ACER ASPIRE S3
Ultrabook is being pushed as the saviour of the PC- Lighter, faster, and simpler than the competition (i.e. the Macbook Air). I wrote an article a few months ago about the revival of the PC and there have been some impressive releases recently. Acer has thrown their hat into the Ultrabook ring and we got our hands on the Aspire S3 model for a full review.
Researching the specs of the S3 is impressive; Intel i5 dual core processor; 4GB Ram; 13mm thick; and most notably, retailing under £700. This makes the S3 one of the cheapest Ultrabooks on the market, so I am interested to see if the Acer lives up to the high expectations set by other brands.
My first thought is that the S3 undeniably looks the part: sleek metallic finish, and curved corners give the Acer a certain sexy appeal (Or maybe I’m just a weirdo?). It also feels quite sturdy and I don’t have the urge to wrap it in cotton wool to prevent it from smashing to pieces if dropped, which is reassuring. Although such lustrous design comes at a price, in the form of only coming with 2 USB ports and no room for an Ethernet port?!
Once switched on, the preinstalled Windows 7 software feels familiar on the 13” screen, although the keyboard layout does take some time to get used to, as it is not really designed for bigger hands and often find myself clicking the touchpad by mistake while typing. The battery conservation is excellent and managed to get over 5 hours use on 1 charge, and managed to leave it overnight with still some juice left thanks to the automatic ‘Deep Sleep’ mode. When working on the S3, there are telltale signs as to how it manages to come in at such a great price point. The Instant On feature is not really that instant, the graphics could be a bit sharper, and although it proudly displays a Dolby Home Theatre logo, I wasn’t that impressed by the sound. However, this should not put you off the S3 as I am comparing to Ultrabooks that are worth up to £300 more.
In conclusion, Ultrabooks are still in their infancy and the Aspire S3 is a very respectable first effort, with teething problems expected. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a bargain- but you wouldn’t be disappointed with your purchase if you have your heart set on a lightweight PC.
Acer Aspire S3 from £699.99. For more information and stockists, visit www.acer.co.uk.