Acer America today announced the U.S. availability of the Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook. Billed as "the world's thinnest Ultrabook," it measures .044 inches at its thinnest point (.59 inches at the thickest point) and weighs 2.65 lbs ... making it roughly the same thickness and weight as a pad of paper. Acer also took this opportunity to announce that the Aspire S3 (Acer's first Ultrabook) is getting refreshed with a 3rd Generation (Ivy Bridge) Intel processor, solid state drives and a new champagne color.
Acer Aspire S5 Ultrabook
The S5 features a smooth, curved chassis in an "Onyx Black" finish. The LCD cover and palm rest are made of magnesium-aluminum alloy to keep this laptop as slim and sturdy as possible.
The first SKU of the new S5, the Aspire S5-391-9880, is Acer's first Ultrabook to feature a "MagicFlip" I/O port panel concealed just below the hinge. This design feature keeps the edge of the S5 looking as thin as possible while providing enough room for important ports. It's similar to the way that Apple handled ports on the orignial MacBook Air back in 2008 ... only a little cooler. When you need the ports you simply press the MagicFlip key and the curved panel opens to reveal HDMI, USB 3.0 and a Thunderbolt port.
Despite the razor thin chassis the Aspire S5 includes a 3rd Generation Intel Core i7-35i7U processor, a 256GB solid state drive and the previously mentioned Thunderbolt port. Thunderbolt connection combines high-speed data transfer and high-definition video out in a single cable, enabling up to six Thunderbolt enabled devices, such as hard drives, displays, cameras, docking stations and even other PCs to be daisy chained together.
The S5 features a 13.3-inch widescreen LED-backlit display with a rather unimpressive 1366 x 768 resolution. Of course, you can always connect the Acer S5 Ultrabook to an external monitor, projector or HDTV through a single HDMI cable. An HDMI to VGA cable adapter dongle is included in the box. The S5 also offers triple independent display support, so images can be shown across multiple screens.
Acer promises the S5 will deliver long battery life thanks to the "PowerSmart" battery pack which provides "up to three times longer battery life cycles than traditional batteries (1,000 vs. 300 cycles)." The bottom line for consumers is that the battery inside the S5 should maintain at least 80 percent capacity after the 1,000 cycle count, which means the battery should last longer and you won't have to replace it. Speaking of battery life, the Acer "Hybrid Standby Technology" provides up to 15 days of standby power, or up to 6.5 hours of continuous use.
Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabooks
Acer's first generation Ultrabooks, the Aspire S3 Series, has been refreshed to include Intel's latest Ivy Bridge Core i3 and Core i7 processors. In addition, you can now configure models with a single 256GB solid state drive.
Acer also decided to update the new S3 with a new champagne color to help with the sophisticated looks and to help consumers easily identify the new S3. With prices starting at $648, the Aspire S3 is one of the most affordable ultrabooks on the market and will likely be a little more popular than the S5 as a result.
AcerCloud: Acer Gets Into Remote Sharing
The Aspire S5 is Acer's first product in the U.S. to ship with AcerCloud. This new feature provides S5 owners with remote access to the data residing on their Ultrabook via their Android tablet or smartphone. You can access your data and download or share it among other PCs and Android devices even when the S5 is in sleep (standby/hibernation) mode. As long as the Aspire S5 is in sleep mode, Acer Always Connect technology can wake it up through Wi-Fi, allowing the media to be retrieved via a mobile device.
AcerCloud also makes it easy to take photos on a smartphone and then view them on their S5 at home or in the office, without manually transferring files. AcerCloud will be bundled on all Acer consumer PCs starting in Q4 2012. It will support all Android devices, while future support is planned for Windows-based devices (we suspect Acer is talking about Windows 8).
Pricing and Availability
The Aspire S5-391-9880 has a MSRP of $1,399.99 and will be available the last week in June at the Acer website and leading retailers across the U.S.
The new Aspire S3 Series Ultrabooks will be available beginning next week at leading retailers across the U.S. Prices begin at $648 and range up to $999.99.
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