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.
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