Acer's Aspire S7 Ultrabooks coming October 26th, starting at $1,200 for the 11-inch version

Back at Computex, Acer announced the Aspire S7 series -- the company's third line of Ultrabooks, and the first of the bunch to sport touchscreens. At the time, we were told they'd go on sale once Windows 8 started shipping and sure enough, Acer just sent out a press release confirming they'll be available October 26th, the day Win 8 officially launches. Prices will start at $1,200 for the 11-inch model (the S7-191), but you'll pay either $1,400 or $1,650 for the 13-inch version (S7-391), depending on which configuration you choose.

For those who missed the initial June reveal, the laptops all have 1080p IPS screens and backlit keyboards. The 13-inch model in particular has a display that can lie completely flat. Another key difference: the 11-inch version has an aluminum lid, while the 13-incher's is fashioned out of Gorilla Glass. Whichever you choose, the S7 comes with a USB to Ethernet adapter, a micro-HDMI to VGA dongle and a carrying case -- a first for Acer. They also make use of Acer's TwinAir cooling technology and are set up to work with AcerCloud, the company's free online storage service, which you can use with mobile apps on iOS and Android.

Inside, the SSDs are all arranged in RAID 0 configuration, which means you can expect the kind of absurdly fast I/O speeds we recorded on the Aspire S5. (The lack of redundancy in that RAID 0 setup also means you might want to be extra vigilant about backing up your stuff.) The battery life is rated for six hours on both models, but the 13-inch version will be available with an external cell that can supposedly double the runtime. Meanwhile. RAM is fixed at 4GB, and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics are the standard. All told, just the kind of specs you'd expect on a high-end Ultrabook.

Again, these will ship on October 26th, starting at $1,200 for the smaller 11-inch model. In the meantime, we've got a few additional specs after the break, and you can always revisit our hands-on from Computex if you want to re-live the magic of a crowded press conference.

Aspire S7-191-6640 ($1,200)

  • 11.6-inch, 1080p IPS display

  • Intel Core i5-3317UB CPU

  • 128GB SSD

  • 4GB of DDR3 RAM

  • 2.29 pounds

  • 11.17 x 7.7 x 0.48 inches

Aspire S7-391-6810 ($1,400)

  • 13.3-inch, 1080p IPS display

  • Intel Core i5-3317UB CPU

  • 128GB SSD

  • 4GB of DDR3 RAM

  • 2.86 pounds

  • 12.73 x 8.79 x 0.47 inches

Aspire S7-391-9886 ($1,650)

  • 13.3-inch, 1080p IPS display

  • Intel Core i7-3517UB CPU

  • 256GB SSD

  • 4GB of DDR3 RAM

  • 2.86 pounds

  • 12.73 x 8.79 x 0.47 inches

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Acer America introduces Aspire S7 Series, the world's thinnest touch Ultrabooks

Editor's Summary on the Pretty and Smart Aspire S7 Touch Ultrabooks
- Acer overcame an incredible design challenge in creating a gorgeous and incredibly powerful touch Ultrabook nearly as thin as a tablet.
- Featuring an all-aluminum unibody design, the razor-thin Acer S7 Ultrabooks are exceptionally thin and light, yet resilient and durable. Depending on model, they are as thin as .47 inches and weigh as little as 2.29 pounds.
- The Aspire S7 Series includes models with a 13.3-inch or 11.6-inch full high- definition (1920 x 1080) touch screen that are protected by rigid lids made of white Gorilla Glass 2 or aluminum.
- Optimizing its touch capabilities, the lid on the S7-391 tilts back a full 180 degrees, allowing it to be used flat against a table or desk, much as one would use a tablet; a hotkey rotates the view 180 degrees making it easy to share the screen with others.
- Unique dual torque hinge design enables the display to stay upright and stable even when used for touch input.
- Acer's new innovative thermal design, TwinAir cooling (patent-pending), extends battery life and keeps the Ultrabook cool and comfortable to use.
- The S7's light-sensing keyboard automatically detects changes in lighting conditions and adjusts the keyboard backlight brightness.
- Featuring Windows 8 and a 10-point touch screen, navigating between applications is natural and intuitive, making computing easier, faster and more convenient. Other key features include 3rd Generation Intel Core processors, solid state drives and up to 12 hours of battery life with second optional battery.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2012) Acer America today announced the Oct. 26th availability of its highly anticipated Acer Aspire S7 Touch Ultrabook Series in North America. Previewed in Europe and Asia, the S7 has already been hailed as one of the most exciting Windows 8 Ultrabooks to debut this holiday season. As thin as a tablet, the Aspire S7 has a simple, clean, futuristic design, with embellishments kept to an absolute minimum to maintain a clean and elegant look. The use of straight lines, glossy white glass, glowing light and anodized aluminum have culminated in a notebook that champions cutting edge technology alongside innovative 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. "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."

Ultrabooks don't get any more Stunning than this
All models in the S7 Series feature a unibody design made from a single block of aluminum, so their chassis are ultra-thin, super tough and ideal for the road. All models in the S7 Series feature full high definition IPS 10-point displays with 1920 x 1080 resolution. In addition, wide viewing angle technology provides consistent and accurate color from viewing angles up to 178 degrees.

One of the most striking design elements of the Aspire S7 is the elegant white design on the S7-391 models featuring a 13.3-inch touch screen display. The full high-definition screen is surrounded by a glossy white Gorilla Glass 2 cover that is smooth to the touch, beautiful to the eye, thin yet super strong, scratch-resistant and easy-to-clean. Not only is it visually striking, it provides structural strength, yet is flexible enough to handle the routine impacts of daily use. Furthering its durability, Acer included a thin, soft cushion of material between the aluminum frame and the Gorilla Glass, so if the S7 is dropped, the impact will mainly be absorbed by the system and not the glass. This greatly reduces chance of significant damage.

The smaller and lighter S7-191 model includes an 11.6-inch high definition touch screen, and features an all-aluminum unibody and aluminum cover with an elegant cross direction brushed finish. The result is a very unique high-end pattern, with the surface resembling an elegant textured fabric. It looks beautiful and feels smooth to the touch, but also adds to its durability and repels messy finger prints and smudges.

Optimized for Touch
Taking full advantage of the touch benefits associated with Windows 8, the touch enabled screen found on the S7-391 models can be laid back flat 180 degrees, and the image orientation reversed for sharing and collaborating with others.

One of the cutting-edge manufacturing processes used in the production of the S7 was the development of a dual torque hinge on the lid, which was necessary to create the perfect amount of resistance for touch control. Not typically used in PC industry, Acer leveraged an automotive manufacturing process used to forge car wheels to make them durable. Using this technique allowed Acer to directly attach the hinge structure to the forged display frame, so the display frame is actually part of the hinge. It also affixes both the panel and glass as well. This is what enables the display to stay upright and stable even when touched.

Keeping it Cool with an Innovative Thermal Design
To ensure the S7 stays running cool, Acer created a new thermal solution called "TwinAir" cooling, an innovative thermal design that extends battery life and keeps the Ultrabook cool and comfortable to use. Two small high-speed (10,000 rpm) thermal fans are used; one to pull in cool air, while another releases hot air. The placement of the fans also ensures the hottest components are kept away from users' fingertips.

The Keyboard, Reinvented
The unique design of the S7 and its touch screen capabilities inspired Acer engineers to re- think the traditional keyboard. Acer incorporated an electroluminescent (El) backlit keyboard which automatically turns on and off and adjusts its brightness level based on the ambient. This light sensing backlit keyboard is the thinnest backlit solution currently available, and is optimized for visual comfort and easy visibility in dim environments. The electroluminescent lighting offers a gentler and more comfortable light than LED backlit keyboards.

Thin but still Powerful
Despite its ultra-thin design, the Aspire S7 includes powerful technologies including 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3317UB or i7-3517U processors and solid state drives in a RAID 0 configuration for extremely fast read/write times. An embedded Li-Polymer battery provides up to 6 hours of battery life, and an optional second battery doubles computing time up to 12 hours.

In addition, the S7 ships with a micro HDMI to VGA cable for use with projectors for presentations, a USB to RJ45 port for connecting to a wired network and a carrying case.

Anti-Theft Technology
All models in the Aspire S7 Series also include Acer Theft Shield, a free software based solution. When enabled, the Ultrabook recognizes the distance from a designated Wi-Fi signal source, and if the system moves beyond 10 feet of the signal, a loud siren will sound from the Ultrabook's speakers. This feature can easily be enabled and disabled, and will be especially useful when traveling.

Instantly On and Always Connected
The Aspire S7 Ultrabooks include Acer Green Instant On technology for fast boot and resume, and Acer Always Connect, which lets users manage their multimedia and data on all their devices at anytime, anywhere, even from sleep.

Innovative Acer Green Instant On and Acer Always Connect technologies enable data upload and retrieval anytime, anywhere, and deliver power-saving features as well. Acer Green Instant On provides instant-resume functionality (in 1.5 seconds) and ensures battery life that lasts several weeks.

Acer Always Connect gets users online faster than conventional connections for better productivity and infotainment enjoyment. With their Facebook, Twitter and Outlook email accounts open, users can see updates instantly upon resuming.

AcerCloud -- Enables Devices to Communicate and Simplifies Content Sharing
The Aspire S7 also ships with AcerCloud. This feature provides customers with remote access to the digital data residing on their Ultrabook via their Android tablet or smartphone. Not only can they access the data, but they can download and share it among their other PCs and Android devices anytime, anywhere, even when the S7 is in sleep (standby/hibernation) mode. As long as the Aspire S7 is in sleep mode, Acer Always Connect technology can wake it up through Wi-Fi®, allowing the media to be retrieved via a mobile device. AcerCloud also makes it easy to take photos on a smartphone and then view them on their S7 at home or in the office, without the delay and complication of manually transferring files.

Pricing and Availability
The Aspire S7 Series starts at $1,199 for the 11.6-inch model and $1,399 for the 13.3-inch model. The Aspire S7 series will be available for purchase on October 26 at http://us- and leading retailers across North America.