Acer Swift 3 vs HP’s Pavilion Aero in a comparison test

HP’s Pavilion Aero Notebook and its competitor Acer Swift 3 are in a duel on an equal footing.
© HP

Of course, there are still significantly cheaper notebooks. If you visit the usual dealer websites, you will find Windows-based 14-inch mobile computers from well-known manufacturers for around 300 euros. And yes, even in this price range, SSD storage or Full HD displays are now being installed. In the present case, however, we are talking about devices that one would place in the four-digit euro range in terms of design, workmanship, performance and equipment.

The Acer Swift 3 with the cumbersome additional designation SF314-511-54ZK and the HP Pavilion Aero in the 13-be0053ng variant are sold over the counter for less than 800 euros. What’s the catch here? We don’t know, we haven’t found any significant one.

Various Aha Effects

Let’s look at the two test candidates from the outside first. In both cases, we’re dealing with ultra-compact laptops that, with their implied wedge shape – it’s not real, the impression is created by the sides that are beveled at the bottom at the front – is probably not accidentally reminiscent of Dell’s XPS premium series. The well-made ones, right stable metal housing also convince haptically.

The low weight of the two ultrabooks surprised us even more: The Pavilion Aero lives up to its name and does not even weigh one kilogram. The Swift 3 is slightly heavier, but has a larger display and a slightly lighter power supply. lightweights This type is normally only found in the mobile upper class.

The next aha effect awaited the testers after opening it, because the input devices are also convincing: Backlit keyboards with large keys and precisely working touchpads (with slight drawbacks in the Swift 3) ensure pleasant work. In both cases, the keyboard is also slightly raised when opened, which is not only ergonomically advantageous, but also improves the cooling of the devices.

In terms of connectivity, the Acer Swift 3 is exemplary: Even Thunderbolt 4 and a Kensington lock are on board.
© Acer

  • lightweight, compact 14-inch ultrabook
  • elegant design
  • very good workmanship
  • convincing performance
  • large, fast SSD storage
  • different cooling modes
  • Windows 11 already pre-installed
  • numerous ports, including Thunderbolt 4 and Kensington
  • outstanding value for money

  • no card reader
  • manageable battery life


connect verdict: good (423 out of 500 points)

Okay, we thought to ourselves: Then the manufacturers just saved on the components in order to, despite the cheap prices to get their bill. But that is not the case either. Both candidates are not stingy with interfaces: two USB-A, one USB-C and HDMI are on board – the Acer model even has one multifunctional Thunderbolt 4 port and a slot for the Kensington lock. You only have to do without a card reader, which is bearable, because the internal SSD memory is generously dimensioned at 512 GB (and also extremely fast with the Swift 3). Fingerprint scanners are also available.

No big differences

The manufacturers didn’t skimp on the computing unit either: Acer relies on a fast one Intel Core i5 processor, flanked by an impressive 16 GB main memory. HP is in a similar performance class and installs a Ryzen 5 from AMD with 8 GB RAM. Both CPUs clock with up to 4,2 GHz and ensure excellent performance even without a dedicated graphics card.

While the differences between the test candidates were rather marginal to date, the gap between the displays is a bit wider. It’s not just because of that Diagonal (14 versus 13.3 inches) and the format (16:9 versus 16:10), but also the brightness: The Pavilion shines much brighter than the Swift 3 and offers higher contrast values. Both screens are anti-glare and therefore also suitable for outdoor use.

In addition to HDMI and chargeable USB-C, the HP Pavilion Aero also has two USB-A ports that can be folded out.
© HP

  • very light, compact 13-inch ultrabook
  • elegant design
  • very good workmanship
  • superior system performance
  • large SSD storage
  • high-contrast, very bright display in 16:10 format
  • ergonomic input devices
  • proper interface supply
  • excellent value for money

  • somewhat unwieldy USB-A flaps
  • no card reader


connect verdict: very good (429 out of 500 points)

The two models are also not quite in step when it comes to endurance. Despite the higher battery capacity, the Acer device gives up earlier than the competitor from HP, which manages almost two hours longer without a power outlet. Equally on the plus side is the behavior of the fan, because in both cases it works rather unobtrusively – the Swift 3 even has one special cooling modewhich throttles the performance down so far that the fan remains completely silent.


The opponents fought a duel on an equal footing until the end, which the Pavilion Aero won by a narrow margin and even entered it “very good” secures – as the cheapest test device ever. The Swift 3, which is delivered with Windows 11, ultimately misses this verbal note by a hair’s breadth. The Taiwanese is partially better equipped, but loses a few points in endurance and the display. Nevertheless, there is a very clear purchase recommendation in both cases. The differences to the premium segment can only be seen in details such as the plastic display frame.

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