Acer Aspire S7-393 Review (2015): Refreshed With Intel's Broadwell

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The Refreshed Acer Aspire S7

We've got a fairly well defined set of expectations with today's current crop of ultrabooks. What you trade away in performance, you usually gain in convenience with these ultra-light, ultra-portable, and easy to carry laptops. We wouldn't make an ultrabook our primary gaming system or video-encoding cruncher, for example, but we would definitely carry one around with us for everyday computing tasks like Web browsing, managing spreadsheets, some Netflix, and maybe a bit of light gaming (sorry, Witcher 3 fans).

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We were pleasantly surprised to see Acer's Aspire S7-393 perform so well on most of the benchmarks we tossed its way, however, as you'll see on the pages ahead. This ultrabook is not only priced somewhat lower than one of our favorite ultrabooks, the Dell's XPS 13, but it's also faster for general use and gaming (the latter, by just a smidge). Though you're a little stuck in that you can't customize the S7-393 from Acer directly, we're not sure what else you'd want to throw into this pretty stellar laptop—aside from a bit more storage, that is. First up, some specs...

Acer Aspire S7-393
Specifications & Features
Processor: 
Operating System: 
Graphics: 
Memory: 
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Camera: 
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Keyboard: 
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Battery: 
Software: 





             

Weight: 
Price: 
Intel Core i7-5500U (4MB Cache - 2.4 - 3.0GHz)
Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
Intel HD Graphics 5500
8GB DDR3L 1600MHz
13.3-inch IPS FHD (1920X1080) with multi-touch
720p HD camera
240GB RAID-0 array (2x 120GB SSD)
Intel Centrino Wireless-AC 7265 + Bluetooth 4.0
USB 3.0 (x2), HDMI, Acer Converter Port
Headphone/mic jack
SD Card Reader

5-row, Non-Backlit Keyboard
Stereo Speakers, Dolby Home Theater audio enhancement, Microphone
4-Cell (6280 mAh)
Various Acer "ab" apps; Acer Quick Access, Power Management, Portal, Theft Shield
Acer Touch Tools, Screen Grasp, Care Center
Cyberlink PhotoDirector3, PowerDirector
Various casual games
MCAfee LiveSafe
Dragon Assistant

2.87 lbs. (Touch Screen)
$1299 as configured and tested 

The Acer S7-393 is outfitted with an Intel Core i7-5500U dual-core processor that runs at 2.4GHz by default, but can boost up to 3.0GHz as needed by the system. The ultra-low-power Broadwell chip helped the laptop achieve decent times on our battery test, but not chart-topping as you'll see later. (The S7-393 also comes with a 6,280 mAh battery.)

We were happy to find eight gigabytes of DDR3 RAM within the S7-393, as well as 240GB of total storage (two 120GB SSDs in a RAID-0 array). Though we would love to have a bit more space, we'd also prefer the price to not skyrocket—240GB is a pretty good amount, and the RAID array helps the laptop soar in general use.

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On the graphics end, the S7-393 is outfitted with the same Intel HD 5500 integrated graphics as our category leader, Dell's XPS 13. Don't expect to be able to crank out top quality settings on the latest games at the laptop's native 1920x1080 resolution (on an IPS screen, too), but you can still do a little gaming if you don't mind older titles or lower quality.

In general, our experience was good using Acer's lightweight, ultra-thin laptop. A few nagging issues marred things somewhat, but not enough to detract from our overall experience with the S7-393.

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