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Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook Review

By on December 12, 2011
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We look at the first Ultrabook released in the UAE.

Good: Sleek design, good performance & battery life
Bad: Keyboard and Screen could be better.
Price: AED 3599
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

On the configuration side, the Aspire S3 comes equipped with Core i5 and Core i7 processors. I received the Core i5-2467M model which runs at a maximum clock rate of 1.6GHz and features two cores and four threads. The system is equipped with 4GB of DDR3 that is shared with the integrated Intel HD Graphics GPU. For storage, the model I received featured a 320GB traditional hard drive as well as a 20GB SSD that speeds up your system. Acer also offers a configuration of 256GB SSD on the Aspire S3. The following table shows how the S3 compares to some of the notebooks we have tested recently.

3DMark 06 PCMark 7 Geekbench PassMark WinRAR 7-zip
Acer Aspire S3 3307 1876 4015 906 1809 5728
Samsung UX9000 2979 790 1891
MSI CX40 5118 1262 5778 1203 2320 7437

 

Although these benchmarks don’t necessarily show the Aspire S3 to be super fast, in actual usability, it surely feels faster than many of the notebooks that I have compared it to. The hybrid SSD/HDD combo makes Windows quite snappy and as per the Ultrabook requirements, it wakes up from sleep and connects to your Wi-Fi almost instantly making it quite a joy to use.

Acer tries to keep the number of expansion ports on the S3 on the lower side probably to give the machine a cleaner look. On the left you have a 3.5mm audio jack while the right has an SD card slot. The back features two USB 2.0 ports along with HDMI output and a power input port. The grill for dissipating heat out of the laptop is also on the back side. During my testng, the laptop got a bit warm and noisy whenever the fan kicked in, however, that was not something that happened frequently- mostly while I ran benchmarks.

The 13.3” LED screen on the Aspire S3 has decent but not necessarily great viewing angles. It is a glossy screen but I didn’t really notice much of a glare- Acer might have applied some kind of coating to help against reflections. What could have been better is the resolution- 1366×768 on a 13” screen is starting to look a bit pixelated and considering that Ultrabooks are a new segment, maybe that is one thing that Intel should have built into the specs.

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About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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