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CES 2015 | Acer unveils Broadwell-powered Aspire R13 and Aspire S7

Acer's new Aspire S7 and R13 will be equipped with Intel Broadwell processors.
Acer's new Aspire S7 and R13 will be equipped with Intel Broadwell processors.
Both new devices offer an IPS display with Full HD or WQHD resolution.

Intel's Broadwell-U processors arrived just in time for CES 2015 and most manufacturers will now be introducing updated models of their devices with ULV CPUs. Acer is no exception: the company has announced a refresh of the Aspire S7 flagship ultrabook and the Aspire R13 convertible. Both devices will be available with ULV processors up to Core i7-5500U.

While we don't have any benchmarks so far, the general expectation of the Broadwell CPUs is a 5-15% performance increase over their respective Haswell predecessors (in this case, Core i7-4500U) combined with reduced power consumption (and thus increased battery life) thanks to the new 14 nm manufacturing process. Better integrated graphics performance is expected as well: it is already known that Intel HD Graphics 5500 in the i7-5500U will include 24 execution units, which is 4 more than in HD 4400 (i7-4500U). Assuming comparable GPU clock frequency, that should translate to approximately 20% performance gain.

We have already reviewed both Aspire S7 and Aspire R13 and there doesn't seem to be a lot of changes in terms of available interfaces and communications from the last year's models: both devices still offer two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (which is new only for Aspire S7 and was already present in last-year Aspire R13) with Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Di and an HDMI video output. Their 13.3-inch touchscreens (protected by Gorilla Glass 2 in case of Aspire S7 and Gorilla Glass 3 for Aspire R13) use IPS panels with Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) or WQHD (2560x1440) resolution, depending on the chosen configuration. The maximum amount of RAM is still 8 GB for both devices, but the storage differs: Aspire S7 still offers only up to 256 GB SSD storage in RAID 0 while Aspire R13 also supports RAID 0 but the maximum capacity grew from 512 GB (as in last-year model) to 1 TB.

Both updated models should become available for purchase later this month worldwide. The exact pricing is not yet announced but isn't likely to differ from the current models' prices considerably ($1200 for the Aspire S7 and $800 to $1500 for Aspire R13 depending on the configuration).

Curiously enough, this is the second time the Aspire S7 gets updated with a new-generation processor without any major changes to its other specifications or design: evidently, the model is popular enough among the buyers to justify against any such changes. Considering our very positive impression of this ultrabook, it is not very surprising.

Acer Aspire S7
Acer Aspire R13


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2015 01 > Acer unveils Broadwell-powered Aspire R13 and Aspire S7
Andrey Konstantinov, 2015-01- 4 (Update: 2015-01- 4)