Acer's trying to confuse us: they call the new Acer Aspire P3 an Ultrabook when it's actually a Windows 8 tablet with a keyboard case. In fact, they've switched from the Iconia tablet branding to the Aspire notebook brand, yet the Aspire P3 is the near clone of the Acer Iconia W700 11.6" Windows 8 tablet. The Aspire P3 runs Windows 8 64 bit on a 1.5GHz Intel Core i5-3339Y dual core CPU and it has a 1366 x 768 IPS multi-touch display. Inside you'll find 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM and a 120 gig SSD drive. Like Microsoft Surface and Acer's own W700, it has Ultrabook internals. It can easily handle MS Office, web, streaming video and photo editing.
Acer includes a keyboard case that's reminiscent of the more robust models available for the iPad. It has a Bluetooth keyboard and black faux leather backing that's attractive. The tablet snaps into the back section of the case but there's no release lever, so it takes a bit of fiddling and prying to get it out, not unlike hard plastic smartphone cases that wrap around the sides. The tablet and case together weigh 3 pounds, and the tablet alone weighs 1.74 pounds, which is a bit lighter than the 2.1 pound Acer W700.
Our 1.5GHz Core i5 with 4 gigs of RAM and the 120 gig SSD lists for $899 according to Acer, and it should be available this month. That's just $100 less than the more capable Acer Iconia W700 that has a full HD display, a faster CPU and longer battery life. We're not sure what Acer was thinking.
The tablet has an aluminum casing and it's hard to tell apart from the W700. It's a clean, straight-sided design and despite the slim design metal casing it doesn't get unbearably hot. It has a single USB 3.0 port, 3.5mm audio and micro HDMI but no SD card slot. It has a front 720p webcam and a passable rear 5MP camera with no flash.
This is one of the first Intel Y series CPUs we've tested in a product. This is a late third generation Ivy Bridge CPU meant to bridge the gap with Haswell in terms of power consumption. It's intended particularly for tablets and it runs at 13W max vs. 17 for ULV Ultrabook CPUs like that used in the W700, Asus Zenbook Prime and Acer Aspire S7. It's designed to putter along at an even more power frugal 7W. As you might expect, performance is thus slightly lower, and our model scored 3954 on PCMark 7 vs. 4357 on our 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U Iconia W700. Still, it's responsive enough and is easily 4 to 5 times faster than today's Intel Atom Windows 8 tablets.
Here's our Acer Aspire P3 video review. Our full written review will follow.