Feeds
70%
Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

Acer Aspire S3 Core i7 Ultrabook

First among equals?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Website security in corporate America

Next page: The awakening

More from The Register

next story
Man buys iPHONE 6 and DROPS IT to SMASH on PURPOSE
Yarrrgh! 'Tis Antipodean insanity, ye crazy swab
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
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Your chance to WIN the WORLD'S ONLY HANDHELD ZX SPECTRUM
Reg staff not allowed to enter, god dammit
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.