Equipped with a fourth generation 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U processor, with 8GB of RAM, an Intel HD Graphics 4400 GPU and a 128GB SSD the Acer Aspire S7 offers strong performance capable of handling most tasks with ease. While the Aspire S7 does boast an impressive offering, at $1,400 it’s easy to see the i5 processor and the lack of dedicated graphics as a bit wanting. However, much like the Samsung ATIV Book 9, the Aspire S7 isn’t about raw power; its aim is to offer as much power as it can in as slim as a form factor as possible. In that regard the Aspire S7 is a success.
Normal word and web functions prove to be no challenge for the Aspire S7. The notebook is also capable of handling more demanding Microsoft Office functions such as complicated Excel spreadsheets with relative ease. With 8GB of RAM the S7 is able to juggle multiple applications at the same time. While testing the device Notebook Review was able to run two HD video streams with 10 other tabs open in the background with no noticeable lag or drop in performance.
The most notable weak point for the Acer Aspire S7 is its limited graphical performance. Equipped with Intel HD Graphics 4400 GPU, the Aspire S7 is not capable of handling graphically demanding tasks such as 3D video editing and high-end video game titles. However, the Aspire S7 is not a total bust. The device is capable of editing HD video and can run less demanding game titles such as Left for Dead and Minecraft.
While Acer Aspire S7 does not boast incredible graphics performance, the device is lightning fast with its 128GB SSD. Applications open instantly after being selected, and the Aspire S7 was able to boot to the Windows 8 start screen in at an average of 8 seconds. With its quick data retrieval speeds the Acer Aspire S7 is perfect for travel with lighting fast load times and the ability to instantly jump into any task or application.
Our Review unit of the Acer Aspire S7 includes the following specifications:
- Windows 8 (64-bit)
- 13.3″ LED Display (1920 x 1080)
- 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U
- Intel HD Graphics 4400
- 8GB DDR3
- 128GB SSD
- 802.11 a/b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 4-Cell Lithium Polymer Battery
- Dimensions: 12.7″ x 8.8″ x 0.56″
- Weight: 2.94 lbs.
- Cost: $1,400
The unit that Notebook Review tested (S7-392-6411) features a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200 CPU with 8GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4400 GPU and 128GB SSD and is available for $1,400.
The base model (S7-392-6803) offers the same build except with less memory only offering 4GB of RAM and is currently available for $1,280. Acer also offers a higher-end model (S7-392-9890) outfitted with a 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-4500U processor, 8GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4400 GPU and 256GB SSD and is currently listed at $1,650.
Prime processor comparisons (lower score means better performance):
PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark and measures overall systems performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark 11 is a benchmark that measures overall graphic card performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
Crystal DiskMark storage drive performance test:
Heat and Noise
The Aspire 7 house a vent located on the back end of the chassis directly below the device’s display hinge. With the vent located at the back of the device facing away from the user, any heat produced by the machine will be directed away from the user. While the area around the vent does tend to heat up on occasion, the reset of machine remains comfortably cool even when the machine is being taxed.
Acer is able to achieve these cool temperatures with a pair of Twin Air thermal fans. The system works with one fan drawing in cool air while the second blows out hot air. The result is a notebook that remained both cool and quiet for the duration that Notebook Review tested the notebook. Even after watching an HD video stream for 45 minutes the Aspire S7 remained cool and could be comfortably used as a laptop.
To test battery life, we used our new PowerMark benchmark in balanced mode. The test consists of a combination of automated web browsing, word processing, gaming and video playback workloads. The test is far more strenuous than our previous test, measuring the machine under a litany of scenarios to better simulate real life use. With the test being far more demanding the scores are understandably lower than our previous benchmark.
PowerMark “Balanced” battery life test results (higher scores mean better life):
In our tests the Acer Aspire S7 ran for 4 hours and 14 minutes at 110nits brightness before shutting down. Running well past 4 hours the Aspire S7 offers much improved battery life from its previous iteration. The increased battery capacity and the move to Intel’s more energy efficient Haswell processer line have afforded the Aspire S7 a considerable boost to its endurance. With our tests being far more strenuous than typical use, consumers can expect upwards of 7 to 8 hours of continuous batter life on a single charge.