Why do we like ultrabooks so much? They are powerful, light, nice looking, and really trendy to have. These are the reasons why you would want one, but there is one big disadvantage to ultrabooks: we’ll have to dig pretty deep in our pockets to get one, because they are rather expensive at this moment. One alternative is to go for a netbooks, but let’s face it that netbooks are not nearly as powerful as ultrabooks. The second alternative is to go searching for an inexpensive device, such as the Acer Aspire S3 we are going to talk about here today.
To start with, the Acer S3 comes at a price of $899, which even if high is by far better than what we see on other devices such as the laptops from HP which have a $1300+ starting price. Unfortunately, this results in some minuses: you don’t have a full aluminum body, and to be honest the glossy screen is also something we should mention here, but let’s dig more into this review for more in-depth information about the S3.
On the top of the Acer Aspire S3 you’ll have a brushed aluminum panel which adds a nice finish to this ultrabooks, even if the underside and the palm rest are made from plastic. From this Acer Aspire S3 review we have found out that the device weighs roughly 2.98 pounds and measures 0.69 inches at its thickest point. It will surely not add a lot of bulk to your backpack, even if it’s not actually comparable to the Asus UX21 for instance which weighs close to 2 pounds.
Opening the lid will reveal the big 13.3-inch panel with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels that gives the possibility to natively run HD content. The finish on the screen is glossy, which from what we have seen is one of the biggest minuses of this device, but other than that the Acer Aspire S3 is a nice ultrabook. The keyboard is fairly responsive and offers well-spaced keys, even if we are not too fond of the directional keys which are too small.
In terms of performance, you will get an Intel Core i5 CPU clocked at 1.6GHz with 4GB of RAM and integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics. The graphics card is not the most powerful we have found, and this component combination is not suited for gaming, but overall we like the responsiveness of the Acer S3. It’s designed to handle browsing, document editing and even movie processing without a problem, so if you know you will not stress it too hard then it’s perfect for your needs.
To sum up, we think that the Acer S3 is one of the best ultrabooks you can get for under $900. It’s not the only one, with low-cost ultrabooks such as the Novatech nFinity ready to take on the market, but it provides good performance for the buck.