Sticking to tradition

Nandagopal Rajan | Print Edition: February 2013

Acer Aspire S7
Rs 88,499
Specs: Windows 8, 11.6-inch FullHD touch panel, Intel Core i5-3317U, 4GB RAM, 256GB, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 11.17" (W) x 7.7" (D) x 0.48" (H), 1.04kg

This is what Ultrabooks are meant to be. The Acer Aspire S7 is right up there with the likes of the Samsung series 9 and the Toshiba Protégé z580, the very pinnacle of size-zero design. It sits on the desktop like an aluminium covered cutting board, a thin one to be precise.

Though it has a brushed aluminium finish on top, the bottom is white plastic which is a bit of a spoiler for the excellent design. But still some great thought has gone into the design, with fans being tucked into the rear of the hinge and speakers two strips on both sides of the rear front. Though the display side is ultrathin, it does not feel flimsy like in some other ultrabooks. Facing it is a full-size backlit keyboard which has just the right amount of travel to keep you interested. The backlighting is interesting too, with characters gleaming in a greenish tint. The trackpad is a bit too smooth though and some of the Windows 8 gestures needed some hardwork to execute.

But then you will hardly ever touch the trackpad as there is an 11.6-inch touchscreen for all you navigation purposes. It is also a 1080p FullHD display so you will really enjoy some of the better designed Windows 8 apps along with your collection of movies. Sound is another plus point with this Ultrabook and that is because Acer has roped in Dolby to professionally tune the speakers. The fact that the Dolby Home Theatre powered speakers are facing downwards has not really affected the sound quality. However, the camera is not very impressive.

This Ultrabook runs on a 3rd generation Intel Core i5 processor and so even power users won't have any trouble with this device. Also, this is among the coolest Ultrabooks we have seen, maybe that is why it has a plasticky base. The S7 easily munched through most of the tests that we usually subject Ultrabooks to.

The S7 has two USB 3.0 ports, a mini-HDMI at the back and a Micro-SD card reader. Like many of the new Ultrabooks and convertibles the S7 too have a smallish power adapter which will easily go into any bag. Acer has also loaded some of its Windows 8 apps as well as ported some cloud-based programmes that it uses in Iconia series to the device. For, anyone looking to buy a traditional Ultrabook or laptop in 2013, the Aspire S7 is one of the best available options. It is slim, handy and very powerful.

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