ON THE SHELVES
Acer never shies away from new technology and as a result it is often the first company to launch a new type of product in the market. So it was no surprise that Acer was first off the block in the Ultrabook race in India, coming up with its Aspire S3 as early as November 2011.
The S3 is one of the thinnest Ultrabook models out there and bears a striking resemblance to the Macbook Air. It weighs 1.38 kg. With a full metal unibody design that will certainly ensure some eyeballs, the S3 aspires to be right there among the frontrunners. It is not a top draw Ultrabook as is obvious by the price. But then Acer has the S5 lined up for the big fight. But that doesn’t mean the S3 is weak in anyway. It has a great processing power thanks to its 1.6GHZ Core i5 processor and 4GB RAM, and will certainly rise up to most tasks that you will throw at it.
The keypad, placed in a recess, is well spaced out and responsive. There is enough travel to let you know that you have pressed a key, unlike some of its competition. The touchpad is at the centre, just below the keys. Though it is quite large, there is no
multi-touch here. It is even a bit clickety-clack to- wards the bottom. The power button is actually on the hinge just below the bezel and can even be access from outside when the flap is closed—but we are not sure this was intentional.
The 1366x768 screen is good enough to watch HD movies on and the professionally tunes Dolby Home Theater speakers ensure you have audio good enough to go with the picture. You will, however, need to get the viewing angle right for perfect picture. Similarly, the sound gets better when you plug in a good pair of headphone, though you won’t need it at all times.
The S3 has two USB and one HDMI port at back, on the hinge. But it also has a Microsd slot at the side, something you won’t find in all Ultrabooks. However, a drawback will be the battery life of just about five hours on full charge. Not bad when compared with laptops, but at the bottom end of the Ultrabook pile where devices boast of up to 10 hours of juice.
But then this is an entry level Ultrabook and the only option if you are looking to upgrade from you old laptop without paying more than what you paid for the old model.