Acer has updated its popular S3 and S7 Aspire Ultrabooks to take advantage of the new Intel fourth-generation processors (Haswell) and the accompanying benefits, such as improved power efficiency and a thinner form factor, and Pocket-lint was on hand at Computex in Taiwan to find out more.
The Acer Aspire S7
The company's flagship laptop, the 13.3-inch Aspire S7, has been updated with a backlit keyboard and a second-gen Acer TwinAir dual fan cooling system that promises quieter fans - sadly the conference room was too noisy to judge how much of a difference this makes. Acer has also added WiDi allowing users to access their TVs or large screens wirelessly and ditch the need for cumbersome cables.
As with the previous S7 model the screen can be opened 180 degrees for viewing, perhaps in a business context, and a simple hot key flips the screen round for the ease of the other party if necessary.
Weighing 1.3Kg, it's 12.9mm thick at its widest point. The all-new T-shape hinge means that users can enjoy the touchscreen without any wobbling or fuss. Corning Gorilla glass 2 tops off both sides of the screen with the kind of scratch-resistant and easy to clean glass that we are beginning to come to expect to grace our various tablets, ultrabooks and smartphones.
The S7 further features a RAID 0 solid state drive for fast wake-up and read/write times, as well as quietness. Acer claims to have built upon its PurifiedVoice tech to improve speech clarity and voice recognition that is great for video or VOIP calling.
The S7 may be flipped open with one hand and the keyboard is pleasing to the touch. The exterior is sleek and features rounded contours. The new model is made from a single block of aluminium, making it particularly strong and durable. We like.
The Acer Aspire S3
The S3 Aspire on the other hand features a squarer design with an aluminium cover that is spray-painted and polished to give a glossy glass-like appearance. It's not as smart or as luxurious, and probably why it's the Aspire S3 rather than S9.
Acer emphases that noticeable improvement is the addition of Acer Fast Resume which enables the Aspire S3 to resume from Sleep mode in just 1 second - three times faster than most standard Ultrabooks. In the flesh this works as promised, plus the S3 now automatically powers on as soon as it is opened, just like an Apple MacBook.
There is also an option to add the new NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M graphics cards for improved gaming and graphics.
The Aspire S7 and S3 will start shipping in July.