Feeds
Acer Aspire P3 Ultrabook

Review: Acer Aspire P3 Windows 8 slate

Ultrabook by name, tablet by nature

The essential guide to IT transformation

Acer's recent tablet bash in London not only showcased its latest A1 Iconia Android fondleslab but also on display was its forthcoming Aspire P3 Windows 8 slate.

This model exists in the convertible-cum-tablet twilight zone, as it comes with a keyboard cover as standard. Yet Acer really wants you to forget it's a tablet and think of it as an Ultrabook and goes so far as to call it one.

Acer Aspire P3 Ultrabook

Acer's Aspire P3 touch the Ultrabook moniker, yet relies on a strap on keyboard

To some degree, Acer has a point. The Aspire P3 is just under 10mm thick and fairly light at 790g (without the 600g cover) and the pre-production sample I've been given features a 1.5GHz Intel Core i5-3339Y processor.

There's a 128GB Micron C400 flash drive on-board and although it should have 4GB RAM, this sample has only 2GB; not that you'd notice in everyday use. Indeed, the boot time to login is among the swiftest I've experienced, at about four seconds.

The 11.6in IPS touchscreen isn't full HD, at 1366 x 768, but even though it may not suit everyone, a lower resolution can be an advantage when it comes to tapping: small full HD screens can be imprecise, making small checkboxes almost impossible to prod.

This fondleslab's screen itself is sharp, bright and surprisingly unreflective. It cleans up quite easily too, which certainly isn't a given on all tablet touchscreens.

Acer Aspire P3 Ultrabook

You can fold back the keyboard, but it's not the most elegant arrangement

Still, if you fancy viewing on a bigger display, there's micro HDMI connectivity next to the solitary full-size USB 3.0 port. Apart from the mains adapter, the only other interface is the mic-headphone combo jack. It's a shame there's no SD slot of any description as well though; even Atom tablets manage that one.

OK, the 128GB SSD is bigger than most Atom slates afford, but, aside from its superior performance over Atom chips, Acer is touting this for entertainment too; thus it's included Dolby Home Theatre v4 to spruce up the sound. Once you've installed the usual slew of Windows updates and loaded up a bunch of workaday apps, storage space can rapidly disappear, so having an SD slot to offload your music and movie fest is always going to be handy. There’s always the USB stick option as a last resort, albeit a tad inelegant.

Acer Aspire P3 Ultrabook

Open and shut case

Talking of USB sticks, I managed to get the Aspire P3 to acknowledge Ubuntu Linux on a pen-drive boot installation. When I say “acknowledge” it’s because I couldn’t get past the install options screen. The problem here was that I had no way of pressing an Enter key. At this low-level boot stage, neither the touchscreen nor the Bluetooth keyboard are functional.

Boost IT visibility and business value

Next page: Making connections

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
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
Leak: Intel readies next round of NUC
Cheap boxen to get a refresh
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.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?