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

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Software and User Experience

We were a bit bummed that Acer packs the Aspire S7-393 full of software.  We'd much prefer a barebones Windows 8.1 installation.  Instead, the laptop comes with various Acer-themed programs like abDocs for document syncing across your devices (or abFiles for, well, you guessed it).  An abMedia app helps you listen to music and stream it to other connected devices, and an abPhoto app automatically dumps any high-res photos you take on your smartphone right down to your connected computer (assuming both have abPhoto installed, of course).

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That's in addition the Acer Care Center—helping you manage your system updates, and letting you run checkup and tuneup diagnostics and tweaks—in addition to the Acer Portal, which you sign in with using your Acer ID in order to really tap into the benefits of the aforementioned ab-styled apps, and Acer's Theft Shield app which sounds an alarm whenever your laptop is moved out of wherever it happens to be.  (The app notices when you're no longer connected to a particular Wi-Fi network before it sets off the alarm.)

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The S7-393 comes with advertising shortcuts to both Booking.com and eBay, as well as a supplemental Video Player that you really don't need.  You get a bunch of preinstalled games from WildTangent, in addition to McAfee LiveSafe, Dragon Assistant—Acer's Siri, we suppose—and yet another advertisement for an Acer-backed Private Wi-Fi VPN service.   

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The last thing you should have to do with a brand-new laptop is uninstall a bunch of bloatware you don't want.  Unfortunately, Acer pre-installed quite a bit of stuff on the S7-393—and every bit of that 240GB RAID-0 array is worth fighting for.


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