Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 brings discrete graphics to Ultrabooks for $680 and up

Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 ultrabook screen lid open

The Ultra M5 is out now, for an in depth breakdown check out our full review of the Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5.

Earlier this year, Acer introduced the Aspire Timeline Ultra M3, the world’s first Ultrabook with discrete graphics. Now, just a few months later, the company has pulled the wraps off its sequel.

The Timeline Ultra M5 is an Ultrabook with available Nvidia GeForce GT 640M LE discrete graphics that will be sold in 14- and 15.6-inch form factors. At 0.81 inches thin and a weight of 4.3 pounds, it will continue to carry the torch for Ultrabooks with discrete graphics in the United States — at least until Lenovo releases its upcoming ThinkPad T430u later this year.Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 ultrabook back facingUnlike the previous Ultra M3, which was only available with discrete graphics and a 15.6-inch display, the new model will provide more options. The base version will offer a 14-inch display and a second-generation Intel Core low voltage processor with discrete graphics for $680. A modest bump in price to $780 will net you a third-generation Intel Core processor and discrete graphics. Pay another $50 and you’ll end up with the 15.6-inch model, which is similarly equipped but offers two additional gigabytes of RAM, for a total of 6GB.

Other selling points include a pair of USB 3.0 ports, a backlit keyboard and up to eight hours of battery life. Unlike many other Ultrabooks, the Timeline Ultra M5 also comes with an optical drive.

The only major downside that consumers might find strange is the decision to use the GeForce GT 640M LE, which uses Nvidia’s older Fermi graphics architecture, instead of the GT 640M found in the previous Timeline Ultra M3. Changing the GPU will result in slightly worse graphics performance and yet, in spite of this, the new 15.6-inch model has a slightly higher price tag than the old one.

Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 side profile thin ultrabook

On the other hand, the previous model was hard to find because Nvidia was (and still is) ramping up production of its new GPUs. The Timeline Ultra M5 should be more widely available.

Speaking of availability, Acer says you can expect to see this laptop in stores at the beginning of July. The three variants described earlier are the only options at release.