Acer Aspire S3 (part V):

Written by on March 2, 2015 in Gadgets, Technology - No comments

Battery downsides:

There are many things to like here. There is no denial that you will get the performance you expect from an Ultra book, plus a smidge of extra gaming capability without adding a great deal to the Aspire S3’s weight or thickness. Whether it’s down to the use of a dedicated GPU or relatively small 4-cell battery or, more likely, a combination of both, battery stamina is not very good for a device of this class. In our PC-Mark 8 battery benchmark, which measures general productivity/light gaming stamina with maximum screen brightness, the Acer Aspire S3 lasted for just three hours 26 minutes.

When using the laptop as normal work computer with brightness set around the 50% mark, we were able to increase this to around five hours. However, when you consider that the Mac Book Air lasts for up to 13 hours, and the Acer Aspire S7 will last for a good half hour more in the max brightness PC-Mark 8 test, it’s an altogether disappointing result.

Acer S7 (6) AA Battery Comparison 1

The Acer Aspire S3 is a mostly pleasant laptop with a light focus on gaming that may appeal to those looking for a work computer that can double up for some downtime fun. There are some minor quirks to the keyboard and track pad, but the one thing that really holds it back is battery life. It’s just not remotely close to the best out there, and stamina really matters in a portable laptop like this.

Things worth liking:

Adding dedicated graphics hasn’t taken too much away from the slim and light body, which is good to see, and the 1080p IPS screen is all you need even if it has been superseded resolution-wise. Performance is sound thanks to an Intel Core i5 processor and 16GB SSD cache. General performance is fairly good and the credit for this goes simply to the 16GB SSD, which is used to offer faster booting from both a quick sleep and from cold.

Things worth disliking:

The battery life is not much great for an Ultra book, missing out on all-day use away from the power plug. And while the GeForce 735M is a welcome addition, it’s simply not very powerful. There are also some questionable elements to the keyboard/track pad design. There is no 8GB version of the Aspire S3, though, as it’s intended largely as an entry-level model filling space between Acer’s lower-frills laptops and the Aspire S7.

Final Conclusion:

The Acer Aspire S3 isn’t a top performer in any category, but it’s an interesting splicing of an Ultra book and a less portable laptop with its hybrid hard drive and dedicated GPU. However, the Aspire S3 hasn’t got at all hot with general productivity use; rather it preferred staying mostly silent. If you’re going to work in a very quiet environment you may notice the little clicks and whirrs of the laptop’s HDD, but it’s nothing major. It is still a combo that works too, but the disappointing battery life will certainly put off a few potential buyers.

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