
  • 3x USB Type-A ports
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x Ethernet
  • 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
Audio
Webcam
  • Full HD 1080p webcam with temporal noise reduction
Security
Connectivity
Size (WxDxH)
  • 320.04 x 210.82 x 16 mm (12.6 x 8.3 x 0.63 in)
  • 363.22 x 238.76 x 17.78 mm (14.3 x 9.4 x 0.70 in)
Weight
  • Starts at 1.25kg (2.76 lbs)
  • Starts at 1.76kg (3.90 lbs)
Price

Acer Swift 3 (2022) vs Acer Aspire 5: Performance

Acer’s new Swift 3 2022 models, as you can see, are powered by Intel’s new 12th gen Core processors. This is potentially one of the biggest upgrades found in the new Acer Swift 3 models. The new Intel chip, in case you don’t know, has a mix of performance (P) and efficient (E) cores. The new chips have more cores and threads, in general, bringing a significant performance uplift over the previous generation.

Another interesting thing about the new Acer Swift 3 is that all models are now using chips from Intel’s 12th gen P-series. That means they have a higher TDP of 28W compared to the 15W we saw in the previous generation. Acer could’ve used the low-powered U-series chips for these notebooks, but we’re glad to see more powerful chips at play here. This will result in significant performance improvement. You can check out our Intel Alder Lake P-series vs U-series chip comparison to find out about the differences between these lineups.


Intel Core P-series chips

The Acer Aspire 5, on the other hand, is available with Intel’s new 12th Alder Lake U-series mobile chips. It’s worth pointing out that Acer has only listed a handful of variants on its website for now, so there’s a good chance we’ll see more in the near future. It’s also worth mentioning that you’ll find a lot of relatively variants that are powered by older Intel and AMD chips including the 11th gen Tiger Lake processors and Ryzen 3000 and 4000 series too. We recommend buying only the newer Aspire 5 variants that are powered by Intel’s new Alder Lake chips. Acer is yet to confirm whether or not it’ll be using the new AMD Ryzen 6000 processors, so we might have to wait longer.

As we mentioned in the specifications sheet above, you’ll find some Aspire 5 units powered by the Alder Lake U-series chips. These variants, however, may not be as powerful as the Acer Swift 3 (2022) models powered by the P-series chips. This is because the U-series processors have a lower TDP compared to the P-series units. We’ll have more to talk about the performance difference in detail once we get a chance to compare these laptops side-by-side.

Moving on to the memory, we’re looking at up to 16GB of LPDDR4X memory on the Acer Swift 3 (2022). Intel’s new chips support DDR5/LPDDR5 memory, but Acer has decided to stick to LPDDR4X, perhaps to keep the overall price of the notebook low. The new Aspire 5 models are available with up to 16GB DDR4 SDRAM. All the new models listed on the Acer website with the new 12th gen Intel processors have 16GB RAM by default, and it remains to be seen if some of them will have an option to configure them with less memory to save some money. The available options, however, are limited to just DDR4, so keep that in mind.

The Acer Swift 3 (2022) is also a clear winner when it comes to storage. You can get the new Swift 3 with up to 2TB of PCIe NVMe SSD, whereas the Aspire 5 only comes with up to 512GB PCIe SSD. You can, however, add an optional HDD to get more storage on the Aspire 5, but it’s not going to be nearly as fast as the M.2 drive inside the Swift 3.

Lastly, before we move on to the other section of this comparison, it’s worth mentioning that we expect the Swift 3 (2022) to have better battery life. According to Acer, it’s using a 56Whr battery for the Acer Swift 3 (2022) models, which it says should be enough for up to 10.5 hours of usage. Based on the laptops we’ve reviewed in the past, it’s safe to say that you’ll at least get up to 7 hours of usage on a single charge. Your mileage is bound to vary based on the workload, though. The company hasn’t mentioned the exact battery capacity for the Aspire 5 models but it says it’ll last for up to 7 hours on a single charge. If Acer is using the same 56Whr battery inside the Aspire 5, then this will have slightly better battery life thanks to the low-powered U-series processors.

Display

The Acer Swift 3 (2022) notebook comes with two display options — a 14-inch FHD or a 14-inch QHD IPS panel. Both displays have an aspect ratio of 16:9 and use the same display technology, so the resolution is pretty much the only difference. If we were to pick one, then we’d go with the 1080p panel because that’s more than enough for a display this small. We’ve seen some other 14-inch notebooks with taller aspect ratios, although there’s no such option with the Acer Swift 3 (2022).

Acer Swift 3 laptop seen from the front at a right angle with the lid open

The Aspire 5 laptop, on the other hand, is available to purchase with a few display options. You can get it with either a 14-inch, a 15.6-inch, or even a 17.3-inch display. All these displays, however, have the same 1080p resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The only real difference between them is the physical size, so be sure to pick the one that suits your use case. Notably, the new models of the Aspire 5 powered by the 12th gen Alder Lake chips have a 14-inch display.

Acer Aspire 5 laptop

Both laptops have webcams on top of the display, which is the ideal spot for a webcam. However, the Acer Swift 3 (2022) models have a higher resolution camera. We’re looking at a 1080p camera on all Acer Swift 3 2022 models. The Aspire 5 listing doesn’t explicitly mention if it’s using a new 1080p camera for the webcam, so we’ll have to speculate a bit here. If Acer decides to use the same webcam for the new models, then we’ll be looking at 720p HD cameras. Higher resolution doesn’t always translate to better quality, but the Acer Swift 3 camera also supports features such as temporal noise reduction for better quality overall. It’s hard to tell which one’s better in terms of the overall quality, but the Acer Swift 3 (2022) definitely has a better webcam, at least on paper.

That being said, both laptops lack IR support which means you can’t use them for Windows Hello facial recognition. The Acer Swift 3 is better in this regard because it at least comes with a fingerprint scanner for authentication. Since there’s no mention of biometric authentication support on the Aspire 5 notebook, we’re inclined to believe that even the new Aspire 5 models doesn’t support them.

Design & ports

The Acer Swift 3 (2022) comes in three fun colors — Safari Gold, Snow Blue, and Pure Silver. You can check out all three color options in the image below. They all look great but we think the Snow Blue variant in particular looks refresh and more appealing. Acer hasn’t mentioned the material used for the chassis, although we think it’s made out of magnesium alloy, just like the older models. More premium materials are usually reserved for more expensive notebooks like the Swift X.

Acer Swift 3 in three color options

The Acer Aspire 5 also has a very similar form factor, but its chassis seems a bit more dated. You get black-colored keycaps on the keyboard regardless of the color option you pick, and the displays have huge bezels around them too. The new Acer Swift 3 is definitely the better-looking machine overall.

If you look at the dimensions in the specification sheet above, you’ll notice that the Acer Swift 3 is both thinner and more compact than the Aspire 5. The Swift 3 is also slightly lighter coming in at just 1.25kg as opposed to the 1.76 kg starting weight of the Aspire 5.

Acer Swift 3 ports

Acer Swift 3 (2022) ports selection

When it comes to the ports selection, however, the Aspire 5 is arguably better. You only get two Thunderbolt 4 (USB Type-C) and two USB Type-A ports along with an HDMI port and a headphone jack on the Swift 3. The Aspire 5 gives you a single USB Type-C port, up to three USB Type-A ports, an HDMI, an ethernet port, and a 3,5mm headphone jack. It’s worth mentioning that the USB-C port on the AMD variant of the laptop doesn’t support Thunderbolt because, well, Thunderbolt is an Intel technology.

Acer Aspire 5 ports

Acer Aspire 5 ports selection

We think the Aspire 5 laptop scores brownie points for adding an ethernet port, but you’re only getting a single USB-C port as opposed to two on the Swift 3. The lack of an ethernet port isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker but definitely something to consider. As for connectivity, you get WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 with the Swift 3 whereas you only get WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 with the Aspire 5.

Which one should you buy?

All things considered, we think it’s safe to say that the new Acer Swift 3 beats the Aspire 5 in more ways than one. For starters, the Aspire 5 is running Intel’s new Alder Lake U-series chips and not the P-series processors like the Swift 3 (2022). While the U-series chips will make the Aspire 5 more power-efficient, they’re also going to lack on the performance front. Intel’s 12th gen P-series processors inside the Swift 3 are going to perform better even if it comes at a cost of slightly less battery life. We suggest you wait a little bit longer to see if Acer announces more models of the Aspire 5 notebooks with Intel’s Alder Lake P-series chips or AMD’s new Ryzen 6000 series processors.

Besides that, the Swift 3 is also more compact and lighter than the Aspire 5. Not to mention, the Swift 3, being the new machine, also looks better overall, thanks to the fun new color options that are available. And despite the compact form factor, the Swift 3 has a decent selection of ports with the lack of an ethernet port when compared to Aspire 5.

The Acer Swift 3 (2022) beats the Aspire 5, but you can’t ignore the fact that the Aspire 5 costs $200 less for its base variant. The Aspire 5 is just a good budget laptop that comes with a few compromises to keep the price low. You can definitely buy the Acer Swift 3 if you don’t have any budget constraints, but we think it might be worth waiting out for more Aspire 5 models to come out and see how much they cost. The Acer Swift 3 (2022) isn’t going on sale until June, so there’s still time to consider. We’ll add links to buy both laptops once they’re available to purchase.

In the meantime, you can also check out our collection of the best Acer laptops to see if you want to buy something else instead of waiting. Or, you can also check out our round-up of the best laptops to find more options from other manufacturers.

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