It’s been about a year since the first ultrabooks hit the market. At the time the thin and light laptops featured 2nd generation Intel Core chips and Windows software. Now most new models are shipping with 3rd generation Core chips, Windows 8, and other premium features such as optional touchscreens.

And that’s good news if you’re looking to pick up last year’s model. Because prices are falling fast. This weekend TigerDirect is selling the Acer Aspire S3 ultrabook for just $499.99. That’s the lowest price I’ve seen on any ultrabook so far.

Acer Aspire S3

The Aspire S3 model on sale features a 13.3 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, an Intel Core i3-2377M CPU, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive plus a 20GB solid state cache disk. The laptop runs Windows 7 Home Premium.

While it’s not the fastest laptop on the market, it’s still one of the thinner and lighter models around, measuring 12.7″ x 8.6″ x 0.7″ and weighing 3 pounds. The Aspire S3 feautres WiFi, Bluetooth, 2 USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and a flash card reader.

Acer says you should be able to get up to 5.5 hours of run time from the non-removable battery, but your results will probably vary depending on what you’re doing with the laptop.

As I mentioned, this is a weekend sale, and the price could go back up to the $600 range soon. But now that PC makers are pushing higher-priced ultrabooks with Ivy Bridge processors and Windows 8, I have a suspicion we’ll continue to see bargains on older models in the coming months.

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8 replies on “Price drop makes Acer Aspire S3 the first sub-$500 ultrabook (for now)”

  1. Actually, it was way back in 2008 when the first model appeared.

  2. Nice. The least advanced ultrabooks are about to fill the netbook space.

    1. You’re right. Let’s ignore that they need to drop by another $300-$400 to fill the netbook space.

    2. They also need to have 10″ screens or smaller. At least that’s how I see netbooks.

  3. I’ll wait in a price drop of the S7.
    But it was expected that first and even second gen ultrabooks would see their price decrease. OEMs can’t justify to price ultrabooks, touchscreen ultrabooks and full W8 hybrids at the same level.
    As the price of these new machines cannot go much higher than the ultrabooks that were sold 6 months ago ($800 to $1400 depending on models), they have to lower W7 non touchscreen ultrabook prices.
    I even suspect some OEMs to keep on selling cheaper W7 laptops/PCs (because of the lower OS licensing cost) for a while for people who don’t want W8 but still need to upgrade. Maybe some better specced small (10-11″) notebooks too.
    Choice and lower prices are always good.

    1. I certainly hope non-touchscreen ultrabooks are cheaper even though the rest of the specs are the same. I’d also like to see some 10″ notebooks (not necessarily ultrabooks so they can be thicker) with Core i ULVs.

      I was hoping that the early articles about the 11.6″ S7 having a non-touchscreen option were true but I haven’t read anything about it recently.

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