When it comes to luxe laptops there are an increasing number vying for your attention - but all too often they cost a grand. Not so the Acer Aspire S13 which, starting at €699, is poised to take on the likes of the MacBook Air, Dells and HPs of this world. But can it truly keep up?
The Aspire S13 has some well thought-out touches to its design. The lid has a nano-imprint pattern that glistens when it catches light, diamond-cut edges are most pominent around the device's trackpad, while a polished aluminium hinge adds some character.
It's a slim machine at 14.8mm thick, undercutting even the MacBook Air. Slim means light, too, with a starting weight of 1.3kgs (that increases a touch for touchscreen tech and extras) ensuring this is an easily portable 13-inch machine. It's not mega-tough, though, as there's a little flex in that super-slim screen/lid panel.
Despite all these big words and lovely sounding materials, though, the Pearl White finish we saw felt like a middling effort. It's not the unibody aluminium design of the MacBook Air that this Acer will be so readily compared to.
The S13 we handled came with a touchscreen to command Windows 10, which had plenty of brightness and decent viewing angles thanks to the IPS technology. Its 1920 x 1080 resolution isn't the highest on the market, but Full HD for €699 is nothing to shake a stick at.
The trackpad is smooth to the touch and supports touch gestures, while the keyboard feels naturally spaced, offers back-lighting, but not the most satisfying travel of a keyboard we've ever used.
Under the hood there's the capacity for a top-end 6th-gen Intel Core i processor and up to 8GB RAM. Want to spend just €699? You'll be getting a Core i3U processor for such cash.
Other specs included full-size USB 3.0 port, HDMI out, decent 11a/c Wi-Fi and Dolby Audio. Battery life is said to hold out for 13-hours per charge thanks to a 54Wh battery, although we suspect this will be less with more powerful loadouts inside.
Overall the Acer Aspire S13 has some well considered design elements, but fails to feel super-premium when handled. Which is befitting of its price point, really: the S13 is a beacon of potential in the mid-level market rather than the MacBook Air-beater it so wants to be. But take it for that and there's plenty to please from this slender and suitably priced laptop.