Feeds
80%
Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Ultrabook

Acer Aspire Timeline M3 Ultra review

The affordable Ultrabook

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

It seems safe to say that Ultrabooks haven’t given the PC market the shot in the arm that Intel was hoping for. The high prices haven’t helped, of course, and there also seems to be some evidence that many people are turned off by the relatively small 13in screens that dominate the Ultrabook category.

Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Ultrabook

Big deal: Acer's Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Ultrabook

So along comes Acer with its new M3 Ultrabook, which addresses both problems head on. It may be saddled with the most idiotic model-number ever committed to paper, but the M3-blahblahblah is the cheapest Ultrabook we’ve seen so far, with a price tag of just £500. It’s also the first to include a 15.6in screen – and it’s even got one of those old-fashioned DVD drive thingies too.

You could argue that the screen size, DVD drive and ensuing 2.2Kg weight are somewhat stretching the definition of the term ‘Ultrabook’. However, it does measure less than 21mm thick as specified by Intel – 20.7mm to be precise – wakes from sleep in about five seconds, and provides very good battery life. And those three features pretty much satisfy Intel’s rather vague definition of an Ultrabook.

Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Ultrabook

Slim enough to make the grade as an Ultrabook

Despite the low price, the M3 is quite well built. The casing is plastic, but still reasonably solid, and the matt-black finish is rather smart – albeit prone to finger smudge-a-go-go. The screen could be a little brighter, and some people may feel that the 1366 x 768 resolution is too low for a display of this size. However, the image is sharp and clear, with vivid colours that worked very well when watching Highlander 5 on the BBC iPlayer – it's kinda silly, but one of the better Highlander sequels.

The size of the screen means there’s plenty of room for a large, comfortable keyboard and trackpad, and the speakers manage to produce a fuller sound than most laptops too. I wasn’t wild about the decision to put the USB, Ethernet and other ports round the back, though, and it also took me a couple of minutes simply to turn the darn thing on as the Power button is cunningly concealed on the lower front edge of the machine.

Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Ultrabook

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Wot, no Bluetooth?

More from The Register

next story
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?