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Acer Aspire Timeline U M3 581T – Usability, Screen and Speakers

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:



So far we have a great chassis with good if poorly located connectivity, but what’s the Acer Aspire Timeline U M3 Ultra like to use? Thankfully, though its keyboard is not backlit it still provides a very nice typing experience. Number crunchers will be happy to hear that the Timeline U M3’s 15.6in form factor gives enough room for a full number pad. Keys are spaced a tad too far apart but well laid out, and offer decent feedback along with crisp action - which is what we want most from any laptop keyboard when you get right down to it.

Acer Aspire Timeline U M3 581T 7

The huge matt touchpad is likewise a pleasure to use, as it offers a smooth, sensitive surface along with easy to press ‘buttons’.


The screen is often the most dangerous area for laptops, especially affordable ones, since the TN panels used in the majority usually suffer from poor viewing angles and other annoyances. The 15.6in affair Acer has used here is no exception, but doesn’t fare badly at all compared to other affordable Ultrabooks. It sports the usual 1,366 x 768 resolution, and while this isn’t really what we like to see on a display of this size, we can’t complain considering the Aspire Timeline U M3 Ultra 581T-32364G34Mnkk’s sub-£500 price.

Acer Aspire Timeline U M3 581T 10

It sports a glossy finish that does cause annoying reflections but also gives colours that bit of extra verve and further enhances the already fairly deep blacks. Dark detailing is good if not perfect, as only the darkest shades are indistinguishable. And though vertical angles are as poor as ever meaning you need to tilt the screen carefully, vertically they’re quite strong with only the merest hint of contrast shift. In other words, it’s ‘good enough’ for the majority of work or play.

Acer Aspire Timeline U M3 581T 4


As you would hope given the extra chassis space, this 15in Ultrabook kicks most of the current 13in crop to the curb when it comes to audio. The Dolby processing-enhanced stereo speakers manage quite a bit of depth and clarity, and while they lack punch in the bass department they’re rarely in tinny territory. Unless you’re listening to music or trying to get the most out of a movie, headphones are not required.


June 30, 2012, 12:32 pm

Are they planning a version of this with a better screen? It would be quite interesting with that, but 15" with 1366 x 768 and poor brightness and angles is a deal breaker


July 3, 2012, 5:37 am

I just bought this Laptop in Portugal after reading your review. I need English Windows OS & the English Recovery Disk would be the simplest fix.
Acer Portugal are unable to help because they only have the Portuguese version, while Acer UK are also unable to help, they claim that their RECOVERY DISKS are only specific to UK models & both suggest I buy English Version of Windows 7 & do a whole new install.
All this is fine & dandy but it all becomes very messy because of the Acer drivers & the whole install process runs into hours & would be so much more simple with an English Recovery Disk.
Can some one please HELP. Ardjuna Seghers, can you please intercede.



July 31, 2012, 7:14 pm

If only it had better speakers...

Rob Edwards

March 31, 2013, 11:14 pm

mine has a i5 not a i3

Rob Edwards

March 31, 2013, 11:16 pm

and it has a sdd hard drive built in

Gary Turner

June 27, 2013, 10:59 am

I bought the Acer M3 581T and within a year the backlight had gone, I bought a new screen as it was out of warranty and couldn't afford a costly repair bill from Acer and the output is still the same black screen (works perfect through HDMI to an external monitor)..!!
I still have it and Im struggling to find a fix or repair which deals with this problem..!
Wouldn't recommend this laptop to anyone and also wont buy anything Acer ever again, their support is terrible..

Uğur Emre Aydin

July 21, 2013, 3:17 pm

Erm hey guys, just wondering.
Has this laptop got NVIDIA built-in?
Thanks, :D

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