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Quick review - Acer Aspire U M3 581TBy Ryan Noik 24 July 2012 | Categories: gizmos
Acer’s Aspire Timeline U M3 marches to the beat of its own drum, merging the excellent battery life of an ultrabook with a large 15.6" screen, optical drive and hard drive storage of a notebook.
While its specifications and 2 kg weight might make for a contentious debate about whether it is a ‘real’ ultrabook or just a very thin (20 mm) notebook, what is easier to discern is that it is nonetheless an intriguing machine that appears to defy more than one convention.
The M3 is a smart looking device, if somewhat conservative. Our review unit came robed mostly in black, with the exception of the shiny grey sink in which its chiclet keyboard sits. One design gripe though, is that the power button is awkwardly and counter intuitively hidden under the left palm rest of the machine, below the trackpad.
While our test model specifications, which included a Core i3 processor (accompanied by 4 GB of RAM, 300 GB hard drive and Intel HD Graphics 3000, although a GeForce 640M GPU can be found on higher speced models) and hard plastic body, may hint at it falling within the budget range of notebooks; the M3’s build quality did not feel cheap or poorly made.
This was particularly evidenced by the firmness of its hinges and the overall absence of flex in the chassis. More importantly, though, the M3 managed to deliver good performance for all the usual requirements, such as opening programmes, playing (casual) games and browsing the internet.
Moreover, while its large screen offers a maximum 1366 x 768 resolution, its glossy display was exceptionally bright, clear, sharp and offering very good colour saturation, and its Dolby onboard sound was excellent.
For R8000, the Acer Aspire Timeline U M3 is worth a look.
Another plus in the M3’s favour is its battery life, which, on a full charge provides in the region of a stellar eight and a half hours, thanks in part to the undemanding i3 processor. Yet another appreciable offering is the full chiclet keyboard, which offered a decent typing experience and brought a numpad along for the ride, but left backlighting on the curb. Along with an optical drive, the M3 sports three USB ports, an HDMI and Ethernet port and an SD card slot.
To the point
In short, the M3 may not be a conventional ultrabook, but it is still a very decent and affordable machine in its own right. It has an RRP of R8000.
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