Windows PCs are about to go on a diet, with Acer launching its ultrabook range, a new breed of PC laptop that combines Intel’s speedy processors with ultra-thin bodies.

Weighing just less than 1.35kg and measuring 13mm thin, the Acer Aspire S3 features a magnesium-alloy and aluminium chassis housing an second-generation Intel Sandy Bridge processor, 13.3 inch HD LED screen, 4GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, and a headphone port.

There’s also either a 320GB hard drive or 240GB solid state drive depending on how much you want to spend, with the SSD coming in at a higher price but being better for battery life, potentially offering up to 7 hours of juice.

The Acer Aspire S3 is heading to stores in October where it will start from a recommended retail price of $1199 for an Intel Core i3 model, with Core i5 and Core i7 models fetching higher price tags.

Acer is one of the first companies to jump on the ultrabook concept, a space that will begin to see more competitors as the year goes on. We’re a little hesitant to say that Acer is the first, especially as both Apple and Samsung have had ultrathin laptops in the market for some time, but it’s good to see another player regardless.

We had a quick play with the Aspire S3 today and found it to be a very light-weight machine. The overall feel of the pre-production unit was thin and light – as you’d expect – but the alloys used in the build made us think of plastic rather than the strong metal feel you get when you pick up the MacBook Air.

We’ll be keen to get our hands on a review unit, but until then, check out our hands-on video below.