Acer Aspire S7 Review

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Acer Aspire S7
In terms of hardware, the Aspire S7 is relatively average. Its 128GB SSDboots Windows 8 very quickly, but its 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor only managed a fairly average score of 42 overall in multimedia benchmarks. This puts it on par with the Toshiba Satellite P845t-101, but when you consider the P845t-101 is roughly two-thirds of the price of the Aspire S7 it suddenly looks rather expensive.

It's still fast enough to run common applications, but playing games isn't the Aspire S7's strong suit. Its graphics are provided by its shared Intel Graphics HD 4000 chipset, and while it just about managed 17.4fps in Dirt Showdown test on High quality settings at a resolution of 1,280x720, we had to put the settings right down to Low to get anywhere near a more playable 30fps. Games on the Windows 8 Store worked fine, but we also noticed the fan was incredibly loud while we were running graphics benchmarks. Its battery life was even less impressive, as it only managed 4 hours and 11 minutes away from the mains in our light-use tests, and this was with the screen set to half brightness.

This is far below what we expect from an Ultrabook, and the high portability of the Aspire S7 made it all the more disappointing. With the Aspire S7 being so slim, there isn't much room for connection ports. Even so, the Aspire S7 has two USB3 ports, an SD/MMC card reader, a Micro HDMI port and a combined headphone and microphone jack, as well as VGA and Ethernet adapters you can plug into the USB slots. The Acer Aspire S7 is a beautiful laptop, but we think it costs too much for what you get. We could possibly overlook the price if typing on the keyboard wasn't such an uncomfortable experience, but when the Dell XPS 12 offers everything the Aspire S7 does and more, and costs less, it's difficult to recommend the Aspire S7 on looks alone.
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