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STM is a relatively well-known Australian company that makes great quality, but slightly pricey bags and cases for your gadgets. What I’ve always loved about the company is that most of its bags don’t look anything like the typical accessories you’d associate with consumer tech. They just look like regular bags, except they’re not. Nowhere is that more clear than with the STM Drifter; a well-made, lightweight, spacious and durable back pack with enough pockets and compartments to carry virtually anything…
Design-wise, it looks more like a hiker’s bag than a backpack for carrying your laptop. Even down to the main shoulder straps which has a clasp to fix them together around your front, making the bag more secure and comfortable while you’re wearing it. What’s more, there are two drink holders (one on either side), both of which have straps to loosen and tighten depending on how large your bottle happens to be. If that wasn’t enough, the entire exterior of the bag is made from a water resistant polyester fabric that’s 320D thick, reinforced by a 640D fabric at the bottom. In short: This thing is built to last, and protect your gadgets even if you get caught in a shower. If the bag’s water resistant properties aren’t enough, there’s a rain cover neatly stowed in a compartment right at the base of the backpack.
Unlike most bags of this style, the Drifter’s main compartment opens at the top, instead of having a zipper that opens the entire bag up like a jaw. The zipper runs all the way around the top edge of the bag, letting you open the top, almost like a lid. The one downside of this design choice is that trying to reach anything at the bottom of the bag can be frustrating. Saying that, it does ensure that nothing will ever spill out (unless you tip it upside down).
On the underside of this ‘lid’ is a see-through compartment, for putting in all the stuff you really don’t want to lose, or have to go hunting around for. I tended to use it mostly for my small cable pouch, my wallet, keys, inhaler, and other medication. But you can use it for most accessories or personal items.
In the main body of the bag itself, the most notable part is the area designed to carry your MacBook. You can fit virtually any laptop up to 16-inches in size, and it’s relatively well-padded and lined with a soft fabric. It’s a wide enough space that I could have my MacBook Air and a regular A4-sized notepad in without even beginning to stretch its limitations. Just in front of the laptop compartment is a pocket designed for tablets. It’s easily big enough for an iPad Air, and has separate, smaller pockets in front of it designed to carry spare battery packs and cables. Stitched to the front of those is a strip of canvas with three loops, perfect for a couple of pens.
Then there’s the main, deceptively spacious internal compartment. The entire bag has an 18 liter capacity, but still weighs only slightly over 1kg when empty. In total, using the compartments and internal space, I carried my MacBook Air, iPad Air, notepad, DSLR camera, V-Moda earphones (in carrying case), glasses (in case), two phablet-sized smartphones and all my cables and it wasn’t even close to full. For a bag that has a relatively low footprint, that’s impressive. Because the material is so light and flexible, it doesn’t take up a lot of space at all, unless it’s completely packed to the brim.
That’s all before I even mention the three generously-sized compartments on the front, each with their own thick, durable self-healing YKK zipper. The top one is built in to the aforementioned ‘lid’, while the other two take the rest of the exterior space on the front of the backpack. STM has managed to put as much of the available surface area as possible to good use. It’s a bag that just keeps giving. Even with everything I could possible need with me when travelling, I had a compartment left over. That’s with all my aforementioned devices and accessories, plus my MacBook and phone power adapters.
Overall, my time with the Drifter has been great. I’ve taken it on two trips, and found it more than met my needs regardless of how little or how much I wanted to take with me. There are few small downsides, but the only real obstruction to wholeheartedly recommending the bag is the price. The STM Drifter will set you back $137.60 in the States, and it’s available in graphite (featured), olive, navy, camo and red. In the UK, it’s under £90 for most options. It’s a steep outlay for a bag, but in my experience using the Drifter, it’s worth it.
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IP rating is a usual term you will see when talking about any water resistant gadget. This stands for Ingress Protection. It is usually followed by a number, which refers to the Gadget’s ability to withstand dust and water. The first digit refers to solid particle protection and the second digit to liquid protection. The water resistant phones have IP67 or IP68 standards. IP numbers that start with a 6 mean the device have complete protection from dust. Samsung certifies the phones with IP68 certification “can be immersed in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.” Those phones with IP67 rating, can be immersed in water at a depth of 1 meter for a short time. I have compiled a list of waterproof phones from all major smartphone manufacturers. This list will help you to select the best water resistant phone suitable for your budget and requirments. The
Samsung Galaxy S 20 Series
Samsung Galaxy S 10 Series
Samsung Galaxy S 9 and Samsung Galaxy S 9 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung Galaxy S 8 and Samsung Galaxy S 8 Plus
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
Samsung Galaxy S 7
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Samsung Galaxy S 5
Below are the LG whones with waterproof certifications IP68 and IP67.
LG V60 ThinQ
LG G7 ThinQ
LG V30 PLUS
Waterproof phones are becoming more and more popular day by day. Phones with IP certification started appearing around the year 2014. But still most of the users do not care about the waterproof capability of their phone. But now the Coronavirus changed everything! Health experts are urging to clean your personal belongings whenever possible, either with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer. Mobile phones gets dirty pretty quickly. You keep them on tables, dash boards, and other contaminated places very frequently. Eventhough you can apply mild amount of sanitizers on any phone, it is always better to have a water resistant phone on which sanitizers can be applied without any worry of damaging chúng tôi rating is a usual term you will see when talking about any water resistant gadget. This stands for Ingress Protection. It is usually followed by a number, which refers to the Gadget’s ability to withstand dust and water. The first digit refers to solid particle protection and the second digit to liquid protection. The water resistant phones have IP67 or IP68 standards. IP numbers that start with a 6 mean the device have complete protection from dust. Samsung certifies the phones with IP68 certification “can be immersed in 1.5 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.” Those phones with IP67 rating, can be immersed in water at a depth of 1 meter for a short time. I have compiled a list of waterproof phones from all major smartphone manufacturers. This list will help you to select the best water resistant phone suitable for your budget and chúng tôi Samsung Galaxy S5 was the first waterproof Samsung Phone which appeared in 2014. From then all Samsung S series phones were having water resistance capability except Galaxy S6 series.Below are the LG whones with waterproof certifications IP68 and chúng tôi also: Android Phones with LED Notification Light
What is Ordinary Light?
An ordinary light is the type of electromagnetic radiation having many wavelengths and is incoherent light. As the ordinary light is a mixture of different wavelengths, thus it is a polychromatic light.
The ordinary light is divergent, which means it can travel in all the directions randomly. The ordinary light does not have relation between the phases of its photons. For this reason, it is also an incoherent light.
The common practical examples of ordinary light are sunlight, light produced by different types of artificial lamps like incandescent lamp, tungsten filament lamp, fluorescent lamp, etc.What is LASER Light?
LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. A LASER light is a form of electromagnetic radiation having only one wavelength of electromagnetic wave and is coherent light. Therefore, LASER light is a type monochromatic light, i.e. single color light. The LASER light is produced by using the concept stimulated emission, given by Albert Einstein.
The LASER light have photons that are in phase, therefore it is a coherent light. The LASER light has several unique feature such as directionality monochromatic, coherent, and narrow range of frequency, etc.
The LASER light is used in several specialized applications like laser diode, laser beam welding, laser drilling, laser cooling, etc.Difference between Ordinary Light and LASER Light
Both ordinary light and LASER light are forms of electromagnetic radiation, however they are different in many ways. These differences between ordinary light and LASER light are given in the following table −
Basis of Difference Ordinary Light LASER Light
Definition A mixture of electromagnetic radiations of different wavelengths is called ordinary light. A type of light that is produced by the stimulated emission and has electromagnetic waves of one wavelength is called LASER light.
Emission Ordinary light involves a spontaneous emission of radiation. LASER light involves a stimulated emission of radiation.
Chromaticity Ordinary light is polychromatic. That is, it is a mixture of different colors. LASER light is monochromatic. Which means, it is a single color light.
Frequency range Ordinary light involves a wide range of frequencies. LASER light has very narrow frequency range.
Directionality Ordinary light is divergent, i.e. it travels in different directions randomly. LASER light is highly directional.
Coherence Ordinary light is an incoherent light, i.e. the photons of the ordinary light are out of phase. LASER light is a coherent light. That is, its photons are in phase with each other.
Coherence length The coherence length of the ordinary light is of the order of few millimeters. The coherence length of the LASER light is of the order of kilometers.
Travelling length & duration Ordinary light can travel only to the short distances and for short duration of time. LASER light can travel to large distances and for long duration.
Intensity The intensity of the ordinary light significantly decreases with the distance as it travels. The decrease in the intensity of the LASER light is not significant over very long distances.
Nature Ordinary light is the natural light. LASER light is the induced light.
Consistency Ordinary light is an inconsistent light because it does not contain photons of the same frequency. LASER light is a consistent light.
Focus As the ordinary light is diffused. Therefore, it cannot be focused on a sharp point. As the LASER light is highly directional. Therefore, it can be focused on a sharp point.
Effect on human eye Ordinary light normally does not harm the human eyes. LASER light can damage the damage the eyes if looking with the naked eyes.
Energy concentration For the ordinary light, the energy is distributed in a wide area. In LASER light, the energy is concentrated in a narrow area.
Applications Ordinary light is used for illumination of area. LASER light has several applications like metal cutting, welding, printing, surgeries, fiber optics, optical computing devices, etc.Conclusion
The most significant difference between ordinary light and LASER light is that the ordinary light is polychromatic, while the LASER light is monochromatic. Note that both ordinary light and LASER light are the electromagnetic waves that can travel in vacuum at a speed equal to the speed of light.
ZHIYUN Smooth Q3 (A_SM113_HK): $89/£85/€89/Rs.7,999
ZHIYUN Smooth Q3 combo pack (A_SM113C_HK): $109/£99/€109
The Smooth Q3 is ZHIYUN’s latest three-axis smartphone gimbal. It’s the successor to the Smooth Q2 and a direct competitor to the DJI OM4. At $89 the Smooth Q3 is cheaper than both its predecessor the Smooth Q2 at $119 and the DJI OM4 at $149.
You can buy the Smooth Q3 gimbal on its own or as part of a combo pack. The combo pack includes a rigid carrying case, a wrist strap, and a year’s subscription to ZHIYUN Prime. The ZHIYUN Smooth Q3 only comes in gray.
What’s new since the Smooth Q2?
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
The main new addition here is a built-in fill light, which can rotate 180 degrees. This means you can light yourself when vlogging in low-light or nighttime conditions. It also lets you illuminate subjects and objects on the other side of the camera. The handle is now more ergonomic than its predecessor.
Unfortunately, the other main changes are downgrades, depending on your perspective. The build material is now plastic and the battery is 1,300mAh, down from the 4,500mAh cell in the Q2. This unfortunately means you can no longer reverse-charge your phone from the gimbal.
The Smooth Q3 also has a shorter battery life — about half that of the Smooth Q2 in my experience. ZHIYUN claims a similar max runtime for both gimbals, although I didn’t even get close to that in the summer heat. On a positive note, the Smooth Q3 is now much lighter.
What’s the build quality like?
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
The Q3 may not feel as robust as its predecessor but it’s also 20% lighter than either the Q2 or OM4. When it comes to portability, especially for mobile creators, weight and compactness are king. With that said, the Smooth Q3 collapses via a sliding mechanism for compact storage. It also comes with an included tripod.
The plastic build is certainly lighter than its metal predecessor but it feels far flimsier too.
I can’t say I’m thrilled by the shift back to a plastic build for the Smooth Q3. I get why — it’s much lighter — but I prefer the sturdier construction of the Smooth Q2, which is more in line with ZHIYUN’s larger camera gimbals. For that added durability I’m willing to pay the price of extra weight, although many wouldn’t.
Setup is a breeze as there’s no complex balancing required.
Throughout my ZHIYUN Smooth Q3 review period I constantly had to reconnect the app with the gimbal via Bluetooth. I’m not sure if this is a bug or expected behavior, but it’s very annoying. The worst part is the impact it has on being able to start shooting quickly.
Pan follow mode locks the tilt and pan axes so your phone only pans left and right.
Lock mode locks all axes: Use the thumb-stick to control tilt and pan axes.
Follow mode only locks the roll axis so tilt and pan follow the movement of the gimbal handle or are controlled by using the thumb-stick.
Go Mode is activated by holding the trigger button down on the gimbal handle. It’s like Follow mode but faster.
POV Mode makes all three motors follow the movement of the gimbal handle. Twist the handle to pan left or right, tilt forwards and back to tilt up and down, and rotate left and right to roll.
Vortex mode is similar to POV Mode where all motors follow the gimbal handle movement but you can control the roll and pan motors with the thumb-stick.
The Smooth Q3 supports up to 4K 60fps shooting (depending on your smartphone’s capabilities) with Full-HD and HD options and 24fps and 30fps as well. You can also tweak white balance, add grid lines, and much more.
What’s the stabilization like?
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
The main things to consider with any gimbal are how stable is it and how easy is it to use? The first question has a very simple answer here: very. Like other ZHIYUN gimbals I’ve used — both for smartphones or traditional cameras — the Smooth Q3 provides excellent stabilization.
The motors are responsive and powerful enough to handle larger smartphones but they seem much more sensitive than the Q2, frequently “flopping” under load (for example, when using attachable lenses). This is odd considering the Smooth Q3 has a higher max payload than its predecessor (which didn’t suffer the same issues). It’s possible that the Smooth Q3’s motors are tuned this way to avoid burnout. I also had more haywire motor freakouts than I have with any other gimbal.
All of the basic modes listed above functioned as expected and were generally quite reliable. I did get the occasional video stutter in the resulting footage, which I later realized was down to the ZY Cami app. When I switched to my phone’s default camera app the problem disappeared.
The only other issue I noticed was the occasional “lurch” from the tilt motor movement. The movement would be smooth for the first 45 degrees or so, then the gimbal would suddenly tilt forward or back once I went past a particular angle. This can be worked around but it does put a slight blemish on an otherwise very capable mobile gimbal.
How easy is it to use?
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
The second big question — how easy is it to use — is where things get a little murkier. When reviewing the Smooth Q2 I had come to terms with the quirks of the ZY Play app (rated 2.7 on Google Play). The Smooth Q3 uses the new ZY Cami app instead which is rated an even more dismal 2.5 stars.
If you are willing to adjust to the ZY Cami app, you’ll get a host of additional features which are worth figuring out, even if only to see how they might mesh with your creative workflow. The most notable offerings include:
Dolly mode: Zoom in or out on a subject as you get physically closer or further away, keeping the subject the same size in the frame as the background expands or contracts.
SmartFollow 3.0: Activated with the trigger button, the Smooth-Q will start auto-tracking a moving subject.
Gesture Control: Start recording with a hand gesture if you’re shooting on your own with the gimbal on a tripod (or if your gimbal operator has a light or boom mic in their other hand).
MagicClone Pano: Put yourself in the frame multiple times.
Zoom slider: The zoom slider on the side of the gimbal handle is a bit janky. I wouldn’t recommend using it if you want the highest quality stabilized footage.
EIS issues: You might need to turn off your smartphone’s electronic image stabilization (EIS) if you notice it “fighting” with the gimbal’s physical stabilization. This is especially noticeable when doing barrel-roll moves.
Cable concerns: The orientation of the gimbal arms has been changed to allow easier access to the ports on your phone. This is a good thing, but if you actually plug a dongle, headphones, or a mic in they’ll likely still get in the way.
Inverted position: It is possible to invert the gimbal but you have to do it carefully to avoid the motors freaking out. Hold the gimbal normally, then slowly rotate the handle from six o’clock position to 12 o’clock position as you lower it towards the ground. This process seemed much more sensitive than on other gimbals I’ve used.
FilmicPro incompatibility: FilmicPro is not currently compatible with the ZHIYUN Smooth Q3. If that’s your camera app of choice you can still use the Smooth Q3 as a “dumb” gimbal but you’ll lose the record button and zoom functionality on the gimbal’s handle, as well as the additional features in the ZY Cami app.
No quick-release: There’s no quick-release mechanism here so you’ll have to unclamp your phone every time you take it out. This is much less convenient than the quick-release lever on the Smooth Q2 or the magnetic clamp on the DJI OM4.
Battery life: ZHIYUN says the Q3’s max runtime is 15 hours, but I’m not sure how likely that is outside perfect lab conditions. ZHIYUN’s standard battery expectation is seven hours, down from 13 hours in the Smooth Q2. My average was around 7-10 hours.
The Smooth Q3 does the basics and won’t break the bank.
The Smooth Q2 ($119) has better motor stability and build quality but an equally bad app experience. The Smooth 4 ($99) is a larger and less portable but more well-rounded gimbal to my mind than the Smooth Q3. The Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus ($89) is another contender, but it too suffers from a cheap plastic feel and disappointing companion app. The DJI OM4 ($149) is still plastic but feels sturdier and offers a marginally better app experience.
ZHIYUN Smooth Q3 review: The verdict
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
The Smooth Q3 is a bit of a let-down for me. I really wanted to like what ZHIYUN’s attempting here — going toe-to-toe with DJI — but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. I was really into the Smooth Q2 and the Q3 feels like a downgrade to me in many ways. The Smooth Q3 can’t compete with the OM4 either in my opinion, except on price. Other gimbals, including from ZHIYUN itself, offer a better price-performance ratio.
Quantum computing is a rapidly-emerged technology that channels the laws of quantum mechanics to solve complex problems, impossible for classical computers to encode. With time, the rise in quantum computers has overpowered traditional computers and has marked a milestone in the development of quantum computers.
However, some research institutes have predicted that the continuous rise of quantum supremacy will slowly and steadily overtake the blockchain space. Thus, to protect blockchain technology from quantum computing attacks, there was a need for quantum-safe blockchain technology.
Fortunately, the second quarter of 2023 witnessed the launch of Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL). It took two years of thorough development, several third-party audits, and the first enterprise-grade post-quantum secure blockchain with the XMSS signature scheme to launch QRL.
What is Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL)?
The Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL) is a complete quantum-resistant blockchain network. The former is a reliable blockchain platform secured by XMSS. XMSS is a NIST-approved, hash-based secure digital signature scheme, making the platform resistant to quantum attacks. A development ecosystem and a suite of applications complement the platform’s security.
There are numerous features attached to the QRL network delivering a utility-based platform for developers and users:
Secure digital assets:
The ledger provides safe digital assets to its users, avoiding current and emerging cryptographic threats. The suite of applications guarantees a range of options for the safe custody of QRL digital assets. The former also enables interactions with the public and private post-quantum secure blockchains built on the platform’s core protocol.
Post-quantum secure communications:
The ledger combines on-chain lattice key storage with its strong transitory messaging layer to internode communication. It is a first-of-its-kind post-quantum secure messaging layer for extremely secure virtual communications.
Broad integration and diverse ecosystem:
QRL delivers a strong integration accompanied by a pioneer in hardware digital assets storage solutions to its users. In addition, it has an open development infrastructure and audited and open-source cryptographic algorithms. The platform delivers a rich API experience for developers, making QRL a healthy-enterprise grade solution.
QRL is the first industrial implementation to utilize IETF-specified XMSS. The latter enables users to secure present and future attacks using quantum computers. XMSS is a hash-based, secure signature scheme with minimal security assumptions and reusable addresses in alignment with NIST approval.
The platform is built-in, with comprehensive tools, documentation, and a rich API, allowing the tools to build anything on an industrial-grade network for today and tomorrow. Features such as Quantum Resistant Token (QRT) support, on-chain message support, etc. result in QRL being a developer-friendly platform.
The platform is a full suite of products, designed keeping in mind the end-user. The former caters to numerous user demands, from integrations with hardware wallets to mobile applications. The download page of QRL has products for desktops, like Windows, Mac, and Linux, for mobile applications, including iOS and Android, and the web browser.
There are numerous IT sectors and operational technology systems based on public-key cryptography. Cryptographic algorithms are mathematical functions that transform data with the help of a key to protect information. QRL is a NIST(National Institute of Standards and Technology) approved quantum-secured cryptography.
The cryptography enables the platform to test post-quantum cryptography algorithms with their software. Moreover, it allows QRL to decide whether information security outweighs the efficiency losses ahead of a federally mandated transition. The NSIT approval helps QRL understand the impact of post-quantum cryptography on their network’s performance and behavior.
Quantum currency is the scientific alternative to cryptocurrencies. It aims to replace central banking and enable precise and consistent integrity of the movement of funds. Quantum Resistant Ledger combines blockchain technology and quantum currency and provides a tech-based financial solution for users.
Quantum currency enables QRL for efficient data analysis, high-security standards, and improved customer experience. The Ledger with quantum money has created a unique currency (QRL coins), impossible to clone, reproduce, or copy.
Red4sec, a business initiative formed by experts and security analysts with years of experience in cybersecurity, audits the QRL network. The rapid growth of technologies and outsourcing of services by various firms increase the risk appearance affecting the secrecy, integrity, and accessibility of information. Red4sec aims to provide information security solutions and protect organizations by reducing the risk caused by security vulnerabilities.
To undertake a secondary security audit, QRL signed an agreement with X41 D-Sec GmbH. The latter leverages some of the specific expertise at X41, covering the post-quantum cryptography portion of QRL. Besides, it helps platforms to handle vulnerabilities in products under development. Beyond identifying individual vulnerabilities, X41 shows ways to improve the product’s infrastructure in design and make it resilient even against future threats.
Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL) marks the future of blockchain technology without any worry of quantum attacks. Broad integration, secure digital assets, and post-quantum secure communications make QRL a highly secure one-of-a-kind blockchain platform.
The QRL coin has a circulating supply of 76,403,154.90 QRL coins with a supply cap of 105,000,000 QRL coins. The project abides by its vision to provide users with similar features as Bitcoin and Ethereum while providing fairer mining processes, high security, and better staking algorithms. Quantum Resistant Ledger is a network that meets the needs of the present generation while addressing the demands of upcoming generations.
To know more about Quantum Resistant Ledger, please visit the official website.
Impossibly thin and light
Roomy and modern 16-inch OLED display
Strong application performanceCons
Display lid flexes a bit too much
Keyboard a bit Butterfly-y
No Thunderbolt 4Our Verdict
The Acer Swift Edge delivers a spacious 16-inch OLED display inside an enclosure that’s hardly more than 2.5 pounds and a half an inch thick.
Screen size and travel weight are likely at or near the top of every laptop buyer’s list of priorities, where you want the most of the former and the least of the latter. The Acer Swift Edge lets you have your display and travel weight, too, supplying a roomy and modern 16-inch 16:10 wrapped in a thin, magnesium alloy chassis that’s a mere half and inch thick and roughly two and a half pounds. We’ve not seen a laptop with a larger screen that weighs less. Although I’d happily accept an extra ounce or two of carrying weight for a more rigid lid for the display.
The 16-inch display—an OLED panel with a crisp, 4K resolution—is outstanding and worth protecting. The image quality is stellar, offering brilliant color and outstanding contrast with inky blacks and bright whites. An octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 6800U CPU and integrated Radeon graphics power the action, a duo that offers some multimedia editing ability but better suited for general home entertainment and office pursuits. If you want the biggest OLED display in the thinnest, lightest design, the Acer Swift Edge is it.
Looking for more thin and light laptops? Check out our roundup of the best 2-in-1’s.Acer Swift Edge: Specifications and features
Our Acer Swift Edge test system costs $1,499.99 from Acer and features the following specs.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 6800U
Graphics: AMD Radeon 680M (integrated)
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display: 16-inch 16:10 4K (3840 x 2400)
Connectivity: 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, 2 x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI 2.1, combo audio jack
Networking: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2
Biometrics: Fingerprint reader
Battery capacity: 55 Watt-hours
Dimensions: 14.0 x 9.5 x 0.55 inches
Measured weight: 2.59 pounds
Price: $1,499.99Acer Swift Edge: Design and keyboard
With its matte black surfaces and understated aesthetic, the Acer Swift Edge gives off ThinkPad vibes. It looks like an extra-thin X1 Carbon. The lid is plain black and the keyboard and keyboard deck on the inside are also black with a simple Acer logo on the top edge of the lid and another centered on the bottom bezel below the display. A small, subtle Swift logo sits below the keyboard on the right side of the wrist rest. The Swift Edge looks like a corporate workhorse laptop, but one that’s incredibly thin.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
The laptop is a hair thicker than half an inch and weighs a scant more than 2.5 pounds. That’s just not a weight we have even seen for a 16-inch laptop—not even close. At 3.86 pounds, the Acer Swift 3 is more than a pound heavier. Even the impressively thin and smaller 14-inch Lenovo Slim 9i weighs more at an even 3.0 pounds. The Swift Edge is able to achieve such a thin design and light weight because it’s made not from aluminum like most laptops but a magnesium alloy that Acer states is 20% lighter and twice as strong as aluminum.
Even with the reported double strength, the Swift Edge’s magnesium alloy chassis doesn’t have the most rugged and rigid feel. There is some flex on the keyboard deck, and the lid lets the display flex to an almost worrisome degree. I wouldn’t mind a thicker aluminum lid for added protection, even if it meant the Swift Edge would be a bit thicker and a few ounces heavier. Even with a more substantial lid, the Swift Edge would likely still weigh less than three pounds and remain eminently portable.
The ThinkPad vibes begin to dissipate after you start typing on the Swift Edge. The keys are flat and offer very shallow travel—not surprising given the thinnest of the machine. They feel more like Apple’s derided butterfly keyboard. If you are a fast touch typist, you’ll probably enjoy the fast feedback, but others may bemoan the lack of a more traditional feel with deeper travel and a snappier response. The keyboard offers two-level backlighting, which you can conveniently control from the F11 key. The power button sits in the upper-right corner of the keyboard and doubles as a fingerprint reader for easy, secure logins.Acer Swift Edge: Display and ports
Other than the extreme thinness and incredible lightness of the chassis, the display is the star of the Swift Edge show. It’s a roomy 16-inch OLED panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a fine 4K (3840×2400-pixel) resolution. The display is outstanding in every way: bright and crisp with incredible contrast and vivid, accurate color. The 4K resolution produces a spectacularly sharp picture with crisp text and edges. I measured the max brightness at an impressive 630 nits—this is a laptop capable of being used outside in direct sunlight. The OLED panel produces absolute black levels and bright whites—there is just no beating the contrast ratio of an OLED display.
IDG / Matthew Elliott
With a tall 16:10 aspect ratio, the 16-inch display feels huge. It offers plenty of space to juggle multiple windows and a big screen for watching shows and movies. Taller than the traditional 16:9 widescreen laptop display, the Swift Edge’s display requires less scrolling through long docs and web pages.
The webcam above the display is a modern 1080p camera that produces a crisp, well-balanced picture with accurate color and skin tones. I have no complaints about the webcam’s performance, but I will register a grievance about the lack of a physical shutter or electronic kill switch to protect your privacy when the camera is not in use.
Don’t let the dotted grill above the keyboard fool you: that wide stripe of dots is venting for the laptop’s cooling system and not a speaker grill. The Swift Edge features two downward-firing speakers that produce average laptop audio. It suffices for YouTube videos but lacks the bass needed for music playback and effects and explosions in movies.Acer Swift Edge: Performance
In general, the Swift Edge felt peppy when navigating Windows and multitasking with a handful of open apps, including Chrome with dozens of open tabs. While the overall performance felt fast, the cooling fans were often employed during multimedia editing and 3D graphics tasks, a result of the ultra-thin chassis.
IDG / Matthew ElliottAcer Swift Edge: Conclusion
Go ahead, find another 16-inch 16:10 laptop that’s thinner than 0.55 inches and lighter than 2.59 pounds. We have yet to encounter such a machine. The Acer Swift Edge makes for an easy commuting companion with a screen that’s large enough to work and multitask on all day. And better still, the display is a 4K OLED panel that delivers a gorgeous image. We’d argue for a slightly thicker and heavier chassis if it meant the lid behind the display was a bit more substantial and the keyboard deck allowed for keys with deeper travel and snappier feedback. As currently constructed, however, the Acer Swift Edge offers an unmatched combination of screen size and portability.
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