The last time we got a chance to do a full review the Acer Aspire S7, it was back in 2013. At the time it was a big step up from Acer, and the Ivy Bridge based S7 came with one of the slimmest and lightest bodies of that era. That was 2013. Anand also used the Acer Aspire S7-392 as his test machine for the Haswell-U launch in 2014, getting a chance to see the second generation Haswell version of the Aspire S7.

In 2015, the competition in the Ultrabook space has not sat idly by. One thing is for certain in the technology sector: no matter what kind of lead you have, if you stand still, you will be passed. This maxim keeps all hardware vendors on their toes, and for Acer and the Aspire S7 family is no exception.

Diving into matters then, today we're going to be taking a look at the latest generation of the Acer Aspire S7. For the 2015 model, Acer has shipped us the top end version with the Intel Core i7-5500U processor, and along with the processor update, the Acer also offers a 2560x1440 display upgrade from the base 1920x1080 model.

The review model I’ll be looking at today features 8 GB of RAM, the aforementioned Core i7-5500U processor, the 1920x1080 resolution display, and a 256 GB SSD which is 2 x 128 GB in RAID 0. Acer calls this version the S7-393-7451, and despite the updated internals, Acer has kept the styling and form factor practically identical to the original S7 reviewed back in 2013. The model being tested lists for $1299 on the Acer site.

Since this model was first introduced prior to the release of WIndows 10, Acer still sells this S7 with Windows 8.1. But since that is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10, they were happy to have me upgrade it to Windows 10 for this review. This will then be the first laptop reviewed with Windows 10, but most of our testing unchanged from 8.1 to 10 with the exception of our battery life tests which were moved to use Microsoft’s new Edge browser rather than Internet Explorer.

Acer Aspire S7-393
  As Tested, Core i7-5500U, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, 1920x1080 Display
Processor Intel Core i5-5200U (2C/4T, 2.2-2.7GHz, 3MB L3, 14nm, 15w)

Intel Core i7-5500U (2C/4T, 2.4-3.0GHz, 4MB L3, 14nm, 15w)
Memory Dual-Channel 8 GB DDR3L-1600
Graphics Intel HD 5500 (24 EU, 300-900 MHz on i5, 300-950 Mhz on i7)
Display 13.3" 1920x1080 IPS
Optional 2560x1440 IPS
Storage 256 GB SSD (2 x 128 GB RAID 0)
Networking Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (802.11ac, 2x2:2, 866Mpbs Max, 2.4 and 5GHz)
Bluetooth 4.0
Audio Stereo Speakers (downfiring) 1 watt x 2
Realtek with Dolby Digital Plus
Battery 46 Wh Battery
45 Watt A/C Adapter
Right Side USB 3.0
DisplayPort
Headset Jack
HDMI
Left Side USB 3.0
DC In
Power Button
SD Card Slot
Dimensions 322 x 222 x 13 mm (12.7 x 8.8 x 0.51 inches)
Weight 1.31 kg (2.9 lbs)
Extras 720p Webcam
Backlit Keyboard
Dual-Torque Hinge
Pricing $1389 As Tested on Amazon
$1299 on Acer.com

There are no surprises with the Acer S7. Wireless is provided by Intel’s Wireless-AC 7265 card, the battery is a 47 Wh model, and it falls pretty much in-line with other Ultrabooks as far as specifications. One change that Acer has over most is RAID 0 on the drives. I don’t find this to be a benefit at all in most workloads, and would rather Acer spent the extra cost to provide one faster drive. Acer is also lacking in connectivity options with just two USB ports available. Most Ultrabooks find room from three, but Acer has gone with a mini DisplayPort and an HDMI video output. That seems overkill since the HDMI could be passed through DisplayPort freeing up room for a third USB port. Acer does still find room for a SD card slot which is always appreciated.

Design
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  • Kristian Vättö - Monday, October 05, 2015 - link

    RAID 0 SSDs in an Ultrabook just doesn't make any sense. A single SATA 6Gbps SSD is more than capable of pushing the bottleneck to the CPU under most workloads. Two SSDs just add cost, consume more power and eat up PCB area that could be used for a larger battery for instance. Reply
  • zepi - Monday, October 05, 2015 - link

    Not to mention of M.2 PCI-e SSD's if manufacturer wants to offer more performance. Reply
  • LoganPowell - Friday, November 27, 2015 - link

    It's a lot of money to drop on Acer Aspire... in my opinion. When there are much more price-worthy options on the market /Billie from http://www.consumerrunner.com/top-10-best-desktops... Reply
  • retrospooty - Monday, October 05, 2015 - link

    You lost me at "Acer". Nothing they do makes sense. Nothing they make makes me want to buy. Reply
  • lmcd - Monday, October 05, 2015 - link

    Highly disagreed. I find the Acer Aspire Switch 12 (2014 model) highly compelling as a current owner, especially in its heavily-discounted state. Core M and an active digitizer for $500? Reply
  • Samus - Monday, October 05, 2015 - link

    That's $500. I'd consider an Acer in the $300-$500 ballpark, but not $1300. Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - link

    Wait till it dies on you Reply
  • Ethos Evoss - Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - link

    bunch of usa moaners..
    on purpose trolling on acer..
    Reply
  • Kutark - Monday, October 05, 2015 - link

    I bought a V Nitro Black Edition a little less than a year ago and it was the best laptop purchase ive made in 15 years. I absolutely love it. I have another friend who bought the same laptop after seeing mine who is a PHD student doing research in genetics. He took the laptop and had the processor pegged at 100% for quite literally 3 weeks straight crunching numbers and it had no problems, not a single crash, nothing. Reply
  • rxzlmn - Friday, October 09, 2015 - link

    I bought a V15 (non-black edition since I wanted a ULV with better battery life) and I am also absolutely happy with it. Happens that I also do my PhD in genomics - I could probably leave the laptop running for years without getting far though. I'm using HPC clusters with >2000 CPUs and terabytes of RAM. whatever your friend is telling you, a consumer computer won't be able to do any real PhD-grade genomics ;) Reply

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