Timeline Ultra 14-inch Ultrabook computer by Acer Corp.
$779.99 at Amazon.com
Thereís a lot to like about Ultrabooks, the lightweight super-thin laptops now offered by the major computer makers. But most of these little machines suffer from one big drawback--price. Theyíve generally hovered around $900.
So itís nice to see Acer deliver a snappy machine with plenty of features at a sub-$800 price. The Timeline Ultra is really stacked. Itís got a hefty Intel i5 processor along with four gigabytes of RAM memory. Instead of a high-priced solid-state drive, Acer keeps the cost low with a half-terabyte mechanical hard drive. But you do get 20 gigabytes of flash memory, which boots up the Windows 7 operating system in less than a minute. The Timelineís got another welcome feature not found in most Ultrabooks--a DVD drive for watching movies and playing tunes.
Itís got a comfy keyboard thatís backlit for typing in the dark, and a decent-quality LCD screen. One minor annoyance--a built-in battery that canít be swapped out for a fresh one. But the iPhone and iPad have taught us to live with that nuisance.
The Timeline isnít the fastest, thinnest or prettiest Ultrabook. But when it comes to value for money, itís an excellent choice.
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