TAIPEI, TAIWAN — The new version of the Acer’s flagship Aspire S7 Ultrabook promises some big improvements over its predecessor. The 13.3-inch, 2.8-pound notebook sports the same industrial design as the 2012 model, but promises 33 percent longer battery life, along with stronger performance and an optional 2560 x 1440 screen.
The Aspire S7 made an appearance at Acer’s launch event but managed to show up without any software to demo as all the units on display were non-working display models with blank screens. Still, in a brief hands-on we marveled at the laptop’s premium design and comfortable keyboard.
The original Aspire S7 keyboard was accurate and flex-free, but a bit too shallow for our taste. Acer says that the new Aspire S7 keyboard has 30 percent more vertical key travel and, while we didn’t have an old S7 handy for comparison, the new model appeared to have plenty of travel and a good amount of force feedback. If this is how the keys on the final production model respond, it looks like the typing experience will be dramatically improved.
The lid on the Aspire S7 folds back a complete 180 degrees, allowing you to use it in table mode. Though we’re not sure anyone would want to play a game of touch air hockey on a 13.3 inch screen, the option is there. In bending it back and forth, the hinge felt extremely durable and tight so it is unlikely to be swayed when you’re touching the display.
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Our brief hands-on left us intrigued, but wanting more answers. Acer claims that the Aspire S7 will last 33 percent longer on a charge than the last generation and that it will be endure for up to 7 hours, but on our tests, the original died after just 4 hours and 10 minutes. Will the new model last 33 percent longer than 4 hours and 10 minutes or will it last 7 hours?
Acer also plans to offer a 2560 x 1440 screen option on the new Aspire S7. We’re eager to see how it compares to the less-expensive 1920 x 1080 version. We also have to wonder about how much better the performance will be since the new Aspire S7 will come with Intel’s next-generation Haswell chip. Like 2012 model, it will also have dual SSDs in RAID 0, but will they be faster SSDs?
We look forward to answering all of our questions about the new Aspire S7 when we get to put a working model through its paces sometime in the near future.