Acer Aspire S7 ultrabook hands-on

Among the other Windows 8-based devices announced, Acer revealed two white-clad Aspire 7 ultrabooks. Both are extremely slim and light, with the smaller, 11.6-inch version measuring just 12mm thin. The 13.3-inch model has a glossy Gorilla Glass lid that reminds us of the HP Envy 14 Spectre.

The glossy white, Gorilla Glass lid on the 13.3-inch S7.
(Credit: CNET Asia/Aloysius Low)

Only the lid on the 13.3-inch model gets the Gorilla Glass treatment. The 11.6-inch version, however, is all aluminium with a matte finish. Both models have touchscreen support, as you would expect from devices that are designed to run Windows 8.

More importantly, the displays on both ultrabooks are full-HD, and from our limited time with it, the viewing angles are quite good despite all the gloss. Acer is the second PC vendor we know that's putting 1,920 x 1,080-pixel screens on its ultrabooks.

The S7 ultrabooks also share similar features, such as a backlit keyboard (we believe that's a first on an Acer ultrabook). The backlight comes on when it detects that the surroundings are sufficiently dark. The keyboard, however, appears similar to the ones on existing Acer laptops, down to the tiny directional keys. The size of the trackpad is pretty large.

The keyboard on the S7 (13.3-inch)
(Credit: CNET Asia/Aloysius Low)

The base of the S7 is made from unibody aluminium, giving it some solidity despite the slim profile. You can also flip the screen to 180 degrees, till it's level with the keyboard.

There are no details on what's actually on the inside of these ultrabooks, but we expect them to have Intel ultra-low-voltage Ivy Bridge-class processors. These newly launched chips will likely be in all new ultrabooks, introduced from June onwards. Along with the Intel CPU, you can also expect Intel HD Graphics inside.

We aren't sure about the real-world battery life for these two ultrabooks, but Acer is claiming up to 12 hours for the 13.3-inch and 9 hours for the 11.6-inch. That seems to hint at SSDs powering these laptops, rather than hybrid HDDs.

Acer also has yet to reveal the prices for these ultrabooks, though we can probably expect them to be available when Windows 8 is ready; which, judging from the Preview Release, this could be as soon as October.

Via CNET Asia



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