Acer's Slim S 13 Challenges XPS 13, MacBook Air at $699

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With back-to-school season almost upon us, the race is on to see which laptop maker can make the most attractive ultraportable for the most attractive price. Acer is hoping to steal some thunder from Dell's top-rated XPS 13 and MacBook Air with its S 13, which weighs a light 3.13 pounds and will start at an aggressive $699 when it goes on sale in May.

I had a chance to go hands-on with the S 13 at Acer's New York launch event, and I like the overall design and how much you're getting for the money, though I could do without the thick bezel around the screen.

The S 13 is just 0.57 inches thin and uses diamond cut edging around the sides and touchpad to give it an elegant look. The design uses aluminum on the deck and bottom but a unique nano imprint lithography on the lid to provide texture and a firm grip. 

Acer Aspire S13 Front

Of the two models--touch and non-touch--I prefer the touchscreen model because it has a cooler white color. The obsidian black, non-touch version seems a bit boring by comparison. 

The Aspire S 13 will be powered by 6th-generation Intel processor, with your choice of Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs. It comes with a full HD IPS display (touch is optional). You can also expect up to 8GB of RAM and up to a 512GB SSD.

Acer Aspire S 13 Profile

Acer promises up to 13 hours of battery life, which would be second only to the 13-inch MacBook Air. But we'll see how well this system performs in our testing.

Acer Aspire S 13 Lid

During my hands-on time with the S13, I found the keyboard to offer decent travel, but not great. But I'm glad Acer didn't skimp on ports. You get not only two USB 3.0 but also HDMI and a USB-C port and SD card slot.

Overall, the Acer Aspire S 13 looks like a good value, but stay tuned for our full review.


Author Bio
Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
Mark Spoonauer, LAPTOP Editor in Chief on
Add a comment
  • Zaryl Says:

    I look forward for your full review on S13. I am particularly interested in knowing the ACTUAL battery life, heat management and fan sound audibility. Since this is FHD screen, i highly doubt it can last 13hours as per manufacturer's claim. Perhaps it could stretch up to 7 or 8-ish hours?

  • archie Says:

    Finally a worthy upgrade to my first gen Acer s7!

    Is the SSD still a raid-0 config? That was awesome and so fast!

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