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 S7 runs on an Intel Core i5 ULV CPU. When it first came out about a month ago, it had the usual 1.7GHz i5-3317U, and Acer has just incremented that to the 1.8GHz Core i5 for a very modest speed bump. There is no i7 option. It has 4 gigs of dual channel DDR3 RAM soldered to the motherboard and a 128 gig fast SSD drive in a RAID 0 configuration. It's as quick as any Intel Core Ultrabook on the market, but it weighs just 2.29 lbs., making it a little bit lighter than the 11.6" MacBook Air and close in weight to 2 lb. Windows 8 Core i5 tablets like MS Surface Pro and Acer's own Iconia W700.
This is a lovely looking machine with metal on all top surfaces and an EL backlit keyboard that works well. The island style keyboard has little travel since the machine is so exquisitely thin, but the layout and size are good and we had no trouble adjusting to typing. 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.
The Ultrabook has two USB 3.0 ports (one charging), micro HDMI, 3.5mm audio and a microSD card slot. Acer includes a VGA and USB to Ethernet adapter in the box. It had dual band Atheros WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a 1.3MP webcam and Intel HD 4000 graphics. The internal 3990 mAh battery only lasted us 3.5 hours on a charge, but with the 6.6 ounce external battery clipped on, the Ultrabook ran for 5 hours unplugged in a mix of productivity and light multimedia tasks.
Here's our Acer Aspire S7 video review. Our full written review will follow.