Acer Aspire S7 Series Ultrabooks hitting North America Oct. 26

Aspire S7
Coming to America

Acer has finally opened the lid on the Aspire S7 Touch Ultrabook Series, announcing Tuesday official specs, North American availability, and pricing for the Windows 8 tablets.

The series is comprised of two models, an 11.6-inch model and a 13.3-inch version, both with 1920 x 1080 high-definition touch screens.

Calling them "pretty, smart, and incredibly powerful," Acer boasted that the Ultrabooks are almost as thin as a tablet.

Measuring a narrow .47 inches and weighing as little as 2.29 pounds, depending on the model, the S7s come with an all-aluminum unibody design.

"Acer took a fresh approach to the design and development of the Aspire S7, using premium construction methods and materials," said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of product marketing for Acer, in a press release.

"We also used cutting-edge manufacturing processes that are not typically used in the PC industry, but were necessary to achieve the high-level of engineering and design quality we set for the S7."

Stunning, stylish, strong, secure

Gorilla Glass 2 or aluminum comprise the books' lids, while a dual torque hinge design keeps the screen upright and stable even while fiddling with the 10-point touch screen.

The 13.3-inch model, officially titled the S7-391, tilts to a full 180 degrees to make it even more tablet-like while a hotkey rotates the view another 180 degrees for shared viewing.

Aspire S7

Flat as a tab

Its white Gorilla Glass 2 cover is scratch-resistant, easy-to-clean, and supremely strong.

Acer also threw in a thin, soft cushion between the aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass for the S7s, a design element intended to minimize damage if dropped.

Featuring Acer's Theft Shield software, an alarm will sound from the devices' speakers when an S7 moves 10 feet from a designated Wi-Fi signal.

It's an optional feature that can be easily turned on or off, but a nice add-on that could keep these snazzy Ultrabooks in owners' possession.

Keepin' it cool

With a battery that can last up to six hours, with an option to double that time with an additional battery, Acer wanted to create something special for its power-saving efforts.

The TwinAir cooling system extends battery life, Acer said, thanks to two small, high-speed fans running 10,000 rpm - one pulls cold air in while the other pushes hot air out.

Acer also added a light-sensing keyboard adjusts backlight brightness depending on the ambient setting.

While having a physical keyboard to type on is nice, it won't add to the bulk of the Ultrabooks.

"The light sensing backlit keyboard is the thinnest backlit solution currently available, and is optimized for visual comfort and easy visibility in dim environments," Acer said.

Shipping extras

The S7s are shipping with AcerCloud, a feature that lets customers retrieve data on the Ultrabooks through their Android tablets or smartphones.

Data can be retrieved but also downloaded and shared with other PCs and Androids even when the S7s are in sleep/standby/hibernation mode.

If the Ultrabooks are in sleep mode, Acer Always Connect technology can wake it up through Wi-Fi so media can be retrieved via a mobile device.

Speaking of Acer Always Connect, the service provides for anytime, anywhere multimedia and data management, even while the S7s are snoozing.

The company's Green Instant On technology (coming with the S7s, of course) also allows for fast boot and resume, with instant-resume functionality kicking in at 1.5 seconds.

Pricing and availability

The S7-191 - official name for the 11.3-inch model - comes with a 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3317UB processor clocking at 1.7GHz, though Turbo Boost Technology can take it up to 2.6GHz.

The 11-incher's older brother comes with an Intel i7-3517U processor at 1.9GHz, though that same boost tech can take it up to 3.0GHz.

Total memory comes in at 4GB DDR3 while the S7-191 has a 128GB SSD and the S7-391 has 256GB SSD.

The models ship with a microHDMI to VGA cable for projector connecting, a USB to RJ45 port for wire network connecting, and a carrying case.

The S7 Series are hitting North American retailers Oct. 26, the same day the Windows 8 OS goes up for sale.

The 11.6-incher (the S7-191) starts at $1,199 and the 13.3-inch model gets going at $1,399.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.