How thin is too thin? Acer's getting closer to finding the answer with the super-thin Swift 7 laptop.
Acer has really upped their hardware game in recent years, and nowhere is that more clear than with the ultra-thin Acer Swift 7. This ultrabook, the world's new thinnest laptop at just 9.98mm thick when closed, is the culmination of Acer's engineering progress. Even with this thinness, Acer's still managed to make a laptop that's powerful enough to not be a slouch in everyday performance.
So let's talk a bit about this laptop. At less than 1cm thick it's the thinnest laptop we've seen yet, but Acer made a point not to compromise too much in the design. It packs a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 256GB SSD, and 8GB of RAM, along with advanced 2x2 Wi-Fi 802.11ac and a pair of USB-C ports. That's all wrapped in a machined aluminum shell that's colored gold on the base and black on the display — which, by the way, is a Full HD 13.3-inch IPS panel (non-touch) covered in a sheet of Gorilla Glass 3.
While 9.98mm is an easy measurement to quantify, it's also hard to really picture as a laptop until you've got it in your hands. This thing is stupendously thin, and that Acer managed to cram enough battery cells into it to promise a 9-hour battery life (aided by the power-sipping 14nm process of the 7th-gen Core processor) is even more impressive. Acer's also touting their Dolby Audio speakers, but given the serious lack of depth for creating a quality loudspeaker, we wouldn't be surprised if they're just "okay" (much like the Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers on the also-thin HP Spectre are acceptable for Skype calls and not much else).
With laptops we're likely approaching a similar point as we've reached already with smartphones — it can't get much thinner and still function properly. Keyboards need vertical space for their keys to travel, fans need space to pull air through, batteries need space to... be batteries. That's not to say that companies like Acer won't continue to push the bounds and make laptops that are ever marginally thinner — hell, Acer announced the Spin 7 convertible laptop that's just a millimeter thicker with barely any fanfare of its equally impressive thinness.
The Acer Spin 7 is going on sale in October 2016 with a starting price of $999 — that's the price of portability.