Acer and ASUS unveil new Windows ultrabook laptops

By Tom Warren, on 11th Oct 11 9:53 am with 31 Comments

Acer and ASUS unveiled their new Ultrabook devices on Tuesday.

ASUS Ultrabook

The ASUS “Real Ultrabook” will go head-to-head with Apple’s new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air laptops. The ASUS X21 is available in 11-inch and 13-inch models starting at under $1,000. The low-end X21 features an 11-inch display, i5 processor and 128GB SSD. The high-end UX31 includes an i7 processor, 256GB SSD and a 13-inch display. The 11-inch model weighs just 2.2 pounds compared to Apple’s MacBook Air at 2.38 pounds.

Acer Ultrabook

Acer is also introducing its own Aspire range of Ultrabooks. The S3 series includes a 13-inch display, i5 processor and a hybrid 20GB SSD/320GB HDD system. The full Acer Aspire S3-951 salient specs (via CNET):

  • Size: 0.51 inches thick, 2.98 pounds
  • Materials: aluminum/ magnesium chassis
  • Display: 13.3-inches, 1366×768
  • Processor: Intel Core i5, 1.66GHz (power-efficient ULV)
  • Graphics: Intel HD 3000
  • Storage: 20GB SSD, 320GB HDD (hybrid design)
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Battery: rated by vendor at up to 6 hours
  • Ports: USB 2.0 (2), HDMI, SD reader
  • OS: Windows Home 7 Premium
  • Price: $899.99
  • Joey Johansen

    Not bad, not bad at all.

  • Anonymous

    the acer looks nice..

    • Penta2100

      I like the asus more. I just looks alot simplier like the mac air.

    • Pedro Roque

      It would look even nicer if it wasn’t an Acer… crappy customer service

    • Guest

      Well, you could wait another three or four years for HP to bring one to market or put up with Acer’s crappy customer service. I’ll take the tech now. Their build quality in my experience is decent.

  • Pedro Roque

    I need one of these with a touch screen!

    • Igotagig

      I believe touchscreen with ultrabook is coming with haswell in 2012/3?

    • Anonymous

      Damn technology.  There is always something better on the horizon.  I’m tempted to wait until haswell and touch screens, but by then I might see something coming in 2014/15 that I should wait for.

    • Major Plonquer

      Maybe you should wait for Windows 14 with Direct Cerebral Interface…..

  • Gamer

    Intel graphics, I am disappointed man. It will have the same bad performance in games like mac book air

    Although the hybrid design of ssd and hdd is a great idea, low cost and high performance for OS. I wonder how they managed to squeeze in those after the huge battery

    • Larry

      Because so many people will be buying these to play games…..

    • Anonymous

      i would if it comes with a better graphics but its hard to integrate dedicated cards in such a slim design…to bad…maybe in 1-2 years we can get one of those slim pcs with gaming specs :)

    • Larry

      Not saying someone would try but the focus of this device is 2D for sure.  Office, quickbooks, web surfing, email, etc in a slim and light package, with a 13inch screen and a full keyboard. 

      It is not meant to play Battlefield 3.

    • Anonymous

      Intel graphics have improved a lot.  It should be able to handle games like WoW and Starcraft.  If you want to play Battlefield 3 or Crysis, you best stick with your desktop.

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      Thats why there are laptop for games. and even Digital Storm or Alienware aren’t that expensive (the cheap ones) compared to this laptop. being faster and with a gpu beating like nothing this stupid intel hd 3000
      but its Intel… you know, they have never made a good graphic card. it shouldn’t surprise you.

  • EGlasheen

    The acer totally copies the Macbook Air… can’t anyone be original? I hope they get sued…

    • Anonymous

      because there are so many different ways to make a laptop look slim and the standard laptop look so different from each other. The differentiation is basically is the laptop black or does it look like metal.

    • Guest

      What specifically do see as unique in the MBA design that didn’t itself have a PC equivalent first?

    • EGlasheen

      Your kidding… duh?

    • Guest

      No answer, huh?

  • Anonymous

    I have a core 2 duo macbook air and am going to buy the 2011 macbook  air in 2 months
    The acer ultrabok is a big joke , 1366 * 768

    • Guest

      Awwwee, don’t go away mad itard. Just go away.

  • JimmyFal

    Tom how about putting the specs for the Mac right next to the Ultra Books in an easy to read comparison chart.

    • Guest

      Acer Aspire S3-951 salient specs:
      Size: 0.51 inches thick, 2.98 pounds Materials: aluminum/ magnesium chassis Display: 13.3-inches, 1366×768 Processor: Intel Core i5, 1.66GHz (power-efficient ULV)Graphics: Intel HD 3000 Storage: 20GB SSD, 320GB HDD (hybrid design) Memory: 4GB Battery: rated by vendor at up to 6 hours Ports: USB 2.0 (2), HDMI, SD reader OS: Windows Home 7 Premium Price: $899.99

      Apple MacBook Air salient specs (for comparison):
      Size: 0.68 inches thick, 2.96 pounds Materials: aluminum chassis Display: 13.3-inches, 1440×900 Processor: Intel Core i5 (power-efficient ULV)Graphics: Intel HD 3000 Memory: 4GB Storage: 128GB SSD Battery: rated by vendor at up to 7 hours Ports: USB 2.0 (2), Thunderbolt, SD reader OS:Mac OS X Lion Price: $1,299.99

  • Anonymous

    Will the track pads be disappointing? The current trackpad on an Mac are glass and capactive touch tech. What about these?

    • Guest

      You sound desperate, troll.

    • Anonymous

      No actually the Acer model I use is currently inspiring me to swear in different ways. Also W8 with a crap-trackpad is something on the level of a…(insert high level of un-usability analogy here)

  • MyNameHere

    Now make the screen convertible to a tablet, and add touch and stylus support. 

    I have a 5 year old ASUS R1F tablet and it still does things an iPad can only dream of. I use it as a full laptop running Visual Studio when I travel, and convert it to a tablet to make highly-detailed drawings using the stylus.

    Those fat-tipped aftermarket things they pass of as a “stylus” for iDevices is a joke.

    • Arvin Behshad

      Problem with making a swivel/slide screen for the ultrabook is that you’d have to go for another design than the one featured in the R1F in order not to compromise the touchpad size. In the R1F a large portion of the base is used to create a firm and sturdy screen connection, but this isn’t going to be possible with the ultrabook. I’d imagine it be much weaker and less tolerant, but i’m interested in seeing how they tackle the problem.

  • Abc

    Yeah video cards a little disapointing. Id go buy one tommorow if it was a little beefier. I know its not meant for gaming but would be nicer if you coulld play something a little more intensive than some popcap game.

  • Major Plonquer

    Three months ago I bit the bullet and bought a MacBook Air.  Stunningly beautiful piece of hardware.  Very disappointing in the software department though.  OS-X is verfy much like a lightweight XP – although it still doesn’t even have anything remotely resembling a Registry. Still very 1990s stuff.

    So I did the right thing.  I moved Windows 7 onto my Mac using Parallels Desktop virtual machine.  What a difference.  Awesome.  Now I have a choice.  I can use the Mac software or I can use Win7 software on the same laptop.  Guess what I use most.  Truth is when you see them side by side on the same hardware, OS-X is just simpy lame and teeming with UI inconsistencies.

    So in order to get a MacBook Air to run anywhere near as well as these two new Ultrabooks you’ll need to add another couple of hundred bucks to get decent software.  Personally I like the Acer.