Acer’s newly unveiled P3 Ultrabook looks to deliver the benefits of a full-featured laptop with the portability of a tablet, whilst trying to solve the age-old problem of choosing between a notebook, hybrid-laptop or tablet.
The idea behind the P3 is to combine the portability of a laptop, the easy of use of a tablet and the functionality of a full-featured laptop, in a sleek form factor, without compromising on performance. Weighing in at 1.39kg and measuring a 19.75mm thin, the P3 delivers good performance and a long battery life in a portable for factor. The chiclet keyboard built into the cover is a full-sized QWERTY keyboard, making it comfortable to use for tasks such as writing documents, and creating spreadsheets.
The keyboard cover is a snap-on case. It’s attached fairly elegantly, but it can’t match the simplicity or seamlessness of Microsoft’s Surface keyboard covers, which lock firmly to the bottom edge of the tablet and make use of the Surface’s built in kickstand to provide extra support.
The design of the tablet itself good with matte-silver edges and a white plastic strip on the rear. It’s also quite a hefty beast with the case snapped onto the rear, and when propped up in laptop mode, there’s no way of adjusting the angle of the tablet, which is a bit annoying for finding the optimal viewing angle.
The Acer Aspire P3 also comes with an optional stylus that fits in the case, ideal of for users who want to do some light photoshop work. Packing an 11.6-inch HD display, utilising IPS screen technology, the P3’s screen isn’t going to satisfy everyone – but it does a great job of representing photo, videos and games with accurate colour and clarity. The IPS display, although not Full HD, is perfectly crisp at 1,600×900. Sound is taken care of with Dolby Home Theater, which adds some extra punch to both headphones and built-in speakers. Audio and video on the Acer P3 can be shared with additional displays via its external HDMI port. The built-in Acer Crystal Eye HD front webcam captures video in 720p HD, bringing life to video web chats while the 5MP back camera captures photos in high resolution. Storage-wise the new P3 Ultrabook features a 60GB or 120GB SSD for incredibly fast startup times and swift performance across a range of programs whether it’s gaming or photoshop.
At the heart of the P3 is either an Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processors, which deliver decent levels of performance whilst still managing an impressive battery life of up to six hours. Closing the case puts the Acer Aspire P3 into sleep mode, and opening it wakes the device up in only a few seconds. Since it runs Windows 8, it can handle all Office programs as well as legacy Windows programs, too.
Acer Aspire P3 will be available now starting at €599, which is quite bit cheaper than Microsoft’s own Surface Pro hybrid tablet.