Unleashed at the IFA 2011 conference, the Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook has arrived as the premiere, indeed only real, ultrabook on the market. With so many people looking to find a good deal on a laptop and cloud services making storage demands less bulky, it’s no huge surprise that consumers would turn to the newest and slimmest tablets for features including instant-on OS boot-up, solid battery life and portability, to satisfy their computer needs.
Just 13 mm thin and weighing in at 1.4 kg, this magnesium alloy-refined device boasts Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor and boots up in about 45 seconds. The speed and performance of the S3 is what has been earning it high marks though. While in terms of storage and RAM, it may still fall short of the Macbook Air, consumers have the choice of large capacity hard disk drive or a solid state drive (which uses NAND-based flash memory and therefore less bulk), as well as a choice between i3, i5, or i7 processing strength. Therefore, there’s a hefty price range for the lower ($899) to higher end ($1299) models of the S3. At the lower end, this is the cheapest notepad you’re going to find for the functionality it offers.
The S3 Ultrabook is part of a trend toward the ultra-thin, ultra-light notebooks that perform extremely well and provide the consumer with. Apple’s Macbook Air, which appeared in 2008, has so far been the prize pony in this category, but there are no less than 30-50 ultra books launched in 2012. Why, even with slow initial sales, is this new breed of notepad expecting to flourish so wildly in an already saturated market? Skeptics say it will take a considerable amount of time and OS upgrades before the ultrabook is a plausible big-seller. Other industry experts say its combination of sleekness, performance, and portability will make them ideal workplace utilities.
Companies like Dell, Acer, and HP are counting on this emerging trend as a way to breath new life back into the ailing PC business, which has been gutted by smartphone and notepad sales. As the price falls and operating systems improve, expect more people to turn to ultrabooks, especially ones equipped with touchscreens. Intel expects ultrabook sales to grow by 40% next year. With so many new models underway and so little known about how much demand there is, expect 2012 to be the battle of the ultrabook.