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Acer Aspire S3 preview – first Acer take on ultrabooks

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , updated on September 22, 2012

Acer has just released its first ever Ultrabook at the IFA technology fair in Berlin and the new device, called Acer Aspire S3, is right there next to the other fancy ultrabooks unveiled lately, both in terms of looks and features.

The Aspire S3 will feature a 13.3-inch LED HD display with 1366×768 pixels resolution and a glossy finish, and will be powered by the latest-generation ULV Core i3, i5 and i7 processors with 4 GB of RAM. The Aspire S3 will come with either a 320 GB HDD or with a 500 GB HDD and with an optional 240 GB SSD, which is something you rarely see nowadays at notebooks or ultrabooks. The battery life also promises to be very competitive, with an expected autonomy of up to seven hours.

Other features that this notebook is set to offer include Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, a 1.3 MPx Acer Crystal Eye webcam, a 2-in-1 card reader, as well as HDMI. And hopefully some USB 3.0 slots as well, although they weren’t mentioned so far.

Aside from speedl, Acer’s ultrabook promises portability, weighing around 1.3 kg (about three pounds) and measuring only 1.3 cm (0.5 inches) in depth. And it ain’t bad looking either, with that aluminum casing that breathes quality and sturdiness. Opening the lid though, you’ll feel like the S3 deserves a better keyboard as the keys are made from rather cheap plastic and early hands-on report they have very little travel.

Acer Aspire S3 - another stylish ultrabook

Acer Aspire S3 - another stylish ultrabook

The new Acer device comes with two innovative technologies, the Acer Green Instant On and the Instant Connect. The first one ensures two different sleep modes for your computer, from which this will restart extremely fast (1.5 seconds according to Acer). Not only that, but the battery can last up until 50 days with the computer in Deep Sleep Mode, which is pretty impressive. The second offers Internet access in only 2.5 seconds. If this will be actually possible, however, remains to be seen after the official release of the ultrabook, set somewhere in late September for the US and Europe.

As far as pricing is concerned, you probably wouldn’t expect something very affordable giving this notebook’s characteristics and technical specs. You will therefore not be very surprised to find out the ultrabook is set to cost between 799 euro and 1199 euro in Europe (so probably around 700 to 1200 bucks in the US, as electronics are usually more expensive in Europe), depending on the exact configuration of the version you decide to buy.

Will be cheaper than other similar laptops, but the keyboard and battery life won't be stellar

Will be cheaper than other similar laptops, but the keyboard and battery life won't be stellar

Still, that’s cheaper than the ultrabooks announced by Toshiba or Lenovo and probably on par with the Asus UX21 we saw at Computex, but that’s something I was expecting, Acer products are usually better priced than their competitors, while lacking some features or offering less battery life in most case.

It remains to be seen if the Aspire S3 will look in reality as good as it looks right now in theory and if this device could become, as the Taiwanese company hopes, the star Acer product by the end of the year.

Andrei Girbea, aka "Mike", Editor-in-Chief at TLBHD.com. I absolutely hate carrying around heavy stuff, that's why I'm fond of mini-laptops and portable computers. I'm primarily using such devices and have been testing them for many years now. Get in touch in the comments section below.

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