on August 10, 2012
I can't believe that there are no reviews for this item and I was a little hesitant to buy it since it did not have any reviews. I was also looking at the Zenbook but the reviews were mixed and the price was high, I decided I could wait a few more years for them to work out the glitches. I have tried all major brands out there and they were just ok to absolutely horrible, and I really can do without a disk drive as I never really used them in my other lap tops and why bother paying for something you won't use.
This is lightweight, the screen is great, the touch pad is large and all the connections are on the back which is a personal preference for myself. I bought this mainly to take with me on road trips and for dedicated use for personal stuff. My favorite feature is the bluetooth, I connected a stereo headset and found the sound quality to be crisp and clear, perfect for those times when I may want to listen to something without disturbing others.
I got an awesome deal with a amazon promotion so for the 550.00 I paid for this I found it to be an exceptional value given the size, weight and features!! A great item and price for students!!!
on November 17, 2012
I've had this ultrabook for about 2 months now, and it's performed quite decently so far. I'm not a very picky consumer, and I don't gripe about small inconveniences, especially when considering that the price for this ultrabook is rather reasonable when compared to others in the same tech/spec range.
Pros: it really is ultra-light, the sleek design is similar to the 13-inch version of the MacBook Air (though the material & build are likely not as sturdy or well put-together, hence the immense price difference), and it has a sleek outer shell that doesn't retain fingerprints or stains so easily (which is something that netbook/notebook users seem to care about). Most importantly, it is immensely portable. The i3 processor is quite capable when it comes to intensive web use (which is what I mainly do with it), and it does start up quickly from its "sleep" or "hibernation" modes. Some consumers have mentioned that the speed slows down considerably when having too many windows/programs open, but I can't verify if this is the case with my own machine since I'm not the kind of user who likes to have more than 8 Word documents open while using a tab-heavy Google Chrome open as well. If you expect to execute intensive business-related activities on your notebook, I definitely would recommend stepping up to an i5 or i7 processor; I own an Acer laptop with an i5 on it, and it's able to handle larger-order tasks like that. My advice: use an i3 ultrabook for basic to intensive web use (especially cloud use), and since this machine has a 500 GB harddrive, you'll be able to save quite a lot of material on it.
Cons: the 5.5 hour battery life is something of a fabrication. You get 2.5 to 3 hours MAX if you use it for that long without break, but if you intersperse your sessions with occasional use (closing and re-opening it from time to time) the battery will drag itself out through a good part of the day. I suppose this kind of intermittent use was what Acer meant by "5.5 hour battery life". One user has accurately recognized that the screen is liable to shake too often if the notebook is moving too much; so long as you have a sturdy table or desk that doesn't budge or shake, the screen won't shake at all, even if you're clacking away at the keys with any degree of intensity. I imagine that, in general, the keys might not be responsive...at first. In the case of this notebook, the key for letter "C" was not loose enough (as if it were semi-stuck into the groove of the body), but after 2 months that particular key became loosened and now is about as responsive as the others. I had (and continue to have) a similar problem with the larger i5 Acer notebook I own: the blue "Fn" key still does not work in conjunction with the Fn controls (such as turning the volume down or up, increasing or decreasing the brightness, etc.), but since that key and its related controls are not absolutely crucial to the basic performativity of the notebook, I don't give it much mind. I still get the performance that I need from the machine. In any case, I think that Acer machines generally seem to have a slight looseness or vulnerability to their build--which is why their prices are what they are. So I can't complain.
All in all, I'm satisfied with what the notebook gives me: portability, sleekness, lightness, connectivity. I've been a consistent Acer user for a few years now (I own 3 machines by them), and I can't say they've disappointed me thus far. Even though the Cons seem to outnumber the Pros in terms of quantity, they are actually quite minor quibbles in relation to the fantastic price the notebook's offered at, and quite minor too in relation to the overall quality the notebook gives you; which is to say, it functions just as it is marketed to you (except for that fib concerning the battery life). And it really does hold up in style when placed next to the implacable army of MacBooks that you inevitably meet each time you walk into a cafe or library to work on something.
on October 2, 2012
I bought this to use for my work, which did not involve heavy graphics or such things, but just a simple process of having multiple Microsoft Word windows open together with a couple of Internet tabs open in Google Chrome, one or two Excel files, and one or two more text programs (e.g. Evernote).
And this computer is slow with that amount of load. It freezes more often than I would like -- about three to four times DAILY -- which is a wonder because it's not like I'm running heavy games on it. Is having about six to seven Word documents open together with two or three Internet tabs on Chrome too much for a new laptop to handle? I certainly did not think the i3 processor would be so slow as to be inadequate for my simple tasks.
UPDATE: Had this laptop for about four months now. Of the aforementioned problem, I contacted Acer service center and the man there told me to try reinstalling some drivers (he sent me links). He told me that if that didn't work, to try factory-resetting the laptop. Fortunately, reinstalling the drivers fixed the problem -- for three months. After that, the same problem reoccurred -- freezing, disability to click, etc., etc. I reinstalled those same drivers again, and the problem has been fixed. I suppose I'll keep doing this every time the problem reoccurs. Other than this, though, the laptop is usually moderately fast and functional.
on May 26, 2013
First let me begin by saying that I am not a tech geek but rather a savy consumer. I researched many various styles of laptops and ultrabooks before purchasing this item. As you may know there are many options to match every demographic of consumer but as I navigated the many reviews and professional critiques I recognized that ACER was a reputable brand. I dug deeper (after owning a Dell, Samsung, HP and Toshiba)and this ultrabook compares with all of these top brand names.
I was in the market for a light weight, verstile, functional computer to be used primarily for school and business. In my research the ultrabook series appeared to be the way to go; this ACER Aspire S3 fulfilled my needs and desires. What I like and list as the positives: (1) stylish exterior design/good eye appeal, (2) keyboard layout is highly functional and comnfortable, (3) keys are soft to the touch and allows for quick typing with no sticking, (4) screen size is perfect for portability and for working with multiple MS Office documents, (5) ultrabook doesn't get hot when on my lap, (6) screen resolution is sharp and radiant, (7) start up speed is faster than my Samsung and HP laptops,(8) memory capacity is more than sufficient for maintaining school/business projects, and (9) Windows 7 software downloaded (not a fan of the new Windows 8).
I read the other reviews posted on this item and for me personally have not experienced any of the freezing syptoms, screen jumping and slow connectivity expressed by other consumers.
I would catergorize the following as the potential negatives (based upon my own experience): (1) WIFI strength sometimes weak and its not my router because I have seen the same with public connections; it appears to be unique to this unit, (2) mouse pad sounds hollow and unlike the key strokes it doesn't feel as comfortable to the touch but it works well, (3) speakers are not the greatest and if you want premium quality sound you would certainly need to add external speakers, (4) battery life is dependent on use, I have gotten between 3.5 to 4.5 hours without a charge -- more windows open and multiple activities will drain battery quicker, (5) Note hybernation and sleep modes help with battery life and battery life on this ultrabook is superior to my Samsung, (6) placement of USB ports is unique and may not be comfortable to some users, for me it works, (7) power cord connector must be perfect fit worried I might break the pin, doesn't push in easily, and (8) ACER sent it with a lot of addons and extra programs not necessary which will require clean-up.
To this end, I really like this Ultrabook. It has excellent craftmanship and for my specific needs it was a smart purchase for the price. Despite some of the negatives listed I still rate this item 4 Stars and per my own experience and research suggest it to be a competitive alternative to the more expensive high-end ultrabooks or Mac Airbooks.
I hope this review offered pratical insight and was helpful to making a determination on whether to purchase or not.
I have now had this laptop for a few months and I love it. It is meeting all my needs very well. Some of the prior reviews and comments shared about potential problems I have not experienced. The light weight, versatility and performance are better than prior laptops -- HP, Samsung and Dell. I use it for school and business and have no problems. Have received many compliments about its visual appeal. After a couple months of use the only draw back is the battery life -- it does not live up to the manufacturer suggested battery life. Honestly, after about 1.5 hours of continuous use the battery will die. Best used on charger.
I would still recommend this laptop as an economical purchase; especially good for school or moderate use. Certainly just as with most laptops or PCs there are drawbacks depending on usage. Example, not a gamer laptop and sound is weak so may not be the best for watching movies or programs online. Had to purchase additional software and delete pre-loaded items that came with laptop since I didn't need them. Don't list this as a negative just noting for potential buyers.
To this end, if you are reading this review and considering this laptop for purchase I would recommend. Like you I went back and forth between different models before deciding upon this one and I don't regret my decision. Hope this review has helped....
on August 15, 2012
2 Months Update
So I have had the ultrabook for about two months now. For the most part it is still pretty good, but some issues have come up. Firstly, the screen does kinda shake a bit when you move it around and a little when you type. It actually shakes more than you would want a screen to shake. Secondly, my laptop has just started randomly turning off for some reason every few days. I know it is not a virus for sure, so I will look into that. Lastly, at times the fan can get annoyingly loud. Like a little too lound, and there is only one vent on the entire laptop. So that is why this goes from 5 stars to 3 stars.
Original Purchase Review
I had been shopping for an ultrabook for about 2 months for college. I had my eyes set on an acer S3 for a while, but this laptop on Amazon sealed the deal. I got it for 550 dollars at the time of my purchase (That Promo has now expired). But even at its current price. I would highly recommend the purchase. It is a very classy looking ultrabook. The new Champagne Color is really good to look at. I have gotten tons of compliments from friends and Family alike.
As for the performance aspects. The computer runs just as it should. It has instant boot up. Although I would venture to say that the Speed of the ultrabook is nothing to scream about. However, it does assure that I will never buy another computer that is not at least have a partial SSD. The Screen is decent. You get what you pay for, and then some.
If nothing else, the computer is worth buying for its aesthetics.
on October 7, 2012
I've only had my new ultrabook for a month. So far, it's been problem free. I thought it would be difficult to adapt to the very flat keyboard, but it's great. I type VERY fast (over 140 wpm), and it hasn't hampered my speed in the least. Someone commented that the screen shakes when you're typing. I've found that if the laptop is on a stable surface (i.e., table), the screen stays rock steady. The other user might have the lid open too far, causing an instability. I'd recommend adjusting the screen angle, and then it's good. Another negative comment I read was about the touchpad. I can't really comment on that, since I don't care for touchpads, and am using an external mouse. So far, it's fast and reliable, without any problems.
My only reason for 4 stars, instead of 5, is that I wish the laptop had more USB ports and the USB port placement. It only has 2 USB ports, and if I need to get something off a flash drive, I have to unplug something else, since I'm often charging my iPad, while using a USB mounted IR mouse. Also, the USB ports are on the back of the laptop -- not a great placement. But given the thickness of this laptop, that's about the only place with room to mount the USB's.
Overall, I'm glad I purchased this laptop, and I can recommend it.
Three years later, and it's still going strong! I can't believe that it's been three years since I bought this Ultrabook.... one of my best computer purchases, EVER! This is the longest period of time that I've ever kept a computer without needing to upgrade. However, I have purchased a second Acer computer (all-in-one desktop) for strictly business use, and am using my Ultrabook for my games and personal files.
on March 12, 2013
I'm a stickler for light weight, so I really took to the Aspire S3 when I first saw it. Its a very sleek, light ultrabook, the size/weight specs alone really fit the numbers I was looking for. I've noticed several variants around the web for this very machine, with i3 cpus on up. I have an i5 quad core @ 1.6MHz, and its plenty fast for me. The display is large enough for when I'm traveling, but I often plug it into a 26 inch LCD I keep at home using the on-board hdmi port. Two USB ports are enough for me as well, I just plug in a usb hub if I need more, which is rare. Although this is my main machine now, I love it, I have two problems with it; first it would be nice to be able to add more ram to it, but Acer chose to solder the 4 gigs in. That was almost a show-stopper for me, Windows 7 runs best with at least 6, but since I wanted to run Linux on this machine anyway, and Linux can be very ram efficient, I decided I could live with the limit. 2nd, although the battery life is often stated as being 5.5 hours on a full charge, I've found that the real number is about 2. One caveat to this is this particular unit was actually an Office Depot demo, so I got it for a good price, but I suspect it was plugged in all the time, for months. I've ordered a replacement, so we'll see how long it can ride with a new battery. Anyway, if you're like me and place a high value on low weight with a decent sized display, you could do a lot worse than this machine.
on September 25, 2012
Tried one of the zenbooks from Asus and was incredibly disappointed. This machine on the other hand is almost perfect. Fairly quiet, beautiful screen, good fit/finish and solid. Runs latest Linux mint perfectly. Suspend even works!
Would recommend to anyone.
on December 29, 2012
PROS: For a college student like me, this ultrabook fit my needs perfectly: it's light, fast (boots up fast, loads pages/programs/files fast), looks beautiful, and has a great, well-spaced out keyboard (extremely important for comfortable/efficient essay writing). To top it all, it is also decently priced.
CONS: The speakers are definitely not the best.. They're not even as good as the ones on my EEE PC Netbook, which should really tell you something. So if quality speakers for a laptop are a priority for you, beware. However, when I plug my headphones in, the sound is loud and crisp, so this issue was easily fixed for me.
In order to test out whether this ultrabook could run any video games, I installed the Sims 3 on it. It actually ran very well and rarely lagged. However, after only about an hour and a half of playing the game, the ultrabook became extremely hot.. so hot that I was worried something might happen if I didn't turn it off. Obviously, this laptop isn't advertised as a gaming machine, but I just thought I'd throw that out there in case anyone was curious. It can handle (some) gaming like this, if only for a short while.
SO-SO: WINDOWS 8
There's a lot of bad-mouthing going on regarding Windows 8 at the moment. I originally thought - if it's not a touch screen laptop, what's the point of having Windows 8 on it it all?
After using it for a little while though, I've gotten used to the interface fairly quickly. The Start button / menu with all those tiles basically works like a home screen for apps, most of which are pretty useless. You still have a desktop though, so don't worry; switching between the two is quick and easy. Navigating your settings, control panels, etc, just takes a bit getting used to. Once you make shortcuts for them wherever you like, using Windows 8 becomes a breeze. I know it's hard to get used to (what most of us think are unnecessary) changes to the Windows we've all known for years, but once you spend a little time getting used to the interface, Windows 8 will work just fine for you.
So basically, if you're on a budget and want a laptop that is thin, light, looks great, has a great keyboard, and a decently sized track-pad, this is probably the ultrabook for you.
on April 1, 2013
Pros: Great package, size, and weight, good recovery concept, bad execution.
First, the good. Great build, size and weight—very solid construction which I'm guessing includes a metal chassis. Good recovery concept—I accidentally made my C:\ drive Active and lost the ability to boot into Windows after restarting the system. I called Tech Support and was able to use their Alt-F10 boot-up recovery option to recover most of what I’d lost (which wasn’t much on this new machine). It took a few hours to reload the Operating System from their recovery partition but it worked great. You do have to reload all software that was previously loaded but the recovery process saved all my data to a Backup folder if you use the SECOND option after executing the Alt-F10 recovery process. Unfortunately, the Tech Support person said that the second Alt-F10 recovery process wasn’t the option I needed for some reason and kept insisting that I use the first recovery process which was to wipe out the drive and reload preloaded Windows 7 Home Premium to factory specs. Now why would I not want to recovery my data if given the chance? Maybe he knew something I didn’t but the second Alt-F10 option was the way to go in my situation.
Cons: Now for the Bad, and the Ugly: I tried hard to love this little machine but there were two major, glaring flaws that made this ultrabook almost unusable:
1) Bad Wi-Fi connectivity: only when this Acer was physically three feet from the Wi-Fi router was I able to attain five bars on the Taskbar connectivity status. While my other laptop reliably stayed connected to my home Wi-Fi rooms away from the router, the Acer had issues and slowdowns that made staying connected a chore. Connectivity drops and inconsistent transfer rates made downloading from the internet a slow and painful process. Is this a QualComm/Atheros issue? Suffice it to say, the Wi-Fi on this Acer seemed sadly underpowered.
2) TouchPad sensitivity: the Touchpad on this Acer is a single panel that pivots underneath to allow left and right button activation much like standard MacBook Multi-Touch Trackpads. Unfortunately, placement and sensitivity of the TouchPad made it difficult to not accidentally select the wrong item. This was dangerous partly because of the way I use a standard TouchPad—right index finger on the TouchPad, left thumb on the left button—it was way too easy to activate the TouchPad at the wrong time. It almost seemed that the Touchpad would activate from finger heat alone. The problem may have been solved with simple adjusments to the Touchpad sensitivity via the software—which I had to update amongst other software programs, along with the BIOS, but after the Wi-Fi problem I decided I'd had enough. This ultrabook was purchased in December 2012 and had some software with build dates of early 2012. When I checked the Acer Support website for newer drivers I found updates from mid-2012—now why aren’t all computers updated to the latest and greatest driver versions before they leave the factory? Are they packaged so far in advance that this is an impossibility? Finally, in order to activate the left or right button correctly one had to press the extreme left or right corner of the panel to insure proper activation—anywhere else nearby would result in nothing other than a clicking sound. Having to press the far corner of the panel is something I can get used to but the ghost activation was too much. I was in fear of accidentally deleting data, moving files or folders haphazardly, and/or skipping around the screen on a normal basis. Not good.
Granted, the Wi-Fi could be fixed with a third-party USB adapter… maybe, and the TouchPad issue(s) could be fixed with third-party USB or wireless keyboards/mice, but then both USB 3.0 (nice features if they weren’t wasted on third-party adapters) would be consumed. Really? After spending $600 dollars on this ultrabook, do we really want the inconvenience of additional hardware hanging off this little chassis? Portability, weight, and convenience-- features that are highly prized and commeasurately charged for-- go out the window.
Acer has the concept right. They simply need to follow through with good execution.
I would NOT recommend this product until they work out the above issues.