Aspire Aspire Timeline M5. Bang-for-buck Ultrabook getting Good Reviews

Posted on 19 July 2012 by

On an earnings call yesterday, Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel, told journalists that Ultrabooks would reach $699 by ‘fall’ – Q4 of this year. Does he not read Ultrabooknews? Ultrabooks are already selling for under $699. Take the Acer Aspire Timeline M5 for example.

Aspire Timeline M5

We haven’t had the chance to review the Acer Timeline Ultra M5 yet but after checking out an early review from DigitalTrends we think that not only could it be a good seller, but it could cut across everything else Acer has produced for the Ultrabook space. The Acer S5 for example offers more style and less weight but in terms of performance, there isn’t much in it and yet the M5 is at least $600 cheaper than the S5

Make no mistake, the M5 is built to a price and not to any sort of style, high specification or high quality standard but you’re getting a huge amount for the money. It’s mainstream specs though…

The 14” version with GT640M LE only has a 1366×768 screen and weighs 4.3lbs. The hybrid HDD won’t be the fastest Ultrabook option either.

On the positive side, a battery capacity of 54Wh should see you getting good battery life figures and because of that discreet graphics card, some gaming success too.

One small correction on the Core i3 clockrate mentioned in the DigitalTrends review – there’s no Turbo. It’s 1.7Ghz max which, over a period of long-term high CPU load, won’t be much less than a 1.8Ghz Core i5 can produce with Turbo as it drops to preserve heat build-up. It looks like a Core i5 version will cost $100 more. In this price bracket, that might be too expensive for such a small advantage in processing power.

The Acer M5 is cheap, but it’s also looking cheerful. We’ advise you to wait for some more detailed reviews before putting at the top of the list but in the meantime, make sure you at least have it somewhere in your list.

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  • PW

    As a graphic designer i’m kind of afraid to buy another 1378×768 display laptop. So my question is, is a 14 or 15/15.6 ultrabook with 1378×768 enough? I know ofcourse it’s a personal preference but you guys have seen a lot more displays than me hehe.

    I’m looking at the HP Envy 6, along with some others, but it stands out with it’s big 15.6 screen and still being light with an awesome design. But it’s 1378×768 :

    I’m also thinking of going for a notebook instead, something like the Samsung Series 7 Chronos 15.6″, which is a bit heavier and more expensive but with a better display at 1600×900.

  • Kevin

    No, do not buy a 1378×768. It’s the industry trying to save a buck (cheaper to manufacture) on customers who don’t know better. Buy anything over1600×900.

    PW, I had the same question. Read a lot of forums and websites and came to the conclusion you see above.

    • Chippy

      There’s nothing wrong with 1366×768, just as there was nothing wring with 1024×768 on netbooks…if it’s coming in at the right price point.
      There are also plenty of people looking for an Ultrabook for mostly desktop use with monitor too so a blanket ‘no’ on 1366×768 is not the right thing to say IMO.

  • someone

    @PW
    Why would you use an ultrabook for graphic design? Aren’t a lot of graphic software CPU bound? I know the SSD will help when used for scratch space but the slow CPU will be a bottleneck.

  • Visigoth

    The low-resolution display kills it for me. I need 1600 x 900 at least, the more the merrier. Otherwise it looks like a pretty decent notebook.

  • Hamster

    Gotta love how the “Ultrabook” term is broadening.
    If a 14 inch, whopping 4.3 lbs whale can be dubbed an Ultrabook, then frankly, what can’t?

    Intel needs to have a look at this, seriously. Broadening the offer by allowing the name on stuff such as this can’t do any good, imho.

    I thought Ultrabooks stood for lightweight, thin, yet powerful alternatives to laptops. 4.3lbs. You’ve got to be joking. As far as I’m concerned, this is a laptop, and not a particularly light one, at that.

  • The low res display kills it for me too, I don’t know why almost every ultrabook out there has the basic screen res. 1600×900 should be an option on all of these.

    Hamster, Intel lists requirements for 13, 14, 15 inch notebooks to be called an ultrabook. There have been thin and light notebooks for over a decade. What makes an ultrabook an ultrabook is its instant on capability, long battery life and general thinness which varies by screen size.

    So its possible for ultrabooks to be 15.6″ 4lb+ machines with no problems at all .

  • Adam

    +1 to Hamster!

    I’d love to see a small MFGR come out with an ultrabook prototype that’s milled from a cinder block:

    It’s got an Intel ULV CPU, a hybrid SSD, it’s thin, but it weighs 28 lbs…. It’s still an ultrabook!

    4.3 lbs is ridiculous.
    Mobility requirements: weight + battery life -the rest is just frosting on the cake.

    Acer has put out this fatty monstrocity and also the S3 with it’s 3 1/2 hour battery life; neither one deserves the “ultra” moniker.

    Adam

  • Visigoth

    My only hope in the Ultrabook wars is the Lenovo X1 Carbon. They need to release it soon! If that fails to live up the challenge, then the Zenbook Prime will be my notebook of choice, even with its issues (keyboard arrows too small and display backlight bleed).

  • DavidC1

    Ultrabooks aren’t designed to create a gaping hole between them and the Notebooks. So you’ll see ones that rivals Tablets in weight and thickness, but also those that go borderline on the specs.

  • DavidC1

    Also I believe Intel is referring to Ivy Bridge based systems when referring to $699 pricing. Broader Core i3 systems will do it.

  • best Ultrabook

    Bloggers have you, I’m through the the-best-ultrabooks-of-2012 (blogger friends of chain) blog to, read your article, that you and the-best-ultrabooks-of-2012 are very bad.

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