Acer just put all other OEMs on notice by announcing the U.S. availability of its first Ultrabook, the Aspire S3-951. By tagging the S3 with an $899 price tag, Acer made it impossible for other OEMs to claim you can't build a sub-$1,000 Ultrabook at current component pricing. Not only did Acer do that by more than a hundred bucks, it also managed to cram both a solid state drive and mechanical hard drive in there for that price.
Let's start with the form factor. The Aspire S3 is a 13.3-inch Ultrabook that measures 12.59 x 8.52 by 0.51 to 0.68 inches and weighs less than 3 pounds (2.98 pounds, to be precise). Acer says the liberal use of magnesium aluminum/alloy contributes to the Aspire S3's rigid frame while maintaining a lightweight design.
Moving on to the features and specs:
13.3-inch LED backlit display with a 1366x768 resolution
Regarding the dual storage solution, Acer explains that the 20GB SSD is used in conjunction with its Green Instant On technology, which allows the Aspire S3 to resume from Sleep mode in as little as 2 seconds. The SSD stores the OS and maintains the current PC's state when left unattended, instantly restoring websites, emails, and/or documents. After 8 hours of inactivity, the Aspire S3 enters a Deep Sleep mode (configurable to 120 minutes), from which the Aspire S3 will resume in 6 seconds. By utilizing these Sleep states, Acer claims the battery life can last up to 50 days (up to 6 hours of actual usability).
"The combination of extreme mobility and affordability found in the Acer Aspire S3-951 Ultrabook will undoubtedly change the way people think about mobile computing," said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of marketing, Acer America. "Consumers are going to love the value they find in the freedom and capabilities it offers."
The Ultrabook Aspire S3-951 will be available to purchase this week at retail outlets and online in the U.S. and Canada.