PROS / The design turns heads with distinctive looks and the thinnest chassis we’ve seen on an ultrabook.
CONS / The display has relatively low resolution and poor color accuracy.
VERDICT / The Acer Aspire S7-393-7451 is an impressively designed ultrabook, but it’s held back by a low-resolution display.
The Acer Aspire S7-393-7451 is an impressively thin ultrabook that offers solid performance and usability, but it has a lackluster display. The Aspire S7-393 we tested came outfitted with an Intel Core-i7-5500U, 8GB of memory and 256GB of storage, thanks to a pair of 128GB solid-state drives (SSDs) in RAID 0 pairing. You can also get the ultrabook configured with a less-powerful Intel Core i5-4210U processor.
The Core processor helps deliver solid performance, with benchmark scores that promise very good (though not quite category-leading) performance. In Geekbench 3, our general performance test, it scored a respectable 6,498 points. In Laptop Mag's Spreadsheet Test, a timed test that measures processing speed during a taxing automated task, it finished in 4 minutes 52 seconds. Graphics performance is also good, scoring 61,675 in 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, one of the best 3DMark scores we saw, but due to software conflicts we were unable to run our World of Warcraft gaming test. As with the other ultrabooks we've reviewed, the Aspire S7-393 should do fine with day-to-day tasks like web browsing and streaming media, but it really isn't built for gaming.
The Aspire S7-393 is easy to pick out of a line-up, with a distinctive metal and glass design. The aluminum unibody design is sturdy and slim. It measures just 12.7 x 8.8 x 0.51 inches – the thinnest ultrabook we reviewed – and weighs only 2.87 pounds. The lid is covered with a layer of white Gorilla Glass, giving it a unique look and luxurious feel. This ultrabook also has a special hinge design, which opens easily to a full 180-degrees, but it holds firm against the pressure of taps and swipes on the touchscreen. With nearly nine hours of battery life, the system is light enough to carry anywhere, and it should take you through a full day of work or school without needing to be plugged in.
This Acer ultrabook is outfitted with a 13.3-inch touchscreen, with relatively low 1920 x 1080 resolution. The display has an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel, with excellent 327 nits of brightness. The color accuracy isn’t as good, with an average DeltaE rating of 4.0 (closer to 0 is better).
The slim chassis still has room for a fair number of ports, including two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader. There are also two video outputs: a full-size HDMI and a mini DisplayPort, which also includes and adapter that offers VGA output, an extra USB 2.0 port and Ethernet. Rounding out the feature set are standard connections – 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 – and Intel’s Wireless Display technology (WiDi) for wireless media streaming.
The Aspire S7-393 is covered with a standard one-year warranty. Acer’s tech support was rated 6th out of 10 in Laptop Mag’s independent testing, offering support information online through a searchable database and a live web chat service. Support services can also be reached via phone or through Twitter, but you’ll probably be better off with the live chat on the Acer website.
In a less crowded category, the Acer Aspire S7-393-7451 would stand out because it has the thinnest design in the category and a fine selection of ports and features. Unfortunately, the display is less than impressive and the overall performance lags somewhat behind the best ultrabooks we reviewed.