Feeds

Hands on with Acer's Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Coming in the Air tonight

Business security measures using SSL

IFA 2011 It's almost impossible to view Acer's Aspire S3 - the company's first laptop built to Intel's Ultrabook spec - and not think of the MacBook Air.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Acer's S3: shades of the MacBook Air?

There's the metallic look, the sunken keyboard, the sparse port array, the - a first time for a Windows machine? - large touchpad placed centrally in the wrist rest area, not aligned to the positioning of the spacebar. There's the dark, plastic hinge cover that provides a window for the machine's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

SD card slot on the right side

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Just a 3.5mm audio out port on the left

The 13.3in machine has an SD slot and an earphone jack on the sides. Unlike the Air, its major ports - two USBs, HDMI - are on the back.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook
Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

The S3's internals don't seem any more accessible than the Air's

Lifting it, the S3 is certainly light and eminently portable. It weighs, says Acer, just under 1.4kg and it's 13.1mm thick. It has a full-size keyboard. So from the perspective of a buyer after the acme of laptop portability - as opposed to netbook portability - the S3 ticks all the boxes.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Only tests will show to what extent portability compromises - limits would be a better word; there's not really much compromise here - peformance. But with 4GB of DDR 3 and a 1.7GHz Intel Core i7-2637M processor, it shouldn't be a slouch.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

A very thin lid

All things considered then, yes, the S3 is an Air clone, but that's no bad thing for all those folk who want the Apple product but don't like the Mac OS, the company, the Mac's pricing - or all three.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

So in what way is this laptop 'professionally tuned', Acer?

Of course, that may well mean Apple's legal department takes a very close look at the S3. I am not a lawyer, and neither are most IFA attendees, but while I was on the Acer stand, the Air is the machine all vistors likened the S3 to.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Dolby sound tech included. And there's the power key and the mic

And Acer is pricing aggressively - from €799 (£699), it suggested this week - so the S3 looks set to undercut the Air significantly, though I'll bet you won't get a directly comparable spec, despite the discount.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Still, the S3 is going to make a very nice hackintosh. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume
It isn't just me-too Apple that's lost its lustre: Gadget mania is over
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.