Acer is one of companies that decided to answer the call of users for usable ultrabooks with high-quality graphics. Regardless of using Sandy or Ivy Bridge processors, the integrated graphics inside those processors simply cannot satisfy all the contemporary computing demands.
During the GeForce Editor’s Day 2012, held in San Francisco while Game Developer’s Conference was in full swing, NVIDIA briefed journalists about the GK104 which we know as the GeForce GTX 680 and about GK107, the chip that brought GeForce to Ultrabooks. We received an Acer Timeline Ultra M3 series, which paired a Core i7 Sandy Bridge processor with a GK107 i.e. GeForce GT 640M 1GB. Unfortunately for consumers in the western markets, this ultrabook never left Asia. Acer planned on bringing the product to U.S. and EMEA markets, but the demand for the product was so strong that it was sold out in Asia-Pacific alone.
Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 – 15.6" version
To satisfy the demand of Western markets, Acer waited on Intel’s delayed release of 22nm Ivy Bridge processors and just announced the Aspire Timeline Ultra M5. The Ultra M5 ultrabooks are even slimmer and lighter than the previous generation, while keeping all the features of the M3.
The laptops are now just 0.81 inches thin (20.1mm), weighing just 4.3 pounds (1.95 kg). This package brings you a declared eight hours of autonomy, even though our experiences varied from three hours of gameplay to nine hours of video playback and productivity work of over 12 hours in a plane, working with Wi-Fi switched off. We like the fact that the notebook combines aluminum top with a plastic case, meaning the price of this Ultrabook will beat a lot of competing, all-aluminum or all-magnesium based products.
The company offers several technologies to prolong the battery life, such as a 20GB SSD that quickly restores your computer to full speed, unless you chose for a 128 or 256GB SSD drive option. One of things press releases often forget to write about is the Always Connect Wi-Fi from Acer, where the Wi-Fi connection is restored as you are typing your windows password.
Thin enough? Incredible how compact package is able to fit the powerful Ivy Bridge processor and GeForce GT 640 graphics processor.
According to the company, the laptops are powered by Sandy Bridge-based Core i3 and Ivy Bridge based Core i5 and i7 processors, NVIDIA GeForce Kepler graphics (GT 640M 1GB and 2GB), at least 500GB HDD with afore mentioned 20GB quick-boot SSD. Intel’s Anti-theft technology is switched on by default, thus is someone steals your precious data, you can remotely brick the device.
One of things that we like is the addition of a second USB 3.0 port, which means that this Ultrabook ships with two USB 3.0 ports and a single 2.0 port. Both USB 3.0 ports are quick-charging ones (5V 1A), which means you can charge your phone, tablet, digital camera – all while using a single power outlet.
For me personally, one of key features of a notebook is a good quality keyboard and Acer is for some reason, traditionally more comfortable to type on than on HP or Dell, for example (subjective experience, yours may vary), and M5 brings LED backlit as well (finally).
Acer Timeline Ultra M5 Configurations – Before any upgrades are applied
The M5 is available in 14" and 15.6" screen sizes with prices starting at $679.99, going all the way to $829.99. Naturally, depending on a retailer/e-tailer, you should be able to upgrade the product with even higher performing parts, such as above mentioned SSDs, more memory (4GB DDR3-1333 comes as standard).