CNET First Look
Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3Believe it or not, this big 15-inch laptop is an ultrabook...and it has next-gen Nvidia graphics and a DVD drive to boot. So, what makes it an ultrabook, exactly? Answer: it's complicated.
So, what exactly is an ultra book again? Well, I'm Scott Stein and I'm still wondering myself because this is an ultra book although it's a lot larger than any ultra book you've probably ever seen before. That's because ultra books are getting bigger. What this is, is the Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3, and that mouthful means this is a 15 inch laptop that is deemed an ultra book by Intel and by Acer but also has a DVD drive. So how exactly is that an ultra book? Again, it's about the low performance, low voltage processor, which in here is a core i7 that you tend to see on those fast but battery conserving laptops that we would call ultra books. And it is thin and this comes in at under an inch thin. That's .79 inches thin, 4.4 pounds but it looks like a thin laptop and that's the kind of debate that you're gonna have if you're looking for this type of computer that walks the line in between. And the performance on this is good. It uses a 256 gigabyte SSD in this configuration, 4 gigs of RAM and that Nvidia GeForce GT40M processor is part of a next generation of Nvidia graphics. This is the first laptop that we've seen that uses those graphics and it did hold its own as far as being suitably fast for games. But this isn't really enthusiast level for playing hardcore games but it'll get but. And on a laptop this thin, that's saying something. You got about 6 hours of battery life on this which is very good even for any ultra book. So that's great too. But the looks of it are pretty generic. I mean, this really just feels like a lot of other thin laptops that we've seen and wait a second. I remember seeing thin laptops that had dedicated graphics a couple of years ago and they were also Acer Timeline. So what's going on? Well, ultra book is kind of a type of branding, isn't it? And that's the thing that's a little weird about the ultra book movement now as we start to see things like the HP Envy 14 Spectre and the Samsung Series 9 15 inch. You're gonna see a lot of these laptops that are trotting around the name ultra book and are gonna feel a lot like thin laptops we've seen before. So bottom line, we don't really know the final price yet of his laptop so it's hard to make an evaluation as to whether it's a good value. Now if it comes in at well over $1000 then this probably is gonna see like not such a great deal and if it comes in at something that's very competitive around a $1000 and if it performs that well and that has good a battery life, it's one you might wanna consider. I'm Scott Stein and that's a look at the Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3.