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Acer Aspire S5 review

The world's thinnest Ultrabook packs power and style

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Great performance
  • World's slimmest laptop
  • Eye catching
  • Nice metal finish
  • Thunderbolt

Against

  • Small SSD
  • Durability issues
  • Ports hard to access
  • Mediocre graphics
  • Average screen

Ultrabooks are more than a simple size-zero battle of aggressive laptop dieting, but that hasn't stopped manufacturers from battling it out for the 'World's thinnest' accolade. The Asus Zenbook UX31E, Acer Aspire S3, Dell XPS 13 and Samsung Series 9 have all come close, but now the Acer Aspire S5 takes the low-fat cake.

The Acer Aspire S5 is the second Acer Ultrabook to hit the market since the birth of the Ultrabook, and with the huge price drop for its little brother the Aspire S3, there's a clear strategy in place. You can pick up an Acer Aspire S3, with a small SSD and a 500GB HDD for just over £600 in the UK or just under $700 in the US, making it one of the cheapest Ultrabooks.

Acer Aspire S5 review

The Acer Aspire S5, however, sits at the other end of the scale, with the eye-watering price tag of £1,249.99/$1,399.99. That's within small change of the best Apple MacBook Air on the Apple Store - but don't get us wrong, this is no clone.

The differences are immediately apparent, with a metal finish coloured in a satisfying black, which is cool to the touch and light-years apart from the MacBook Air.

Its slick onyx black magnesium-aluminium chassis acts as a deceptive cage for the slender beast within – it's only when you pick up Acer's new baby that you realise just how lean and light it really is – 1.2kg (2.65lbs), in case you were wondering.

Acer Aspire S5 review

The price is high, but there's a real difference between this and many of its competitors. There's little pay off between the build and power, and for once, you get the feeling that the Acer Aspire S5 earns its price tag.

As well as being extremely light, it's also frighteningly thin. It measures just 15mm (0.59 inches) and there's no tapering off to a thin point like there is on the MacBook Air, which gives the illusion of thinness despite being nearly 2cm (0.79 inches) thick at the hinge side. If the Acer Aspire S5 were a teenager, it would be immediately sectioned as a risk to itself.

With all that considered, it's time to get under the hood and put this super-slim Ultrabook through its paces.

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time6.50 Hour
Finger Print ReaderNo
Solid State Drive Capacity256 GB
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyAspire S5-391
Operating System Architecture64-bit
ThunderboltYes
Processor Modeli5-3317U
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Number of Cells4-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.20 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityHSF, ENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM77 Express
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0 + HS
Total Number of USB Ports2
Height15 mm
Width324.4 mm
Depth227.3 mm
Screen ModeHD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesS5-391
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelS5-391-53314G25akk
Product NameAspire S5-391-53314G25akk Ultrabook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Product LineAspire
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNX.RYXEK.002
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

Acer's Aspire Series offers a diverse range of notebooks with the performance, graphics and communication tools to maximize your digital entertainment, complete your daily tasks, and keep you in touch with friends and family, whether you're at home or on the go.

Powerful PC performance

With the abundance of graphics-intensive multimedia and sharing applications available these days, smooth multitasking is more vital than ever before. So Aspire Series notebooks pack today's best processors and memory options so your system always runs efficiently. This series also provides ample storage for all the multimedia files you may wish to keep.

Maximum Memory4 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Polymer (Li-Polymer)
Package Contents
  • Aspire S5-391-53314G25akk Ultrabook
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year