first_imgThe Ultrabooks are coming, and we now know whose Windows-powered MacBook Air alternative is going to land on retail shelves first. While it initially looked like Asus might be first out of the gate, Acer has beaten them to the punch. The Aspire S3 Ultrabook goes on sale this week in the U.S. and Canada at just $899.You’re paying a premium for the thin, sexy looks, but the S3 still packs a good deal of performance into its .68-inch thin, three-pound frame. At launch, the Aspire S3-951 configuration will bring a second-gen Core i5 processor with two 1.6 GHz cores at 4GB of DDR3 RAM. It also packs two drives: a 20GB SSD (which helps with Acer’s Green Instant On tech) and a 320GB hard drive that provides plenty of room for additional storage.The S3 features a 13.3-inch LED backlit display at a resolution of 1366×768. It’s driven by Intel’s Graphics HD 3000 chip and offers the obligatory webcam on top to handle your video chat and selfpic needs. On the connectivity front, you’ll find 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. On the back of the S3 you’ll find a pair of USB ports and an HDMI output. The S3-951 will soon be joined by other options, including models  powered by Intel’s Core i3 and i7 processors.Acer’s decision to offer a fairly large HDD in the S3 could give it a leg up on the SSD-only models other manufacturers have shown off. Ultrabooks are brand new, after all, and they’re hitting the shelves at a time when $299 can buy a decently equipped 15.6-inch Windows laptop. Being able to trumpet 300-plus gigs of storage for under $900 will surely get the Aspire S3 some looks.If an aluminum shell isn’t your thing, hold out for the next round of Ultrabooks from Acer. They’re currently working with Mitac to develop a fiberglass skin — and it’s going to knock a few bucks off their price tags.More at Acerlast_img

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