Acer Friday introduced a new, pumped-up model of its Aspire S3 Ultrabook. Acer upgraded the processor and the hard drive in the new Aspire S3; unfortunately, that upgraded the $899 price tag on the older model to $1,299.
When reviewing the original Aspire S3, PCWorld found it to be a basic Ultrabook: Compact and light with the lowest price for laptops in this category at the time. However, performance on the original Aspire S3, which has a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, was deemed middling.
The new, high-end version of the Aspire S3 ramps up the processor to a 1.6GHz Intel Core i7 processor (capable of revving up to 2.3GHz, thanks to Intel TurboBoost technology).
Instead of the 320 GB (5,400 rpm) traditional hard drive, the upgraded Aspire S3 will feature a 256 GB solid state drive, for faster start up and overall performance.
The Aspire S3 Ultrabooks continue to weigh 3 pounds and are both half an inch thick. They each have a 13.3-inch display that features a 1366-pixel-by-768-pixel resolution.
In short, the additional $400 you'll pay for the new Aspire S3 gets you a more powerful processor and a better hard drive and makes it more directly competitive with the similarly priced MacBook Air. The $1,299 MacBook Air is powered by a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor and offers 128GB of flash storage.
The Aspire S3 is just one of many Ultrabooks destined to come our way in the near future, but it’s nice to have both low-end and higher-end models to choose from.