August 8, 2013
- Attractive, slim design
- Speedy boot times
- Above average battery life
- Excellent performance for an Ultrabook
- Strange power button placement
- Some undersized keyboard keys
The Acer Aspire S7 (2013) is an attractive, slim Windows 8 Ultrabook that offers superior performance, speedy boot times and above average battery life. You also get a 1080p touch screen display, which is just icing on the cake.
The design of this update to the Acer S7 Ultrabook series follows the previous model. It has an all-aluminum unibody chassis with a white lid and silver trim. It measures 12.7 x 8.8 x 0.5-inches (wdh) and weighs 3-pounds, so it's definitely slim and lightweight, which makes it perfect for back to school shoppers.
One gripe we did have is the location of the power button, which is on the left side near the hinge. It seems like an odd place considering there is plenty of space on the keyboard deck.
The island-style keyboard is very comfortable to use but we did notice some of the keys were undersized. We did like the backlighting, which also automatically adjusts depending on your ambient light. The touchpad was roomy and very responsive much to our liking.
For the display, the Acer Aspire S7 has a 13.3-inch, 1080p display with a built-in touch screen. We liked the viewing angles of the display as well as the bright backlighting. Color accuracy also seemed good, especially while we watched streaming HD content. Although because of the 1080p resolution and only a 13-inch display, you'll most likely want to bump up on-screen font sizes to improve readability. The touch screen aspect of the display also impressed us as it was very accurate and responsive. We had no trouble performing Windows 8's touch gestures.
With this Ultrabook, Acer gives you two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI-out, an Acer Converter Port, a combo headphone/microphone jack and an SD card reader. The Converter Port is used with an included dongle that has VGA, USB 2.0 and Ethernet connections. There is also 802.11n and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
Our review Aspire S7 included a fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4200 (1.6 GHz) CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 128GB solid-state drive and integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics. In a PCMark 7 benchmark, it earned a score of 5,059, which is over 1,000 points higher than than the Windows 8 Ultrabook category average. Boot times were lightning quick at only 10 seconds, again way faster than the category average. Real-world use matched the benchmarks as we experienced no slow downs or any performance issues.
The integrated Intel graphics, while better than previous iterations, is not powerful enough for the latest 3D games. It'll do great at Web surfing and watching streaming HD media, but nothing too much more.
Battery life clocked in at around 9-hours, which was more than 2-hours longer than the category average.