The Acer Aspire S7 looked great when we handled it during IFA 2012, and continues to look good even now, weeks later, but we can't help but feel it embodies both what is good and what is dreadful about the ultrabook market in general.
The good news is that the device lives up to the promises of style, lightweight design, thin form factor and good performance, and then some.
The most assuredly bad news is that the product will be expensive, and very much so, when it starts shipping on October 26 (the same day as the launch of Windows 8
The version with an Intel Core i5 processor on the inside will cost $1,299.99, or 1,006-1,299.99 Euro, while the Core i7-powered configuration will demand $1,699.99 in exchange (1,316-1,699 Euro).
That's twice as much as the $750 promised, so to speak, for the fourth quarter. A painful comparison indeed, more so knowing that even $750 is considered too much (580-750 Euro).
At least the hardware is above reproach. While it is not the greatest of consolations, it is a consolation nonetheless.
Whatever the CPU happens to be, the Acer Aspire S7 will get 4 GB of DDR4 RAM (random access memory), two USB 3.0 ports, a micro-HDMI connector with HDCP support and, of course, an LCD display.
Speaking of which, the panel measures 11.6 inches in diagonal, uses CineCrystal LED backlighting, boasts a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and the 16:9 aspect ratio. More than suitable for the Intel HD Graphics 4000 part of the central processors (128 MB memory).
Needless to say, the screen supports touch input as well, 10-point multi-touch to be exact.
All the hardware is packed inside a super-thin frame that weighs 2.29 pounds (1.03 kilograms) and is 0.47 inches thick (11.93 mm). Finally, the battery life is of up to 12 hours (assuming a second, optional battery is in play).
All in all, this would have been a real game changer if Acer had managed not to give it that painful price tag. The company is probably hoping that style and convenience (the lid can be opened at 180 degrees even), not to mention Windows 8, will offset the price. There would not be much point to the aluminum case and the optional Gorilla Glass 2 white lid otherwise.