Acer TimelineUltra Offers Something Unique
Generally speaking, Ultrabooks are pretty horrible when it comes to gaming. Even with the added horsepower of the latest Intel HD Graphics 4000 chip, anything other than the lowest quality settings are pretty much out of reach.
Acer designed its latest TimelineUltra M5 series with gaming in mind. It’s by no means a hardcore gaming system, but the Kepler-based Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE available in some of the M5 configurations is more than spunky enough to play even the latest 3D games (though you’ll have to turn down the settings a bit).
|Processor||3rd Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7|
|Graphics||Intel HD Graphics 3000/4000 w/ Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE (optional)|
|Display||14 or 15.6-inch 1366x768|
|I/O Ports & Etc.||2x USB 3.0, Ethernet, HDMI, SD Reader, DVD-RW, (+1 USB 2.0 for 15-inch)|
|Battery Life||8 Hours|
|Dimensions (inches)||14-inch: 13.4 x 9.6 x 0.8; 15-inch: 14.4 x 10.1 x 0.8|
|Weight||14-inch: 4.30 Lbs; 15-inch: 5.07 Lbs|
|Price||Starting at $729|
The added gaming prowess does come with a bit of a sacrifice to portability. Battery life is still solid, with up to 8 hours between charges (obviously that number plummets if you want a cord-free gaming marathon), but the M5 is only offered in 14- and 15.6-inch form factors. Both models stay under the 21 mm (0.827 inches) max thickness required by Intel’s definition of an Ultrabook. They’re also one of the few Ultrabooks on the market that feature an optical drive.
Acer’s entire Ultrabook line, including the M5 and Aspire S3 and S5 series, come in a myriad of configurations. Some features Intel’s 3rd generation Core processors while others sport the older 2nf generation. It’s a similar story with SSD and hybrid hard drives.
One thing they all have in common – and this is another thing Acer is somewhat unique in – is their pricing. Acer’s Ultrabook line is extremely affordable, starting as low as $650. When you look closer, you see that they all feature lower-end 1366x768 resolution displays, and their design generally isn’t quite as robust as some of the offerings from Dell, for example.