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Circuit Breaker

Acer’s new Swift 7 will kill the bezel when it launches in May for $1,699

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One of the thinnest and lightest laptops ever made

Acer’s Swift 7 line has always included some of the thinnest and lightest laptops in the world, and this year’s refresh — first teased at IFA 2018 last summer — might just be the most impressive yet, with an incredible 92 percent screen-to-body ratio that nearly does away with bezels entirely. And this year at CES 2019, we finally got more details on the upcoming Ultrabook, including specifications, price, and a release window.

Now, at 9.95 mm thick (0.39 inches), the Swift 7 isn’t quite the thinnest laptop ever — that honor still goes to last year’s version, which measured in at just 8.98 millimeters. But due to the reduced bezels, the new Swift 7 offers a dramatically smaller footprint than its predecessor, along with an even lighter weight at just 1.96 pounds.

As for that bezel-less display, it’s a 14-inch 1920 x 1080 touchscreen, which is fine, although one can’t help but wish for a more pixel dense option in 2019, especially given the higher-resolution display on computers like the XPS 13 and recently updated MacBook Air.

The new Swift 7 is powered by Intel’s latest 8th Gen Core i7-8500Y Amber Lake processor, with a choice of 256GB or 512GB of PCIe SSD storage and either 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM. There are also two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, a backlit keyboard, and a power button that doubles as a Windows Hello fingerprint reader. And despite the small size, Acer is still promising around 10 hours of battery life off a charge, although, obviously, we’ll have to see how that holds up in the real world before making any judgements.

Like many ultra-thin bezel laptops, the Swift 7 features an unconventional webcam location: in this case, a pop-up webcam built into the keyboard base. Acer says that the camera can rotate up to 65-degrees, but we’ll have to wait to try it out in person to see if that’s enough to avoid the awkward camera angles that competitors like Huawei’s MateBook X Pro and its pop-up keyboard camera have encountered.

The new Swift 7 will be available in North America in May starting at $1,699, with earlier April launches in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and China.

But while the svelte Swift 7 may get most of the limelight, Acer has another laptop announcement at CES, too: a new 15.6-inch Chromebook 315 model that’s powered not by Intel’s processors, but AMD ones. Specifically, AMD’s 7th Gen A6-9220C or A4-9120C chips, which offer integrated Radeon graphics. The Chromebook 315 will come in both touchscreen and non-touchscreen options, with up to 8GB of RAM and 32GB of storage in February, starting at $279.99.