My new laptop: Acer Aspire S3

My new laptop: Acer Aspire S3

I just improved my productivity by about 200% by getting a new laptop and updated software!  And it was long overdue – my laptop was at least 6 years old.  Most people would’ve bought 2-3 new computers during that time.  But not me.  My Dell was so trusty that it just wouldn’t quit… and it still hasn’t quit!  But it slowed down and had some quirks.

So, in one fell swoop, I went from Windows XP to 7, Photoshop CS2 to CS5, and Office 2003 to 2010.  Talk about a change!  I feel like I’ve finally come into the 21st century!

I am a very conscientious consumer, so I did a ton of research before forking over so much money.  The ultrabooks interested me because of their portability – I always seem to be on the move.  And some of them come with the latest Intel i7 processor.  After much deliberation, I went with the Acer Aspire S3.  The following are pros and cons for the S3:

PROS

Intel i7 processor
Very lightweight
Built-in webcam
Solid state hard drive
SD card reader
Instant-on
Fabulous display quality
Amazingly zippy processing speed
Stays very cool

CONS

Only 2 USB ports
No USB 3.0 ports
No ethernet port
Less than stellar keyboard
Maximum 4 gigs of RAM
Ports all crowded together in the back

On the whole, I love this computer. It feels really sturdy despite it’s incredibly thin case. By far the weakest component is the keyboard. It may be because of my current work setup whereby the laptop is a bit higher than it should be so I’m not hitting the keys at a normal angle. But often the C key does not produce results, along with some of the other first row keys. I’m thinking that over time, I will get used to it, and my results will be better. I find it’s much harder to have any length of fingernails on this keyboard because the depth of the keys is so shallow.  I’m also worried about crumbs getting down under the keys because there isn’t much space to use the “air in a can” to clean it out.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

My only other concern with these ultrabooks is that they’re basically built to be thrown away.  You cannot replace the battery yourself, which also means you can’t carry a spare one for when you run out during a long flight.  This limits the longevity of the machine, as you can imagine.  My old laptop had a brand new keyboard and hard drive – I ordered them online and had a computer repair-person install them for me.

All in all, I’m really happy with my purchase and looking forward to seeing how much life I can get out this machine!

(P.S. I still love you, Dell – you just didn’t have what I was looking for.)

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