Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

Summary: Acer's Aspire S3 brings an optional HHD with embedded SSD to the Ultrabook category for a 2-second boot up and hopefully a more consumer-friendly price tag.

TOPICS: Hardware

With the debut of Acer's Aspire S3 Ultrabook today at IFA in Berlin, Lenovo's U300s is no long the slimmest Ultrabook -- in case you're keeping score. The S3 now holds that crown at just 13 mm thick (and weighing less than 3-pounds), but what kind of performance does such a svelte profile pack?

Like the Lenovo U300s and Tohsiba Portege Z830, the S3 also has a 13.3-inch ultra-thin HD LED display (1366 x 768) and is powered by the Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) second-generation Intel 'Sandy Bridge' core i3/5/7 processors. What's most interesting about the S3 is that consumers can choose between a 240 GB solid state drive (SSD) or a 320/500 GB hard drive with embedded SSD integrated into the motherboard for fast boot up. Unfortunately, as Acer's rep explained to me by email, the SSD is not visible in file explorer so you won't be able to move your OS onto the SSD for even faster performance.

Acer is claiming the S3 can wake up from sleep mode in less than 2-seconds, if it has only been asleep for less than 30 minutes, or resume in 6-seconds if coming up from a longer doze, thanks to its "Instant On" feature and embedded SSD. Because the computer is set to sleep after 30-minutes of inactivity, its 7-hour battery can be stretched to last up to 50 days. Of course, we would need to get our hands on a S3 before we can confirm this very bold assertion.

While I'm all for a light and thin laptop, it still must have adequate ports and connectors to make the computer worthwhile to bring along. Somewhere within 13 mm, the S3 has room for a 2-in-1 card reader, HDMI and 2 USB ports according to photos snapped by Engadget. It will also be equipped with low-powered Bluetooth 4.0+HSR technology, Wi-Fi and a 1.3-megapixel web cam.

It's nice to see Acer bring a modern, high-end look to its laptop with an aluminum/magnesium alloy chassis, rounded corners, and "aerodynamic" design. The S3 will be landing in Europe by the end of this year for between €799 and €1199, but no pricing or schedule has been announced for America yet even though Acer promises to bring the S3 stateside. I think we've come to expect Acer to provide a more economic option so hopefully its Ultrabook will bring a relatively budget price tag for the category.

[Source: Acer press release, Engadget]


Topic: Hardware

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  • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

    It's not really a shock to find out something can last a long time when you aren't using it. My iPad sat collecting dust for about 3 months and still had about 25% charge left.
  • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

    Err... I'm sure I've seen something like this before. As Gruber would (and probably will say) I can't quite put my finger on it.

    My question is this; Really Acer, that shameless?
    • I'm sure I saw this somewhere...

      @Jeremy-UK ... you know what? I get the same feeling that my daughter has one of these Acers already... unless it's something else.... hmmm.... fruity!
  • All great except not being able to put the os on the ssd.

    What kind of brain dead exec made that decision? It went from desirable to non starter right there.
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

      @Johnny Vegas

      If you buy an ?hybrid?HD (mechanical plus SSD memory) it uses the SSD part as a ?cache? for speedier access, and that is the reason you can?t use the SSD directly.
      If you buy the SSD only HD, then you will be able to access it normally.
    • SSD have very poor reliability

      @Johnny Vegas SSDs are still less reliable than mechanical HDD. They have a limited number of writes, that can be blown away in less than a year under heavy usage.
  • Yet another MacBook Air clone.

    Lawsuit anyone?
    • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

      @kraterz nope. Nothing to sue over. Thinness is not trademark-able. It is utility. No grounds for a lawsuit here, move along.
      awkward hug
      • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

        @awkward hug wouldn't bet the farm on that. Samsung is being sued for making a tab that sort of looks like an ipad. It's not even the same size.
    • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

      because apple invented the laptop???
  • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

    And the proliferation of low pixel density continues with yet another flood of 13 inch displays at 1366x768. Meh.
  • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

    Resolution comparison:
    (as scraped from apple macbook air specifications):
    13.3-inch (diagonal) high-resolution LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colors

    Supported resolutions:
    1440 by 900 (native), 1280 by 800, 1152 by 720, and 1024 by 640 pixels at 16:10 aspect ratio; 1024 by 768 and 800 by 600 pixels at 4:3 aspect ratio
  • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

    between ?799 and ?1199, but no pricing or schedule has been announced for America yet even though Acer promises to bring the S3 stateside. (Can someone translate this into US $ ) thank you
  • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

    ...but still is an Acer...maybe good for stupid Pollacks in Poland... buy IBM-Lenovo...Panasonic, will know that you have real notebook. F. Acer ?..- Never !!!
    • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

      You do know that ibm sold lenovo to the chinese several years ago right? IBM hasn't been in the picture for quite some time now. And I'm sure you probably know that companies like toshiba, acer, asus, dell etc. they all get their laptops from 1 of 3 tawianese manufacturers. Everybody just rebrands it.
  • Errr....

    Judging from Acer's history, aside from the pathetic resolution for this sized screen, I'm expecting major problems from this laptop. Acer has a history of using the cheapest jardware in their products. Just 2 USB ports [and not even USB3]. I'd be surprised on the battery life.
  • RE: Acer Aspire S3 is today's thinnest Ultrabook

    I don't really care what it seems to look like or copy, or function like. There's too much, "Mom, he took my..." going on in this part of our psyche. I know what I want and I will check the stats and the analysis of current owners and make my own decision regarding which unit I buy or build. Oh and discretionary expenditure will be considered, also. Unlike others, I DO believe that we are all in this together.
  • At that price why not just get the Air?

    The specs listed are pretty broad so it's hard to say what you get for the money with this Acer. But at 1.6 US Dollars per Pound, this appears to be a bit expensive for an Acer machine when you can get Apple's build quality for what could be the same or less. But the Acer is thinner. We'll see if Apple slims down in the next version. As it is, it could be cheaper or close to the same price to buy the Air and a full Windows license than to get this. Personally, I don't like having to use Mac or iOS software, but the hardware has always been exceptionally stable and well built. And let's be honest, for those who care about such things, there is a bit more prestige in pulling out a Mac, whether in the boardroom or even the coffee shop, than an Acer.
  • As long as it will run Linux, there's hope for it...

    It generally hasn't been a problem with the hardware in the Windows world... more with the software.
  • Yeah but...

    I wouldn't trust Acer. Worst support in the world, and their products aren't exactly solid either...