Battle for $ 350 laptops: Acer Swift 1 versus Gateway Ryzen 3 3200U

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Enlarge /. The Swift 1 from Acer seems a bit extra skilled than the GWTN141-2 from Gateway – however it would not appear like every part, as our exams conclusively present.

Jim Salter

We’ve been on the lookout for good, however actually low-cost, laptops for a while. Acer’s $ 650 Swift Three is a wonderful selection for funds laptops within the beneath $ 700 vary, however we had been actually drawn to discovering one within the virtually non-existent beneath $ 400 class. To that finish, right this moment we’re taking a look at two of Walmart’s finest – an Acer Swift 1 valued at $ 378 and a Gateway GWTN141-2 valued at $ 350.

Each are serviceable if low-cost laptops, however the Gateway, whereas the cheaper mannequin, would be the clear winner for most individuals. It is extra highly effective, extra repairable, upgradeable, and in addition just a little extra dependable in our exams.

Technical knowledge at a look: as checked
Acer Swift 1 SF114-32 Gateway GWTN141-2
working system Home windows 10 House (S mode) Home windows 10 House (S mode)
display screen 14 inch IPS FHD (1920 × 1080, 250 nits) 14.1 inch IPS FHD (1920 × 1080, 190 nits)
Central processor Pentium Silver N5000 Ryzen 3 3200U
GPU Intel UHD 605 AMD Vega 3
R.A.M. 4GiB DDR4 (soldered, not expandable) 4GiB DDR4 (soldered, with an empty DIMM slot)
laborious disk 64 GB eMMC
(SanDisk DF4064)
128 GB 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
  • 1x USB-C (knowledge solely)
  • 2x USB-A 3.0
  • 1x USB-A 2.0
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x SD card
  • 1x 3.5 mm audio combo socket
  • 1x DC barrel socket
  • 1x Kensington lock slot
  • 1x USB-C (knowledge solely)
  • 2x USB-A 3.0
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x SD card
  • 1x 3.5 mm audio combo socket
  • 1x DC barrel socket
  • 1x Kensington lock slot
dimension 12.7 “x 9” x 0.6 “
(323 x 229 x 15 mm)
13.1 “x 8.9” x 0.8 “
(333 x 226 x 21 mm)
Weight 1.Three kg 1.6 kg
guarantee 1 yr restricted 1 yr restricted
Extras Fingerprint reader,
720P digital camera
Fingerprint reader (within the touchpad),
720P digital camera
Worth as examined $ 378 on Amazon and Walmart $ 350 at Walmart

Acer Swift 1 SF114-32

We did not actually intend to check or check the Swift 1 – we ordered a Walmart Motile 14 with a Ryzen 5 processor for simply $ 350. However Walmart has an unlucky tendency to herald an identical product solely when stock is working low, and the Swift 1 has been despatched as a substitute – with no notification, both by e mail or on our account, and no paperwork within the field both.

There’s solely a 30 day laptop computer return / change window at Walmart, however issues got here and we did not open the field till after that window was closed. After we found that our Ryzen 5 laptop computer had magically reworked right into a Pentium Silver laptop computer (roughly within the Celeron class) and there was nothing we may do about it, it was no pleasure … however it did is Nonetheless a beneath $ 400 laptop computer and we’re right here to check and assessment low-cost laptops, proper?

Bodily, the Swift 1 is similar to a lower-priced Chromebook. It is not notably gentle, however it’s fairly slim and its silver-skinned look is modest. On the plus aspect, it has a metallic case, not plastic; on the unfavorable aspect is the chassis extraordinarily skinny and really barely curved. After we disassembled the Swift 1, we bent the suitable aspect just a little, though we had been extraordinarily cautious and used a gentle plastic spudger whereas we eliminated the again panel.

The Swift 1’s finest function is its fast start-up occasions. You may count on a chilly boot to hit the Home windows 10 desktop in round 11 seconds, together with POST. Sadly, the excessive efficiency ends there – the Pentium Silver CPU, Four GB RAM and 64 GB eMMC storage of the Swift 1 collectively make for a reasonably lackluster expertise.

The whole lot on the Swift 1 – aside from the battery, the Wi-Fi chipset and an unpopulated M.2 slot for SATA solely – is soldered on, can’t be repaired and can’t be up to date. What you purchase, you get, and it really works till it breaks.

Gateway GWTN141-2

We examined the GWTN141-2 with a mixture of pleasure and concern – on paper, a $ 350 Ryzen 3200U system is loads. In apply, nonetheless, we had discovered that the brand new gateway line – just like the horrible EVOO EV-C-116-5 for $ 140 – was manufactured by Shenzhen Bmorn Expertise and imported by EVOO.

We’re completely happy to say that the GWTN141-2 is Not a repeat of the historical past of the EV-C-116-5. The gateway’s Ryzen 3 3200U CPU wasn’t constrained by inferior thermals or manufacturing unit underclocking and works as you’d count on from public leaderboards. The gateway presents an excellent sooner chilly begin than the Swift – we set it to eight seconds from the ability button to the Home windows desktop.

The 128GB SSD continues the “Hey! Not Unhealthy” gateway story, and could also be an odd Chinese language model you’ve got by no means heard of, however it’s a real M.2 NVMe SSD that replaces it or might be up to date. Though the Four GB RAM that got here with the system is soldered to the circuit board, an empty DIMM slot is on the market. There’s even an empty M.2 SATA slot with an simply accessible cowl for that slot on the again.

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

The plastic used for the case is noticeably softer than you’ll count on from a laptop computer. It feels extra like a child’s toy than an actual pc, and it even felt just a little sticky the primary day trip of the field. (Your mileage could range right here – it bothered me, however the partner’s opinion was, “Anyway, it is effective.” Skinny aluminum aspect panels.

The Realtek Wi-Fi might be serviced on Home windows whether it is gradual. Nonetheless, it’s a main headache for anybody seeking to set up Linux. In distinction to a lot of the units within the GWTN141-2, it’s soldered to the circuit board and can’t be changed.


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