Acer's Swift 1 looks a little more professional than Gateway's GWTN141-2—but looks aren't everything, as our testing conclusively demonstrates.
Enlarge / Acer’s Swift 1 appears just a little extra skilled than Gateway’s GWTN141-2—however appears aren’t every thing, as our testing conclusively demonstrates.

Jim Salter

We have been looking out for good however significantly low cost laptops for some time now. Acer’s $650 Swift 3 is a wonderful selection for price range laptops within the under-$700 vary, however we have been actually itching to seek out one within the virtually nonexistent sub-$400 class. To that finish, right this moment we’re two of Walmart’s most interesting—a $378 Acer Swift 1 and a $350 Gateway GWTN141-2.

Each of those are serviceable if low cost laptops, however the Gateway, regardless of being the inexpensive mannequin, would be the clear winner for most individuals. It is extra highly effective, extra repairable, extra upgrade-able, and in our testing, a bit extra dependable as nicely.

Specs at a look: as reviewed
Acer Swift 1 SF114-32 Gateway GWTN141-2
OS Home windows 10 House (S mode) Home windows 10 House (S mode)
Display screen 14 inch IPS FHD (1920×1080, 250nits) 14.1 inch IPS FHD (1920×1080, 190nits)
CPU Pentium Silver N5000 Ryzen 3 3200U
GPU Intel UHD 605 AMD Vega 3
RAM 4GiB DDR4 (soldered, non expandable) 4GiB DDR4 (soldered, with one empty DIMM slot)
HDD 64GB eMMC
(SanDisk DF4064)
128GB NVMe M.2
(Netac S539N)
Networking Intel 9560
2×2 Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0
Realtek 8821CE
1×1 Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 4.2
Ports
  • 1x USB-C (information solely)
  • 2x USB-A 3.0
  • 1x USB-A 2.0
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x SD card
  • 1x 3.5mm audio combo jack
  • 1x DC barrel jack
  • 1x Kensington lock slot
  • 1x USB-C (information solely)
  • 2x USB-A 3.0
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x SD card
  • 1x 3.5mm audio combo jack
  • 1x DC barrel jack
  • 1x Kensington lock slot
Dimension 12.7″ x 9″ x 0.6″
(323 x 229 x 15mm)
13.1″ x 8.9″ x 0.8″
(333 x 226 x 21mm)
Weight 2.9 kilos (1.3kg) 3.5 kilos (1.6kg)
Guarantee 1 yr restricted 1 yr restricted
Extras Fingerprint reader,
720P digital camera
Fingerprint reader (in touchpad),
720P digital camera
Worth as examined $378 at Amazon and Walmart $350 at Walmart

Acer Swift 1 SF114-32

We did not really intend to check or evaluation the Swift 1—we ordered a Walmart Motile 14, with a Ryzen 5 processor for less than $350. However Walmart has an unlucky tendency to only throw in any related product when it runs low on inventory, and the Swift 1 is what received despatched instead—with no notification, both by e-mail or in our account at Walmart.com, and no paperwork within the field both.

There’s solely a 30-day return/alternate window on laptops at Walmart, however Issues Got here Up, and we did not open the field till after that window had shut. Discovering that our Ryzen 5 laptop computer had magically become a Pentium Silver (roughly Celeron-class) laptop computer and there wasn’t something we might do about, it didn’t spark pleasure… nevertheless it is nonetheless an under-$400 laptop computer, and we’re right here to check and evaluation low cost laptops, proper?

Bodily, the Swift 1 strongly resembles a lower-end Chromebook. It isn’t significantly light-weight, nevertheless it’s fairly slender, and its silver-skinned beauty are unassuming. On the plus aspect, it has a metallic chassis, not plastic; on the minus aspect, that chassis is extraordinarily skinny and really simply bent up. After we disassembled the Swift 1, regardless of being extraordinarily cautious and utilizing a gentle plastic spudger, we nonetheless bent the proper aspect just a little bit whereas getting the again panel off.

The perfect characteristic of the Swift 1 is its quick boot occasions—you may anticipate a chilly boot to get to the Home windows 10 desktop in round 11 seconds, together with POST. Sadly, the excessive efficiency ends there—the Swift 1’s Pentium Silver CPU, 4GiB RAM, and 64GB eMMC storage mix for a reasonably lackluster expertise.

Every thing on the Swift 1—apart from the battery and the Wi-Fi chipset—is soldered on, unrepairable, and un-upgradeable. What you purchase is what you get, and it really works till it breaks.

Gateway GWTN141-2

We went into testing the GWTN141-2 with a combination of pleasure and trepidation—on paper, a Ryzen 3200U system for $350 is a good deal. However in apply, we would found that the brand new Gateway line is—just like the horrid $140 EVOO EV-C-116-5—manufactured by Shenzhen Bmorn Expertise and imported by EVOO.

We’re comfortable to say that the GWTN141-2 is not a repeat of the EV-C-116-5’s story. The Gateway’s Ryzen 3 3200U CPU was not restricted by substandard thermals or manufacturing unit underclocking, and it performs as you’d anticipate from public leaderboards. The Gateway provides a good sooner chilly boot than the Swift—we timed it at eight seconds from energy button to Home windows desktop.

Persevering with the Gateway’s story of “Hey! Not dangerous,” the 128GB SSD is likely to be an odd Chinese language model you’ve got by no means heard of, nevertheless it’s an actual M.2 NVMe SSD which may be changed or upgraded. Though the 4GiB RAM the system comes with is soldered to the board, there’s an empty DIMM slot obtainable. There’s even an empty M.2 SATA-only slot, with an easy-access panel for that slot on the again.

The one actual flies within the GWTN141-2’s ointment are its low cost plastic chassis and its equally low cost Realtek 8821CE Wi-Fi.

The plastic used for the chassis is noticeably softer than you may anticipate for a laptop computer; it feels extra like a child’s toy than an actual pc, and it even felt barely cheesy to the contact on first unboxing. (Your mileage could fluctuate, right here—it bothered me, however the Spousal Opinion was “No matter, it is superb.”) On the plus aspect, the plastic chassis felt sturdy sufficient to outlive loads of disassembly and reassembly, in contrast to the Swift 1’s razor-thin aluminum aspect panels.

The Realtek Wi-Fi is serviceable if sluggish below Home windows, however it’s going to trigger extreme complications for anybody wanting to put in Linux—and in contrast to a lot of the GWTN141-2’s gear, it is soldered to the board and never replaceable.

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