The Acer Aspire S5 has got what most demanding users need. Check this out in the Acer Aspire S5 ultrabook review.The market of ultrabooks gathers its pace.
Today manufacturers are working towards equipping their devices with mind-boggling technologies and features. Here we are referring to third-generation Ivy Bridge innovation technology growing now from a dreamy future into something real. This coming “reality” promises striking performance improvement and energy demand reduction.
While other machines come configured with Sandy Bridge CPUs, Acer has already introduced its first Ivy Bridge ultraportable – Aspire S5 – claiming it is the world’s thinnest laptop. Aspire S5 is a logical sequel to Aspire S3 – now it features a better chassis, increased selection of ports, and is a lot less “plasticky” since the company used high-quality alloy during manufacturing.
Let’s have a look at key specifications of our today’s hero – Acer Aspire S5:
- 13.3″ HD Widescreen CineCrystal LED-backlit Display (1,366 x 768 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio)
- 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-3517U CPU with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.0GHz
- Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium
- 128 MB Intel HD Graphics 4000
- 4GB DDR3 RAM
- 256GB SSD
- 2-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 1.3MP HD Webcam(1280 x 1024)
- Dolby Home Theater v4 audio technology
- 2x USB 3.0 Ports
- 1 x Intel Certified Thunderbolt connection
- 1x HDMI Port with HDCP Support
- 3-cell Lithium-polymer Battery
- Up to 6.5-hours battery life
- 2.65 lbs
Now let’s look at the things in their proper order. Below is our Aspire S5’s review:
Design and Build
With its fluid design and aerodynamic chassis (brushed aluminum lid and palmrest, along with an aluminum/magnesium bottom), the Acer Aspire S5 looks and feels sophisticated. Measuring 0.59 inches thick and at around 2.65 pounds, it is undeniably thin and very light being not far off tablet sized.
Delivering a “wow” factor, the big design feature on the Aspire S5 is the MagicFlip I/O port launcher, implemented by Acer to keep the ultrabook so skinny and its look so minimalist. Pressing the button that sits on the keyboard tray brings down the port flap in the back and raises the S5 on its haunches about a quarter of an inch to reveal a pretty good selection of ports. With all of them hidden, this machine is a strikingly elegant solution.
Keyboard and Trackpad
Though the isolation-style keyboard is not backlit, it is well-made and very responsive with its reasonably sized and placed keys, thus delivering an amazingly comfortable typing experience. The stiff construction helps with typing, as there’s absolutely zero flex, even under heavy use. The ESC, Del keys and the arrows are pretty small. The latter include embedded volume and screen brightness controls.
The 3.75 x 2.6-inch click-pad-style Elan touchpad provides very responsive navigation and excels with smooth and accurate multi-touch gestures, including pinch-to-zoom, rotate, two finger and four-finger swipes.
The Acer Aspire series under review is also notable for having really strong palm rejection and preventing the cursor from moving while typing a document. The built-in touch button is easy to click and makes a quiet, low-pitched sound when pressed.
Display and Sound
The 13-inch HD Widescreen CineCrystal display comes with a native resolution of 1,366×768 pixels and delivers vivid images, providing users with the opportunity to enjoy surfing the web, streaming their favorite shows or engaging on social networks.
The bottom-mounted speakers on the Aspire S5 deliver high-fidelity surround sound for all forms of entertainment content. The bundled Dolby Home Theater v4 technology makes the audio experience even more enjoyable and lets the user choose between music, movie, and game profiles or manually adjust the graphic equalizer.
Ports, Connectivity, Webcam
The Acer Aspire S5 specs come with a good selection of ports: it has Thunderbolt that provides up to 20X faster transfer speeds than does USB 2.0, and full-sized HDMI sockets. In addition, it features two USB openings, 3.5mm headphone jack and 2-in-1 SD card reader. Unfortunately, Acer does not provide an Ethernet connection, which may put off some business users.
The S5 series also include dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11a/g/n) which helps compensate for the lack of an Ethernet port with its access to the 5GHz band as well as the original 2.4GHz band, and low energy Bluetooth 4.0. Acer Always Connect technology allows the user to get onto the Internet within seconds and remembers Wi-Fi spots they used to be able to instantly connect to the Internet when in range.
Mounted above the screen, the Aspire ultrabook’s 1.3-megapixel HD webcam delivers sharp and accurate images even in dimly lit environment. With auto lighting and noise reduction options enabled, the picture get even brighter and cleaner. Acer Crystal Eye Webcam software lets the user tweak the camera settings, snap photos or shoot video with it.
The Aspire S5 ultrabook delivers a speedy, failure-free performance that is great for most demanding processing or multimedia tasks. The reason for such incredible capabilities of the laptop is its dual 128GB, LiteON-branded SATA III SSDs arranged in a RAID 0 configuration, not to mention that it is equipped with top-shelf 3rd Generation Intel Core i7 Processor with Turbo Boost Technology, 4GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4000 with 128MB of dedicated system memory.
The S5’s scores in benchmark tests prove to be amazing: the drives boot Windows 7 in a speedy 28 seconds, much faster than the 45-second category average; its dual SSDs copy files faster than any system ever tested – 4.97GB of mixed media files in just 17 seconds, which means 299.4 MBps, nearly six times the 50.83 MBps category average.
On 3DMark11 measuring the graphics performance of gaming PCs, the reviewed S5 family scores 643, which is better than the ASUS Zenbook UX31A’s 594 and Macbook Air’s 624.Thanks to Acer Green Instant On technology the ultrabook under discussion resumes from sleep in less than 1.5 seconds and from deep sleep in 6 seconds.
Acer claims 6.5 hours of life on a single charge with the S5’s non-removable 3-cell 2,310mAh lithium-polymer battery. Furthermore, thanks to the manufacturer’s unique Hybrid Standby Technology, low battery consumption provides up to 80 days of standby power.
Acer has successfully implemented a remarkably efficient cooling system – the MagicFlip launcher is an important part of it. When the ultrabook is running warm, the system automatically opens the rear panel to provide additional cooling.
As a result, the laptop’s keyboard always remains under 90 F while using it. What’s important to note, the laptop’s fan is quieter and less annoying than those found in some competitors.
Acer preloads its Aspire S5 series with a good deal of bloatware: CyberLink’s MediaEspresso media converter, Evernote 4.5.2, Fooz Kids (a clever application that provides a secure setting for kids to access the Internet), Norton Online Backup, Skype 5.5, Nook for PC and a trial of McAfee’s Internet Security suite. Acer eRecovery management technology allows backing up and restoring the entire system. Acer Theft Shield software helps prevent theft via detection over a Wi-Fi connection.
It is worth mentioning that the S5 is the first Acer’s product line to support the AcerCloud technology allowing sharing photos, documents, videos and music between several devices – it is free, and storage is unlimited.
In USA it is possible to buy the Acer Aspire S5 at the price starting at $1.250, so this laptop might not be a very good deal for those looking for a discount purchase. However, good performance needs to be paid good money for.
Overall, the Acer Aspire S5 ultrabook is an impressive performer capable of coping with a range of workloads; it boots quickly and loads applications without undue delay. It is an exceptionally skinny, light and fashionable machine. All things considered, the S5 might be one of the most forward-looking ultrabooks available on the market.