We look at the first Ultrabook released in the UAE.
Coming to the keyboard, the keys on the spire S3 are reasonably spaced out, however, they are a bit on the flat side and the throw on them is not very deep which takes a while getting used to. After a day or so, I was mostly comfortable although I did notice missing out on tapping a key at times while more often that not, the space key tapped twice. While most of the keys are good in terms of size, I’m not sure why Acer chose to keep the arrow keys much smaller. Also, the Enter key should have been a bit big in size but the top part of it is used for the \ key.
The trackpad is decent in size with hidden mouse buttons built inside it. I would have preferred some kind of marking to distinguish between the left and right buttons as, at times, I would tap on the wrong side. Also, I think moving the trackpad closer to the edge would have been a better design idea. Two finger scrolling works and actually works better than most Windows based notebooks I’ve tested, however, it does not support inertia.
Wrapping it up, the battery life on the Aspire S3 is pretty decent. Using it for things like checking email, browsing the web and listening to some music, I was able to get anything between four to five hours which is fairly decent. Like the MacBook Air, the battery management is great- in the sense that when the machine is on standby, it lasts a lot longer than your usual PC. I closed the lid on the S3 and came back to it after two days and lost just a few percentage points.
Overall, the Asipre S3 is a good machine, however, it does not feel like a new category of a laptop. Yes, it it quite slim and wakes up and connects to your Wi-Fi fast along with offering a decent battery life and decent performance- but that is certainly not something unheard of. I think Intel should have made some more things mandatory for the Ultrabook platform- such as an SSD and a higher resolution screen.
I also think Acer could have put in a bit more effort with a little more focus on specs and design that could have made the Aspire S3 a much better product. Don’t get me wrong, It’s still a good machine, and the price tag of AED 3599 is justified for what you’re getting. But it makes you keep thinking that you could have gotten slightly more.