Acer Aspire S3 Review
- Very good keypad
- Slim form factor
- Decent performance
- Generous storage space
- Reasonably priced
- Touchpad response is iffy
- Battery life isn't the best around
- Display hinge isn't the strongest
For an ultrabook that costs around Rs. 50,000, the Acer Aspire S3 does have a lot going for it - good build quality, true-to-ultrabook sleek form factor and snappy performance. Essentially, this will appeal to those who want an ultrabook on a budget.
Throughout, the Acer Aspire S3 impressed us with its performance. We were surprised that it did better than the Samsung Series 5 even though the latter has a slight advantage in the power stakes with more RAM. In real life usage though, the S3 does feel sluggish at times, particularly when you may already have a couple of software open in the background. That is mostly due to the hard drive being on the slower side. It took 179 seconds to copy a 4GB folder. In contrast, the Samsung Series 5 did that in 145 seconds.
Where the Aspire S3 loses out is the graphics performance bit, and that is clearly indicated by the benchmark score comparison. What the S3 offers is an Intel HD 3000 graphics solution, while the Samsung Series 5 offers something most ultrabooks don’t – a dedicated graphics card – AMD Radeon HD 7550M (1GB). Not only does that allow you to use the ultrabook for gaming, while switching helps either ways. No serious gaming at all on the Aspire S3, while the Samsung Series 5 can handle that to a certain extent.
We award full points for the Aspire S3 for keeping rather silent and not getting too warm, even after an hour of normal usage. Even during the demanding benchmark tests, the S3 was surprisingly quiet, and not growling like an airplane about to take off.
Battery life isn’t the strong point of the Aspire S3. In our benchmark tests, the S3 ran out of juice in 132 minutes, as against the Samsung Series 5 that survived for 160 minutes. However, these tests are extremely taxing, and the battery life on offer is the “worst case scenario”. Essentially, for real life usage, the Aspire S3 will easily do double of this, and that takes it to around 4 hours. However, the Samsung Series 5, by that logic, will go well beyond 5 hours on a single charge under most usage scenarios.
For an ultrabook that costs around Rs. 50,000, the Acer Aspire S3 does have a lot going for it – good build quality, true-to-ultrabook sleek form factor and snappy performance. Compared to the nearest rival, the Samsung Series 5, the S3 scores better than the in terms of raw system performance.
However, the fact that Samsung offers a graphics card also adds an extra bit of dimension to that package. In the end, the S3 will appeal to those who want an ultrabook on a budget – decent performance, very slim design and an affordable price tag.
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