Continuing with our review of the Ultrabooks currently in the market, we now turn our attention to the Acer Aspire S3. Right off the bat the first thing that catches you eye is how thin this ultrabook is. At 0.5″ the Aspire S3 is the thinnest ultrabook that we have tested. And weighing in at 3lbs, it is feather light as well. There is a flip side to being so thin and light though… when you hold the S3, it feels very fragile.
The model we tested came with the Intel i5 dual core 1.6GHz processor, 4GB RAM (that cannot be expanded further), 320GB hard drive with a 20GB SSD for those quick starts, 13.3″ LED screen at a display resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, a memory and SD card slot, 2 USB ports, 1 HDMI port and a 1.3MP webcam. These are pretty standard for an ultrabook. The battery life on the model we tested net almost 8 hours on a single charge and this is on the high end from all the different machines we have tested thus far.
We felt the display could have been a lot better (a common theme with a lot of the Ultrabooks we have tested) especially considering the amount of pixelation we noticed while watching movies on the Aspire S3. It got very annoying after a while especially knowing the in built speakers are actually quite good (not HP Envy 14 Spectre good but still). The trackpad also hit a good note and was very smooth and easy to use. We did not notice the mouse pointer jumping issue that many other ultrabooks have. The fact that you can’t increase the RAM size is a little bit of a downer considering the fact that other ultrabooks are pushing the limits at 6 and 8GB these days. Still, for day to day use, we feel the specs are sufficient. If you are looking to use your machine for any memory intensive tasks (like video/image editing, coding etc.), you are better off looking for another model or brand of ultrabook. Overall, the Acer Aspire S3 would qualify as a mediocre ultrabook by our standards.
The Acer Aspire S3 is currently on sale in India for about Rs. 49,000 (~$980).