Acer Aspire S7 review: An Ultrabook worthy of the name

The well-made Aspire S7 is thin and light yet sturdy, but try the keyboard before you buy

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I complained about the full HD screen on the Acer Iconia W700, but only because of its size. Here, the 1,920-by-1,080, touch-enabled display is a comfortable 13.3 inches. (An 11-inch model is also available.) I ramped up the text pitch to make reading a bit easier, but the default sizing is still comfortable. Included dongles let you plug the system into a standard VGA video display or attach it to a wired Ethernet connection. The latter came in handy when I needed to update the system with a 140MB video driver patch, courtesy of Acer's included Live Updater utility.

I've never been enthusiastic about the amount of software preloaded into commercial PCs, and unfortunately Acer has earned my ire once again. I'm not talking just about the aforementioned updater, or even the Acer-branded utilities (recovery, antitheft), but the presence of apps like Spotify, the Bing Bar, and the WildTangent games pack. At least they can be uninstalled without incident.

The Acer Aspire S7 is a slender yet solid machine that's worthy of the Ultrabook name. The shallow keyboard may be a deal-killer for some users, and it lacks security features (TPM, Intel AT) that business users might desire, but the rest of the Acer Aspire S7 is intelligently put together. 

Acer Aspire S7 at a glance

 
PriceStarts at $1,199 ($1,649 as tested)
ProcessorIntel Core i7-3317U @ 1.9GHz (Intel Core i5-3317U @ 1.7GHz available)
Memory4GB (8GB available)
Storage256GB SSD (128GB SSD available)
WeightStarts at 2.29 pounds
DimensionsHeight: 12.73 inches. Width: 8.79 inches. Depth: 0.47 inch. (11-inch model: 11.17 inches by 7.7 inches by 0.48 inch)
Display13.3 inches @ 1,920 by 1,080 pixels (11-inch model: 11.6 inches @ 1,920 by 1,080)
Battery4680 mAh (11-inch model: 3790 mAh)
Ports2 USB 3.0, 1 Micro-HDMI out, 1 combo headphone/mic, Ethernet via included USB dongle, VGA out via included dongle
Radios802.11a/b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0+HS
Touch UINone
Management featuresNone
Sandra 2013 score4.09 kPt

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