ACER Aspire S7-191-6640 11.6 inch Ultrabook
ACER has been kind enough to send over one of their latest and greatest Ultrabooks. The ACER S7-191-6640 is a touch enabled, Windows 8 ultrabook with all the bells and whistles. To start, the ACER S7-191 has an Intel Core i5-3317 1.7GHz processor at the heart. While this is only a dual core processor, it is more than enough to drive the typical daily tasks that you would use an Ultrabook for. What is probably my personal favorite feature of the ACER S7-191-6640 is the screen, it is a touch enabled display. If it isn't the touch screen, then my next favorite feature would be the price. ACER has the Aspire S7-191-6640 listed for $1199, but looking at Amazon.com we can find this model for only $999.99. When you see what all you receive with the ultrabook, you're sure to agree!
While the touch screen is likely the feature I am most looking forward to, it is also the one that I dread the most. Why do I dread it? Fingerprints on the screen, they are my number pet-peeve with computers. Hopefully they won't be to big of an issue with the ACER S7-191. Since we are going to be touching the screen, it has to be protected. No flimsy, easily scratched surface here! ACER has implemented the use of Corning Gorilla Glass 2. The latest Gorilla Glass 2 is scratch resistant, and thinner than the first generation. This is one of the factors that allows the ACER S7 series of ultrabooks to be so thin. The 11.6" S7-191 series measures only 12.2mm (.48") while the 13.3" S7-391 series measures only 11.9mm (.47mm).
Not only is the ACER S7-191-6640 equipped with a touch screen. It is equipped with a full 10 point touch that puts the control at your fingertips, quite literally! The ACER Aspire S7 featurs a full HD resolution of 1920x1080. A resolution that high does seem a little bit cramped, but hopefully after some time with the Aspire S7 I will be able to adjust to it. The Keyboard on the ACER Aspire S7 has much shallower keystrokes than I am used to so that might take a little getting used to, but ultimately shouldn't be an issue. I have come to the conclusion that backlit keyboards are a must, especially if you need to be able to see the keys when typing. The Aspire S7 keyboard has electroluminescent backlighting. It's also not simply an on or off type of backlighting. It automatically adjusts to the ambient lighting around you.
Since ultrabooks are so thin and compact, cooling can always be an issue. ACER's solution is the Twin Air Cooling system. This system uses a pair of fans, one draws cool air into the S7, while one pushes warm air our. This gives the air a directed path to keep specific areas cool.
ACER S7-191-6640 System Specifications
|Operating System||Windows 8|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-3317U 1.70 GHz Dual-core (2 Core)|
|Chipset||Intel HM77 Express|
|Memory||4 GB DDR3 SDRAM(4GB Max)|
|Solid State Drive Capacity||128 GB RAID 0|
|Display & Graphics||
|Graphics Controller||Intel HD 4000|
|Wi-Fi||Atheros MD222 IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 4.0 + HS|
|Built-in Devices||Webcam, Microphone|
|Interfaces/Ports||HDMI, USB 3.0 Ports (2)|
|Input Devices||Keyboard, TouchPad|
|Battery Information||4-cell Lithium Polymer (Li-Polymer) 2500 mAh, 4.50 Hour Maximum Run Time|
|Power Supply Wattage||65 W|
|Dimensions||11.2"x7.7"x.48" 2.69 lb|
ACER Aspire S7-191 Retail Packaging and Bundle
The ACER Aspire S7 comes packaged in a relatively simple box. The front features the a profile of the Aspire S7 Ultrabook, which as we can see is incredibly thin (measuring only 12.2mm thin (.48")). On the upper corner we can see the ACER logo, and the product name just over the track pad of the Ultrabook.
Flipping the retail packaging for the ACER Aspire S7 over, we are graced with a couple of labels. The labels feature information like the full model number Aspire S7-191-6640 (which can be found for only $999.99). Nothing super exciting back here, but certainly worth a quick peek.
Opening up the packaging, we are greeted by some paperwork regarding the initial set-up and features of the ACER Aspire S7 Touch Screen Ultrabook.
Removing the paperwork is even less exciting as we are left with some cardboard that keeps everything protected.
Flipping back the top layer of cardboard we are greeted with our first look at the Aspire S7 aluminum finish.
Removing the Aspire S7 we can see that there are several boxes underneath it that contain the accessories and additional paperwork.
In addition to the manual and other paperwork, the Aspire S7 includes a Bluetooth mouse, USB to RJ45 Ethernet connection, as well as a mini HDMI to 15pin VGA adapter.
One of the accessories that caught me off guard is an external battery! This simply plugs into the plug that the AC adapter plugs into and mounts to the bottom of the Aspire S7.
The battery has an indicator to let you know the charge when you depress the button in the center. Each of the LED's indicates 20% of the charge.
On either side of the battery is a thumb screw that threads into the bottom of the Aspire S7.
ACER Aspire S7-191 External Features
The ACER Aspire S7-191-6640, as well as the entire S7 series features a brushed aluminum top with the ACER logo etched on. It isn't flashy, but it is a very sleek look. Thanks to the aluminum, it's also incredibly light! The Aspire S7 weighs only 2.69 pounds (~1.22 kilograms)
On the underside of the ACER Aspire S7 it's kept pretty simple. Along the bottom of the picture we have a speaker at each corner. Up towards the top of the image we have a label with the model number (Aspire S7-191-6640), manufacturing date, serial number, and the Microsoft Windows 8 Logo. Above that we can see the ventilation screen to allow the fresh air in to keep the system cool.
The ACER Aspire S7 Touch Screen Ultrabook is a little different that I am accustomed to. Right off the bat I noticed that there is no function keys. To get the F1-F12 keys you need to use the Function key plus the corresponding number key. The typical hardware shortcut keys that are usually bound to the F1-F12 keys are bound to other keys. Not really an issue once you get used to it, just took a little getting used to. The trackpad on the Aspire S7 was really easy to use. The overall responsiveness on it, and the feel of the buttons was great, really a great choice of hardware.
The ACER Aspire S7-191 screen is great to look at. On this particular model we have a 11.6" Active Matrix TFT color LCD. Despite the small size, ACER has the resolution set to 1920x1080. This did take a little getting used to, as I'm used to that resolution on my 23" ASUS monitor so it felt a little cramped to begin with. After a couple of hours working on the Aspire S7 I had acclimated to the high resolution and small screen.
There isn't much along the edges of the ACER Aspire S7-191. This edge features a single SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, the all important power button, and the AC power plug.
This edge features a second SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port, headphone jack, and a microSD card slot.
Underneath the ACER Aspire S7-191 we can see that each of the speakers is labeled as being professionally tuned. If you are looking to take the bottom of the ACER Aspire S7-191 off as we are about to do. You will need a T6 Torx wrench to remove the nine screws. Once you do that the cover comes off nice and easy.
Inside the ACER Aspire S7-191
Once we have the bottom cover of the ACER Aspire S7-191 removed, the bulk of the visible components is the battery.
The battery being used in the ACER Aspire S7-191 is a AP12E3K 4cell 7.4 Volt Lithium Polymer (Li-Polymer) battery. The specifications for the ACER Aspire S7-191 list the battery as a 2500mAh batttery, the battery itself is labeled as a 3790mAh battery.
The ACER S7-191 is using a Lite-on IT Corp CMT-128L3M mSATA SSD.
The ACER Aspire S7 uses two fans to keep the internal components cool, one is used for intake while one is used for exhaust. this keeps a steady current of airflow through the system.
ACER Aspire S7-191 Windows Experience Index
While we may not put much faith into the Windows Experience Index, it isn't a bad indication of where a weak point of the system may lie. In the case of the ACER Aspire S7-191, it looks like the weakest link is the desktop graphics performance which score only 5.4. The lowest score determines the base score, so we are left with a 5.4 Base Score. The Dual Core i5-3317U scored 6.9, the 4Gb of 1333Mhz memory hit 5.9, the Intel HD 4000 graphics hit 6.3 for gaming, and the primary hard disk was our top score with 8.3.
Under a light load the Intel Core i5-3317U can ramp as high as 2.6GHz, though we are seeing at 2.4GHz in CPUz. Under a heavy load however, the i5-3317U has a base frequency of 1.7GHz using a Bclk of 100 and a multiplier of x17.
The ACER Aspire S7-191-6640 uses dual channel memory running at 1333MHz with timings of 9,9,9,24,1T.
Benchmarking the ACER Aspire S7-191-6640
The ACER Aspire S7 and the Cyberpower Zeus M2 both take advantage of the Intel HD 4000 graphics aboard the i5-3317U, the difference in performance scores is a result of the variance in memory speeds. The Cyberpower Zeus M2 uses 1600MHz memory which is shared by the graphics, giving a slight edge over our ACER Aspire S7-191.
Again the Zeus M2 is able to take a lead over the ACER S7-191-6640. The Zeus M2 scored 635 3DMarks while the Aspire S7 hit 622 3DMarks in the performance preset.
There isn't much of a difference between the Aspire S7-191 and the Cyberpower Zeus M2, though it can once again be attributed to the difference in memory configurations. The ACER Aspire S7-191-6640 had a first pass performance of 25.305 frames per second and a second pass performance of 4.7 frames per second. The Cyberpower Zeus M2 is just slightly ahead with a first pass performance of 26.11 frames per second, and a second pass performance of 4.77 frames per second. The Dell XPS14 which uses an Intel Core i7 3517U had a first pass performance of 28.525 frames per second and a second pass performance of 5.495 frames per second.
The ACER Aspire S7-191-6640 has an aggregate memory performance of 16.019GB/s and fell right between the Cyberpower Zeus M2 with an aggregate memory performance of 19.944GB/s, and the Dell XPS14 aggregate memory performance of 10.677GB/s. Once again the memory configurations play the biggest roll in these results. The Zeus M2 uses 16GB of 1600Mhz Corsair Vengeance in Dual Channel, the Dell XPS14 uses 1600MHz memory in single channel, and the ACER Aspire S7 is running in Dual channel, though only at 1333MHz.
The ACER Aspire S7-191-6640 took the lead in PCMark 7 with an overall score of 4810. The Cyberpower Zeus M2 took the second spot with a score of 4574, and the Dell XPS14 fell into the bottom spot with a score of 4069.
The ACER S7-191 was able to outperform all of our other systems in CrystalDiskMark. This is no surprise considering that the ACER S7-191 is running in a RAID 0 configurations. The Sequential Read was an impressive 823.1MB/s and write of 366.3MB/s. The Cyberpower Zeus M2 was the next closest with a Sequential Read of 458.7MB/s and write of 185.7MB/s.
As we usually do, we ran Futuremark PowerMark on the balanced settings with the display brightness at 100%. With this setting the internal battery lasted 1 hour and 59 minutes. This isn't to shabby considering the load placed on the system during this test.
After setting the system back up, though with the extended life external battery, we reran FutureMark PowerMark. With the external battery we were able to add an additional 1 hour and 5 minutes to the battery test! If the extra battery was something that cost us extra, I might hesitate to invest in it. Since it comes with the ACER S7-191-6640 we're golden!
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The ACER Aspire S7-191-6640 has been one of my better experiences with an ultrabook. Over the past few months I've had my hands on the Cyberpower Zeus M2, and the Dell XPS14. Each of those had their own strong points and their own week points. The ACER Aspire s7-191-6640 really didn't seem to have much in the way any weak points, at least not in my experience. Of course there could always be more performance from the processor, but hey, that's pretty much true of any system out there. If you need more performance or more storage, there is always the option to get the next model in the series up. Within the S7 product stack, there are two different sizes available. The S7-191 like we are looking at today features the 11.6" IPS display, the S7-391 features a 13.3" IPS display panel. Either system you choose is going to be great. I wouldn't object to the 13.3" display to look at, but as I sit here typing this, I'm adjusting to the 11.6" screen as I go.
I haven't made the switch to Microsoft Windows 8 on the office computer just yet, so I have had relatively little experience with it. My first experience with it was on the Dell XPS14. I wasn't enthused about the latest operating system, the overall feel of it wasn't very smooth and felt rough to use. The ACER Aspire S7-191-6640 uses Windows 8 as well, but this time around the experience was a worlds better. What made the difference? The touch enabled display on the S7-191! It was much easier to navigate the home screen, access the charms, overall it was a much better experience into Windows 8. This is certainly the way that Windows 8 is meant to be used! While I realize this isn't meant to be about Microsoft's latest delve into our wallets, it does however show that the ACER Aspire S7-191 is designed with Windows 8 touch interface in mind, and building the S7 around the touch interface worked wonders.
The performance of the ACER Aspire S7 is pretty much on par with our previous endeavors into the world of Ultrabooks. The Aspire S7-191-6640 and the Cyberpower Zeus M2 both use the Intel Core i5-3317U dual core processor, so performance is pretty well expected to be head to head between those two. The Dell XPS14 on the other hand, uses an Intel Core i7 3517U dual core processor that runs a bit faster at 1.9GHz. Though each of the systems uses a different memory configuration. Cyberpower used a pair of 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz memory modules, Dell used a single memory module running at 1600MHz, though only in single channel. The ACER Aspire S7 is running in dual channel mode, though only at 1333MHz. One area that the ACER S7 easily excelled at was the read and write performance of the storage system. The S7 is using a Lite on 128GB SSD that is in a RAID 0 configuration. This put the sequential read speed at 823.1MB/s, 79.4% faster than the single SSD configuration in the Cyberpower Zeus M2.
One of the things that really gets me going about the ACER S7-191-6640 is the price and value offered. At only $999.99 right now you're getting a great piece of hardware. The top shell of the S7-191 is magnesium, inside there is an Intel i5-3317U processor, 4Gb of Ram, and 128Gb of storage in RAID 0! You're getting a lot of bang for your buck with just that. Let's look at the bundle and the value it adds. The ACER S7-191-6640 includes a Bluetooth mouse, RJ45 to USB adapter, mini-HDMI to VGA adapter, and a carrying case! The bundle alone could easily set you back $100 or more, it's just an added bonus. All the previously mentioned features aside, the best feature is by far the touch screen on the ACER S7! My previous experiences with Windows 8 weren't great. Once I was able to play with the ACER S7-191-6640 with a touch screen it's a totally different experience!
Legit Bottom Line: Everything about the ACER S7-191-6640 Touch enabled Ultrabook screams quality! If you're in the market for an Ultrabook, the ACER S7-191 is a great option with a lot of bang for the buck at only $999.99!