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Hands-On With the Acer Aspire S7: World's Thinnest Ultrabook Starts at $1,199


When Acer's new Aspire S7 Ultrabooks hit the market, they're sure to garner attention for their ultra-slim profiles. Starting at $1,199 for the 11-inch version and $1,399 for the 13-inch model, these two Windows 8 systems impressed us with their design, tailored for Microsoft's new operating system.

There's no understating how thin these notebooks felt. Even though both have a touchscreen, both are less than half an inch thick and weigh less than 3 pounds--2.3 in the case of the 11-inch version. We especially liked the Gorilla Glass lid on the 13-inch version, whose white coloring hid fingerprints, unlike the black glass lid on the HP Envy Spectre. 

The lid on the S7-391 tilts back 180 degrees, so it can lie flat on a table, enabling others to share what's on the screen more easily. A unique dual-torque hinge design also ensures that the screen won't wobble when touched in an upright position. 

Both the 11 and 13-inch S7 feature an all-aluminum unibody design, which made them feel sturdy despite their thinness. We also liked the cool blue backlighting for the keyboard, but the travel felt a tad shallow. 

While there's no VGA port, both will ship with a microHDMI to VGA adapter, as well as a USB to Ethernet adapter, which will please the business set. Also appealing to road warriors: both systems should get about 6 hours of battery life, and an optional slice battery should double that. 

Display11.6 inches, 1920 x 108013.3 inches, 1920 x 108013.3 inches, 1920 x 1080
CPUIntel Core i5-3317UIntel Core i5-3317U Intel Core i5-3317U
Hard Drive128GB SSD 128GB SSD 256GB SSD 
Memory 4GB 4GB 4GB 
Weight 2.29 pounds 2.86 pounds 2.86 pounds 
Size 11.17 x 7.7 x 0.48 inches 12.73 x 8.79 x 0.47 inches 12.73 x 8.79 x 0.47 inches