Acer Aspire S7
Acer Aspire S7 is the second laptop with which I have fallen in love, after the MacBook Air. It is thin—actually very thin—has a good-sized keyboard, full HD touchscreen, an all aluminium unibody and a cross-direction brushed finish that resists fingerprints and smudges.
I tested the version with a 30 cm screen—a 34 cm version is also available. The 30 cm screen can tilt up to 120º while I am told the 34 cm can lie flat at 180º and has a Gorilla Glass screen. The screen is attached to the base with dual torque hinges that make it sturdy and ensure that it does not topple over even if the screen is opened all the way to 120º.
The machine runs on Windows 8 and is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB RAM and 256 GB solid state drive. The touchscreen is very responsive and though I would have preferred a better graphics card, the built-in Intel HD Graphics 4000 works just about fine.
The touchpad is not small, but it has issues. You are supposed to use the touchscreen for most functions, and the temperamental touchpad may actually drive you to do that. And if you are still unable to adjust to the touchscreen, just use the bundled optical mouse.
As for connectivity, it has two USB 3.0 ports (one on each side), microSD card slot, micro HDMI port, 802.11n for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There is a light sensor too, to adjust the screen’s backlighting according to the ambient light. I love Acer for including a USB to Ethernet convertor, as well as a micro HDMI to VGA convertor.
Battery backup is a slight issue with this machine: just about 4 hours. But you can extend it by up to 2 hours with an additional external battery.
In short, the machine is beautiful though a bit expensive, has only 4 hours of battery, but does not compromise performance and runs Windows 8. If you are fine with the trade-off, go for it.