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A rare Ultrabook with discrete graphics (and an optical drive)

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For the money, the Acer Aspire M5 is a fantastic deal. At $780, it delivers some of the best graphics performance you'll find in this price range, or among Ultrabooks, in general. It's thinner than many mainstream 14-inch laptops, even though it still makes room for an optical drive. Unlike other ultraportables, too, you'll find a generous selection of ports (Ethernet, HDMI, USB 3.0), and the keyboard and trackpad are fairly comfortable. And because the price is so tempting, we suspect the people considering this (students, etc.) will be willing to forgive its minor flaws, like its mediocre screen and scratchy, plastic bottom. If you've been looking for a solid, all-purpose machine and either can't afford a $1,100 Ultrabook or need something with more horsepower, you won't do much better than this.

Buy It:

$849.99

90-Day Price History

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$849
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$698

Critic reviews

7.3
6 reviews
  • Speed and features
    7.3
  • Design and form factor
    6.6
  • Battery life
    7.6
  • Display
    7.5
  • Durability
    7.0
  • Expandability
    8.0
  • Noise
    8.0
  • Portability (size / weight)
    7.3

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User reviews

8.1
7 reviews
8.0
PC World Jul 24, 2012

This attractive 15.6-inch Ultrabook represents a downgrade from its predecessor in storage and performance.

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8.0
CNET Aug 8, 2012

Yes, it's heavier than the average ultrabook, but if you're looking for an excellent value in a full-featured thin laptop, the Acer Timeline U M5 is hard to beat.

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7.0
Ars Technica Aug 27, 2012

It shares much more in common with standard 15" and 14" laptops than it does with the current crop of Ultrabooks, but it fits all of these standard features—an optical drive, a good but not mind-blowing CPU and GPU—into a package that doesn't look ridiculously bulky next to thinner designs.

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6.0
Wired Aug 6, 2012

If you’re a gamer who travels a lot but never wants to plug his laptop in, consider the TimelineUltra your baby. Those who quickly tire of waiting may want to look elsewhere.

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8.0
73roderick 73roderick

This is absolutely most amazing laptop I have ever owned. I have the M5-481TG (14" with dedicated graphics) model and it's incredible. It's difficult, but not impossible to upgrade, and I have put a 256 Gig SSD and more ram in mine and it just flies. Dedicated graphics, cd-drive, and this kind of...

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