updated 08:01 am EDT, Tue October 2, 2012
New ultrabooks feature sensors in backlit keyboard
Today, Acer unveiled what it dubs "the world's thinnest touch ultrabooks," the Aspire S7 series. The two new ultrabooks feature high-definition touchscreens, and the 13.3-inch model features a design allowing its screen to be laid back flat for sharing and collaboration. Depending on the model, the new series weighs as little as 2.29 pounds and can be as thin as 0.47 inches. Both models of the Aspire S7 series will ship running Windows 8.
The S7 series will include an 11.6-inch model and a 13.3-inch S7-391 model. Both will feature 1920x1080, 10-point touchscreen displays with IPS technology and viewing angles up to 178 degrees. The screens will be surrounded by a glossy white Gorilla Glass 2 cover for protection, and Acer built a thin cushioning material between the aluminum frame and the Gorilla Glass on the 13.3-inch model to absorb shock should the device be dropped.
The 11.6-inch S7-191 has an all-aluminum unibody and aluminum cover with a patterned finish, as does its 13.3-inch counterpart. Both models feature a dual-torque hinge design, allowing the screen to stay upright and stable when touched by a user. Both models also include Acer's new TwinAir cooling design, which uses two small 10,000 rpm thermal fans to pull in cool air and release hot air.
Both models also incorporate an electroluminescent backlit keyboard that automatically turns on and off and adjusts its brightness depending on ambient light.
Inside, the Aspire S7 series packs either a Core i5 or Core i7 processor from Intel. They also have solid state drives in a RAID 0 configuration, allowing for faster read/write times. The S7 series comes with an embedded Li-Polymer battery, and customers have the option of purchasing a second battery, providing power for up to 12 hours.
The Aspire S7 line has a micro HDMI to VGA cable for use with projectors, as well as a USB to RJ45 port for wireless network connections. Acer also includes a carrying case for the ultrabook. All models also come with Acer Theft Shield, a free software based solution that recognizes the distance from a designated Wi-Fi signal source. Should the system be moved beyond 10 feet of the signal, a siren sounds from its speakers. A user can easily enable or disable this feature.
The Aspire S7 series begins at $1199 for the 11.6-inch model and $1399 for the 13.3-inch model. Both will be available for purchase at retailers in North America starting on October 26.