Acer Aspire Ultrabook S3 Hands-On: MacBook Air Clone or Contender?

Acer Aspire Ultrabook S3

The Acer Aspire S3 announced earlier today cuts an impressive profile. As mentioned in our announcement post, the 13-inch notebook weighs just 2.8 pounds. The version on the floor at Acer’s booth has an SSD embedded for faster data access and storage.

Acer’s clearly looking to win over the MacBook Air contingent with the S3. We had our 13-inch Air on hand for a quick comparison, and we have to say that the S3 comes pretty darn close to Apple’s machine in terms of quality. It’s not quite as sleek, but it has the smooth lines of a premium laptop and the same island-style, slightly rounded keys. The lid sports a metal finish and the chassis is aluminum/magnesium alloy.

Acer Aspire Ultrabook S3

One area where the Ultrabook S3 pulls ahead of the MacBook Air is with ports: it boasts HMDI output for connecting to the big screen, while Apple’s ultraportable has a mini DisplayPort that requires an HDMI adapter.

At its press conference this morning, Acer hailed the S3’s instant-on technology for waking up the system in 1.5 seconds as one of its best features. In our hands-on experience, it didn’t seem that fast, but we’ll have to return with a stopwatch. Click through our gallery for more images of the Ultrabook S3 at IFA.

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