Get up close and personal with the first Ultrabook to hit the Australian market, the Acer Aspire S3 (S3-951-2464G34iss)
You can see that the S3 is noticeably slimmer when put nose to nose with the TravelMate.
The Acer Aspire S3 is the first Ultrabook to hit the Australian market and it looks rather nice. It's not a dead-ringer for the MacBook Air -- it's slightly thicker and more rounded, not to mention some other design characteristics -- but it feels just as solidly built, and most importantly, it's very light.
We've pictured it here with its power adapter, which is 95x50mm.
The configuration of our test model included an Intel Core i5-2467M CPU, 4GB of RAM, integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics and 320GB hard drive with an embedded solid state drive. Options include a 240GB solid state drive and Core i3 or Core i7 CPUs. Pricing starts from $1199 for a basic model.
It's a good looking laptop with a single colour scheme throughout (except for the black portion of the spine), but we're not sure about the glossy screen, which can annoy you with lots of reflections.
Face off for size comparison purposes.
The right side has the headphone port.
All of the ports are located on the rear, but there aren't too many.
The left side of the S3 Ultrabook has nothing but an SD card reader.
The overall design is strong and elegant. It uses a combination of magnesium alloy and aluminium. It's a unit that weighs around 1.35kg.
Bottom view. You can see that there aren't any easy access panels to get to the RAM or disk drive.
You get two USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port along with the power port. All ports that have been deemed unnecessary have been removed, including a wired LAN port. USB 3.0 is not available because it's not yet integrated in the Intel chipset.
The TravelMate on the left is 25mm thick at its thickest point at the rear.
The keyboard looks nice and the keys feel good to hit. However, it's not a backlit keyboard and we think this is a drawback.
Here's the S3 sitting next to the 14in [[artid:404188|Acer TravelMate 8481G]] which weighs 1.6kg.
You can see that the screen itself is quite thin at around 4mm.
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