Home > Notebook Reviews > Acer Aspire S7-191
Acer Aspire S7
What's Hot: Elegant design, supremely thin and light. Excellent full HD touch screen.
What's Not: Short battery life.
Reviewed April 23, 2013 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
Make no mistake; the Acer Aspire S7 has nothing in common with the netbooks of yesteryear that brought Acer temporary fame and fortune. The S7 is a member of their high line of Ultrabooks and it looks and feels every bit the part. The S7 is available in 11.6" and 13.3" models, and the 11.6" has a solid aluminum alloy lid while the 13" model has a white glass lid. We take a look at the Acer Aspire S7-191, the 11.6" model here. Both models have a 1920 x 1080 capacitive touchscreen with 178 degree viewing angles. The S7-191 11.6" model is priced at $1,199 and it comes with a clip-on secondary 3 cell battery, case, VGA adapter, USB to Ethernet adapter and a Bluetooth mouse.
The Ultrabook has two USB 3.0 ports (one charging), micro HDMI, 3.5mm audio and a microSD card slot. VGA and Ethernet are provided via the included dongle adapters. It has dual band Atheros WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a 1.3MP webcam and Intel HD 4000 graphics. Since it doesn't use Intel WiFi there's no WiDi wireless display. The Aspire S7 ships with Windows 8 64 bit Home Premium.
Design and Ergonomics
This is a lovely looking machine with metal on all top surfaces and an EL backlit keyboard that works well. It's insanely compact (not much bigger than an iPad or Android 10" tablet) and it's less than a half inch thick. At 2.3 pounds, it's almost as light as some Windows 8 Core i5 tablets on the market, and you'll hardly notice it in your bag. It feels and looks like a high quality product with no flex and it's put together perfectly. We did however note that the side edges where the top metal keyboard deck meets the curvy undersides feels a bit abrupt. Acer says the entire body is made of metal, but that curvy bottom panel feels and looks like plastic, though it gets cold to the touch like metal. Unlike the 13.3" Aspire S7, the display doesn't open completely flat to 180 degrees, but honestly I've never found a reason to use a laptop in that position. The display tilts back far enough for normal use.
The island style keyboard has little travel since the machine is so exquisitely thin, but the layout and size are good. We quickly adjusted to the low travel and were typing at our normal rates, though it continued to feel a bit jarring to the fingers. The EL backlighting glows white with a faint blue tint, and it offers surprisingly decent contrast against the silver keys. The Elan trackpad's multi-touch gestures were hit and miss, but we weren't bothered hugely since we prefer using the touchscreen for side-swipe gestures and zooming. But for those that frequently rely on the trackpad and particularly multi-touch gestures, the S7 isn't the best we've experienced on a Windows 8 machines.
Full HD Display
When you cram 1920 x 1080 into an 11.6" panel, things get mighty tiny on the Windows desktop side, and surprisingly our machine shipped without the usual DPI scaling to 125 or 150% that makes text and icons larger and easier to see. You can of course set scaling to suit your visual acuity, and to Acer's credit, the glossy IPS panel is bright and extremely sharp, making even small text unexpectedly legible. Viewing angles are wide, colors are vibrant and contrast is excellent: this is a very good display. Touch is responsive, in fact a bit more so compared to some of the slightly numb touch screens we've used on other Windows 8 touch screen laptops--Acer did a great job here.