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We have so many types of portable devices nowadays that sometimes it’s quite difficult to correctly categorise a product. For example, we have the Acer Timeline Ultra M3, with the screen size of a notebook, the thickness and weight of an ultrabook and the specs of a gaming PC. So, what is it? It’s a good deal, if you ask us, as it costs only £449.99 at comet.co.uk.

Acer Timeline Ultra M3 Review – Making the Boundaries Between Laptops And Ultrabooks Disappear

Even though Acer insists on calling it an ultrabook, we’re still a bit skeptical about that, as the whole idea behind ultrabooks is that they should be smaller than regular laptops. What we’re dealing with here, though, can be called a hybrid ultrabook or an ultrabook on steroids, because it keeps the most attractive aspects of an ultrabook – the thin design, reduced weight and increased battery life – and combines them with the attractive feature of a notebookbigger screen size and better hardware components. Let’s see the results.

In terms of design, the Acer Timeline Ultra M3 is very similar to the Acer Aspire S3 we reviewed earlier, keeping the thin aspect and the metallic lid finish. When you open the lid, the same model of keyboard is present, with the same annoyingly small arrow keys and the same touchpad without the physical buttons. We’re not sure whether Acer really thinks that this recipe actually works or it just uses it to annoy us, but either way, we can say that there’s clearly some room for improvements in this chapter. Overlooking this aspect, the Acer Timeline Ultra M3 comes with some significant upgrades over traditional ultrabooks. The first interesting aspect is the presence of an optical drive, which totally defies the concept of ultrabooks, but in a good way we might add. The second and definitely more important upgrade is the discrete video card present in the Timeline Ultra M3. It seems that Acer didn’t just want to break the rules and install a discrete graphics card but they also wanted to impress with it, which they did; in charge of graphics is a powerful NVIDIA GT640M GPU which, paired with the laptop’s Intel Core i5-2467M processor and the 4GB of RAM, transforms this device into a powerful mid-range gaming machine.

On the connectivity side, the Acer Timeline Ultra M3 beats the Acer Aspire S3 by including a USB 3.0 port, a VGA port and an Ethernet port, which are not present in the S3. An interesting aspect is the positioning of all the ports – on the rear side of the machine, making access to them somewhat difficult and inconvenient. This is not the sole weirdness, though, as Acer also opted for a very odd power button style and position. The power button is a push-button type and it is located on the front edge of the machine, being very prone to accidental pushes, especially when you’re holding the laptop in your lap.

Overall, the Acer Timeline Ultra M3 has its ups and downs but we say that it’s a pretty interesting product. What’s your opinion?

UPDATE: Recently Comet has went into administration so this offer isn’t available anymore. The Acer M3 can be bought from Amazon, however, the price is much higher. For more details click here. Alternatively, see our other deals on gaming laptops.

Features and Specifications Summary

  • Laptop Model – Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3
  • Processor – Intel Core i5-2467M, Sandy Bridge
  • CPU Speed – 1.6GHz (Turbo Boost up to 2.3GHz), Cache 3MB
  • Screen Size – 15.6 inch
  • Display – 1366 x 768, HD, LED
  • Memory – 4GB DDR3 RAM
  • Graphics – NVIDIA GT640M, 1GB
  • Hard Drive – 500GB
  • Connectivity – USB 3.0 x1, USB2.0 x2, HDMI x1, VGA x1, Ethernet x1, 2-in-1 card reader
  • Battery Life – up to 8 hours
  • Operating System – Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Weight – 2.25 Kg


 

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