Acer Aspire S7-391-9886 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook Review

Acer Aspire S7-391-9886 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook

The Acer Aspire S7-391-9886 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook is all about powerful computing facilities in an easily portable form that is also very easy on the eye.

Designed for Windows 8, and sporting a 10-point touch screen to take full advantage of its new, touch-oriented features, this machine is aimed at professionals and power users who need to get real work done on the move.

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The computing muscle needed to get that work done is provided by a third generation Intel Core i7-3517U Processor. This CPU runs at 1.9GHz, but, thanks to Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology, is capable of automatically increasing speed to up to 3.0GHz to easily handle your more challenging needs.

With 4GB of DDR3 RAM to work in, and a 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD) for long term storage, this machine should have no difficulty in multi-tasking your more demanding applications or handling HD video. Although smaller than many of the conventional hard drives found in modern laptops, the 256MB SSD makes up for this by being much, much faster, and should have more than enough space for most people’s needs.

The 13.3″ Full HD (1920 x 1080), widescreen, CineCrystal, LED-backlit display is driven by Intel HD Graphics 4000 hardware, with 128MB of dedicated system memory. The HD Graphics 4000 is more than capable of handling day-to-day computing tasks – surfing the web, video chat via the machine’s built-in 1.3 Megapixel HD webcam, productivity software and even casual gaming are well within its capabilities. However, despite being DirectX 11.1 compatible, it will struggle to do justice to today’s more demanding games, so, if you’re looking for a gaming laptop, you may want to look elsewhere.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a powerful and easily portable workhorse machine, you’re in exactly the right place. Measuring 12.73 (L) x 8.79 (W) x 0.47 (H) inches, and weighing just 2.9 lbs., you can take this machine virtually anywhere, and can expect up to 6 hours of battery life from its 4-cell lithium polymer battery when you get there.

Pros :

  • Fast, powerful, portable, stylish Ultrabook
  • Windows 8
  • Good battery life
  • Fold flat screen with 180 degree rotation
  • Backlit keyboard

Cons :

  • Graphics inadequate for serious gaming
  • No optical drive

Despite it’s small size, this machine manages to pack all of the essential features into its beautiful, Gorilla Glass-coated case. Network access is provided by 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 + HS enables you to connect to wireless mice, headsets and other peripherals, and two high-speed USB 3.0 ports are provided for you to connect wired devices.

You might want to use one of them with an external USB CD / DVD optical drive, as the machine is so small and compact that there isn’t room for one inside the case. This isn’t unusual with Ultrabook-class machines, and needn’t be a problem, but it is something to be aware of.

A micro-HDMI port and and a 2-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader, along with the aforementioned HD webcam and two built-in stereo speakers complete the line-up of standard input / output options. In the slightly-less-than-standard category, this machine also features a backlit keyboard that automatically illuminates in low light levels.

Perhaps the machine’s most interesting feature, however, is its screen’s ability to fold flat onto your work surface. At the touch of a button, the display flips 180 degrees so that it’s the right way up for someone facing you over the table. Interesting, to be sure, and potentially useful for sales teams, consultants and others who need to make one-to-one presentations. Whether it will find wider uses remains to be seen, but it’s a feature that could be useful to some, and shouldn’t encumber those who don’t need it.

Overall, this is a fine example of the Ultrabook concept – a powerful computer that is designed to be small and lightweight, easily portable  and yet capable of getting real work done. The Intel HD Graphics 4000 hardware is unsuitable for serious gaming, and you will need to invest in an external optical drive if you think you will need one, but neither of these points – which are, in any event, common to many Ultrabooks – are serious problems.

For its intended purpose, and within the accepted limitations of this class of machine, the Acer Aspire S7-391-9886 13.3-Inch Touchscreen Ultrabook is a machine well worthy of consideration, particularly if its special features like the fold-flat screen could be of use to you.

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