Acer Aspire S7 Preview: the Best New Ultrabook?

by Reads (15,874)

The updated Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook announced at Computex Taipei may just be the best Ultrabook of the show, and will likely top “best of” lists at year’s end. That’s because Acer took everything that was great about the original S7, namely the design and build, and fixed the few issues it had, issues that also plague other Ultrabooks, like a shallow keystroke and mediocre battery life.

Acer Aspire S7And of course, Acer built its new Aspire S7 around Intel’s latest-and-greatest Haswell Core processors.

At a glance, it’s apparent that this is one good-looking Ultrabook. Like the previous-generation model, it has an aluminum body with a white Gorilla Glass 2 lid. NotebookReview can’t say for certain just how much protection the Gorilla Glass offers, but the cool aluminum and glossy glass contrasting aesthetic is top notch.

It feels good too, very solid, with little to no creak or flex. As does the keyboard. Many complained the keystrokes on the 2012 S7 were too shallow and unsatisfying, and Acer claims to have increased key travel. Without the benefit of direct comparison, it’s impossible to tell just how much, but it’s likely an improvement.

Acer Aspire S7 backAlso improved are the specs. Acer bumped the RAM up to 8GB, from 4GB, and the battery size a full 33% for what Acer claims is a battery life “up to 7 hours.” NotebookReview only juiced out 2 and 30 minutes of battery life from our 2012 Aspire S7 review, and we expect a significant bump in this unit, considering the fourth-generation Intel Haswell processor is supposed to offer improved battery over the third-generation chips. The other physical differences are slight. This Aspire S7 is only measurably heavier and thicker than the 2012 model, though anyone would be hard pressed to notice. Finally, Acer claims its new 2nd generation Acer TwinAir cooling will put out less fan noise than the 2012 S7, which addresses another complaint NBR had with that unit.

This Aspire S7 sports two USB 3.0 inputs, HDMI port, SD card slot, and a Mini DisplayPort, as well as a 128 or 256GB SSD. It will ship in either Core i5 or i7 configurations.

Its 13.3-inch IPS display has a standard 1920 x 1080 resolution (a 2560 x 1440 unit will also be offered in Europe and other markets, though may not come to the US), and it looks crisp, with clean colors and ample viewing angles. Its touch-input seemed accurate in casual use, and the screen stood strong when pressed. It likely won’t wobble when used as a touchscreen. The display opens up slightly more than 180 degrees.

The new and improved Acer Aspire S7 is expected to ship in Q3 with a base price of $1,400. NBR can’t wait to test out what might be the best Ultrabook of 2013.


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