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Acer's MacBook Air-cloning Aspire 3951 ultrabook leaks out

updated 08:45 am EDT, Tue August 9, 2011

Acer Aspire 3951 to closely follow Apple cues

A hinted-at Acer ultrabook may have had its first public sighting through leaked renders and details in Vietnam. The 13.3-inch Aspire 3951 would borrow more than a few cues from the MacBook Air Intel's ultrabook spec is meant to imitate and would have a supposedly 0.51-inch thick, aluminum, 3.09-pound shell. In a nod to the Dell Adamo, however, Sohoa's look showed that most of the ports would be moved to the back, where the hinge design would make sure they stayed available.

The system would also make the solid-state drive optional. Buyers could pick the likely Intel-made 160GB SSD or opt for more traditional 250GB and 500GB hard drives. Not much is known about the choice of processor other than using a 2011 Core chip, although the Aspire would follow Apple into including Bluetooth 4.0 while swapping out the Thunderbolt for a plainer HDMI output. A card reader is in view on the right-hand side.

Acer is believed to be focusing on longevity, offering a competent though shorter six hours of battery use as well as 30 days of standby; the long idle time might only be true for the SSD option. Moving from sleep to wake should take 1.7 seconds.

Earlier rumors have had Acer's ultrabook shipping at the very end of the year. The 3951 might undercut the MacBook Air with estimated prices of between $769 to $961 depending on the model, although it's not clear what a base model would involve. Any lower pricing is likely to entail a slower rotating hard drive and might go below the 1.7GHz Core i5 Apple uses in its own system.

Intel devised the ultrabook spec as a way of sustaining notebook sales in the face of tablets through taking a cue from the Air. The decision may have triggered a pushback from Windows PC builders who have been fighting to lower the price after they were worried they would have no choice but to match Apple's price after Intel set similar quality and performance goals.

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_James

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011



    It looks like the Macbook Air is years ahead of the competition. The competition is having a difficult time making clones of it. You'd think they could. But they are having a really tough time matching the Macbook Air's specifications even when they have the real thing to take apart.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Acer Will Be First ...

    ... to market with the new Dulltra Books!

    Flatter netbooks for the waning windows world.

  1. johncarync

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The more they look like Apple...

    ...the more the public sees Apple everywhere. I can't tell you how many times I've thought, "Hey, they have an iPhone" only to find, on close inspection, it's an Android phone designed to look like an iPhone.

  1. prl99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    That's the problem

    Every new product that looks like an Apple product, but isn't, will devalue Apple products in the mind of the user. People will buy the non-Apple brand because they think it works exactly the same as the Apple product but it's cheaper (in more ways than just price). Once they get turned off by the inferior product, they have two choices; go with Apple (not likely since they already spent all their money) or just not buy that type of product ever again. Manufacturers of fake Apple products, like Acer, will end up destroying the computer market because they can't manufacturer a product that competes with Apple. Apple is ahead of the competition (you're correct FB_James) and cloners are reaping the benefits of Apples R&D and advertising by pushing look-alike phones (you're also correct john).

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Idle time

    What do they mean by "idle time?" If they mean standby time, then neither drive should matter as neither one of them draw power when the system is sleeping.

  1. facebook_Greg

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Aug 2011


    Straight out of Iron Man!

    Mr. Acer? Sir, we've explored what you've asked us, and it seems as though there's a little hiccup.

    A hiccup?

    Yes, to power the suit, sir,the technology actually doesn't exist. So it's...

    Wait, wait, wait. The technology?

    William, here is the technology. I've asked you to simply make it smaller.

    Okay, sir, and that's what we're trying to do, but honestly, it's impossible.

    Tony Stark was able to build this in a cave! With a box of scraps!

    Well, I'm sorry. I'm not APPLE!

  1. drumrobot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It can't be!

    We just read about how 'ultrabooks' are a 'fad' that will soon die out... now Acer's changing their mind and making one? Please tell me I'm missing something here...

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Somebody call Apple legal

    Let's see. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales are banned in Australia and now the EU. Why? For copying iPad too closely. And now Acer thinks they can make a near-perfect clone of the MacBook Air?

    See you in court Acer. Good luck with that netbook business there, buddy.

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