Software and Performance

Acer's S5 ships with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit although early adopters will be able to upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for just $15 when it's available thanks to an ongoing Microsoft promotion. Fresh out of the box, the system booted into Windows and was fully ready to go in just 17 seconds -- 1 second faster than Apple's flagship MacBook Pro with Retina display.

Inside Windows I found the typical array of bloatware including McAfee Internet Security, eBay Worldwide, Bing Bar and Fooz Kids, just to name a few. In total, I removed 12 pre-installed programs, which was actually fewer than I anticipated. The level of bloatware on the S5 isn't outrageous like we've seen on other systems but it's a trend I'd like to see done away with.

Benchmarks Results

Synthetic Tests Aspire S5 TimelineU Folio 13 MacBook Air
3DMark 06
3DMark Score 5263 3DMarks 11958 3DMarks 3472 3DMarks 5785 3DMarks
PCMark Vantage
PCMark Suite 13643 PCMarks 6743 PCMarks 8594 PCMarks N/A

Application Tests Aspire S5 TimelineU Folio 13 MacBook Air
iTunes Encoding Test 1 min 15 sec 1 min 19 sec 1 min 44 sec 51 sec
File Transfer Test
Small files 10 sec 1 min 11 sec 1 min 2 sec 22 sec
Large file 10 sec 1 min 19 sec 45 sec 22 sec

The iTunes encoding tests consist of converting 14 MP3s (119MB) to 128Kbps ACC files and measuring the operation's duration in seconds. For file transfers, we measure how long it takes to copy two sets of files from one location to another on the same hard drive. On the small files test we transfer 557 MP3s, totaling 2.56GB. For the large file, these same MP3s were zipped into a single file measuring 2.52GB.

Gaming Performance Aspire S5 TimelineU Folio 13 MacBook Air
Far Cry 2
1024x768, Medium Quality 35.2 fps 69.0 fps 26.3 fps 37.3 fps
Native res, High Quality 21.9 fps 55.5 fps 24.9 fps 19.3 fps
StarCraft 2
1024x768, Medium Quality 21.8 fps 39.7 fps 14.4 fps 25.1 fps
Native res, High Quality 15.2 fps 29.9 fps 11.4 fps 16.1 fps

  • 13.3" 1366x768 LED-backlit display
  • Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz - 2.6GHz)
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Intel HD 4000 Graphics
  • 2 x 128GB SSD RAID0
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • 15.6" 1366x768 LED-backlit display
  • Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz - 2.6GHz)
  • 6GB DDR3 RAM
  • Intel HD 4000 Graphics + GeForce GT 640M LE 1GB
  • 20GB SSD + 500GB 5400RPM HDD
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

  • 13.3" 1366x768 LED-backlit display
  • Intel Core i5-2467M (1.6GHz - 2.3GHz)
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Intel HD 3000 Graphics
  • 128GB SSD (Samsung PM800, SATA 3Gb/s)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

  • 13.3" 1440x900 LED-backlit display
  • Intel Core i5-3427U (1.8GHz - 2.8GHz)
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Intel HD 4000 Graphics
  • 128GB SSD
  • Mac OS X, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit