ON THE SHELVES

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - ULTRA BOOKS -

SIM­PLE PLEA­SURES

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.

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