ACER Aspire S3 Ultrabook Hands-on [Video]

This week at IFA 2011 we've gotten a hands-on look at Acer's newly announced Ultrabook, the Acer Aspire S3, an ultra portable thin and light super powerful laptop for the next generation of demanding consumers across the world. This device has a 13.3-inch LED display at 1366 x 768 pixels resolution, is a mere 0.51-inches thick, and features the latest second generation of Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors at up to 1.7GHz, this with a choice of 240 GB SSD or 320/500 GB HDD with embedded SSD means you've got one powerful bit of computing on your hands. Walk with us through this brand new device and see if it's going to replace your current fat-by-comparison laptop come the end of this year.

On the right side of this device you're going to find a full SD card slot, at the back you'll find a power port, full sized HDMI port, and two USB ports, and on the left side you'll find a headphone socket — aka this laptop is very basic in its connectivity scope. Inside you'll find a full sized chicklet keyboard with Dolby home theater support, and a full trackpad front and center. Atop the display you'll find an Acer Crystal Eye 1.3 megapixel camera and mic able to connect you with some video chat via Wi-fi provided by Acer InviLink Nplify 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED technology – plus there's some brand new Bluetooth 4.0+HSR tech in there for good measure.

Two features this laptop holds that are certainly selling points for the platform are Acer Green Instant On and Acer Instant Connect. The former of these two innovations is one that provides you with two modes of sleep for your laptop: Sleep and Deep Sleep. From Sleep mode, your computer will be able to boot back up to full capabilities in 1.5 seconds. Should your computer go into Deep Sleep mode, you'll be able to resume in just 6 seconds. Because this laptop is able to go into this advanced Deep Sleep mode, it's able to stay super low on battery consumption, allowing this computer's up time, Acer says, to last 50 days – of course you'll probably want to open the computer up every once in a while too, so more than likely 50 days is the max, but still! Pretty cool. Acer Instant Connect, on the other hand, has more to do with the internet, providing you with access to the web in just 2.5 seconds — how and under what circumstances being a few notes we'll have to expand upon once we get to review this device in full.

The Acer A3 will be priced between €799 and €1199 with USA prices forthcoming, and will be rolling out in select regions in September with a ramp-up in productions come October. This laptop is expected to become Acer's star product during the fourth quarter of 2011.

This is one of several of Intel's new Ultrabooks, the Lenovo IdeaPad U300S [hands-on video] and the Toshiba Portege Z830 [hands-on video] rounding out the bunch presented here at IFA 2011. What these devices are targeted at is the market currently being dominated by the MacBook Air. Compared here (and in the video in this post) are the MacBook Air and the Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook.

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ACER Aspire S3 Hands-on and comparison to MacBook Air (2nd-gen mid-2011)

The newest 2nd-gen MacBook Air runs either a core i5 or a core i7 processor while the Aspire S3 in this case is running a core i7 processor. The thickness between these two shows the Acer S3 to be considerably thicker, the MacBook Air sizing in at 0.68-inches at its thickest point while the S3, even though its official specs say it's 0.51 inches, can be seen to be, indeed, thicker than the Air here. The rest of the size bits here on these 13-inch models from each line, the Acer laptop ends up being a bit wider than the Mac, this sizing reflected in the weight of either device at 2.38 lbs for the Mac and 3 lbs for the Acer – certainly not a whole HECK of a lot of difference, but it is there!

As far as ports, both device has the same number of USB ports, a headphone jack, power port, SD card port – where they differ is in the display port, the MacBook Air giving you a mini display port / Thunderbolt port while the Acer gives you a full sized HDMI. It's sort of like choosing between buying a DVD or a Blu-Ray disk at the moment, where HDMI is certainly still a viable option and works on many many platforms, Mac's Thunderbolt port may well be the way of the future. As far as the keyboards go, both devices are fairly similar in their sizing and abilities save for the MacBook's trackpad which is slightly larger and more advanced due to gesture-related abilities included in the laptop's current operating system Mac OS X Lion. Speakers MAY be better with the Dolby Home Theater options available on the Acer device here but we're not sure quite yet since we've not gotten to review a unit – as for that and the rest of the compare-ables we'll have to wait until a full review situation arrives.

Until then! Which one would you choose if given the choice?