Acer unveils M3 ultrabook with Nvidia Kepler graphics, available this month

By on March 14, 2012, 3:30 PM

Acer has officially taken the wraps off its newest ultrabook, the Aspire Timeline Ultra M3, a 20mm thick, 15.6 inch system that happens to be the first of its class to use a dedicated GeForce graphics chip. It's not just any dedicated graphics chip either, but rather Nvidia's long-awaited 28nm Kepler GPU.

The machine is powered by a Sandy Bridge Core i5 or i7 processor with integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics and a GeForce GT 640M to take care of the more demanding graphics duties. It features Nvidia's Optimus technology for automatic switching between the two GPUs, helping the Ultra M3 achieve up to eight hours of battery life. Stretching the definition of Ultrabook, Acer has even incuded an optical drive.

Although Nvidia's new Kepler architecture is still under embargo, details for the first mobile part are already available. The GT 640M shipping inside the Ultra M3 features 1GB DDR3 RAM, a GPU clock of 625MHz, a shader clock of 1,250MHz, a memory clock of 900MHz, and 384 CUDA cores.

Nvidia says the GT 640M can play Battlefield 3 with high detail presets at the laptop's native 1366 x 768 resolution and according to benchmarks by Anandtech and PC Perspective, the company has delivered on that promise. The new GPU beats the previous GT 555M by a small margin and sits below the GTX 560M.

Other specifications for the new Timeline Ultra M3 include 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 500GB HDD with integrated SSD for instant-on -- with an SSD-only option available -- and support for USB 3.0. Pricing details remain under wraps for now but Acer says the new Ultrabook will go on sale before the end of the month.




User Comments: 13

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Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Now that is the ultrabook i've been looking for!

howzz1854 said:

did i miss something? both reviewed quoted tested the game in Medium detail. one of them ran on High, but none were in "Ultra" detail like described.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

^ Agreed. A GT 555M or GT 640M ain't playing BF3 on Ultra even at a lowly resolution of 1366 X 768.

Well, not smoothly anyways.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

@howzz1854 fixed that, it was indeed tested by PCPer with high detail presets, not ultra.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ewww a 1366x768 screen. The minimium for all laptops/ultrabooks should now be 1920x1080 and IPS, given that you can get a tablet with a higher resolution IPS for half the price.

howzz1854 said:

slh28 said:

Ewww a 1366x768 screen. The minimium for all laptops/ultrabooks should now be 1920x1080 and IPS, given that you can get a tablet with a higher resolution IPS for half the price.

i disagree.... with macbook pros / macbook air as a benchmark standard, which the ultra book is pretty much aiming to compete with, it doesn't require an IPS display. Macbook lines don't include IPS because it's too damn expensive and consumes more power than TN which goes against battery life. as far as resolution, i would argue that should be at least 1440X900 or higher because that's the resolution of the macbook pros.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

When has Apple's hardware ever been a standard for anything?

Their hardware is slow/aged and has always lagged far behind dollar for dollar compared to competing Microsoft products.

You pay for innovation and simplicity with Apple.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't necessarily mind whether or not it is an TN panel or IPS panel (IPS preferred ultimately), it's the insistence of using these tiny resolutions...

Guest said:

Acer had better have an option to upgrade that screen. Shipping a 15+" ultrabook with only a 1366x768 screen simply means Acer has another lemon on their hands.

Guest said:

This is 2012 I'm not touching anything below 1920x1080 resolution & nor should anyone else. It's high time we droped support for resolutions below 1920x1080 all togeather.

Zeromus said:

Yeah it's kind of embarrassing for it to have that small of a resolution with such kick ass performance.

howzz1854 said:

howzz1854 said:

slh28 said:

Ewww a 1366x768 screen. The minimium for all laptops/ultrabooks should now be 1920x1080 and IPS, given that you can get a tablet with a higher resolution IPS for half the price.

i disagree.... with macbook pros / macbook air as a benchmark standard, which the ultra book is pretty much aiming to compete with, it doesn't require an IPS display. Macbook lines don't include IPS because it's too damn expensive and consumes more power than TN which goes against battery life. as far as resolution, i would argue that should be at least 1440X900 or higher because that's the resolution of the macbook pros.

whether you like it or not.. macbooks are taking over the laptop sales. just about everywhere you go, every coffee shop.. 9 outta 10 will be a macbook pro. hate apple all you want.. but they certainly have captured the consumer on the laptop section, as well as the ipad. the ultra book was designed by intel and many other laptop manufacturers to mimic the sleek feel and portability of the macbook in order to salvage the pc laptop sales they have failed to retain. i am not saying Macbook pros are the best... but they certainly are the most popular, and would be considered the standard for industry laptop these days if you were to design one. if one would to design a laptop today, you would certainly look at the success of the macbook pros and try to top it if not at least meet their standard. HP's attempt with their Envy to mimic the macbook pro hasn't successfully recapture their laptop segment.

Guest said:

Guys should I buy alienware m14x with 1.5 gb gt555m gpu out wait for a laptop with the new kepler series

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