Acer Aspire S7 review
We were a little sceptical when Acer announced plans to focus on premium laptops rather than the entry-level, but after spending some time with the Aspire S7 Ultrabook. It's a gorgeous looking laptop that suggests Acer is on the right track with its new direction.
The S7 will come in two screen sizes - 11in and 13in. Beyond the display, the 13in S7 has a premium glass lid, made from scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, compared to the 11in's aluminium lid. Both look svelte and stylish, although we think the glowing Acer logo on the 13in model gives it the edge in terms of looks.
Built from aluminium, less than 12mm thick and weighing 1.3kg, the 13in S7 is one of the best looking Acer laptops we've ever seen. It has an EL-backlit, Chiclet-style keyboard - it's more efficient than LED and very comfortable to type on, although we don't know how effective the pale blue colour will be in the dark. EL lighting is much more energy efficient than LED, so should help keep battery drain to a minimum.
Despite its size still makes room for two USB3 ports, an SD card reader, 3.5mm audio jack and micro HDMI port. The smaller S7 weighs just over 1kg and is a little over 12mm thick. It has the same EL backlit keyboard and selection of ports, minus the micro HDMI port.
Naturally they both come with Windows 8, so each S7 has a touchscreen that supports 10-point touch and gesture based inputs. The screens are unquestionably the highlight - both are IPS panels with superb viewing angles and Full HD resolutions. The screen hinges tilt up to 180 degrees too, so you should have no trouble finding a workable viewing angle.
Although there will be several different SKUs available at launch, we spotted that the 13in S7 was running an Intel Core i7-3517U running at 1.9GHz, 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. That's a good indication that the S7 will command a premium price when it goes on sale. We have yet to hear about availability, but will be keeping a close eye on both models - with a whole host of convertible tablets launching in the coming months and few new launches of more traditional designs, Acer could find itself with one of the best Ultrabooks around.
Be sure to check the gallery for more detailed pictures of both laptops