January 2, 2013
- Attractive, thin aluminum design
- Fast boot-up times
- Extended battery included
- Good overall performance
- Poor battery life without extended battery
- Dim display backlighting
- Keyboard a little mushy
The Acer Aspire S7-191 is an 11-inch Windows 8 Ultrabook laptop that features a 1080p touch screen display, a speedy solid-state drive, a very sleek design and an extended battery. The display is a little dim for our tastes and the battery life without the extended battery is sub-par.
This 11-inch Ultrabook looks to take advantage of Windows 8's touch-friendly interface while being as slim and lightweight as possible to make it extremely portable. It definitely is trying to compete with the popular Apple MacBook Air, but the battery life is an issue (at least without the extended battery).
The Aspire S7-191 measures 11.2 x 7.7 x 0.5-inches (wdh) and weighs 2.2-pounds, which is both lighter and thinner than the MacBook Air. The laptop is made of aluminum and has a cross-pattern on the lid. The inside deck also is made of aluminum to make it look like one sleek, seamless system. The bottom of the computer is made of white plastic that does feel fairly durable.
The keyboard is adequately sized and features cool-blue backlighting. We found the keys to be a little mushy and didn't offer much feedback, which led us to dislike the overall typing experience slightly. There is also no Function row as Acer decided to save space and combine them with the number row on top of the keyboard. The touchpad has enough room in our opinion but the surface might be a little too slick for some.
One of the selling points Acer uses is the 1080p full HD touch screen display. This is a rather uncommon resolution to find on an 11-inch notebook, which is why Acer uses it as a selling point. Having the extra pixels are nice, but it causes icons and text to be too small for easy touch screen use. The screen's quality is about average with only a little bit lacking in brightness. Color quality and refresh rate was very good in our real-world testing, including watching streaming HD videos.
Because of the Acer Aspire S7-191's small size, there isn't too much room for ports. You do get two USB 3.0 ports, a micro-HDMI video output, a headphone jack and a micro-SD card slot. There is no Ethernet or optical disc drive. Wireless connectivity includes both 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0.
The S7-191 includes an Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz) CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 128GB solid-state hard drive and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics. The solid-state drive (SSD) is very speedy as it allows Windows 8 to boot in about 7 seconds flat. An SSD drive also provides fast file access times overall, leading to a boost in performance.
In a PCMark 7 benchmark, the Ultrabook scored 4,583, which is about a 1,000 points more than other similar Ultrabook Windows 8 laptops we've tested. In real-world use, we experienced no slow downs or any performance issues. The Intel integrated graphics allow you to do everyday computing tasks but any intensive gaming is definitely out of the question for this laptop.
Battery life with the extra battery that fits onto the laptop's rear lip allows almost 7-hours of life. Without this battery, your left with only about 3.5-hours of life, which is about 2 hours less than other similar Ultrabooks.
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