What is an ultrabook? Intel has a pretty loose definition: as long as your laptop is less than 0.8 inches thin, has five hours of battery life, rapidly wakes from sleep, and has a second-generation Intel Core processor, you're basically part of the club. What "ultrabook" stands for, though, is an entirely different matter. The first wave of ultrabooks were designed specifically to compete with Apple's MacBook Air, and it showed: a teardrop-shaped wedge design, a metal frame, a 13-inch screen, a Core i5-2467M processor, 4GB of memory, and integrated Intel graphics featured in almost every machine.

Why do I bring this up? Acer broke the mold. The Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 technically fulfills all of Intel's criteria, but it's nothing like the ultrabooks that came before: it's a 15-inch laptop with a plastic chassis, a low-res screen, a 10-key numpad, and a DVD drive. It's a sleeper, too. Underneath that unassuming polycarbonate exterior lies an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M dedicated graphics chip that can actually play graphically intensive games, unlike any other ultrabook on the market. There are plenty of tradeoffs, though. Are they worth it? Read on.