The Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook is a beautifully designed machine. From the moment you open the box and hold it in your hands you get the sense of a stylish device. Even the white charger and cable is slick and compact.
The S7 has grown up from the previous S5 range which was good but lacked certain elements. Apple has certainly set a benchmark with their range of MacBook Air Ultrabooks. The S7 certainly delivers on several levels and I actually quite enjoyed reviewing this sexy sleek device.
The first thing that comes to mind when you hold it up is how light it is. It weighs just 130g and is just 11.9 mm thick.
It feels fantastic in your hands; a blend of White Gorilla® Glass 2 and aluminium in a frosty white design makes it stand out on any table and it is scratchproof. A bit too smooth for my clumsiness, I did find that it sometimes did not grip as well in my hands as other Ultrabooks, then again I am very clumsy.
Under the S7’s hood you will find an Intel Core i7 Dual Core 1.90 GHz processor with 4 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. I thought initially that 4 GB was not enough but it seemed to run quite smoothly running several applications simultaneously.
The one thing that I really liked was that it has two USB 3.0 ports as well as a MultiMediaCard slot for SD cards.
The biggest problem with making technology so portable and introducing powerful processors is getting rid of the heat. Acer has two fans in the S7, one pulls in the cool air and the second fans expels the hot air. At times I did find these fans a bit noisy which can be quite distracting when you want a quiet Ultrabook.
I tested the 13.3 inch version and the full HD 10 point touch screen was impressive and responsive and is able to open to a flat 180 degrees and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
Acer has introduced an electroluminescent backlit keyboard which can detect lighting conditions automatically and optimise the glow to suit the ambient light and keep your eyes comfortable.
There is no doubt that that Acer Aspire S7 is a beautifully designed device and it is ultra-thin and really portable. It also delivers well on processor performance. The accessories included are also a plus. The S7 comes with a Bluetooth mouse as well as carrying case and adapters for VGA and RJ45 connectors.
However it does however have some shortcomings. The battery life is not great. I managed to get around four hours, which for an Ultrabook is not good enough. As a user I expect at least 7 hours from an Ultrabook. The noise levels from the fans were also quite high. When you pay a premium for a device you want it as quiet as possible. Lastly the suggested retail price of R24 999 is quite steep for this device, especially when you look at the pricing from the competition such as the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the 13” Apple MacBook Air.