All Hands on Tech: Acer Aspire S7

At first glance you might think this is a MacBook Air. But it’s not. It might surprise you to know it’s actually Acer’s latest Ultrabook.

The manufacturer is trying something new with the Aspire S7. The first thing people notice is how thin it is. At under one-inch thick, this laptop is so slender that its edges are almost sharp.

It’s also light weight. Much easier to carry around than my usual laptop. By comparison, that thing is a monster.

The S7 doesn’t sacrifice computing power to achieve its trim build. Its loaded with an Intel Core i7 processor. That makes this ultrabook incredibly responsive and ready for some heavy duty work. I found it easy to multi-task and edit rich media files. Photoshop and video editing are a cinch to handle with this ultrabook.

A solid aluminum uni-body design comes across as elegant and sturdy. One strange aspect of the design is how flexible the screen hinge is. It bends back beyond 180 degrees. The laptop can literally be flattened on a table top. But I didn’t really find any use for this aside from playing touch screen table hockey.

At first the battery lasted for six hours or more on a single charge. But after several weeks of use, battery life is decreasing. Now I’m getting down to critical levels after about three or four hours of heavy use. That’s still pretty good.

One thing I like about the S7 — I never have to wait for it to boot up or shut down. Just close the screen when you’re done and it automatically goes into hibernate mode. Open the screen and you can login in a couple of seconds.

The laptop is incredibly quiet and stays very cool.

The S7 runs Windows 8 and allows its users to touch the screen. There’s lots of touch-based apps available in the Windows Store. But I found the apps underwhleming. For me, the classic desktop mode is more productive. It gives me access to applications with more features.

But there is the odd time the touch screen is useful. It makes scrolling through a Web page or large image a breeze. I also like how you can swipe the screen to switch between apps. Try the window panes feature for multi-tasking. It allows you to view more content on your screen at one time.

Thanks to the S7’s premium build and high-end processor it comes with premium price tag. $1500. But it might be worth the dough if you’re looking for a Windows 8 laptop that’s both fast and easy to carry.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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