Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook Hands On

acer aspire s3 lightning reviewIf you are looking for an affordable but lightweight laptop, or ultrabook, this holiday season you may well be looking towards Asus and Acer’s ultra lightweight models, which offer similar specifications and looks to the more expensive Macbook Air line up.

Yesterday, we managed to get our hands on with Acer’s offering the ultra thing, super light and very affordable Acer S3 Aspire ultrabook.

The S3 we had a quick hands on with looks just like a 13.3 inch Macbook Air from a distance, but the differences were noticeable once you get the S3 in your hands.

acer aspire s3 lightning review GizAcer have opted to use a plastic body on the Aspire S3 with a brushed alloy look lid. While the plastic construction helps keep the weight and price down, it doesn’t help when trying to create a solid unit with a quality feel.

Once picked up the lightweight Acer feels cheap, not necessarily the ‘bad’ cheap, but certainly not the ‘I’ve bagged a bargain cheap’ either. If you like me for example can stand a laptop with an ‘flexy’ screen, the Acer will certainly disappoint!

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acer aspire s3 lightning review GizAlso the choice in colour doesn’t help the overall look, as the dark grey colour on our test model made the Acer S3 look positively old and uncared for!

The chiclet style keyboard feels ok for the money, but again it’s evident Acer have made sacrifices when making their ultrabook fit a lower price point!

Speaking of price, the S3 we tried costs more than 6000 Yuan which is approximately $1000 (this is the Chinese mainland price), however for that kind of money there are certainly other Windows and even Apple laptops to choose which offer better quality.

acer aspire s3 lightning review GizSo you’re probably wondering if there was anything we did like about the Acer S3, well we did like the lightweight, but the quality issues don’t realy justify it, and we were pleasantly surprised at the slightly larger than normal track pad which offered similar multi-touch gestures as our Macbook Pro’s (2 finger scrolling, pinch to zoom etc).

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Acer Aspire S3 Image Gallery


The S3 represents the first wave of cheap ultra portables, and unfortunately it isn’t all that great! If the price was closer to 4500-5000 Yuan ($700-$785) we would certainly reevaluate our first impressions, but for the price you can certainly do better this Christmas!

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  1. December 4, 2011

    This is a great slim laptop from Acer. They really did a great job this time. 🙂 And… it looks like a Macbook.

  2. December 18, 2011

    Looks great. This is really a step of for Acer. It doesnt look as cheap as some of their previous models. I agree Orly, It definitely looks like a Macbook.