Review Acer Aspire S3-392G Ultrabook

Sascha Mölck (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 03/25/2014

Slim, fast and gaming-ready. In 2011, Acer introduced the Aspire S3-951, the first ever Ultrabook. After three years, we are delighted to meet the successor, the Aspire S3-392G. A strong Haswell CPU, a gaming-ready GPU and a lot of memory is packed into this small, compact computer. Our review will reveal what this 13.3-inch machine is capable of.

For the original German review, see here.

If you are looking for a slim and powerful 13.3-inch notebook, look no further: presenting the Acer Aspire S3-392G. This category is filled with a multitude of competitors, such as the MacBook Air or the Asus Zenbook. Acer has also launched the Aspire S7-392, which offers similar qualities. The one thing all these models have in common is their price tag: well above 1,000 Euros (~$1382). 

The Aspire S3-392G is a little cheaper: 999 Euros (~$1380) is the base price. Of course, Acer had to cut some corners to offer this model at such a (relatively) low price. The laptop may have no SSD, but it does use a touch full HD screen. Despite all this, the model offers quite a lot. One look at the technical specifications reveals that Acer has built a mobile and powerful 13.3-inch Ultrabook, which is capable of heavy processing and gaming. In our in-depth review, we will delve into all the features of this notebook.

We will use two models for comparison: the Asus Zenbook UX302LA-C4003H (Core i5-4200UHD Graphics 4400) and the Sony Vaio Fit 13A SV-F13N1L2E/S (Core i5-4200UHD Graphics 4400).

Case

We have previously tested the Aspire S3-951 and the Aspire S3-391 (predecessors of the S3-392G). While they have a similar build, the successor employs a better-looking case, which is quite similar to that of the higher-priced Aspire S7-392. For example, the display cover and the base look identical. The color (White Aluminum) is also the same. However, the S7-392 has its display cover protected by Gorilla Glass, whereas the S3-392G lacks any such protective measures. The bases of the laptops are made of aluminum and magnesium. The S3-392 is thicker than its higher-priced sibling: 5 mm (~0.2 inches) more at the thickest point and around 2.6 mm (~0.1 inches) more at the thinnest.

The Ultrabook has great workmanship. We found one weak area: the surface beneath the touchpad can be pressed inwards a little. The base is very resistant and cannot be deformed. The display cover is weaker. If pressed hard, it can cause picture deformations. However, it is within reasonable limits and we have seen worse in many other models. The hinges hold the panel securely in position. Opening the laptop with one hand is possible.

A maintenance flap is not included.
A maintenance flap is not included.
The display cover is a shiny white (Photo: Acer).
The display cover is a shiny white (Photo: Acer).
Light, slim and flat - the Acer Aspire S3-392G (Photo: Acer).
Light, slim and flat - the Acer Aspire S3-392G (Photo: Acer).

Connectivity

The case is quite slim yet Acer has managed to integrate all necessary ports. In comparison to the predecessor (Aspire S3-391), the connectivity has been much improved. The ports of our S3-392G are the same as those of the Aspire S7-392. In contrast to the predecessor, the S3-391, the S3-392G has a third USB port and a mini DisplayPort. A provided adapter allows users to extend the connectivity of their laptop via the mini DisplayPort: the adapter adds on a VGA output, a Fast Ethernet port and an additional USB 2.0 port. The distribution of the ports is good: all ports are placed near the back on both sides. This leaves the hand-rest regions free.

Left side: Mini Displayport, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, Audio combi
Left side: Mini Displayport, HDMI, 2x USB 3.0, Audio combi
Right side: card reader, USB 2.0, power button, power outlet
Right side: card reader, USB 2.0, power button, power outlet

Communication

Acer has installed a WLAN module from Intel (Wireless-N 7260), which supports the standards 802.11 b/g/n. The Wi-Fi reception is great: the transmission is fine in a radius of 15 meters (~49 feet, router output set to around 50%). This is a standardized test. Furthermore, the laptop can be connected via a LAN cable. The provided adapter allows the user to use a Fast Ethernet port. A Bluetooth 4.0 module is also in the device. The integrated webcam provides a blurry image despite supporting resolutions up to 1280x720 pixels.

Accessories

Aside from the adapter, the Aspire comes with the usual documents: a quick start booklet, a short manual and warranty card.

Operating System

The Aspire has Windows 8.1 (64-bit) preinstalled. A Windows DVD is not included in the package. After receiving the notebook, we recommend creating a recovery medium. Acer has provided software to this end, which regularly reminds the user to make a backup. A USB drive or DVDs can be used to make backups (the latter will require an external burner).

Inside the laptop.
Inside the laptop.

Maintenance

There is no maintenance flap in the Aspire. However, the user can still access the innards of the laptop by simply removing all screws (Torx) on the bottom of the device. Once the bottom plate is lifted out, the battery, fan and hard disk can be accessed. The motherboard would have to be taken out to access the other hardware. There are no memory slots provided on this motherboard as the RAM is soldered into the device. Acer employs 2x 2,048 MB RAM modules, which allows it to run in dual-channel mode. The hard disk can be easily removed and replaced with a device with a build height of 7 mm. The removal of the battery is also possible (in case of a defect).

Warranty

The Aspire is equipped with a two-year warranty, which includes pick-up service. The same applies to the Zenbook and the Vaio. The warranty period can be extended - a three-year warranty will cost another 70 Euros (~$97). For a five-year warranty, the user will have to pay 180 Euros (~$249).

Input Devices

Keyboard

Acer has installed a backlit chiclet keyboard. Two function keys regulate the brightness of the keyboard. Two brightness levels are provided. The key size and layout of the keyboard is the same as that of the Aspire S7-392. Acer uses flat, smooth keys that have short stroke distance. The pressure point is noticeable and the keys have a comfortable resistance. Overall, we like the keyboard.

Touchpad

The multi-touch ClickPad (a touchpad without separate mouse keys) has a surface area of 10.5 x 6.5 cm (~4.1 x 2.6 inches). The smooth surface of the device makes it easy for the finger to glide. The individual multi-touch gestures can be customized in the settings. Per default, not all gestures are turned on. The touchpad ClickPad has a short stroke distance and a clearly audible click.

Touchscreen

The user is also provided a touchscreen with 10-finger support for input. The screen reacts promptly to any and all input.

The keyboard gave us a good impression.
The keyboard gave us a good impression.
A multi-touch ClickPad.
A multi-touch ClickPad.

Display

The glossy 13.3-inch panel of the Aspire has a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The average brightness is 260.3 cd/m² - quite good. The Zenbook (295.7 cd/m²; Full HD) and the Vaio (371.9 cd/m²; Full HD) beat the Acer model in this discipline.

249
cd/m²
250
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
284
cd/m²
281
cd/m²
246
cd/m²
251
cd/m²
247
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 284 cd/m²
Average: 260.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 87 %
Center on Battery: 284 cd/m²
Black: 0.25 cd/m²
Contrast: 1136:1
Aspire S3-392G vs. sRGB
Aspire S3-392G vs. sRGB
Aspire S3-392G vs. AdobeRGB
Aspire S3-392G vs. AdobeRGB

Although the Aspire was beaten in brightness by its two competitors, it trumps them in turn when it comes to the contrast (1,136:1) and black value (0.25 cd/m²). The Zenbook (619:1, 0.52 cd/m²) and the Vaio (584:1, 0.63 cd/m²) cannot compete. The sRGB and AdobeRGB color spaces are not covered by the panel. They would be useful to professional graphics editors. The coverage is 60.1% (sRGB) and 43.6% (AdobeRGB).

The color deviations are small with the factory settings. The average DeltaE 2000 deviation is around 4.4. The majority of panels we measure have deviations of around 10-12. Many colors even land in the target color space (DeltaE smaller than 3). The panel has no blue tinge. 

CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Gray levels
CalMAN - Gray levels
CalMAN - Color saturation
CalMAN - Color saturation

Although the panel has decent brightness and high contrast, working outdoors is not recommended due to the reflective panel.

The Aspire can be turned any which way - the screen is always legible thanks to IPS technology.

Outdoors with the Aspire.
Outdoors with the Aspire.
Viewing angles of the Acer Aspire S3-392G
Viewing angles of the Acer Aspire S3-392G

Performance

The Aspire S3-392G is a slim and light 13.3-inch Ultrabook and as our benchmarks show, it offers more than enough performance for everyday tasks. In fact, the device can even be used to run the latest games. Our test model is available for around 999 Euros (~$1380). We could not find any other configurations.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWInfo
System information - Acer Aspire S3-392G

Processor

The Aspire runs on a Core i5-4200U CPU. This dual-core CPU originates from the latest Intel Haswell generation and runs at 1.6 GHz. Turbo allows the processor to boost its speed up to 2.3 GHz (both cores) and 2.6 GHz (single-core). The CPU is one of the most conservative ones in the line-up at a TDP value of 15 W.

The CPU is able to unleash its full potential in this slim Ultrabook. We tested it in a series of CPU tests from Cinebench benchmarks (on battery and plugged in). The processor always operated at full speed and the results are as high as we expected. The Vaio and the Zenbook are equipped with the same CPU and offer almost identical results. However, the Vaio cannot tap its full potential and lags behind slightly in the multi-thread tests.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3550
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
7510
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6130
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6094 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
9738 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
4757 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
35.81 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.48 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.11 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
49.65 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
230 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
97 Points
Help
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire S3-392G
GeForce GT 735M, 4200U, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
1.11 Points ∼60%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
Radeon HD 8250, A6-1450, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
0.34 Points ∼18% -69%
Sony Vaio Fit multi-flip SV-F13N1L2E/S
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung MZNTD128HAGM
1.15 Points ∼62% +4%
Acer Aspire S7-392
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, 2x Kingston SMSR150S3256G (RAID 0)
1.19 Points ∼64% +7%
Dell XPS 13
HD Graphics 4000, 3517U, Samsung SSD PM830 256 GByte mSATA
1.23 Points ∼66% +11%
HP Spectre 13-3010eg
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Sandisk X110 SD6SN1M-256G-1006
1.31 Points ∼71% +18%
Cinebench R11.5 - CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire S3-392G
GeForce GT 735M, 4200U, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
2.48 Points ∼14%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
Radeon HD 8250, A6-1450, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
1.03 Points ∼6% -58%
Sony Vaio Fit multi-flip SV-F13N1L2E/S
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung MZNTD128HAGM
2.3 Points ∼13% -7%
Acer Aspire S3-391-53314G52add
HD Graphics 4000, 3317U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380 + 20 GB SSD Cache
2.4 Points ∼14% -3%
Asus Zenbook UX302LA-C4003H
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680 + 24 GB SanDisk SSD U100 Cache
2.47 Points ∼14% 0%
Dell XPS 13
HD Graphics 4000, 3517U, Samsung SSD PM830 256 GByte mSATA
2.69 Points ∼15% +8%
Acer Aspire S7-392
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, 2x Kingston SMSR150S3256G (RAID 0)
2.74 Points ∼16% +10%
HP Spectre 13-3010eg
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Sandisk X110 SD6SN1M-256G-1006
2.82 Points ∼16% +14%

System Performance

The system runs smoothly. Windows boots up quickly and we did not encounter any issues. This positive subjective impression is bolstered by the good PC Mark results. The Aspire benefits strongly from its SSD cache. The Zenbook is also equipped with an SSD cache, but it still lags behind our test model. The Vaio is a bit better off as it uses an SSD.

PC Mark
PCMark Vantage5971 points
PCMark 73860 points
PCMark 8 Home v22345 points
PCMark 8 Creative v22547 points
PCMark 8 Work v23034 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire S3-392G
GeForce GT 735M, 4200U, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
3860 Points ∼58%
Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE
Radeon HD 8250, A6-1450, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
2162 Points ∼33% -44%
Acer Aspire S3-391-53314G52add
HD Graphics 4000, 3317U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E380 + 20 GB SSD Cache
2656 Points ∼40% -31%
Asus Zenbook UX302LA-C4003H
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680 + 24 GB SanDisk SSD U100 Cache
3320 Points ∼50% -14%
Sony Vaio Fit multi-flip SV-F13N1L2E/S
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Samsung MZNTD128HAGM
4277 Points ∼65% +11%
Dell XPS 13
HD Graphics 4000, 3517U, Samsung SSD PM830 256 GByte mSATA
4809 Points ∼73% +25%
Acer Aspire S7-392
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, 2x Kingston SMSR150S3256G (RAID 0)
4970 Points ∼75% +29%
HP Spectre 13-3010eg
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Sandisk X110 SD6SN1M-256G-1006
5102 Points ∼77% +32%

Storage Devices

Acer has chosen a Western Digital hard disk for the Aspire. The model runs at 5,400 rpm and offers a capacity of 1 TB. The hard disk has an SSD cache (24 GB) and in CrystalDiskMark it records a read rate of 105.4 MB/s. HD Tune measures an average transfer rate of 92.3 MB/s. These are very good values for a 5,400 rpm HDD. The 4k read and write test results are also above average.

WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
Transfer Rate Minimum: 54.7 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 246.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 92.3 MB/s
Access Time: 18.4 ms
Burst Rate: 222.8 MB/s
CPU Usage: 6.6 %

Graphics Card

Aside from the integrated HD Graphics 4400, the laptop uses a GeForce GT 735M GPU. The notebook thus has enough graphics performance for modern games. Thankfully, the two graphics chips are connected using Optimus: this technology allows the IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) of the processor to deal with less demanding tasks, whereas more demanding programs, such as games, will be dealt with by the GeForce GPU. Both chips support DirectX 11. The GeForce core belongs to the middle-class amongst GPUs. Its base clock speed is 575 MHz and thanks to Turbo it can operate at 941 MHz.

The Aspire is the only notebook amongst our comparison models equipped with a dedicated GPU. As such, it easily beats the competition in the 3D Mark benchmarks. 

3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
8130 points
3DMark Vantage5666 points
3DMark 111804 points
3DMark Ice Storm46425 points
3DMark Cloud Gate4955 points
3DMark Fire Strike1037 points
Help
Acer Aspire S3-392G
Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
Asus Zenbook UX302LA-C4003H
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680 + 24 GB SanDisk SSD U100 Cache
Sony Vaio Fit multi-flip SV-F13N1L2E/S
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung MZNTD128HAGM
Acer Aspire S7-392
Intel Core i7-4500U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 2x Kingston SMSR150S3256G (RAID 0)
3DMark (2013)
-22%
-42%
-33%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score4642540049
-14%
28829
-38%
28849
-38%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score49554409
-11%
3236
-35%
4119
-17%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score1037622
-40%
498
-52%
583
-44%

Gaming Performance

A slim 13.3-inch Ultrabook capable of running the latest games - a rare phenomenon. The Aspire runs most games fluidly in the HD resolution (1366x768 pixels) and medium details (sometimes even high details).

low med.high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 86.342.923.6fps
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 67.541.214.1fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 64.635.629.9fps
GRID 2 (2013) 62.442.913.1fps
Splinter Cell: Blacklist (2013) 45.132.715.6fps
Saints Row IV (2013) 42.635.614.4fps
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (2013) 37.933.321.1fps
Total War: Rome II (2013) 60.141.533.610.1fps
Fifa 14 (2013) 108.757.4fps
F1 2013 (2013) 93756427fps
Batman: Arkham Origins (2013) 754421fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 48.43323.2fps
Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013) 53.729.918.7fps
Need for Speed: Rivals (2013) 29.727.621fps
X-Plane 10.25 (2013) 73.433.912.9fps
Thief (2014) 25.114.711.9fps
Titanfall (2014) 52.625.120.7fps
Acer Aspire S3-392G
Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
Asus Zenbook UX302LA-C4003H
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680 + 24 GB SanDisk SSD U100 Cache
Sony Vaio Fit multi-flip SV-F13N1L2E/S
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung MZNTD128HAGM
Acer Aspire S7-392
Intel Core i7-4500U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 2x Kingston SMSR150S3256G (RAID 0)
Tomb Raider
-42%
1024x768 Low Preset86.347.6
-45%
1366x768 Normal Preset AA:FX AF:4x42.924.4
-43%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x23.614.9
-37%
F1 2013
-47%
1024x768 Ultra Low Preset9358
-38%
1366x768 Medium Preset7534
-55%
Fifa 14
-45%
1366x768 High Preset AA:2x MS108.759
-46%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:4x MS57.433
-43%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-47% / -47%
-45% / -45%
-42% / -42%

Emissions

System Noise

Acer uses a cooling system consisting of two fans. Still, the notebook is very quiet while idle. We measured noise emissions of 30.1 to 31.1 dB(A). The Zenbook displays a similar behavior (30-32.4 dB(A)). The values of the Vaio (29.6-35.8 dB(A)) are slightly higher. As the Aspire is equipped with a dedicated graphics card, we believe that it will have the highest noise emission. However, this is not the case, as at medium load (3D Mark 06 running) and full load (stress test, Prime95 and FurMark running), the emissions are between 36.9 and 40.6 dB(A). In contrast, the Vaio (42.7-42.7 dB(A)) tops these levels. The Zenbook (34.4-35.4 dB(A)) is quiet at load.

Noise Level

Idle 30.3 / 30.3 / 30.3 dB(A)
HDD 31.1 dB(A)
Load 36.9 / 40.6 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The Acer Aspire S3-392G in stress test.
The Acer Aspire S3-392G in stress test.

While idle, all models have good temperatures. At full load, they all heat up, but to an acceptable degree. The Aspire crosses the 50-degree mark (122 degrees Fahrenheit) at one point (near the fan). The Vaio operates in the 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit) region and the Zenbook barely warms up. 

We were surprised by the behavior during our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark run for at least an hour). CPU and GPU run at full speed while the laptop is plugged in (CPU: 2.3 GHz, GPU: 941 MHz). After about an hour, the CPU occasionally throttles down to 2.2 GHz. We expected the GPU to throttle significantly given the slimness of the notebook. However, even on battery, the GPU runs the stress test at 941 MHz. After about 5 minutes, the CPU throttles down to 2.1 - 2.2 GHz. During the stress test (plugged in), the CPU temperature was around 81 degrees (177.8 Fahrenheit).

Max. Load
 37.2 °C45.5 °C40.6 °C 
 33.8 °C39.2 °C33.2 °C 
 29.5 °C28.6 °C30.3 °C 
Maximum: 45.5 °C
Average: 35.3 °C
37.5 °C53.6 °C43.1 °C
30.6 °C32.6 °C32 °C
29.5 °C29.8 °C29.1 °C
Maximum: 53.6 °C
Average: 35.3 °C
Power Supply (max.)  53.8 °C | Room Temperature 21.8 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The stereo speakers of the Aspire are placed at the bottom of the laptop. They produce a good sound but lack bass. Speech is audible and understandable. We recommend headphones or external speakers for better audio quality.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

While idle, the power consumption of all the models is in the expected region (below 10 W). After all, these devices are equipped with ULV processors. At medium load (3D Mark 06 running) and full load (stress test, Prime95 and FurMark running), the Aspire requires 39-46.7 W. The competitors require less power as they lack a dedicated graphics card: Zenbook (31.3-31.8 W) and the Vaio (22-22.6 W). The Vaio is very conservative, as it does not use its Turbo on battery.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.3 / 0.3 Watt
Idle 5.5 / 7.2 / 7.4 Watt
Load 39 / 46.7 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

While idle, the Aspire reaches a run time of 9:55 h, placing it between the Zenbook (11:49 h) and the Vaio (8:54 h). We checked the idle run time using the Battery Eater Reader’s test. The display is set to the lowest brightness, the "Power Saver" profile is turned on and wireless modules are switched off. At load, the Aspire runs for 1:49 h. The Zenbook (1:44 h) and the Vaio (1:54 h) offer similar run times. The run time at load is measured using the Battery Eater Classic Test. The screen is set to the highest brightness, the profile is set to "High Performance" and the wireless modules are turned on.

The Aspire finishes the WLAN test with a decent 5:53 h. The Vaio (5:14 h) and the Zenbook (5:36 h) lag a little behind. In this test, we automatically load websites every 40 seconds. The "Power Saver" profile is active and brightness is set to 150 cd/m². Finally, the video playback test records how long the laptop can play a movie. We picked the short film Big Buck Bunny (H.264-coded, 1920x1080 pixels) and set it to loop. The "Power Saver" profile was active, the wireless modules turned off and brightness set to 150 cd/m². The Aspire can last 5:49 h while the Vaio (5:04 h) gives up earlier. The Zenbook was not tested.

Overall, for an Ultrabook, the Acer Aspire test model offers good run times.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 55min
WiFi Surfing
5h 53min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
5h 49min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 49min
Acer Aspire S3-392G
Intel Core i5-4200U, NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M, WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache
Asus Zenbook UX302LA-C4003H
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680 + 24 GB SanDisk SSD U100 Cache
Sony Vaio Fit multi-flip SV-F13N1L2E/S
Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung MZNTD128HAGM
Acer Aspire S7-392
Intel Core i7-4500U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, 2x Kingston SMSR150S3256G (RAID 0)
Battery Runtime
3%
-5%
11%
Reader / Idle595709
19%
534
-10%
734
23%
Classic / Load109104
-5%
114
5%
116
6%
WLAN353336
-5%
314
-11%
370
5%

Verdict

The Acer Aspire S3-392G is a small, mobile Ultrabook which offers good program and gaming performance. The laptop has enough storage space and good battery life. Furthermore, the power consumption is quite low and the Ultrabook is very quiet (while idle). Although in the past, Acer often skimped on the display, our test model has a wonderful panel: brightness and contrast are good and the viewing angles are stable. We did not find a major flaw in the model and as such, we can understand the price of around 1,000 Euros (~$1382). However, we do expect a Windows DVD for this price.

The Asus Zenbook UX302LA-C4003H has a hard time against the test model. The Zenbook uses the same CPU, but is prone to throttling. In the practical battery tests, it could not beat the test model. Furthermore, the Zenbook lacks a dedicated GPU and is priced at 1,200 Euros (~$1658) - much more expensive than the Aspire. The Sony Vaio Fit 13A multi-flip SV-F13N1L2E/S also costs more than our test model at 1,100 Euros (~$1520). However, it offers many different modes, which are an interesting alternative. For example, it can be used as a classical notebook or as a tablet. If you cannot decide between an Ultrabook and a tablet, the Vaio may be the right pick for you.

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In Review: The Acer Aspire S3-392G-54204G1.02Ttws. Model provided by Notebooksbilliger Germany
In Review: The Acer Aspire S3-392G-54204G1.02Ttws. Model provided by Notebooksbilliger Germany

Specifications

Acer Aspire S3-392G

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
:: Memory
4096 MB, DDR3, Dual-Channel, soldered, no memory slots
:: Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M - 1024 MB, Core: 575-941 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, Forceware 327.41, Optimus
:: Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, 10 point multi-touch, AU Optronics B133HAN03.2, IPS, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
WDC WD10SPCX-22HWST0 + Kingston SMS151S324G 24 GB SSD Cache, 1000 GB , 880 GB free
:: Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
2 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: audio combi, Card Reader: SD, MMC, Sensors: Brightness sensor,
:: Networking
Realtek USB Fast Ethernet Family Controller (10MBit), Intel Wireless-N 7260 (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.8 x 323.5 x 225
:: Weight
1.65 kg Power Supply: 0.207 kg
:: Battery
45 Wh Lithium-Ion, 7.5 V, 6060 mAh
:: Price
999 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD Webcam (1280 x 720), Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, McAfee LiveSafe - Internet Security (Test version), Microsoft Office 365 (Test version), Nero BackItUp 12 Essentials, 24 Months Warranty

 

The input devices are quite good.
The input devices are quite good.
The hinges ...
The hinges ...
... hold the panel in position.
... hold the panel in position.
A few ports are added by using the provided adapter.
A few ports are added by using the provided adapter.
The innards of the laptop can be accessed.
The innards of the laptop can be accessed.
The RAM is soldered onto the board.
The RAM is soldered onto the board.
Swapping the HDD would not be hard.
Swapping the HDD would not be hard.
Not only one ...
Not only one ...
... but two fans cool our model.
... but two fans cool our model.
The WLAN module is placed under the motherboard.
The WLAN module is placed under the motherboard.
The battery is secured with a few screws.
The battery is secured with a few screws.
It has a capacity of 45 Wh.
It has a capacity of 45 Wh.
The power adapter weighs around 207 grams (~7.3 oz)...
The power adapter weighs around 207 grams (~7.3 oz)...
... and offers a performance of 65 W.
... and offers a performance of 65 W.
Keyboard backlight.
Keyboard backlight.
The speakers are placed on the bottom.
The speakers are placed on the bottom.
Outdoors with the Aspire.
Outdoors with the Aspire.

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Devices with Same Screen Size and/or Weight

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Links

Price Comparison

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Pricerunner n.a.

Pro

+Very good program performance
+Gaming-ready
+Good battery life
+Bright Full HD display with strong contrast
+High workmanship quality
+Display can be opened up to 180 degrees
+Displayport
+VGA, Fast-Ethernet and USB 2.0 via adapter
 

Cons

-Reflective display
-No Windows DVD

Shortcut

What we like

The good performance, battery life and display.

What we miss

Nothing really except maybe a 3G/4G module.

What surprises us

Acer has chosen a powerful processor and gaming-ready GPU. Despite this combination, the user will not have to suffer from throttling.

The competition

Asus Zenbook UX302LA-C4003H, Sony VAIO Fit 13A SV-F13N1L2E/S, Acer Aspire S7-392, HP Spectre 13-3010eg, Asus Zenbook UX302LG-C4014H, Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite 905S3G-K01DE, Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus 940X3G

Rating

Acer Aspire S3-392G
03/16/2014 v4
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
89 / 98 → 91%
Keyboard
87%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
75 / 95 → 79%
Weight
67 / 78 → 74%
Battery
87%
Display
84%
Games Performance
75 / 85 → 88%
Application Performance
72%
Temperature
80 / 91 → 88%
Noise
93%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
47 / 85 → 55%
Add Points
+5%
Average
72%
88%
Subnotebook *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Acer Aspire S3-392G Ultrabook
Author: Sascha Mölck, 2014-03-25 (Update: 2014-03-26)