Ultrabooks have arrived! We just got word that the Acer Aspire S3 will go on sale in the US and Canada this week for $899 -- making it the first pinch-thin, MacBook Air competitor to hit the market, landing ahead of competing models from Toshiba, Lenovo and ASUS. To recap, this 2.98-pound aluminum beaut has a 13.3-inch (1366 x 768) panel, is rated for six hours (or 50 standby days!) of battery life and promises to wake from sleep in a mere two seconds. For the money, you'll get an ultra low voltage Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 20GB of solid-state storage combined with a 320GB HDD. No word yet on how many additional configs will be available, though Acer did confirm that this $899 version will be followed by models with Core i3 and i7 processors and beefier storage capacity. Intrigued? Have a gander at our hands-on preview if you missed it the first time around, and find some fancy press shots below.
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Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook
First we reduced its size, then we reduced its price...
Acer Aspire S3 UltrabookTM debuts for $899 in North America
Lightweight and fast like a hummingbird, the Acer Aspire S3 Series powers on instantly, connects to the Web in seconds and provides up to 50 days of stand-by time
- The 13.3-inch HD widescreen LED-backlit display features a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1366 x 768 resolution, delivering sharp, rich visuals.
- Acer Green Instant On lets you resume your computing session in less than 2 seconds.
- Acer Instant Connect gets you on the Internet in just 2.5 seconds – four times faster than conventional connections.
- A mere .51 inches thin and weighing a scant 2.98 pounds, the Aspire S3's aluminum/ magnesium chassis delivers strength in a lightweight design.
- Acer Hybrid Standby Technology provides up to 50 days of standby power and up to 6 hours of continuous usage.
- An Intel® Core™ i5 Processor, 20GB solid state drive and roomy 320GB hard drive deliver as much performance and storage capacity as much larger, full-size notebooks.
- Just $899, the Acer Aspire S3-951 proves you don't have to be rich to be thin.
SAN JOSE, Calif., Oct. 10, 2011 – Acer America today announced the North American availability of its first Ultrabook, the Acer Aspire S3-951. This featherweight Ultrabook powers on instantly, connects to the Web in seconds and provides up to 50 days of stand-by time, or 6 hours of continuous usage. As slim and easy to carry as a magazine, it includes a powerful Intel Core i5 Processor, speedy solid state drive for quickly booting the operating system, roomy hard drive, and essential USB and HDMI ports.
"The combination of extreme mobility and affordability found in the Acer Aspire S3-951 Ultrabook will undoubtedly change the way people think about mobile computing," said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of product marketing, Acer America. "Consumers are going to love the value they find in the freedom and capabilities it offers."
For Those who Hate to Wait
Like its inspiration, The Acer Aspire S3 Series was designed to be as light and quick as a hummingbird. With Acer's Ultrabook, there is no need to waste time shutting down and restarting. It's always ready in a flash for online browsing, instant messaging, social networking and other activities.
Acer's Green Instant On Technology delivers ultra-fast responsiveness, resuming from Sleep mode in as little as 2 seconds. The 20GB SSD drive stores the operating system and maintains the current PC's state as it was when left unattended, so when the computer is awakened, web sites, emails or documents previously in use are instantly restored.
After 8 hours of inactivity, the Aspire S3 Series will enter Deep Sleep mode, from which it will resume in 6 seconds. The user can change this 8 hour default setting to 120 minutes, which is recommended for longer trips or periods of inactivity.
With these energy-conscious innovations, the battery life lasts up to 50 days – even longer than regular mobile phone batteries. All-day usability is delivered with an integrated long-life battery that delivers up to 6 hours of computing time.
Acer's Instant Connect Technology reconnects the Ultrabook to the Internet from Sleep mode in just 2.5 seconds, four times faster than a conventional connection, enabling consumers to quickly access Instant Messaging, social networks and email immediately after the system comes "awake."
You don't have to be Rich to be Thin
Sporting an ultra-thin design and an MSRP of just $899, the Acer Aspire S3-951 is light in your briefcase and light on your wallet. Measuring just half-an-inch at its thinnest and weighing a mere 2.98 pounds, it's as easy to carry as a magazine or file folder. Its overall dimensions are 12.59 inches by 8.52-inches by .51 to.68-inches, making it one of the thinnest notebooks available on the market.
The liberal use of magnesium aluminum/alloy contributes to the Aspire S3's rigid frame while also keeping the system as light as possible. The aerodynamic design includes a metallic silver gray hairline finish, and a fingerprint-free finish on the lid that feels as smooth as silk. The 13.3-inch ultra-thin HD LED display uses an open cell design, integrating the display's covers with the glass panel. This allows the lid and bezel to form a strong aluminum frame around the screen, and reduces the bezel thickness by about 10 percent, creating a super-slim silhouette that is still strong enough to protect the display.
A seamless and uncluttered chassis, only a card reader and headphone connector are located on the left and right side; all the other connectors are located in the back, keeping the side profiles clean and sleek.
For user convenience, the power and battery status indicators are located on the outside corner, allowing them to be viewed even when the lid is closed. In addition, the power button is located above the keyboard underneath the LCD, so it's easy to reach but won't be accidentally pressed when the notebook is picked up and moved. A large multi-gesture touchpad and full size chiclet keyboard keeps the design simple and neat.
The Acer Aspire Ultrabook also includes numerous design elements that keep the system running cool and efficiently. All the heat generating components have been placed away from the palm rest and touchpad area, and warm air is funneled away from the user through the back of the Ultrabook. Venting throughout the keyboard also helps the system stay cool, and its vent-free bottom allows it to be used comfortably on a lap or pillow, without fear of obstructing air flow and overheating. In addition, airflow is optimized to enhance efficiency and lower power consumption to help increase system battery life.
Get the Job Done without being Weighed Down
Capturing the spirit of the hummingbird, the Aspire S3's diminutive form belies its agility and prowess. It is among the thinnest and lightest, but is incredibly fast and powerful.
Featuring a 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor, Intel® HD Graphics 3000, 20GB solid state drive, 320GB hard drive, and 4GB of memory, the Aspire S3-951 Ultraportable is small, lightweight and easy to carry while still delivering the power needed for multimedia programs, CPU intensive programs and graphic intensive games. It is currently the only Ultrabook on the market to include both a solid state and hard disk drive.
Rock Out to Big Audio in a Small Package
Ideal for enjoying music, games or movies on-the-go or at home, the S3-951 includes professionally-tuned Dolby® Home Theater® v4, for vibrant, cinema-style surround sound and enhanced dialogue quality. Combined with its 13.3-inch HD Widescreen CineCrystal™ LED-backlit display featuring a 16:9 aspect ratio and a maximum resolution of 1366 x 788, it delivers sharp, rich high-definition visuals. It can be connected to an external monitor, projector or TV through a single cable via its HDMI port, so 1080p content can be enjoyed on a larger scale.
Share Photos, Update Social Networks and Video Chat -- Anytime, Anywhere
Acer Clear.fi makes it easy to stay in touch with friends and family, managing, storing, sharing and enjoying music, photos and videos between any Clear.fi enabled devices throughout a home or small office. In addition, they can also use it to connect to social networking sites, as clear.fi connects to feeds from Facebook, videos on YouTube and images on flickr. In addition, a 2-in-1 card reader that supports SD™ Card and MultiMediaCard™ formats make it easy to quickly and easily share data or download photos from their digital cameras.
For those who like to chat, video sessions are easy to set up and sound clear as a bell. The S3 Series includes Acer Video Conference Manager instant messaging software and a Crystal Eye 1.3 webcam that provides high-pixel density for amazing video image quality at 24 frames per second. Dual cameras make it easy to take high-definition still photos from either side of the Ultrabook.
For wireless connectivity at home or on the go, Acer InviLink™ Nplify™ 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ technology delivers reliable wireless connections wherever there's a hotspot(9). The Aspire S3 Series lets you cut down the clutter with Bluetooth® 4.0+ HSR technologies, the latest standard for quick short-range wireless file transfers.
The Acer Aspire S3-951 Ultrabook will be available this week at leading online and retail outlets in the U.S. and Canada. It has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $899 (U.S. & CAN).
Future models to be announced will round out Acer's Ultrabook line up, and will include Intel Core i7 or Core i3 Processors and larger capacity solid state drives.