For only $748 the 13.3in Acer Aspire S3-951-2364G34iss is one of the best Ultrabook bargains we’ve come across. The low-voltage 2nd Gen Intel Core i3 and mechanical hard disk drive (together with a caching solid state drive) do peg the Aspire S3 as entry-level, but higher-end Ultrabooks start at about $1,100, so this is a very affordable way of getting yourself one of these much lauded superthin and light laptops. In appearance, the Aspire S3 is identical to its expensive SSD-only S3 siblings from Acer, with an all-metal (aluminium and magnesium) exterior giving it a very striking appearance. Of course the portability is top notch because it weighs only 1.4kg, and while some alternatives are lighter the Aspire S3 is still one of the lightest notebooks currently available with a 13.3in screen.
Keep in mind that there is a shipping fee if you don’t pick up the Aspire S3 directly from the Laptop Factory Outlet store at South Granville, in Sydney, NSW. If your location means the price ends up more than $799, then check out the Catch of the Day website, which is selling the Aspire S3 for $799, with shipping included. That special does run out tomorrow (Wed, Australian Eastern Standard Time), unlike the Laptop Factory Outlet special that will last until stocks run out.
The Aspire S3 has a low-voltage 2nd Gen Intel Core i3-2367M (1.4GHz), a decent low-end processor that can run productivity applications comfortably and also more intensive software. It lacks some of the sophistication of the more expensive Core i5 and Core i7 processors (ie, it doesn't have Turbo Boost, for when it comes up against a particularly demanding task), but for basic, every day computing, it does the job.
It features an integrated graphics solution (on the processor itself) called Intel HD Graphics 3000. This is on par with a low-end dedicated graphics card, and is sufficient for modern games at the lowest settings.
4GB of RAM is enough for some basic multitasking (running a few programs a once) and will ensure acceptable overall system performance with the low-voltage Core i3 processor and Windows 7 Home Premium.
A 320GB hard disk drive is on the small side compared to what you get in most laptops, but it's huge compared to what you get in most Ultrabooks (which generally come with 128GB or 256GB solid state drives). The mechanical drive is the component that makes this Ultrabook more affordable, since SSDs are more expensive. However, this Acer S3 compensates for the mechanical drive by also having a 20GB solid state drive used for caching, which allows it wake up quickly and helps some applications respond more swiftly.
It has a 13.3in (1,366 x 768 resolution) gloss screen. The viewing angles and colour vibrancy are about average.
It’s got exceptional portability, because it weighs 1.4kg and is 17.5mm thick. It’s more than light enough to be taken anywhere with you barely noticing it in your bag or briefcase.
See the Acer Aspire S3-951-2364G34iss in the Notebook Hunter database here.
See the special online here.