Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

Summary: And here come the Ultrabooks. Intel's much-hyped alternative to the MacBook Air is finally reaching the market, with Acer launching its first Ultrabook today.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Intel
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And here come the Ultrabooks. Intel's much-hyped alternative to the MacBook Air is finally reaching the market, with Acer launching its first Ultrabook today.

At $899, the Aspire S3 Ultrabook comes in well below the magic $1,000 price point that could blunt consumer interest. For that price you get a 2.98-pound system that's 0.51 inches thick at its thinnest point, with a 13.3-inch, 1,366x768 resolution display. You also get an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory, and both a 20GB solid-state drive and a 320GB hard drive.

Acer also promises a number of conveniences to help the S3 Ultrabook compete with the Air. Making use of that SSD drive, the Green Instant On feature can wake up the system from Sleep mode in just 2 seconds. When the laptop goes into Deep Sleep mode (after 8 hours of nonuse), it can wake in 6 seconds. Instant Connect Technology allows you to connect to the Internet from Sleep Mode in a mere 2.5 seconds.

The S3 Ultrabook promises 6 hours of battery life for continuous activity, and a whopping 50 days of standby power. Acer also says it's tweaked the notebook's construction to dissipate heat more efficiently, even after it removed the bottom vent. We'll wait for the reviews to find out how those claims work out in real-world usage.

While $899 is still pricey for many buyers who don't want to spend more than $500 on a new laptop, the Aspire S3 Ultrabook is certainly priced to compete with the MacBook Air -- and other Ultrabooks. Does its announcement make you more likely to consider purchasing an Ultrabook? Let us know in the Talkback section.

Topics: Hardware, Intel

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Talkback

18 comments
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  • Yes Please.

    Thank you.
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
  • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

    http://mcaf.ee/y5b3c
    kksdiei
  • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

    Its a good effort. The Macbook Air still has a slight edge overall, but its nice some other makers are getting closer.
    doh123
  • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

    I would not buy a new Windows machine unless it has a touch screen. Laptops without touch screens will not be as fun when you upgrade to Windows 8. I think if you marry an ultrabook with a convertible tablet and price it around the same you will have a unique product offering that will interest many consumers.
    sharkboyjohn
  • Close but not quite

    I will play the Apples vs Apple comparision
    MBA has a better resolution, but less storage capacity, plus an extra hour of battery life.
    This S3, has more storage capacity less resolution to work with and %15 percent less battery life.

    S3 does offer a savings and does feature Windows 7. I would consider this if I didn't already buy a MBA for $1099.
    nucrash
  • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

    Sounds good but before I spend $900, I want to see user reviews.
    hrosita@...
  • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

    my best friend's mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here "MakeCash5.c om"
    Glenda21974310
  • Don't Buy This...

    Avoid Acer hardware, avoid the first product of a new generation, avoid what is probably going to be the most you'll pay for a Ultrabook in all the years to come.
    Naryan
  • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

    I've had a number of notebooks, both Mac and Win. I currently have an Acer Timeline 13.3 that has over nine hours of run time, is 3.5 lbs and was less than $500 delivered! Over time, it's easier to live with the Win machines, specially if you have to - and they all eventually have issues - replace parts or by accessories (ouch, Apple!). It's also easier and less expensive to find software and experiment a bit. There is no question, though, the build quality on Apple stuff is better, though it does not translate into reliability. For the long haul, if these Ultras are feature competitive, which it seems they are, it would be a great choice.
    Lucky2BHere
    • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

      @Lucky2BHere What Apple quality builds translates into is the top customer experience in the industry. Study after study finds that PCs simply are commodity, i.e., throw away devices. ROI or TOC on an Apple product exceeds that of any PC made. I suspect some would view that as reliability.
      Also it was 'feature competitiveness' that drove the whole PC industry in a race to the bottom. Let's add another useless port, let's add some more cheap RAM, let's this and let's that until the overall quality was crap. Apple tows a different line on quality as the newcomers to MacBook Air Land are finding out. Compete on product design and quality and it's not cheap. Many of the 'ultra book' designs are actually more expensive than a comparable MBA because Apple has soaked up so much of the supply for the devices.
      You can have your Acer and spend delightful hours 'upgrading', 'tweaking', 'searching and destroying malware, bloatware, viruses'. I'll take a Mac any day of the week.
      dheady@...
      • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

        @dheady@... My 5 year old Compaq NX6300 says your wrong. New battery, 2gb ram, w7 and office 2010 added. It's still going strong. I suppose your saying Apple owners don't upgrade ram or ever have to replace batteries?
        TKR1
      • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

        @dheady@... You remind me of the days of the Atari ST. After a while the CPUs in them simply weren't competitive with other computers. An ST magazine ran an article complaining that other manufacturers switched to new CPUs just as programmers were beginning to get used to the existing CPU. On the Atari, programmers were getting the time they needed to get good at programming that CPU and find all sorts of optimization techniques to utilize it fully. Thus the message of the article was that your out-of-date CPU was a good thing and probably let your Atari ST run software faster than the other manufacturer's computers with newer CPUs!<br><br>Of course, in retrospect that's insane, but it appealed to me back then because I was 1) a fanboy, 2) a teenager. Reading your post deriding the inclusion of "useless ports" and "more cheap ram" and how it somehow reduces the quality of the machine, and how Apple magically adds an unquantifiable does of "quality" to their products and thus spending more for less is a good thing reminded me of my Atari days. Of course, I'm not 13 any more so I see the illogic and wish fulfillment of this type of argument clearly now....
        jgm@...
    • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

      @dheady@...<br><br>Sorry but I happen to think mac vs pc is like point n shoot cameras vs SLR. Mac people don't like to think and tinker. They want to be told what to do and how to do it. Which is why they are thrill with apple products. It tells you exactly what you can do and won't let you beyond the fence. Think of a car that can only drive in circles in an enclosed suburb. Sure you can take good pictures with a point n shoot now and then but its more of an accident like "oh look at that". Whereas with SLR users, those folks know what goal they want to achieve and will make their tool do it rather than the other way around. Sure there are cheapo SLRs out there but there are great ones as well if you know where to look. Want the mainstream laptops, go for it. But if you are like me and you want premium parts you can get it. Think your mac desktop is nicer than my PC desktop....I highly doubt it. Just the cooling system inside my desktop will make your jaw drop. And the whole thing still cost less than an apple desktop. See, for people who knows what they are doing PC is king. Have fun with your kodak clicky.
      rengek
  • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

    @dheady Apple products are well designed and well built but it's hard to dispute LuckytoBeHere's statement that 'Over time, it's easier to live with the Win machines, specially if you have to - and they all eventually have issues - replace parts or by accessories (ouch, Apple!).'

    My last Mac was a 12" Powerbook G4 running OSX Tiger. I learned a lot from that PB.
    1. I don't need 15" or 17" screen on a laptop.
    2. Macs are expensive, even when you buy used. Fine to brag about resale value, not so fine when you're trying to stick to a budget.
    3. Ultra expensive to repair and Apple puts up roadblocks for the DIYer. Mine had an issue with the charging port. I could run of the power brick but it would not charge the battery. Cost to repair was prohibitive. Workaround? Chinese made charger and battery. Still not an ideal solution.
    4. Which led me directly to my "final solution" a used Lenovo X60 running Linux Mint, WINE, and a Win7 partition for those rare gotta use Windows moments. It may not be pretty, but it "just works" for me.

    That Powerbook G4 was the last of a few Macs I've owned, but it helped me to where I am today.
    bunkport
  • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

    @dheady Apple products are well designed and well built but it's hard to dispute LuckytoBeHere's statement that 'Over time, it's easier to live with the Win machines, specially if you have to - and they all eventually have issues - replace parts or by accessories (ouch, Apple!).'

    My last Mac was a 12" Powerbook G4 running OSX Tiger. I learned a lot from that PB.
    1. I don't need 15" or 17" screen on a laptop.
    2. Macs are expensive, even when you buy used. Fine to brag about resale value, not so fine when you're trying to stick to a budget.
    3. Ultra expensive to repair and Apple puts up roadblocks for the DIYer. Mine had an issue with the charging port. I could run of the power brick but it would not charge the battery. Cost to repair was prohibitive. Workaround? Chinese made charger and battery. Still not an ideal solution.
    4. Which led me directly to my "final solution" a used Lenovo X60 running Linux Mint, WINE, and a Win7 partition for those rare gotta use Windows moments. It may not be pretty, but it "just works" for me.

    That Powerbook G4 was the last of a few Macs I've owned, but it helped me to where I am today.
    bunkport
  • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

    The Macbook Air is a toy for amateurs. You will never have the option to carry spare batteries when the need arises.<br>I hope the new wave of Windows ultralights don't follow the Apple way of having non-user-replaceable batteries. It is a simple USEFUL feature that Apple is too arrogant to provide. They just want you to upgrade when the internal battery dies. There goes your ROI in the Air.
    warboat
    • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

      @warboat

      Come on. You want an thin computer. Yet, you want replaceable batteries??? Did anyone actually read all Apple had to say with their original announcement why they are making the battery non-replaceable?

      By the way, there are plenty of universal external batteries that you can carry with yourself on (very) long trips, or not -- because anything additional you carry is going to have some weight and volume.
      danbi
  • RE: Acer debuts Aspire S3 Ultrabook for $899

    My office is equipped with 25 laptops....10 Mac Pro's and the balance with Acer, Toshiba and Lenovo. During this past year all of the Macs have required repairs wheras the others are running smoothly.
    tpodruchny