TAIPEI, TAIWAN — When Acer first announced its Aspire V7 at its New York launch event last month, the line of affordable Ultrabooks flew under the radar as the innovative Aspire R7 and Aspire P3 grabbed most of the headlines . Today the still-unreleased laptop made an appearance at the company’s Computex press conference where we had a chance to go hands-on with and marvel at its optional 1920 x 1080 IPS display.
At the Acer event, we saw four different models of the V7. Three of these were the 14-inch, V7-481P and one of which was the 15-inch V7-581P. The devices ranged in color from black to champagne, rose and “cold steel.” Two of the 481Ps sported the rather dull 1366 x 768 display option while the 581P and one of the 481Ps had the brilliant 1920 x 1080 IPS panel.
It’s impossible to understate just how vibrant the colors were on the two models with the 1920 x 1080 display. As we browsed the sample photos in Windows 8’s photo library we were blow away by the bright green of a leaf or the red of a lady bug’s wings. We normally see this type of color gamut only on high-end Ultrabooks like the ASUS ZenBook Prime UX31A or on the best smartphone displays. When we showed the same nature scene on a V7-481P with the full HD, IPS panel and one with the plain-old 1366 x 768 panel, the difference could not have been more stark as the 1366 panel’s image output looked dull and lifeless while the IPS panel’s picture popped off its screen.
Both the V7-481P and V7-581P have four-front facing speakers that Acer says will offer superior sound. Unfortunately, in our brief demo, we were unable to test the audio.
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With a weight of about 4.4 pounds, the Aspire V7-481P isn’t the lightest laptop on the block, but it didn’t feel too heavy when we lifted it off the table. All the versions on display were touch, but if you opt for a non-touch model, it’s about .33 pounds lighter. At .89 inches, the V7 isn’t uber-thin but is certainly thin enough to fit in your bag. We appreciated the soft-touch buttom and the sleek, gun-metal gray deck and lid on the “cold steel model.” Though the palm rest felt like it might be aluminum an Acer rep assured us that it was plastic.
The backlit-keyboard seemed quite springy on both the V7-481P and the larger V7-581P with the latter also featuring a numeric keypad. The generously-sized clickpad provided accurate navigation around the desktop, recognized multitouch gestures such as swiping in from the left to bring up the Charms menu.
The V7-581P we saw carried the same premium design and looked quite stunning in its raven black color. The colors on its 1080p display seemed to really stand out against the black bezel and deck. At 5.07 pounds and .89 inches thick for the touch screen version, the 581P isn’t particularly thin and light but it is liftable and could make a great multimedia machine,.
Both the Acer Aspire V7-481P and Acer Aspire V7-581P will be available later this month with a wide variety of options, including your choice of touch or non-touch, standard 1366 versus 1080p and discrete graphics or integrated. We look forward to reviewing one or both of these models in the near future to get a better idea of their multimedia prowess. However, it’s already clear that their 1080p screen is one of the most vibrant we’ve ever seen on a notebook.