Acer Aspire S13 review: Powerful contender to Apple's featherweight champion Macbook Air

Acer’s Aspire S13 is the Taiwanese manufacturer’s answer to the Macbook Air – a lightweight, but high-performance laptop with stylish pretensions. It doesn’t quite do enough to land a knockout blow to its California rival, but it’s a great all-around performer that provides very good performance. The S13 manages to be both slimmer and lighter […]

Acer’s Aspire S13 is the Taiwanese manufacturer’s answer to the Macbook Air – a lightweight, but high-performance laptop with stylish pretensions.

It doesn’t quite do enough to land a knockout blow to its California rival, but it’s a great all-around performer that provides very good performance.

The S13 manages to be both slimmer and lighter than the 13-inch Macbook Air, although you’d be hard pressed to notice the difference. There’s just a difference of 2.2 millimetres in thickness between the two devices at their widest points, while the 50 gram difference in weight is about the same as four Oreo cookies.

One noticeable variation is the S13’s extra connection points. There’s a USB C port, two USB 3.0 slots, an HDMI socket, SD Card slot and headphone socket – reminding us how tight Apple can be with its connectivity options.

Acer has done its best to give the S13 a high-end design, with chamfered edges, an aluminium body and a backlit keyboard, even though the “nano-imprinted exterior” of the upper lid feels slightly rubbery and a little cheap. It’s not a poor design by any means, but it still pales in comparison with the beautifully engineered finish of the Macbook Air.

Under the hood, the S13’s specs are more than adequate, with an Intel Core i3 processor and up to 8GB of RAM ensuring speedy performance. The high-definition 13-inch screen is great for movies, especially as coupled with the laptop’s Dolby Audio system.

The S13 also starts at Dh2,499, a comparative bargain compared with Dh3,999 for a 13 inch MacBook Air.

Apple still retains its advantage when it comes to high-end design. But for those that aren’t fussed about such styling or who are content with the Windows operating system, the Acer S13 provides great performance in a lightweight package, all at a very nice price.

Q&A

What’s the battery life like? Will it last a whole day on the go?

Acer estimates about 13 hours of battery life, compared with the 12 hours offered by the 13-inch Macbook Air. Quite what benchmarks they used to calculate such figures is often a mystery but the S13 will comfortably give you a full day’s work on a single charge, making it a great option for working on the go.

That’s a relief. Does it come in Rose Gold?

You mean pink? Sadly not, it’s only available in “Obsidian” Black, or “Pearl” White. Rose Gold fans will have to make do with the new Macbook for now.

Obsidian Black? Sounds like a Spinal Tap album

As I’m sure you know, Obsidian is a hard, dark, glasslike volcanic rock formed by the rapid solidification of lava without crystallisation.

How’s Acer doing in the laptop market?

During the first three months of the year it beat Asus and Toshiba to force itself into the US top five manufacturers of PCs, which includes laptops, but isn’t quite there yet worldwide, according to the market intelligence company IDC.

Who are the big names ­worldwide then?

Lenovo tops the pile with a market share of 20.1 per cent worldwide, followed closely by HP with 19.2 per cent. Dell is in third with 14.9 per cent, after which there’s a big drop off before you get to Apple and Asus with 7.4 per cent and 7.2 per cent respectively.

jeverington@thenational.ae

Source: Business

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *