ACER Aspire S3 Ultrabook Specs
ACER Aspire S3 is Acer’s first foray into the world of the ultrabook. It aims to offer enough of a kick to get through all your computing needs without taking up space. ACER Aspire S3 is a slim, good-looking bit of kit with powerful components under the hood.
ACER Aspire S3 Full Specs
The new, high-end version of the ACER Aspire S3 ramps up the processor to a 1.6GHz Intel Core i7 processor (capable of revving up to 2.3GHz, thanks to Intel TurboBoost technology).
Instead of the 320 GB (5,400 rpm) traditional hard drive, the upgraded ACER Aspire S3 will feature a 256 GB solid state drive, for faster start up and overall performance.
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ACER Aspire S3 Ultrabooks continue to weigh 3 pounds and are both half an inch thick. They each have a 13.3-inch display that features a 1366-pixel-by-768-pixel resolution.
In short, the additional $400 you’ll pay for the new ACER Aspire S3 gets you a more powerful processor and a better hard drive and makes it more directly competitive with the similarly priced MacBook Air. The $1,299 MacBook Air is powered by a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor and offers 128GB of flash storage.
ACER Aspire S3 Ultrabook Review
It’s pretty clear that every Ultrabook maker is gunning for the MacBook Air, and the ACER Aspire S3 is no exception. However, Acer had to make some sacrifices to keep its price low–no duralumin or unibody designs here. The lid of the S3 is a brushed aluminum, but the underside and deck are made of a silver-colored plastic, and it’s made to look like a unibody design even though it is not. The black hinge area at the rear accommodates the S3′s ports as well as an air vent. Four rubber pads on the bottom also keep the S3 from sliding around on a desk.
Display and Audio
We were underwhelmed by the S3′s low-quality, 13.3-inch 1366 x 768-pixel display, which offers much less screen real estate than competitors such as the ASUS UX31 (1600 x 900) and the MacBook Air 13-inch (1440 x 900). Whether watching a 480p episode of Castle on Hulu or a 720p trailer for The Avengers, we noticed plenty of pixelation and splotchiness in darker areas, and blacks weren’t as true as we’d like. Viewing angles were also pretty poor. Sitting to either side of the notebook resulted in reversed images and colors, so it’ll be tough sharing the screen with friends.
Inside the ACER Aspire S3 is a second-gen 1.6-GHz Intel Core i5-2467M Processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB, 5,400-rpm hard drive, which powered the system to a PCMark Vantage score of 5,489. That’s a good 500 points above the category average, but the MacBook Air we reviewed, which has a 1.7-GHz Core i5 processor and 128GB SSD, notched a far higher 11,230 when we ran the same test in Boot Camp. We saw similar results with Geekbench: The Aspire S3 scored 3,538, which, again, is 500 points higher than the ultraportable notebook average (3,062), but second to the MacBook Air (5,860). Still, the S3 is more than speedy enough to play movies, type in Google Docs, and listen to music.
Acer keeps it clean on the ACER Aspire S3, including little pre-loaded software. Home-grown apps include Acer Deep Sleep settings, which lets you specify whether the notebook goes into deep sleep after 120 minutes or 480 minutes, Acer Backup Manager, Acer Crystal Eye Webcam, the Acer Games portal and Clear.fi for sharing multimedia wirelessly across a network (pictured).
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