Acer Aspire S7-391-6468 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook Review

Acer Aspire S7-391-6468 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook

The Acer Aspire S7-391-6468 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook is a premium Ultrabook designed to offer an excellent combination of computing performance and a high degree of portability, together with more than a dash of stylish good looks.

Its slimline profile is enhanced by a Gorilla Glass 2 coating, which serves to both protect the machine with its tough, scratch resistant, easy to clean surface and make it silky smooth to the touch. Of course, looks alone won’t get any work done. Fortunately, the S7-391-6468 is much more than just a pretty shell.

It is driven by a dual core, third generation Intel Core i5-3337U Processor running at 1.8GHz. However, thanks to Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology, it is capable of automatically increasing its speed to a maximum of 2.7GHz to cope with more demanding workloads. This Ultra Low Voltage part was developed specifically for use in small laptops and Ultrabooks, and provides a good balance between power consumption and processing capabilities.

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In this machine, it is backed up by 4GB of DDR3 RAM and a 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD) for long term storage. Although 4GB of RAM is more than enough for the supplied copy of Windows 8 to show off its new capabilities, many modern laptops ship with more memory installed, and it is slightly disappointing to see that the Aspire S7-391-6468 doesn’t.

Similarly, the 128GB capacity of the installed SSD, while easily adequate for most purposes, is somewhat less than is found on some other machines, and is considerably smaller than the conventional hard drives found in laptops and some Ultrabooks. That said, conventional hard drives are both slower and more prone to damage than Solid State Drives, while being simultaneously cheaper and much larger. As with many things, speed and reliability comes at a premium, represented here by the choice of a 128GB SSD!

The machine features a 13.3″ Full HD widescreen CineCrystal LED-backlit display, with a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1920 x 1080 resolution. This multi-touch screen supports 10 finger touch, making it ideal for use with the new, touch-friendly features of Windows 8. Unlike many laptop displays, it opens completely flat, and, at the touch of a hotkey, the picture flips 180 degrees, making it easy to share images with a person sitting opposite to you.

It is powered by integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 hardware, with 128MB of dedicated system memory. Again, this is a perfectly reasonable choice for an Ultrabook, and should be more than capable of handling routine tasks – web, email, productivity software, HD video and even some casual gaming. However, despite being compatible with DirectX 11.1, Graphics 4000 will struggle with today’s more demanding games – it’s design emphasis centers far more around good quality, everyday features and low power consumption than it does around peak performance, battery-draining graphics. Again, this is not unreasonable for an Ultrabook, where the ability to do real work on the move is a central design goal.

Pros :

  • Fast, Powerful, Easily Portable Workhorse
  • Touchscreen
  • Windows 8
  • Good Battery Life
  • Fold Flat Display
  • Backlit Keyboard

Cons :

  • Graphics Inadequate For Serious Gaming
  • No Optical Drive

As you would expect from an Ultrabook, wireless networking is provided as standard, in the form of a built-in Acer Invilink Nplify 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Certified adapter. The machine also features Acer Instant Connect, which remembers WiFi hotspots that you’ve used before, and automatically connects to them as soon as they come into range. In doing so, it is claimed to be up to four times faster in establishing a connection than other notebooks.

Staying with wireless technology, the Aspire S7-391-6468 also features Bluetooth 4.0+HS, making it easy to connect wireless mice, headsets and other devices. For more conventional, wired, peripherals, the machine provides two high speed USB3.0 ports. Naturally, they are backwards compatible with standard – but much, much slower – USB2.0 devices, so you should be able to use all your old equipment without difficult. But, to get the best out of USB 3.0, it is essential to use USB3.0 compatible devices. This is particularly true of external storage devices, where the greater speed of USB3.0 makes a noticeable difference in file transfer times.

For those times when you need, or want, a larger display – watching a movie after work, for example – the S7-391-6468 provides a micro-HDMI port with HDCP support, making it easy to hook the machine up to a monitor or HDTV. If you do intend to use this machine for entertainment on the move, however, you need to be aware that, like almost all Ultrabooks, it doesn’t have a built-in optical drive. That’s hardly surprising, in view of its incredibly thin and lightweight construction, but, if you think you might need a CD / DVD drive, you will need to purchase an external USB unit.

The machine also features a 2-in-1 digital card reader, a backlit keyboard, a pair of stereo speakers with Optimized Dolby Advanced Audio v4 audio enhancement and a 3.1 MP HD webcam, making this laptop video-chat ready right out of the box. All you need to do to start video chatting with friends and family is sign in to your favourite chat software (Windows 8 ships with Skype) and you’re good to go.

Measuring 12.73 x 8.79 x 0.47 (LxWxH) inches and weighing just 2.87lbs, this machine certainly meets the objective of being a small, easily portable laptop with enough computing power on board to get serious work done on the move. With a maximum battery life of up to 6 hours, and a standby time of up to 80 days (if the battery is fully charged), there should be no pressing need to keep close to a power outlet, either, making this a machine that can go wherever your work takes you.

If you’re in the market for a stylish, powerful and ultraportable laptop the Acer Aspire S7-391-6468 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook could well be the machine you’ve been looking for.

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