Feeds
70%
Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Acer Aspire S3 Core i7 Ultrabook

First among equals?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Key concerns

Unfortunately, the keyboard doesn’t fill me with so much joy. It feels cramped and some of the important keys have been reduced to ridiculous proportions. I hate it when the Ctrl key is no bigger than other keys, for example, and the cursor keys are impossible to locate by touch: all four directional keys plus PgUp and PgDn together can be hidden under the pad of my thumb.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

The one piece trackpad functionality needs refining

Another unexpected annoyance is the trackpad. It’s one of those new types that you press down to produce a mouse-click, hence the lack of separate mouse-click buttons. Clicking and dragging is horrible, requiring you to press down hard on the trackpad and squeak your finger unpleasantly across its surface.

If this wasn’t bad enough, you can only squeak for a couple of centimetres at which point you have no more trackpad left. Moving an icon from one side of your desktop to another can require several steps: press-squeak, press-squeak, press-squeak. Acer provides a utility for these functions but there's no obvious magnetic click and drag option.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

The bulk of the interfacing is at the rear

Nor is there much by way of multi-touch gestures to get around this. The trackpad supports one or two-finger gestures – the latter principally for right-clicking and scrolling – but nothing for ‘soft’ clicks, sweeps or special shortcuts. Even the two-finger scroll action failed to work half the time. After a while, I couldn’t stand it any more and plugged in a mouse, whereupon I enjoyed using the S3 a great deal more.

I wish it had been as simple to stop the loud fan noise and high-pitched whistling that the computer makes when it’s churning away. I share an office, and my office partner complained that the sound was “disagreeable”.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

The lid stays closed magnetically without the need for a clumsy clasp

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Only the bare minimum of ports here at the thick end of the wedge

You only get two USB 2.0 ports and a single HDMI port for video-out, plus a headphone socket, but this is a fair compromise in such a slim computer. I wish one of the USB ports could have supported USB 3.0 but there you go. Also provided is a dual-format memory card slot, supporting SD and MultiMedia Cards. Having an Olympus camera that takes xD cards, this is useless to me but I appreciate the importance of having at least SD Card support.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: The awakening

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.