I love clichés as much as the next guy, but in a world inhabited by snazzy tech enhancements like Speedo LZR Racer Suits, slow and steady rarely wins the race anymore.
That’s a problem in the ultraverse these days: as ultrabook manufacturers are waging a cutthroat price war, and you’ll face compromises aplenty if you’re shopping for a unit in the sub-$800 space. The Acer TimelineUltra M5 has both good and bad going for it, including a nagging speed issue.
Like the Dell Inspiron 14z, the TimelineU is technically a bit over-thick (23mm) for an ultrabook classification, but it ties the Dell at 4.2 pounds for the lightest 14-inch laptop I’ve tested. (Both come with optical drives.)
Specs include a 1.7GHz Core i5, 4GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE graphics card, and a 500GB hybrid hard drive backed up with 20GB of SSD storage. The 14-inch screen offers the usual 1366 x 768 pixels of resolution. Ports include dual USB 3.0 connectors, Ethernet, HDMI, and an SD card slot.