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Checking out Acer's refreshed Swift Edge 16 with AMD Zen 4 processors and a 120Hz display

Apr 01, 2023Apr 01, 2023

Acer introduced a new Swift Edge 16 at Computex 2023, and we got to try them out, along with the company's other products.

Ahead of Computex 2023, Acer introduced a couple of new laptops, the Acer Swift Edge 16 and the Predator Triton 16, along with a new router. Of course, being at the show, I had to spend some time at Acer's booth checking out the new Swift Edge 16, one of the most premium laptops in the company's lineup. though I also took a look at some existing products that are already hitting different markets.

Disclaimer: MSI paid for the flight and accommodation for our trip to Taiwan for Computex 2023.

My personal favorite of the new announcements is the Acer Swift Edge 16, which is a refresh of last year's Swift Edge. The new name isn't because this is a new size, but rather just a part of Acer's wide-ranging rebranding of its laptops. Acer is now using the Swift Edge brand to denote what it considers its most premium brand, and it makes sense considering what the Swift Edge 16 offers.

This new model comes with up to an AMD Ryzen 7 7840U chip, which means it's now using a Zen 4-based processor, not to be confused with the other 7000 series processors that are still using older architectures. The Ryzen 7 7840U can reach boost speeds up to 5.1GHz, and it also comes with upgraded Radeon 780M graphics. Acer couldn't tell me how much of a performance upgrade you can expect with this upgraded GPU, but we do know it's using RDNA3 technology and it supports things like AV1 encoding. This processor also supports Ryzen AI, which should help deliver on-device AI-powered experiences like support for Windows Studio Effects.

Aside from the processor, the other major change that's changed with this year's model is the display. This new model comes with a 3.2K OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, instead of the 4K 60Hz panel we got with the previous iteration. Acer says that the 4K panel wasn't really necessary for this kind of laptop, and I think that makes total sense. The 120Hz refresh makes things look super smooth on screen, and I'd rather have that than a few extra pixels that I wouldn't be able to tell apart.

Connectivity has been improved, too, though not in ways you can really see in a quick hands-on. The Acer Swift Edge 16 now comes with USB4 support for the USB-C ports, which makes them much more capable. It's also one of the first laptops to support Wi-Fi 7 thanks to the Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 platform and it's actually the first Swift laptop to do so.

Otherwise, the Acer Swift Edge 16 is very similar to its predecessor. It weighs just 2.73 pounds, making it pretty easy to pick up with one hand, and it comes in the same Olivine Black colorway as before. This is a color that can indeed look black, but under intense lighting, it definitely looks more green.

The Acer Swift Edge 16is launching in mid-July starting at $1,299 in the US.

Another one of the new announcements for Computex 2023 was the Acer Connect Vero W6m mesh router, and it's part of a bigger push from Acer to become greener in general. The Vero line isn't exactly new anymore, but Acer keeps expanding it to more and more parts of its business, and it aims to reduce the environmental impact of tech products like laptops.

The Acer Connect Vero W6m is a very interesting Wi-Fi 6E router with tri-band support (2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz) that can cover up to 3500 square feet in Wi-Fi by itself, or paired in a mesh configuration with up to four routers for a total coverage of 10,000 square feet. It's also made to be future-proof, featuring a quad-core 2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of storage so that it can receive and install updates and be usable for years to come.

Of course, durability is only one of the things that the Vero lineup strives for. Just like Acer's Vero laptops, the Connect Vero router also comes with a plastic chassis that uses 30% post-consumer recycled plastics (PCR), helping to remove pollution from the environment, while retaining durability.

I really love the concept of the Vero lineup, and Acer is trying to make it even better. For example, the 2023 Aspire Vero laptop, which was also at the show, actually improves the formula, and it uses 40% PCR for the chassis now. This technological advancement wasn't available when Acer sourced the materials for the router above, which is why that still only uses 30%. And yes, that's something important to remember with recycled plastics — it's very hard to make a consistent material using a lot of recycled material, so this 10% increase is already a huge step. The 2023 model also comes in a new Mariana Blue colorway, which is potentially a bit more appealing, though I personally love the look of the original Cobblestone Gray, too.

And going back on the durability talk for a bit, Acer even told me that it did some work to improve the repairability of the laptop by separating the DC input port from the motherboard and using a cable to connect it instead. This is because the DC port is a common point of failure, but when it breaks, it usually takes the motherboard with it, so using a cable means that if you break the power port, you no longer need to replace the entire board. And on that note, the laptop exclusively uses Philips screws, so anyone can easily open it without the much less common Torx screwdrivers. You can swap out the SSD, RAM, and WI-Fi module in this laptop, so it can always get better in the future and last even longer.

Acer is even bringing Vero to peripherals and accessories, including a keyboard, laptop case, and more that were being shown off at Computex. The more stuff like this exists, the better, and I'm glad to see Acer putting so much into this initiative.

One last thing I enjoyed hearing about was Acer Connect Enduro M3 5G hotspot, and yes, I know that's kind of weird to say. What I found interesting about it, though, is that it's a global hotspot that works almost anywhere in the world without any complicated setup. It uses a virtual SIM and a service called SignalScan from a company called Simo, which is what enables this worldwide connectivity with an easy setup. You can opt for monthly plans, daily plans, or per-gigabyte plans, so you have flexibility there. However, it still supports physical SIMs, too, so you can use any existing data plan you have if that's easier.

On top of that, the hotspot passes MIL-STD-810H durability standards and it has IP54 water and dust resistance, so it's made to survive traveling. It's also designed for businesses, so if you deploy these to employers, you can set rules like how many devices can connect to any given hotspot, whether certain websites should be restricted, or if it should only work during specific times of the day.

Looking into it, it looks like Simo plans to sell its own branded version of this hotspot on its own, but Acer is a more recognizable and trustworthy brand. Though there's no price listed on Acer's website, I'm told it costs $299, though you'd still need to pay for any plans you end up buying from Simo.

I've been covering the tech world since 2018, and I love computers, phones, and - above all that - Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.