I was looking at your new Acer Aspire S7 Haswell review and it looks like a great ultrabook. Been racking my head on the Sony Vaio Pro 13 or the Aspire S7 Haswell.
There are quite a few reviews out on the Pro 13 now since that has been out for a while but the S7 has been only out for a bit and of course you always provide the most extensive reviews which I appreciate.
Is there any more information on the graphic benchmarks compared to the Pro 13? I've noticed that the Pro 13 seems to be benchmarking a bit lower on graphics then the Ivy Bridges before it from other sites and when compared to something like the Duo 13 which has a HD5000 chip in it.
Would be curious to see if the HD4400 in the Acer actually comes closer to the current Ivy Bridges or beats it. Also does the S7 have dual channel ram? I plan on doing some light gaming like Diablo 3, Street Fighter 4, Starcraft 2 at the lowest resolutions (which is fine by me) and want to make sure the HD4400 will hold up with the S7.
Also - Any idea when these PC manufacturers are going to catch up and start including the HD 5000 chipset? Only one so far that has made any announcement about that is Asus but they are eyeing "Q4" and I've been hearing that may be more like December now. It's almost baffling how far behind everyone is and how Apple got them in their Air's but no one is taking advantage of the 5000 chipset
There's a 150 point spread between the Vaio Pro 13 and Haswell Acer Aspire S7 on 3DMark 11. Both are still relatively low scorers compared to full mobile Intel Core laptops, but in our tests they did score a bit better than the average Ivy Bridge ULV. I wouldn't buy an Ultrabook for gaming, though at low settings and resolutions, they'll manage playable FPS for the games you mentioned. Diablo III is well optimized for integrated graphics and you could even run at a decent resolution.
The challenge with Intel HD 5000 is the added heat and power consumption. When you're looking at two of the lightest and thinnest Ultrabooks on the market, there's less space for cooling and a big battery. The Vaio Duo 13 (relatively speaking it has more space inside) is available with the Intel HD 5000. Even with HD 4400 it scores better than the Pro 13 simply because there's more thermal headroom.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview