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Acer Aspire S7 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook (Intel Core i5-4200U Processor up to 2.6GHz, 8GB DDR3 Memory, 256GB SSD, FHD 1080P Touchscreen Display, Backlit Keyboard, 802.11AC WiFi, Windows 8.1, 0.5 inch thin and 2.9 Lbs) Crystal White
- Intel Core i5-4200U 1.6 GHz 3 MB Cache with 2.6GHz Turbo Frequency, 8GB DDR3, 256GB SSD, 13.3" IPS multi-touch LED display (1920 x 1080);
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, HD Webcam, Dolby Advanced Audio, Media Card Reader, WiDi Display ready, NO Optical Drive;
- 2 - USB 3.0 ports (1 with power-off charging), 1 HDMI, 4-cell lithium polymer battery (6280mAh) up to 7 Hours Battery life, up to 80 days stand-by mode,
- Dual-Torque Wobble-free Hinge, Aluminum uni-body, Gorilla Glass, 180 degree flip display.
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With InstantGo, your Windows for Aspire S7 is responsive and always ready. It wakes up the moment you need it, with your apps and data already up-to-date. You can work and play fast on the new Aspire S7, as it packs a RAID 0 solid state drive (SSD) with two times quicker performance than standard SSDs. Another fresh feature is Acer Purified.Voice technology for crystal-clear chats, free of noise.
The aluminum unibody plus Gorilla Glass 2 design of the Aspire S7 makes it incredibly slender, light and strong. At less than 12.9 mm, it's the thinnest Ultrabook with a Full HD touch display on the market. And, the unique dual-torque hinge keeps the display very stable when you use it for touch control.
The Aspire S7's Full HD display generates deep detail and puts 10-point touch control at your fingertips. This Ultrabook is made for teamwork: Open it to 180°, punch a hotkey to flip the view, and you're in shape to share. Take the show to a big screen, wire-free, via newly featured Intel WiDi (Wireless Display) connectivity.
The Aspire S7 frees you to go all day, with improved battery life of 8 hours. The light-sensing backlit keyboard auto-optimizes its glow so you can see comfortably in dim settings, and it now has refined keys for better typing. Cool and quiet, 2nd generation Acer TwinAir cooling makes this Ultrabook a pleasure to have and to hold.
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Top customer reviews
I've been wanting to upgrade my laptop for the past year or so, but until this laptop came out I couldn't really find one that matched what I was looking for. I wanted a laptop that was 11-13" since I'm a student and will be travelling with it relatively frequently. I also wanted good battery life since I don't always have access to an outlet. Finally, I wanted a laptop that had decent technical specs and performance. Finding a balance between all three of these facets was difficult but this laptop fits the bill (I'm currently typing on it right now).
With one of Intel's new Haswell processors, I've noticed that Acer has really improved the battery life from their previous iteration of the S7. They've also managed to bump up performance by 10-15% according to recent benchmarks. Finally, the integrated graphics on this particular processor has also been improved slightly from the previous HD 4000 series. These specs are more than enough to run Microsoft office, watch HD video, browse the internet, run lab software, and do light gaming. I leave the more intensive games to my desktop. The SSD is quite snappy-- the boot up time from power button press to desktop is around 5 seconds. This is great as I'm often turning it on and off when I move around.
The touch screen is quite nice at 1080p resolution. The laptop comes with the text set to increased size, but I'm currently running it at 100% size and I can read everything comfortably. The text is crisp and the colors are vibrant. The screen is quite bright. It does have a glossy finish, however, so it will get fingerprints on it if you decide to use the touch screen. I rarely use the touch screen so it's just nice to have in case there's ever any reason I need it in the future.
The speakers are probably one of the laptop's bigger weaknesses. They are somewhat tinny and have very little bass. I use headphones whenever I'm on the laptop though, so this doesn't really affect me. Some Dolby software equalizing does come preinstalled, but I don't find it to be particularly useful.
The keyboard has increased travel compared to the previous S7, which is good since it was quite shallow before. The keyboard is nice to type on (I haven't noticed more errors than usual), but Acer did decide to shrink the function keys into the number keys. This was an interesting choice... it makes the keyboard look more clean, but also results in more keys being dual function. If you use Alt-F4 or anything with F# keys, then you'll have to add another key press to those combos-- Alt-F4 becomes Alt-Fn-4 and so on. There are a few other changes to the layout (Esc is now where the tilde key usually is, and the caps lock key is now two keys: caps lock and tilde), but most of the changes are on keys that I don't use so I don't mind as much. You may find yourself having to adjust depending on which keys you use.
The touchpad is now a Synaptics touch pad, and I find it pretty sensitive and functional. It has multitouch capabilities (pinch to zoom, two finger scrolling, etc.). As far as I know, it doesn't allow for three finger tapping. Otherwise, basic functionality is there and it just works. It can either be press to click or tap to click. There are two unmarked areas at the bottom that correspond to left and right click. Not the most mind-blowing stuff.
The power button has now been moved so that it is protected by the power cord. The power cord plugs in with a right angle connector, and it folds over the power button. I personally like this change as it prevents me from pressing it by accident. There's one USB 3.0 port on the left and an SD card reader. On the right is the headphone jack, an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, and an Acer converter port that allows you to buy an ethernet dongle. It's annoying that there's no ethernet port, but if you were planning on staying on WiFi anyways, then it's not a huge deal. The wi-fi issues of the last iteration seem to be resolved as I haven't had any problems with either disconnecting, connecting or signal strength. The webcam works well, as do the built in microphones.
Battery life: 5/5
Acer has really improved battery life by giving the S7-392 a bigger battery capacity, as well as upgrading to Haswell. I've been able to go the entire day in lab (10-12 hour days) without having to even pull out my charger when I use the laptop intermittently, and under heavy use I can easily get more than enough time (6-7 hours). Haswell really does improve the management of idle power consumption of the processor. The adapter is pretty small compared to other bricks I've owned, and it's not a pain to carry around. There is NOT a mag-safe type connection if you're looking for that. It plugs into the laptop so if you somehow trip over the cord, it will probably pull the laptop off the table depending on what angle it pulls at. Maybe you'll be luckier than I usually am... that's why I'm always extra careful walking around laptops.
This is something that is far more subjective, but I find the design to be gorgeous. The gorilla glass 2 cover is beautiful and since it's on a white background, it's harder to see fingerprints than if it were on a black background. The style inside the laptop is very clean and it's clear that Acer has gone for a more simple design aesthetic. There are very few lights blinking on it, which I like. There's one indicator for power, and another for when the laptop is charging. I don't need a hard drive activity, WiFi, or other indicators so I'm glad they kept it simple.
This is something that people probably find somewhat polarizing. I have no issues with Windows 8. It's a snappier version of Windows 7 and the lack of the "physical" start button in the bottom left doesn't really bother me. Other people will disagree-- regardless, this is a review of the laptop not the operating system so I'm not going to base my review on the OS. However, I will base some of it on the fact that it comes installed with a bunch of programs that I found kind of useless. I immediately uninstalled McAfee antivirus (it comes with a year subscription I believe), a few Norton utilities, some preinstalled games, some Acer programs, and many windows 8 apps that I wasn't interested in. It took around 20 minutes or so.
Overall, I really like this laptop so far. I've only been using it for a week or so but it's been a huge improvement over what I was using before. I appreciate the improvements they've made over the previous model and while there are several aspects that I would change if I could, these don't seem to affect my use of the laptop (though they may affect yours.) Overall it's a quite solid laptop with good build quality and great design. I think it was worth the purchase and I would probably make the same choice if I had to choose a laptop again.
The other laptops I seriously considered were the Sony Vaio Pro 13 and MacBook Air 13. I didn't choose the Sony because its carbon fiber body flexes too much for my liking, even if it's potentially less fragile. I passed on the MacBook Air because running Windows in Boot Camp creates some annoyances that I'm not willing to deal with (all of my clients are Microsoft shops so I need to run Windows).
***Great Things About This Laptop***
-The improved battery life promise is real. I'm getting 7 hours per charge so far with this machine. My typical usage includes MS Office applications, a few browser tabs to run cloud apps, a few more browser tabs to goof off, some other IT-related tools and constant remote desktop sessions.
-It's very light, thin and good looking; it was also nice to find a beautifully designed ultrabook that doesn't try to mimic the MacBook Air. Its good looks are accompanied by a surprisingly solid build quality. Surprising to me that is, because I've seen some terrible products from Acer in my 16+ years of IT work. Frankly it was a small leap of faith for me to make this purchase.
-The screen is amazing. Holy crap. Makes my old laptop's screen look like garbage. It's a high quality IPS panel, so it looks good from any angle and the 1080p resolution is razor sharp. Colors are vibrant.
-The keyboard is pleasant to use. It's an improvement over the first S7's keyboard and much better than the Toshiba Portege's keyboard that I came from. It's spacious enough and the keys are nicely backlit too. It's not as good as a Thinkpad keyboard but considering how thin the machine is, it's pretty good. I like typing on it, and I have to type a lot.
-System performance is solid and it stays cool. The improved Haswell version of the Core i5 processor seems to breeze through whatever I throw at it. I rarely hear the fans spin up, and even watching Netflix doesn't seem to make it work too hard.
***Merely Acceptable or Not-So-Great Things About This Laptop***
-In case you're wondering about the Wi-Fi issue, I did indeed see some problems out of the box with dropped connections. I simply updated the driver from Intel's website (it's the Dual Band Wireless-N 7260) and have not had any problems since. This seems to be more of an Intel issue than an Acer issue.
-The keyboard arrangement is odd in some places, like the integration of the number/symbol and F1-F12 function keys. That means using something like the Alt-F4 combo to end a program now requires Fn-Alt-F4. Having the Home and End keys crammed in with the arrow keys will result in some initial frustration. It takes a little while to get used to the arrangement.
-The touchpad is a little finicky sometimes. I occasionally have trouble with two finger scrolling, and it takes a while to get used to figuring out the regions for right and left clicks. It's MUCH better than the trackpad on my 2.5 year old Toshiba Portege, but not as good as the Mac's (still the best in the business as far as I'm concerned).
-When you cram 1920x1080 pixels into a 13" screen, things are going to be small. Just be aware that although Windows 8 supports scaling, text on websites and in applications starts to look different (i.e. not as good) when you go above the native 100% sizing. I'm willing to deal with the small text though because I need to see multiple windows / data at once. At least it's super crisp.
-It's expensive... but understandably so when you look at how well it performs in such a light, thin, well built package.
-It's a little difficult to open the lid. The top is slightly recessed from the bottom which makes it difficult despite the added trim piece that's meant to help with the process.
-I hate the bloatware that every manufacturer includes with their laptops and Acer is no different. The Pokki app in particular takes some work to fully get rid of.
I really, really like this thing. There aren't exactly a lot of choices for Haswell ultrabooks right now, but I don't feel like I'm settling at all. It's a beautiful device with terrific battery life, the screen is amazing and it hardly breaks a sweat while I'm working. I'm an IT pro so I see lots of laptops... lots of ugly, clunky laptops with crappy screens... and this ain't one of them. Yeah it's expensive, but you start to see why after you've used it for a while.
Going on 1.5 months with this machine and it's been terrific. Wi-Fi has still not been an issue since I updated the Intel driver on day one. It stays amazingly cool and quiet. The SSD is quick. The touchpad is good enough that I stopped using my bluetooth mouse. I still really, really like this thing.
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