Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook Review

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Performance Summary & Conclusion

At the outset of this evaluation, we said that the Acer Aspire S7 gives us a look at how far ultrabooks have come, but also lets us peek at where they’re headed. The Aspire S7 solves some of the major problems of early ultrabooks (like less than optimal battery life and performance that lagged too far behind that of full-sized laptops). Current ultrabooks are a competent tool that will rarely make you feel like you’re sacrificing performance for size. As for what the S7 says about the future of ultrabooks, it's more a testament to what advancing mobile technologies can and will enable. Manufacturers are more at liberty now to push the boundaries of creativity and aesthetics when thermal and power consumption constraints aren't as much of a limiting factor.


Enough about the future, though. The latest Acer Aspire S7 is a hardworking, flexible, and stylish ultrabook with good battery life. That’s not to say that Acer can’t improve there, though. We’d love to see future models improve battery life even futher. Intel's Haswell ULT processor family is maturing and the Aspire S7 benefits from that, offering both better all-around performance and specifically better graphics performance versus systems running older versions of Intel’s ULT line-up with integrated graphics.

As for its design, the Aspire S7 has the polish you’d expect in a system with this kind of price tag ($1399 as tested though you can find cheaper configs). The Gorilla Glass is a nice touch, and the thought Acer put into this ultrabook really shows: USB ports on both sides of the machine, excellent keyboard backlighting, a display that folds flat, and a knock-out trackpad.

The Aspire S7 isn’t perfect, but it is going to be a solid choice for a lot of users – particularly those who want a stylish machine that looks as good in the conference room as it does in the coffee shop.


   
  •  Strong performance in office applications and reasonable graphics capabilities
  •  Keyboard layout puts important keys in unexpected places
  •  Dual-torque hinge means you can touch the screen without moving the display
  •  Drive space is limited (though extremely fast)
  •  Solid battery life, although there is room for improvement here
 
  •  Sturdy, light chassis that should withstand day-to-day bumps and bangs
 

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