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Acer Aspire S3 joins ultrabook ranks (hands-on)

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Acer Aspire S3
Acer Aspire S3

Acer apparently subscribes to the same Google Group as the rest of this industry, because it's putting out its own ultrabook this fall. The Aspire S3 has a 13.3-inch 1366 x 768 display, measures 0.51-inches thick, runs the new crop of Core i3 / i5 / i7 ULV chips, and promises roughly seven hours of battery life in the SSD configuration. There's an aluminum / magnesium alloy chassis, with cooling designed to send heat away from the palm rest and trackpad -- and your, erm, "lap top." Acer also promises 1.5 second "instant on" from sleep, and 2.5 second "instant connect" to the internet, using special sauce Acer techniques. There's also a "deep sleep" mode that can stretch for 50 days before you need a charge. The S3 will start shipping in some areas (including the US) late September, with prices ranging from €799 to €1199.

I just played around with the S3 for a brief moment, and I found it much nicer than yesterday's Toshiba Portege Z830. In addition to a nice, smudge-free metal exterior the two ultrabooks share, the Acer has a flex free keyboard with better key action (though it's still a little light on resistance). The trackpad is actually a clickpad, with a fairly nice click to it, and good general touch responsiveness. The screen is nice, but not exactly great at viewing angles. Overall the design is very clean and premium -- a laptop not to be embarrassed by.

Gallery is after the break -- more details in the press release!