Acer Aspire S5 first look – ‘the world’s thinnest laptop’

Acer Aspire S5

Acer Aspire S5 – what is it?

The Acer Aspire S5 is Acer’s second ultrabook, following on from the launch of the Aspire S3 last October. It claims to be the world’s thinnest laptop and we see no reason to disagree. In fact it’s so thin that they’ve had to come up with an ingenious solution to fit the ports in. Watch the video below to see it in action.

It won’t replace the Acer Aspire S3, currently available at around £700, but will take over as Acer’s new flagship ultrabook. The new S5 is planned to launch in June, and though no pricing has been announced yet we’d expect it to be have a more premium price than the S3.

See our full Acer Aspire S3 review to find out how it performed in our tests.

What are the key features?

The slim style of ultrabooks means you are hard pushed to fit in things like an optical drive. In the case of the S5 however, it’s so thin that they’ve had to come up with a very smart solution to even squeeze in the ports. This solution is called MagicFlip and is a port panel at the rear that opens up when you press a button on the right of the keyboard.  As well as the HDMI and USB 3.0 ports that are revealed, there’s a Thunderbolt port – the first time the superfast connection has been included on a non-Apple laptop.

As with many ultrabooks, the S5 uses solid state drive (SSD) storage, which Acer says gives it extra speed and increased shock resistance compared with traditional hard disk drives. It will launch with Intel’s latest Core i processor.

It aims to offer instant use with Instant On (resume in 1.5 seconds). There’s also the Always Connect feature, which when you leave Facebook, Twitter and Outlook email accounts open, update them every 30 seconds even when in sleep mode – this means you won’t need to waste time waiting for them to update when you return to your laptop.

Acer Aspire S5 – Catherine’s first impressions

There’s no getting away from the fact it’s a nice looking laptop – the black casing looks chic and feels sturdy.

The most exciting bit is clearly the Magic Flip feature, which I was entirely sold on. I could have spent a good five minutes just pressing the button…  For those of you thinking this will be prone to snapping off,  it looked fairly robust and Acer says they’ll guarantee it for 15,000 uses, so it must be feeling pretty confident of the S5’s build quality.

The price is likely to be high so, like many of the other ultrabooks hitting the market, it’ll be interesting to see how they sell. Acer told me at its launch event that it is totally committed to ultrabooks and is hoping they’ll make up a major proportion of sales in 2012. This remains to be seen, but on first impressions the S5 certainly looks like a good contender to be going in with.

In the full review…

This is just our first impression of the Acer Aspire S5. We’ll be sending it to our labs when it goes on sale in June for a full workout. Our experts will give you the definitive verdict on screen quality, real-world battery life and performance. Find out more about how we test laptops in the Which? labs.

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