Acer Aspire S7-391-6818 13.3-Inch Full HD Touchscreen Ultrabook Review

Acer Aspire S7-391-6818 13.3-Inch Full HD Touchscreen Ultrabook

The Acer Aspire S7-391-6818 13.3-Inch Full HD Touchscreen Ultrabook is a capable, mid-range laptop designed with both computing power and portability in mind.

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That computing power is provided by a 3rd generation Intel Core i5 3337U processor. This is a dual core, Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) component, specifically designed to balance performance and energy efficiency in small laptops and ultrabooks. Based on Intel’s Ivy Bridge architecture, it supports Hyperthreading, which enables each core to handle up to two threads in parallel. Furthermore, thanks to Turbo Boost technology, it is capable of automatically increasing the speed of each core, as needed, from their base speed of 1.8GHz up to a maximum of 2.7GHz. Working together, these features ensure that the processor conserves power where possible, yet still delivers impressive performance when it is needed.

The processor is supported by 4GB of DDR3 memory. This should be more than enough to allow the installed copy of Windows 8 to show off its new, touch-friendly look and feel while multitasking your favorite applications. Of course, more memory is always better, and it would have been nice to see 8GB or more installed in a machine of this class, but the provided 4GB is enough to get the job done.

Permanent storage for documents, music, pictures etc., is provided by a 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD) instead of a conventional Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Although offering considerably less storage capacity than the HDDs found in some laptops, SSDs have the advantage of being much, much faster than HDDs, and are far less susceptible to damage from the knocks and bumps than a laptop inevitably suffers. They are also, unfortunately, far more expensive than their conventional counterparts, which makes the choice of a 128GB SSD a sensible balance between cost and performance. And, should you eventually require more storage capacity, it is a simple matter to connect an external disk drive to one of the machine’s USB ports.

Staying with disk drives for a moment, it is worth noting that this machine doesn’t have a built-in optical drive. Again, this represents a reasonable compromise – designed to be ultraportable, the machine measures 12.73 x 8.79 x 0.47 inches (L x W x H) and weighs just 2.9 pounds, and there simply isn’t room for a CD / DVD drive in a case that small. Understandable though it is, however, you will need to purchase an external USB DVD drive if you think you might need one.

Pros :

  • Good, Easily Portable, Mid-Range Ultrabook
  • Intel Core i5 3337U 1.8 GHz (3 MB Cache) Processor
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 128 GB Solid-State Drive
  • 13.3-Inch Touchscreen
  • 6-hour battery life
  • Windows 8

Cons :

  • Graphics Are Underpowered For Serious Gaming
  • No DVD Drive

The Aspire S7-391-6818 features a 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel, full HD, LED backlit touchscreen display supporting 10 finger multi-touch. Driven by an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 controller with 128MB of dedicated memory, the display and controller should be easily capable of handling most tasks – standard office software, email, surfing the web, HD video and even some casual gaming should pose no problems. However, HD Graphics 4000 may struggle to cope with more graphics-intensive applications, and the demands of modern games, for example, may be beyond it at all but the lowest detail settings.

Impressive though the machine’s touchscreen may be, there will inevitably come a time when you want or need to use the machine with a much larger display – perhaps for watching a movie or making a presentation. For those occasions, the machine is fitted with a Micro-HDMI port with HDCP support, making it easy to connect to an HDTV, modern monitor or projector.

There should be no difficulty in connecting this machine to all your favorite peripheral devices. There are two USB 3.0 ports (one with the ability to charge USB powered devices even when the laptop is shut down) for wired peripherals, and the machine features Bluetooth 4.0 + HS for communicating with wireless devices.

Network connectivity is handled by the machine’s built-in 802.11 a/b/g/n MIMO dual band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) wireless LAN. Acer’s Instant Connect technology, which remembers WiFi spots that you’ve previously visited and connects to them as soon as they’re in range, means you can get online up to 4x more quickly than with a conventional laptop. Interestingly, however, the machine doesn’t offer a standard Ethernet port for wired networking. Although that’s unlikely to be a significant problem, it is worth keeping in mind if you’re likely to want or need wired networking.

The machine’s built-in 1280 x 1024 pixel HD webcam makes it video-chat capable right out of the box, and since the supplied copy of Windows 8 ships with Skype, the popular chat software, you need only sign in to your account (or sign up for one if you don’t have one already) to start chatting – software to install, no hardware to setup, just quick, convenient access to your friends and colleagues.

That convenience extends to other helpful features of the S7-391-6818, too. The built-in SD card reader makes it easy to transfer images onto the machine from your camera or cellphone, while the light-sensing backlit keyboard automatically illuminates in low lighting, optimizing its glow to let you keep working in comfort.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of this machine is its claimed battery life – up to 6 hours of use on a full charge, and up to 80 days (!) of standby power in deep sleep mode, again from a fully charged battery. Clearly, this machine is not just small and light enough to take virtually anywhere, but has enough power in reserve to do real work when you get there.

Overall, the Acer Aspire S7-391-6818 13.3-Inch Full HD Touchscreen Ultrabook is well worth considering if you’re in the market for a powerful, easily portable laptop with impressive looks and battery life. It’s not a gaming machine, by any means, although it should be able to handle casual gaming well enough, and it’s worth remembering to buy an external USB DVD drive if you think you might need one, but those are reasonable compromises in view of its size and weight. For anyone who needs to get real work done on the move, this machine could be just what they’ve been looking for.

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