REVIEWS

iPad Air 2

Mac OS X Yosemite

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Dyson DC78 Turbinehead Animal vacuum

BlackBerry Passport

Saeco Minuto

Martian Notifier watch

Runtastic Orbit fitness tracking wearable

iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6

Moto 360

Moto X (2014)

Mazda CX-5 2015

MacPhun Software's Lost Photos

Parrot Zik Yellow Gold bluetooth headphones

Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station for MacBook Pro

Toshiba Canvio AeroMobile Wireless SSD

Sodastream's Home Carbonation System

TomTom Go 500 GPS

Nio Tag

LG G3

Jabra ROX Wireless in-ear headphones

SEIDIO's Innocell adds battery life for iPhone5/5S

Parrot Asteroid SMART

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Apple 13-inch MacBook Air (2014)

ASUS PB287 4K monitor

Hyundai Santa Fe XL 2014

Tech Armor SlimProtect Case for iPhone 5/5s

Roku Streaming Stick

Belkin QODE "Thin Type" keyboard case for the iPad Air

RFID fraud-proof HuMn wallet

Motorola Moto E

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

Sony Xperia Z2

Sony SRS-X9 ultra premium personal speaker

Shiny Soap frees up space on Macs with one click

Hyundai Veloster Turbo 2014

Arts Your Case StrongFit Silicon case for iPhone 5/5S

Fugoo Style Bluetooth Speakers

LG G Flex on Rogers

Red Clock app for iPhone weather and alarm

ASUS ZenBook UX310

Dyson DC62 Hand-Held Vacuum

Pelican ProGear CE1150 Protector Series case for iPhone 5/5s

Philips AirFryer

Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 8.4

ASUS VivoPC

Alcatel OneTouch Idol X

Nomad ChargeKey for iPhone

Apple Mac Pro (2013)

Kensington Comercio soft folio case for iPad Air

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Micro Four Thirds camera

Jawbone UP24 Fitness Tracker

Dell Venue 8 Pro's wireless keyboard and case

ASUS MeMO Pad 8

Logitech Ultrathin Bluetooth keyboard for Apple's iPad Air

2013 GMC Terrain

Honeywell HFD320 AirGenius 5 Air Cleaner & Odor Reducer

Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet

TomTom US & Canada App for Android

Withings Pulse fitness tracker

Sonos PLAY:1 wireless streaming speaker

Martian Passport series smartwatch

Nextivity Cel-Fi RS2 Signal Strength booster

HTC Desire (2013)

Motorola Moto G

iPad mini with Retina Display

Nexus 5

Microsoft Surface 2

Tenqa Fit Bluetooth Earbuds for Sports

HTC One mini

Apple iPad Air

Sony Xperia Z1

BlackBerry Z30

TYLT VU Wireless Charging Stand

Keizus Quadropod + Clamp

Sphero 2.0

Chromecast

Griffin Technology WoodTone Headphones

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Philips Saeco Poemia Espresso Machine

Nokia Lumia 1020

Huawei Ascend Mate

LG G2

Samsung Galaxy Mega

Apple 5c Case

Apple 5s Case

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5c

Apple Airport Extreme (2013)

Nexus 7 (2013)

Ultimate Ears Boom Bluetooth speaker and handsfree

2013 Inifiniti FX37 Crossover

Moto X

Sony Xperia Z

Huawei Ascend Y300 on Bell and Virgin

TIMEX Intelligent Quartz Linear Indicator Chronograph watch

BlackBerry Q5

MIO Alpha Heart Rate Monitor

Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch Android Tablet

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (2013)

Chevrolet Sonic RS Turbo

 

« The Beatles get some love from iTunes with animated "Cover"ad, free book | Main | Apps and Launches: Google Currents launches, takes on Flipboard »
Saturday
Dec102011

Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook

Text and photos by Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then the Acer S3 Ultrabook must have a high regard for the Apple MacBook Air. As with many ultra thin and light ultrabooks coming to the market, the Acer S3 borrows a lot of design elements from the 13-inch MacBook Air but does it add anything to the form factor? We see how it measures up.

It is hard to skirt around the obvious but a side by side comparison (above) shows how similar the Acer S3 ultrabook is to the MacBook Air. Similar chiclet-style keyboards, large multi-touch trackpads, nearly identical dimensions and screen size (although the MacBook Air's resolution is higher) as well as a mostly metal enclosure.

The Acer S3 is three pounds heavy and half an inch thick. The sleek brushed aluminum exterior looks professional and more expensive than the S 3's $899 price tag might indicate. It feels like a premium device and is one of the better looking notebooks Acer has turned out of late.

With Acer's expertise in smaller netbooks, I wondered why they didn't make an 11 inch variant of te Acer S3 Ultrabook (but the more I thought about it, Intel dictates that Ultrabooks are 13-inch computers), we still think that a $600 or less 11-inch Acer notebook with a similar build, style and finish would have been hugely popular.

Acer's CEO  J.T. Wang  recently told The Wall Street Journal  that his company will stop making "cheap and unprofitable products." The Acer Aspire S3 seems to be a positive step into the right direction.

A low power 1.6GHz Core i5-2467M CPU and 4GB of RAM, none of which are upgradeable are more than enough muscle for most users.

It also features a 20GB solid state drive and a 320GB platter based hard drive (for quick startup and resume) a good comprimise to an all SSD drive.

The amount of storage is generous and larger than what once can get on all solid state SSD drives which are in the 64GB to 256GB range right now and cost considerably more.

For the most part, the Acer S3 is a stunning product but it isn't an all aluminum unibody notebook. The plastic parts of the notebook are mostly on the interior ( most notably the plastic bezel surrounding the screen) detract from the integrated look it is trying to emulate.

Still, everything is solidly put together, construction is laudable.

What I like about the Acer S3 is that it is rounded and smooth on most surfaces, this means some corners and ends arent as sharp as the MacBook Air which some users find a bit uncomfortable after hours of use.

Geared towards road warriors and students, the Acer S3 Ultrabook is a choc full of features that are mostly above average for a notebook in this price point.

It has a second generation Intel Core i5 processor which is clocked at 1.6GHz, which is more than good enough for running Windows 7 and most applications one would need to get through a business or school day.

Rated for 7 hours of battery life on a full charge, we barely managed around 4.5 hours of use which is in line with how these thin and light notebooks usually perform.

The sealed in battery may be a detriment to users who need a whole day's worth of use and who don't have ready access to a power source.

In terms of ports, you get two USB 2.0 and one HDMI video out port which none of the MacBook Airs have (although they have that super-fast Thunderbolt port). You also get a SD Card slot which in convenient but pretty much a given on most notebooks these days.

 You can see where Acer saved some money by not using an SSD drive or by adding a backlit keyboard or Bluetooth capability, all of which are present in even the most basic MacBook Airs.

Emulating the features and strengths of a rival product is one thing and we think that, as a first effort, the Acer Aspire S3 does a good job at approximating the PC version of a MacBook Air. But is that all it is?

It is thin light and capable and can satisfy most user's needs. For users who need a gaming machine or something to last more than 4.5 hours on battery life, however, this may not be it.

Acer, it seems, spent all of its time working on the form factor and neglected to add its own innovation or features that set it aside from the competition. It succeeds as a good copy but fails to surpass the template from which it derived its inspiration.

Still, the 13-inch MacBook Air costs $1300 and while it has a slightly more powerful 1.7GHz Core i5 Processor (as opposed to the Acer's 1.6GHz one) the MacBook Air ships with less storage at 128GB. The Acer S3 does cost $400 less.

The Acer S3 might still have the upper hand over the competition and by this we mean all the other PC companies with similar ultrabooks.

The biggest feature here is the price and yes the skinny form factor does limit what you can do or add to the device and we're certain that the next revision will up the ante while maintaining the relatively low price.

Rating: 4  out of 5

References (57)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: Free Scripts
    [...]Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective[...]
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: longchamp purple
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: moncler prezzi
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: discount air max
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Is there NON-Computer Science MS courses available in USA universities for a student with computer background?
  • Response
    Response: Sexercise Routine
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: Bingo tricsk
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: Sexercise Workouts
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: sexercise books
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: sexercise
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: wholesale jerseys
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: Niagara therapy
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: sexercise workout
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: sexercise
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: the full report
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: Yoga
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: leather Satchel
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: Nishan Kohli
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: Nishan Kohli
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: gucci soldes
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: ministry jobs
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: towing truck 92106
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: Camera
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: GoPro Accessories
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: why not try here
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: fish oil pills
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: omega 3 fish oil
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective
  • Response
    Response: Worldofknives.info
    Review: Acer S3 Ultrabook - Canadian Reviewer - News, Reviews and Opinion with a Canadian Perspective

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>