The Acer S5 Ultrabook was one of the first gadgets announced at CES, yet thanks to the manufacturer's out-of-the-way location in Las Vegas, it was one of the last pieces of tech we actually clapped eyes on before departing Sin City.
Amid the slew of Ultrabooks unveiled at the annual tech-fest in the Nevada, the Acer S5 had two claims to fame: It's status as the thinnest MacBook Air rival yet and a neat little feature called Magic Flip I/O, which hides and then reveals the connectivity ports.
So, amid the noise of over 20 Ultrabooks announced in the second week of January, does the S5 stack-up against rivals from Samsung, Dell, HP and Lenovo?
Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook: Build
With that in mind, the S5 boats a much more high-end feel is well with a magnesium-alloy Onyx Black cover (note that the Samsung Series 9 has a decidedly cooler sounding 'aircraft grade aluminum' unibody) shielding the device, but also giving it a mighty cool finish, which separates from the silver Air-clones like the HP Envy.
But, as the horny teenager said to the bored housewife, "how do you stay so thin, Acer S5?" One answer lies with the other noteworthy feature: The Magic Flip I/O flap.
Thanks to a built-in engine, activated by a prominent button on the front of the device, the S5 will lift itself off the ground slightly to reveal two USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI out and a Thunderbolt port (the first non-Apple notebook to feature Intel's super-fast I/O tech) at the rear of the device.
If you don't mind having your ports around back, it's a really cool solution and saves vital space. More important to us was how much we enjoyed playing with this. Once we pressed it once, we had to press it several hundred times, but thankfully the engine is powerful enough to crush a finger (don't worry, there's a fail-safe) so don't worry about wearing it out.
It also assists with typing, by raising the rear of the device by about half an inch, creating a more friendly angle if you're working on a flat surface. Naturally, the device features the Intel i-Series chipset which inspired the creation of Ultrabooks and a solid state hard drive.
Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook: Features
The device also brings Acer's Always Connect technology so you can put your device to sleep knowing that it'll still pull in all of your emails and social networking feeds without waiting for you to bring the S5 back to life. It's a neat feature, which Acer tells us does little damage to the battery life. This functionality also allows the S5 to be woken up by your smartphone.
There's also Dolby Home Audio tech on-board which definitely packs more of a punch than some of the other recently announced Ultrabooks, which have scrimped on sound quality.
Acer also promises that the battery will retain 80 per cent of its capacity for up to three years, which is handy with that battery licked within that plus unibody. In normal circumstances, you can expect to rinse five hours out of the S5.
Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook: Screen
Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook: Verdict
Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook: Pricing and availability
Acer S5 Aspire Ultrabook review: Hands-on
Acer S5 Aspire Ultrabook review: Hands-onT3
Amid a sea of size zero notbooks, Acer's latest Ultrabook is the thinnest yet. With a sleek, premium design and the cool Magic Flip I/O feature could it be our favourite MacBook Air rival?
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