Acer Swift Go 16 review

Acer Swift Go 16 Review

We were very impressed with Acer’s recent GO 14, but now here’s the Acer Swift Go 16. We expected it to be the same but two-inches bigger, but it almost feels like a different machine. The GO 14 became our daily driver for some time, can the GO 16 do likewise? Our in-depth review will find out.

Acer Swift Go 16 Specs

Screen16-inch, glossy, 120Hz, 3,200 x 2,000, OLED display
Processor3.7-5.0GHz Intel i7-13700H CPU
Memory16GB DDR5 RAM
Graphics1.5GHz Intel Xe
Hard drive1TB
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
2 x Thunderbolt 4
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1
HDMI 2.1
3.5mm audio jack
MicroSD card reader
SpeakersYes
Extra SecurityFingerprint reader with Windows Hello
Webcam1,440p
Battery65Wh
Dimensions356 x 243 x 15mm
Weight1.64KG
SKUNX.KLTSA.001-RW0-ASC
Full specs here.

Features, Ergonomics and Design

The Acer Swift Go 16 looks great with its black, metal lid and interior along with its matching black, plastic base. The silver Acer moniker on the top looks good and it’s all a bit more exciting than a regular, silver, business-friendly laptop. It will still fit in well at the office, though. It’s all very rigid and there’s minimal flex or chassis-creaking when picking it up.

Acer Swift Go 16 review open
The lid doesn’t quite lid down flat, but it’s not far off.

The screen itself is an OLED with all the bright, vibrant colours, ‘infinite’ contrast and true blacks that come with it. It has a UHD, 3,200 x 2,000 resolution and displays a clear Windows Desktop with plenty of real estate to work with multiple windows open.

Acer Swift Go 16 review front view
The Swift Go 16 looks good and is great to use.

Multimedia generally looks great thanks to excellent colours and contrast. As with most laptops, it doesn’t work with Windows HDR which heavily bleaches all videos and games. If we’re nitpicking, there can be banding in colourful transitions which gets a bit worse (and blocky) in monochromatic gradients. Also, details can go missing in highlights and the glossy screen can turn into a black mirror when content is very dark. However, most of these foibles are fleas that are part of the OLED dog. 

The Swift Go 16 also has a screen that can run at 120Hz or 60Hz (to save power). At 120Hz, in partnership with the fast pixel response time, fast-moving objects are rendered impressively smoothly – to the point that gamers would be impressed. We’ll see later what type of games it can play.

Above the screen is a very impressive, UHD, 1,440p webcam. This renders a very sharp image when web-conferencing and it does a good job of fending-off grain in low light. It’s very impressive. The microphone also does an excellent job of capturing clear audio in noisy environments.

Acer Swift Go 16 review keyboard
The Swift Go 16’s keyboard is very low travel but avoids being stiff and uncomfortable.

The keyboard is a low-travel, touch-type affair which is very comfortable and accurate to type upon for extended periods. It also has two levels of white backlighting. There’s a small number pad to the right and our only gripe is that the up-and-down arrow keys are squished. The power key doubles as a Windows-Hello-compatible fingerprint reader, the trackpad is large, smooth and accurate, with a nice button-click action.

The speakers have unspecified specs. They have reasonable fidelity at top, middle and bottom. However, they don’t get very loud and only offer average bass. We’ve heard much worse though.

All in all, the Swift Go 16 is great to interact with for work and casual computing tasks.

Performance

Inside Acer’s Swift Go 16 is a 3.7GHz – 5GHz, 13th-Gen, Intel i7-13700H with six Performance cores and eight Efficiency cores. It’s backed by 16GB of unspecified DDR5 RAM and a speedy 1TB NVMe hard drive. Apart from the larger hard drive, they’re the same specs as the Go 14.

They combined to score 6,406 in the general-computing PCMark 10 test which is above average and very good for a thin-and-light laptop. In the Cinebench CPU-based rendering benchmarks, the Swift Go scored 2,277 in the drag-race R15 test and 12,915 in the longer R23 test. These are very similar to the Go 14 and bang-on average for an entire laptop market that includes massive gaming machines.

3D Performance comes via the i7-13700H’s integrated Intel Xe graphics which aren’t particularly powerful, but run at a higher-than-others 1.5GHz. It wouldn’t run the complex 3DMark ray-tracing tests, Speedway or Port Royal. However, in the AAA-gaming-title-mimicking 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike Extreme tests, the Swift Go scored 2,032 and 2,657 respectively. These represent averages of around 11fps so, if you’re to have any hope of playing such games, you’ll need to drop detail and resolution settings considerably.

In the easier, 3DMark Night Raid test, which apes casual and competitive games, the Swift Go scored 19,939 which is an average of 108fps, so it does have some, basic gaming prowess, which is good to know considering the fast screen.

However, in our old, CS:GO test, which stresses the whole system, the Go 16 averaged 31fps which, unfortunately, crashed to 4fps when smoke grenades went off and things got hectic.

Cooling is generally impressive with only a minor whoosh appearing occasionally when under load. However, under a heavy, gaming load, the base can get uncomfortably hot at the rear-centre-left and the fans can ramp up to a robust whoosh to compensate. However, for the most part, it remains cool, quiet and comfortable.

Ports and Connectivity

Acer Swift Go 16 review left
On the left of the Swift Go 16 are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI 2.1 port and a USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 port.
Acer Swift Go 16 review right
On the right is another USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card reader.

Inside, there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. That’s an impressive collection of current-gen connectivity.

Portability

Acer’s Swift Go 16 is very solidly built. The metal lid barely flexes when a twisting force is applied and the strong hinges prevent the screen from wobbling. There’s very little flex within the chassis and it should happily survive life on the road.

Acer Swift Go 16 review underneath view
The Swift Go 16 only gets hot when under extreme load. The fans cool it down quickly.

It’s very thin at 15mm and the 16-inch chassis only weighs 1.64KG, which is impressive. The power brick and cables only add another 373g to the mix.

Meanwhile, the 65Wh battery ran the PCMark 10 Modern Office test for a respectable 9 hours 20 minutes. That’s not bad for a 16-incher and ensures that Acer’s Swift Go 16 is well within ultraportable territory.

Price and Availability

Acer’s Swift Go 16 has an RRP of $1,999 which is $200 more than the 14-inch version. However, at the time of writing, it’s on sale for a just $1,399. That’s enough to earn it a Great Value Laptop Award. Alternatives include the Go 14, the Lenovo Yoga 7i convertible and the dearer Asus Expertbook B5, but the Go 16 can stand up for itself against these rivals.

Conclusion: Should You Buy the Acer Swift Go 16?

Acer’s Swift Go 16 is another laptop we’d happily use as a daily workhorse. It’s light, powerful, has a good battery, looks good and is solidly built. Most importantly, it’s great to use and it represents very good value at this price. As such, we’re happy to recommend it.

Awards

High Performance Laptops Highly Recommended Award
Acer’s Swift GO 16 has won High Performance Laptops’ Highly Recommended Laptop Award.

Pros

Light and robust
Fast OLED screen
Good value

Cons

Modest speakers
Squished arrow keys
Monochromatic gradients

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