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Acer Swift 3 has big appeal for people who love little laptops

With a choice of Intel and a 3:2-aspect display or a 16:9 display with AMD, the Swift 3 could grab a lot of ultraportable buyers.

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Acer's Swift 3 is available with a 16:9 or 3:2 (pictured) screen ratio. 

James Martin/CNET
This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

The new Acer Swift 3 is actually two different laptops. Confusing? Sure, but it seems to have been done in an effort to accommodate the wants and needs of different potential users. As it did with its Spin 5 and Spin 3 two-in-one, also announced at CES 2020, Acer made two versions of the same laptop: one with a tall 13.5-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and one with a wide, 16:9 14-inch screen.  

The 13.5-inch Swift 3 (SF313-52/G) was co-engineered with Intel as part of its Project Athena program. That means it's designed to wake from sleep in less than a second, deliver consistent responsiveness on battery only, give you at least 9 hours of battery life under real-world conditions and 16 or more hours of battery for local video playback. It also promises at least 4 hours of battery time with a 30-minute charge. It'll be available with up to 10th-gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processors. 

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The 14-inch Swift 3 (SF314-42) will be available with a new AMD Ryzen 4000 series processor, a Ryzen 7 4700U to be specific. Both laptops weigh only 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg) and have other features in common like Wi-Fi 6, fingerprint readers and support for Wake on Voice, which lets you activate Cortana even when the screen is off. 

The Intel-based Acer Swift 3 (SF313-52/G) will be available in North America in March, starting at $699, while the AMD-based Swift 3 (SF314-42) arrives in North America in May, starting at $599.