Acer Aspire S7 Hands-On: Haswell, Gorilla Glass and a Bigger Battery

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When Acer announced earlier this week that it was sprucing up its already-solid Aspire S7 Ultrabook, it sounded as if it was preparing what could wind up being one of the better notebooks of this year. Newer machines like the Toshiba Kirabook and the Dell XPS 13 are making a case for improvement amongst Windows 8 laptops, but can the new Aspire S7 top even those? TechnologyGuide sister site NotebookReview went hands-on at Computex 2013 to find out.

\"AcerBut in short, yes. According to NBR, the Aspire S7 might be the best Ultrabook on display at Computex, and “will likely top ‘best of’ lists at year’s end.”

NBR was impressed first and foremost with the Aspire S7’s design; its aluminum frame and white Gorilla Glass 2 lid contrast to give the device a look that is “top notch.” These good looks don’t sacrifice the feel of the device, though, as NBR found operating the S7 to show “little to no creak or flex.” The keyboard and keystrokes are also said to be improved.

In general, the Aspire S7 isn’t so much a radical departure from last year’s design as a more refined machine that’s trying to perfect the foundation Acer has already built. This is a good thing to NBR, especially since this Aspire S7 is barely any thicker or heavier than last year’s slender and lightweight machine.

\"AcerAs for what can’t explicitly be known for now, Intel’s newest Haswell processors alongside the S7’s 8 GB of RAM (which doubles last year’s model) and 128 or 256 GB SSD should allow for consistent, high-end performance. And since the S7 has, according to Acer, a battery that is one-third bigger than the one in last year’s model, that performance should live on much longer than before. A 1080p display, reduced fan noise and a vast array of ports shouldn’t hurt either.

Though it’s too early to declare anything definitive, the Acer Aspire S7 is shaping up to be one high-quality notebook. With a base price of $1,400, it won’t be cheap, but it may be well worth the price of admission when it launches sometime in the third quarter of this year.

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