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While Dell has just trotted out its first Ultrabook in the XPS13, Acer has lifted the covers from its second superthin superlight Aspire Ultrabook.
Acer is keen to tout the Aspire S5 – due for release in Q2, with a price yet to be revealed – as “the world’s world's thinnest Ultrabook” based on the 15mm profile at the leading edge of the wedge, although they’ve not specified how thick it is in the tail.
The ‘Onyx Black’ magnesium-alloy chassis and palmrest lends the S5 a 'premium' professional look.
The barely-there 1.35kg weight will be a boon for travellers, although much the same can be said for any Ultrabook.
Ditto the 13.3 inch screen, solid state drive and range of Intel Core processors. Acer hasn’t stated which chips the S5 will use but it’s a fair bet they’ll start with a Core i3 if they want the lowest entry-level pricing, while you can count on the all-rounder Core i5 also being in the mix.
So how will Acer differentiate the Aspire S5 from the rest of the Ultrabook brigade?
For starters, it’ll be the first Windows Ultrabook with the high-speed Thunderbolt connector already seen on Apple’s MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.
Thunderbolt provides a superfast link between the laptop and external devices – the difference between Thunderbolt and the more common USB 2.0 interface is like comparing an autobahn to a suburban street.
(Lenovo’s forthcoming Edge S430 also boasts a Thunderbolt port but that model isn’t due for release until mid-year.)
To help the Aspire S5 achieve its waif-like waistline, several of the ports – USB 3.0, Thunderbolt and HDMI – are located in a concealed bay at the laptop’s rear.
Press a button on the S5’s top deck and the laptop actually rises up from the rear to reveal the sockets. Sadly, Acer’s marketing team were permitted to christen this feature “MagicFlip”.
We'll bring you a first-hand look at the Acer Aspire S5 closer to its Australian release date.