Acer refreshes ultrabook line-up

Acer is keeping the Aspire line-up fresh with the announcement of three new ultrabooks. The new laptops feature Windows 8 and a slew of features optimised for the new operating system, with capacitive touch screens, true HD (1080p) displays, and super-slim profiles, as thin as 0.48in.

The first in the line-up are the Acer Aspire S7-391-6810 and Acer Aspire S7-391-9886, two 13in ultrabooks featuring 1,920 x 1,080 displays, with 10-finger capacitive touch capability. The laptops share a distinctive look, thanks to single piece of construction that combines the hinge and lid frame, and a white sheet of Gorilla Glass 2 set into the lid, similar to what we saw on the HP Envy Spectre. The combination of single-piece design and Gorilla Glass backing provides lightweight sturdiness, bringing down the weight to 2.83lb (1.28kg). Designed to have the screen touched and prodded on a daily basis, Acer has developed a dual torque hinge that tightens once opened. The hinge also allows the laptop to open flat to 108 degrees for table top use.

Both systems feature Dolby Home Theater Audio and built-in stereo speakers, two USB 3.0 ports, and micro-HDMI output. While the laptops don't have VGA or Ethernet ports on the system, adapters are included with the system to allow further connectivity. The keyboards offer automatic backlighting, which adjusts automatically thanks to ambient light sensing.

The Acer Aspire S7-391-6810 offers up to five hours of battery life, while the Acer Aspire S7-391-9886 stretches to six hours. Available for both laptops is an extended battery pack said to increase total battery life to 10 and 12 hours, respectively.

The Acer Aspire S7-391-6810 comes equipped with a 128GB solid-state drive, a third-generation Intel Core i5-3317U processor (1.7GHz) and 4GB of RAM. As the base model for the Aspire S7-391 series, it will sell for $1,399 (£868). The Acer Aspire S7-391-9886 boasts a faster (1.9GHz) Intel Core i7-3517U processor, also with 4GB of RAM. It also has double the storage capacity with a 256GB SSD, and can be expected to retail around $1,700 (£1055).

Also joining the family is the 11in Acer Aspire S7-191-6640, which offers several of the features found in its 13in siblings, including an 11.6in capacitive touch display, with 10-finger tracking and a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. Like the Acer Aspire S7-391 models, the 11in Aspire S7-191-6640 measures in at 0.48in thick, but the combined lid and hinge are made of aluminium, incorporating a brushed aluminium lid instead of Gorilla Glass. The Acer Aspire S7-191-6640 starts at $1,199 (£744) with a 128GB solid-state drive, a third-generation Intel Core i5-3317U processor (1.7GHz) and 4GB of RAM.

The Acer Aspire S7 Series ultrabooks will be available on 26 October, in conjunction with Microsoft's launch of Windows 8.