The Ultrabook revolution has been unfolding over the past year, amongst all of the sleek and sexy Ultrabooks there has always been one gap in the market, Ultrabooks that allow portable gaming joy. Acer is attempting to address this issue with it’s brand new M3 series of Ultrabooks, specifically the Aspire Timeline Ultra M3-581TG’s.
Acer are pushing the boundaries, how far can the definition of an Ultrabooks stretch? To 15.6 inches Acer seems to believe. While the M3 meets many of the Ultrabook criteria, 8 hours of battery life, 20mm thin and plenty of grunt with the latest chipery. It’s size due to the 15.6” LCD display and the 2.2KG weight make it stand apart from the thin and light 13.3” Ultrabook crowd.
Also setting it apart, The Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3-581TG combines the power of NVIDIA’s latest Kepler GPU, the GeForce GT 640M with the fastest from Intel that your wallet can afford. this is the first Ultrabook with discreet graphics, its got game With the minimum specification costing as little as $599 USD the M3 is a whole new breed of Ultrabook, The Mega Ultrabook.
The base specification M3 includes Intel’s Core i3 processor, not the fastest processor on the market but it does keep the price down. Other CPU options are available for the M3, all the way to the top of the line Core i7-2637M. System RAM can be expanded to 6GB while storage options include 320GB hard disk, 500GB hybrid drive with 20GB of Flash or 256GB SSD.
All models include the Nvidia GeForce GT 640M with up to 2GB of RAM. The LCD is also standard across the line, the 15.6 inch LCD is capable of 1366 x 768 resolution. This is one area the Ultrabooks will have to address, they need to be 1080p resolution, minimum.
While many may argue about the M3’s ability to be called an Ultrabook none can doubt it’s gaming prowess. Behind closed doors at the recent CeBit conference the M3 was demonstrated playing Battefield 3. Even with the detail set to ultra – no pun intended, that’s the setting – the M3 produced smooth and fast frame rates. No mention of which CPU was used in the demonstration but we would hazard to guess it wasn’t the base Core i3 CPU.
Rumours have suggested that Acer is even willing to loose money on the price of each Ultrabook in order to win market share, aggressive pricing is on it’s way. With a large number of models seeming to fit into every category Acer looks to be going to war. How far they are willing to go to win market share only time will tell.
Acer won’t have the Kepler GPU to itself for long, also on show at the recent Cebit conference where a pair of Gigabyte Ultrabooks, the U2442V and U2442N. Sporting Intels latest Ivy Bridge CPU paired with Nvidia’s latest Kepler GPU. The two models included a 13.3” tradition Ultrabook along with a 15.6” Ultra Ultrabook. Prices are expected to start at $1,000 USD, release date is unknown. The pair of Gigabyte’s resembled a cross between an Apple Air and Sony Ultrabook, no bad thing at all.
Acers M3 range of Ultra Ultrabooks represent an interesting twist in the brand new Ultrabook category. Availability will be towards the end of April with prices start at $599 USD and going well past the $1,000 USD for the full specification. This isn’t Acer’s only Ultrabook either, all models considered Acer seems to have every base covered. With Ultrabook starting to appear in shops around the world now the only question left is will people buy them ?