Wot, no Bluetooth?
You’re not going to get workstation performance at this price, and the M3’s 1.4GHz Intel Core i3-2367M Sandy Bridge processor is modest even by Ultrabook standards. Even so, the M3 scored 2343 with the PCMark 7 benchmark software, which is comparable to other HD-based Ultrabooks. The hard drive provides 320GB storage and you get 4GB RAM – a combination that should be perfectly adequate for running MS Office and other routine computing tasks. There’s no Bluetooth, though, which could be a problem if you prefer to sync up your phone this way or use wireless peripherals such as speakers.
PCMark 7 Results
Longer bars are better
If you want a little more power then there’s a model for £580 that adds a separate GeForce GT640M graphics card and a 500GB hard disk. Another £70 on top of that will also allow you to step up to an Core i5 processor running at 1.6GHz, yet still comes in at well under £700.
Battery life is good too, with the M3 managing exactly four hours when running the PowerMark 11 benchmark, and a full five hours with the BBC iPlayer, so you should get a full day’s work out of it with no problems. The DVD drive is a bit of a head-scratcher, though. Many people would happily live without a DVD drive, and that would certainly help to trim the size and weight down a bit. To be fair, most 15.6in laptops do weigh in at 2.5Kg or more, but 2.2Kg is still pushing things for a machine that calls itself an Ultrabook.
Lightweight for its size and not too many compromises either
If you want a laptop that is really slim and light then you’ll obviously want to opt for a 13in Ultrabook instead. But if you compare the M3 to most 15.6in laptops then it actually comes out looking pretty good. It’s one of the slimmest and lightest 15.6in models currently available, whilst still managing to cram in a DVD drive and decent connectivity options. A higher clock speed would be nice, but the M3 should still cope perfectly well with most routine computing tasks, and the £500 price tag isn’t at all bad for a ‘semi-ultra’ laptop of this size. ®
More Ultrabook Reviews
HP Envy 14
HP Envy 4
Acer Aspire Timeline M3 Ultra review
1366 x 768 ...
You hit the nail on the head! Far too small ..
Acer seem to have entirely missed the point
It's not a small, lightweight, SSD powered machine with 5+ hours of battery life when doing anything meaningful so it's not really an ultrabook. Best case you could list it as a thin and light conventional 15" laptop.
How about the Novatech nFinity range, e.g.
Under £500 inc. VAT if you despecify Windows - with SSD, Bluetooth and the works...
I thought everyone knew Novatech were worth a look if you can't find what you want at the right price!
Typical Acer garbage.
Solid-state storage? No, it's a flash accelerated spinning drive, fine for the pri--- oh, wait, no, it's just a bog standard, bottom-of-the-line harddrive...?
Plus, it weighs a ton (for an ultrabook), and they used every cubic millimeter permitted by the standard as well, so it's not portable like an ultrabook is supposed to be. Part of this problem is of course due to Acer's boneheaded decision to include an optical drive.
On top of that, it's got shit resolution (this needs to be judged more harshly in Register reviews - no 15 inch 1366x768 laptop should be getting 80%), and the power button is located in a non-standard place (it sounds like it's on the outside, which means it'll get turned on while carrying it around - so much for battery life!).
The physical ethernet port is nice, sure, as is the third USB port, but that's no big accomplishment considering the size of this system, and they put the ports on the wrong side of the computer. And didn't even include a mic or line-in port, and the video output is HDMI rather than VGA, so you still need an adapter!
This computer looks like Acer looked at one of their "mid-range" (by Acer standards) laptops, and realized that if they made the case a little thinner, it would qualify as an Ultrabook, without them having to provide a system capable of delivering the performance or portability that Ultrabooks are all about.
Hold the front page! Acer make something that is not *totally* pants.
........Apologies if I appear less than enthused but, as others have pointed out, this is neither one thing nor the other and is not particularly good at anything. Yes, the price is not too bad but what is one supposed to say? "It's ok, it's not a complete dog and they are not completely taking the piss as far as the price is concerned". This kind of thing just illustrates why Acer's CEO was getting way to big for his boots when he began to howl the other day about MS' decision to market some of its own hardware. Indeed it sums up why MS are making the "Surface" in the first place.