Emerging Technology

GADGET WATCH: Acer Aspire S7

Patrick Stafford /

It’s still a while until Windows 8 is released to the public, but that hasn’t stopped some manufacturers from releasing their own Windows machines into the wild.

The Acer Aspire S7 is one of them. And while reviewers haven’t been given too much time with the new device, there are some early thoughts published on the web that indicate just what consumers can look forward to.

Hardware and features

The Acer Aspire S7 features a 13.3-inch screen with a Gorilla 2 glass cover, although the device comes in an 11.6-inch version as well.

The device is powered by an Intel processor, either an i5 or i7 depending on the model, with up to 256GB of SSD storage, 4GB of RAM, a battery which Acer claims can last between nine to 12 hours and a 1080p screen.

The device also features HD 4000 graphics.

Connectivity includes two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI-out port and a card reader.

What’s the consensus?

Although review products haven’t actually been sent out yet, many reviewers have had the chance to get a look at the device at IFA 2012 – and the results are mixed.

Over at TechRadar, the publication writes that Acer has managed to make a good-looking device, although it isn’t quite sure how it’ll stand up to heavy usage considering its size and make.

However, it’s definitely impressed with the manufacturing.

“Most things about this laptop scream premium; the display impresses; both models sport a Full HD 10-point touch display. Both models are 11.9mm thick, meaning they’re some of the thinnest ultra-portables on the market. The weight spec we’ve seen is 1.3kg for the 13-inch and about 1kg for the 11-inch.”

It also noted a few features – notably that Skype has its own app for the new Windows interface.

Slashgear had good things to say about the backlit keyboard, suggesting it’s a “much needed addition for the sort of market that might find the S7 appealing”.

CNET praised the display, saying “viewing angles are quite good despite all the gloss”, and noted that the size of the trackpad is also large – a good feature for any ultrabook.

Finally, Wired noted that out of all the ultrabooks seen at IFA, it was the Aspire S7 that stood out. The touchscreen in particular attracted a lot of attention – although it said that raises a few more questions of its own.

Quite odd is that it’s possible to fold the screen back 180 degrees so it lays as flat on a surface as the keyboard. There’s a fair bit of flex in that screen too, in part thanks to its thin construction. But it’s overall as sturdy as any comparable ultrabook.”

“Question is, do you want to hold your hands up to a screen to manipulate whatever it’s displaying? We found it was quite useful and fun but will no doubt result in arm ache with prolonged use.”

Who’s it for?

It’s impossible to give a full rundown on the S7 right now. But judging by the initial looks, Acer has managed to create a very high quality device. If you’re still shopping around for an ultrabook, this may be worth a look later in the year.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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