While not one of in our best ultrabook under 500 list, this Acer is looking good. Designers, artists, and similar professionals have a difficult choice when it comes to buying laptops. Most laptops trade portability for screen resolution and controls, so finding a laptop that is both easy to travel with and filled with enough design features is…tricky.
This laptop features a 14-inch display (a bit larger than the average ultrabook aims for) that is, alas, not ultra HD, but tries hard to make up for it by providing a full HD IPS screen with 180-degree angling, a backlit keyboard, and an extra-large touchpad if you don’t have any room to put down a mouse – something about the TravelMate X3 feels particularly airplane-friendly. The battery meanwhile, lasts for an acceptable 10 hours.
There’s also a USB Type C connection, which Acer notes can be paired with one of their Dock products that allows you to connect up to two 4K displays, allowing you to essentially settle down at a long-distance workstation and have your work pop up on the screens without any trick downloads or file transfers.
Inside you have…well, some extremely impressive specs. It’s important to note that Acer has announced that there will be several different versions, with the X349 apparently serving as the flagship model. This particular model is designed to be affordable with a 6th gen Core processor, up to 8GB of DDR4 memory (not DDR3! This is a huge upgrade), and up to 512GB for the SSD. We don’t know much about the other models yet.
There’s a reason so many artists stick to MacBooks. But Acer’s new launch of the TravelMate X3 Notebook is a non-Mac solution for the problem, and looks to be one of the best ultrabooks of 2018.
There’s also a few Windows 10-specific features: Business travelers will especially appreciate the fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello logins that keep your computer secure, along with other professional grade encryption to protect your work.
Despite those impressive specs, the price is also surprisingly low at $650 for the X349, which will be released in October. We wonder if Acer is losing money on this deal to jump to the front of the market, because DDR4 laptop memory doesn’t grow on trees. The only problem here is that truly design-focused workers may need a higher resolution – so let’s wait and see what those other ultrabook models look like.