Living up to aspirations
> Acer’s Aspire S 13 ultrabook comes with a solid combination of performance, portability and affordability
BACK in 2008, a certain fruitbranded computer manufacturer introduced a notebook that was extremely portable and did not compromise on performance. Naturally, other manufacturers followed suit and offered up their very own versions of what we now know as the ultrabook.
Ultrabooks are great especially for individuals who are always on-the-move, as these devices don’t weigh a ton.
However, ultrabooks can easily burn a hole in one’s bank account, but that’s not the case with Acer’s latest Aspire S 13 ( right). It retains what makes ultrabooks great without the hefty pricetag.
Like most ultrabooks, the Aspire S 13 comes with a 13.3in display and is incredibly thin and light, as it is about 15mm thick when closed and weighs a mere 1.3kg.
Swapping out my standard work notebook, which weighs about 2kg, with the Aspire S 13 left me feeling more mobile and suffering less strain on my shoulders. So that’s definitely a plus.
In terms of aesthetics, this ultrabook looks really good. While it may not be entirely clad in aluminium or glass, the combination of materials used by Acer syncs up quite nicely.
The matte black polycarbonate cover has a nice pinstripe design to it, while the keyboard is surrounded by aluminium that has a brushed metal texture.
The bottom has a soft rubber coating which makes it less susceptible to slipping.
However, unlike other ultrabooks that are now made of sturdier materials, the Aspire S 13 feels quite fragile, especially when it comes to the cover. It flexes quite easily and even creaks when pressure is placed upon it.
One of the things I really like about the Aspire S 13 is its 13.3in display. While the review unit we received doesn’t support touch functionalities, the matte display makes watching videos or working on documents very comfortable, as it doesn’t reflect light or glare.
The bright display also produces colours that are quite accurate.
Another good thing about this ultrabook is its keyboard. The spacing between keys is just nice, and while the travel distance isn’t that deep, they are still soft and responsive.
However, I can’t say the same thing about the touchpad, as it felt very finicky, and I would end up accidentally moving windows or tabs.
Getting down to what really matters – performance – the review unit is actually considered the “lowest-end” offering available.
Still, the device boots up in a flash and my day-to-day experience with it can be summed up in two words, snappy and smooth.
Multi-tasking was a breeze and jumping around from one program to another didn’t even cause it to stutter.
Seeing as it only has an Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU, don’t expect this device to play the latest games like Fallout 4 or The Witcher 3.
However, you should still be able to enjoy older, less graphic intensive games like Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 and Dota 2.
When it comes to battery life, the Aspire S 13’s 4030mAh battery performs just okay. I used it mainly for writing articles while on-the-go, and for listening to music on Spotify and also browsing the web.
With these tasks alone, the battery is able to last up to six hours, but if I throw in some video streaming, the number Acer Aspire S 13 (S5-371-52UK)
CPU: 6th Generation Intel Core i5-6200U RAM: 4GB DDR3L RAM Storage: 128GB Solid State Drive Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 OS: Windows 10 64-bit Display: 13.3in IPS Full HD LCD display Ports/Slots: 2xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 3.1, 1xHDMI, SD Card Reader, 1xHeadphone/Mic Camera: Acer 1280x720 HD webcam Battery: 4,030mAh Li-Polymer Battery Dimensions: 327x228x14.58mm (WxDxH), 1.3kg RRP: RM2,799
dwindles down to a little over four hours.
To sum it all up, the Acer Aspire S 13 is really quite a worthwhile investment despite a few little niggles here and there.
But for its price (RM2,799) and the performance it brings to the table, it really is quite a good deal if you’ve been looking for an ultrabook.
For those who want something with a little more RAM and storage, the Aspire S 13 also has a variant that comes with the same processor but has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB Solid State Drive instead. It is priced at RM3,799.