updated 08:45 am EDT, Tue August 9, 2011
Acer Aspire 3951 to closely follow Apple cues
A hinted-at Acer ultrabook may have had its first public sighting through leaked renders and details in Vietnam. The 13.3-inch Aspire 3951 would borrow more than a few cues from the MacBook Air Intel's ultrabook spec is meant to imitate and would have a supposedly 0.51-inch thick, aluminum, 3.09-pound shell. In a nod to the Dell Adamo, however, Sohoa's look showed that most of the ports would be moved to the back, where the hinge design would make sure they stayed available.
The system would also make the solid-state drive optional. Buyers could pick the likely Intel-made 160GB SSD or opt for more traditional 250GB and 500GB hard drives. Not much is known about the choice of processor other than using a 2011 Core chip, although the Aspire would follow Apple into including Bluetooth 4.0 while swapping out the Thunderbolt for a plainer HDMI output. A card reader is in view on the right-hand side.
Acer is believed to be focusing on longevity, offering a competent though shorter six hours of battery use as well as 30 days of standby; the long idle time might only be true for the SSD option. Moving from sleep to wake should take 1.7 seconds.
Earlier rumors have had Acer's ultrabook shipping at the very end of the year. The 3951 might undercut the MacBook Air with estimated prices of between $769 to $961 depending on the model, although it's not clear what a base model would involve. Any lower pricing is likely to entail a slower rotating hard drive and might go below the 1.7GHz Core i5 Apple uses in its own system.
Intel devised the ultrabook spec as a way of sustaining notebook sales in the face of tablets through taking a cue from the Air. The decision may have triggered a pushback from Windows PC builders who have been fighting to lower the price after they were worried they would have no choice but to match Apple's price after Intel set similar quality and performance goals.