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.