2018’s Best Acer Laptops [In-Depth Review]

TOP PICK
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch FHD Notebook (Intel Core i3-7100U 7th Generation , 4GB DDR4, 1TB 5400RPM HD, Intel HD Graphics 620, Windows 10 Home), Obsidian Black
BEST BUDGET
Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H
BEST GAMING
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS, Intel i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, GeForce GTX 1060-6GB, VR Ready, Red Backlit KB, Metal Chassis, Windows 10 64-bit, G3-571-77QK
BEST 2 IN 1
Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible, 11.6-Inch HD Touch, Intel Celeron N3150, 4GB DDR3L, 32GB, Chrome, CB5-132T-C1LK
BEST CHROMEBOOK
Acer Chromebook 15 CB515-1HT-P39B, Pentium N4200, 15.6" Full HD Touch, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB Storage, Pure Silver
BLW's Score
95
93
89
87
91
MSRP
from $549.00
$364.99
$1,137.90
from $273.60
$382.50
Processor
Intel Core i3-7100U 2.4 GHz
Intel Core i3-8130U 2.2 GHz
Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz
Intel Celeron N3150 1.6 GHz
Intel Pentium N4200 1.1 GHz
RAM
4GB DDR4
6GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
4GB DDR3L
Hard Disk
1TB HDD
1TB HDD
256GB SSD
128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
32GB eMMC
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
11.6" HD (1366x768)
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel HD Graphics 630
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
Intel HD Graphics N3000
Intel HD Graphics 505
OS
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Chrome OS
Chrome OS
Weight
5.27 pounds
5.27 pounds
5.95 pounds
2.76 pounds
3.97 pounds
TOP PICK
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch FHD Notebook (Intel Core i3-7100U 7th Generation , 4GB DDR4, 1TB 5400RPM HD, Intel HD Graphics 620, Windows 10 Home), Obsidian Black
BLW's Score
95
MSRP
from $549.00
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i3-7100U 2.4 GHz
RAM
4GB DDR4
Hard Disk
1TB HDD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 620
OS
Windows 10
Weight
5.27 pounds
BEST BUDGET
Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i3-8130U, 6GB RAM Memory, 1TB HDD, 8X DVD, E5-576-392H
BLW's Score
93
MSRP
$364.99
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i3-8130U 2.2 GHz
RAM
6GB DDR4
Hard Disk
1TB HDD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 630
OS
Windows 10
Weight
5.27 pounds
BEST GAMING
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" Full HD IPS, Intel i7-7700HQ CPU, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, GeForce GTX 1060-6GB, VR Ready, Red Backlit KB, Metal Chassis, Windows 10 64-bit, G3-571-77QK
BLW's Score
89
MSRP
$1,137.90
More Information
Processor
Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz
RAM
16GB DDR4
Hard Disk
256GB SSD
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
OS
Windows 10
Weight
5.95 pounds
BEST 2 IN 1
Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible, 11.6-Inch HD Touch, Intel Celeron N3150, 4GB DDR3L, 32GB, Chrome, CB5-132T-C1LK
BLW's Score
87
MSRP
from $273.60
More Information
Processor
Intel Celeron N3150 1.6 GHz
RAM
16GB DDR4
Hard Disk
128GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display
11.6" HD (1366x768)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics N3000
OS
Chrome OS
Weight
2.76 pounds
BEST CHROMEBOOK
Acer Chromebook 15 CB515-1HT-P39B, Pentium N4200, 15.6" Full HD Touch, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB Storage, Pure Silver
BLW's Score
91
MSRP
$382.50
More Information
Processor
Intel Pentium N4200 1.1 GHz
RAM
4GB DDR3L
Hard Disk
32GB eMMC
Display
15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080)
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 505
OS
Chrome OS
Weight
3.97 pounds

From their beginnings as an electronic parts distributor, Acer have grown into one of the world's most famous laptop brands.

Currently, they are in the top five by market share. But what is it that makes their laptops so popular?

Acer is a success story that started with humble beginnings. With just a $25,000 start-up investment, it has grown into a multinational company.

Back in 1979, Stan Shih with his wife Carolyn Yeh, founded Multitech in Taiwan. This company was initially a distributor for electronic components. Multitech also provided advice on computer processors.

Seeing the popularity of Apple Computers, they began to produce clones of these machines in 1982 and, soon after, entered the PC market.

This was to be a very profitable move. They rebranded themselves as Acer in 1987. Their new ethos was to provide the freshest, most affordable technology to benefit consumers worldwide.

This article will explore the best Acer laptops on the market today. In order to be completely comprehensive, we have covered machines for specific needs.

5 Best Acer Laptops By Category

Overall Top Pick:
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6” FHD Notebook

Acer Aspire E 15

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM is a machine that packs some serious power. At $600 it has comparable performance to machines that you would normally expect to pay around the $1000 mark.

It is an all-round computer that can be used as a home machine, for a small office or a mobile device for the casual gamer.

​Specs

  • Display Size: 15.6" Full HD Widescreen ComfyView LED
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Battery Capacity: 12 hours
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4 5400 RPM
  • Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core i3 7100U 7th Generation
  • ​Storage: 1000GB HDD
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    GPU: Intel HD Graphics 620
  • I/O (input/output): ​Bluetooth, SD memory card reader, microphone in, headphone out, 2 x USB 3.0, 3.1 Type-C, HDMI,VGA, LAN, 1 x USB 2.0, USB-C
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    Weight: 5.27 pounds
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    PriceCheck latest price on Amazon.com 

​Benefits

With an impressive 12-hour battery life, the Acer Aspire E15 will work well wherever you are. Working off-site with clients or just having coffee at the local espresso cafe.

One of the stand-out features of this laptop is the crystal clear display. With a 15.6” HD screen, 16:9 widescreen and Acer ColorBlast technology, it produces stand-out imagery.

The Acer Aspire E 15 has 94 percent NTSC, providing more than twice the colors as a standard laptop. This makes it a useful machine for those involved in graphic design, video-editing or photography. The people who need to see true-to-life coloration.

The Intel Core i3-7100U (7th generation) processor means fast speeds. It eliminates lag and enhances battery power. Furthermore, accessing external information is speedy too.

With a 3.1 Type-C USB port, ultra-fast information transfer is easy. There’s an added bonus that the USB 3.0 port can charge peripherals, even when the laptop has been powered off.

Possessing 802.11ac wireless, the Acer Aspire E15 features MU-MIMO enhanced technology. This results in wireless speeds up to three times faster than normal.

Drawbacks

Considering the price, there are few things to criticize this impressive machine for. However, we do feel that for a laptop that leads the way in many specifications, the factory supplied 5400 rpm drive is a little sluggish.

To make it into a truly top-level machine, it will need to be upgraded, which can be done quite simply.

In addition, the semi-replaceable battery is located within the machine itself. Invariably, laptops last longer than the battery. Hence, the computer will need to be disassembled for replacement.

Extra Features

  • Designed for easy upgrades - a slidable door means that the memory and hard drive can be accessed simply without having to remove screws.
  • LED backlighting for all-round viewing ease.
  • Skype for Business certified - guaranteeing that the mic, webcam and speakers will work without any issues.
  • True Harmony speakers - for deep and crisp sound production.

Buying Advice

This laptop is a powerful home, small business and casual gaming machine that delivers at remarkably good value. 

It would be difficult to find a laptop with similar specifications at this price.

Best Budget:
Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6" Full HD E5-576-392H

For a laptop under $400, the Acer Aspire E E5-576-392H comes packed with features not normally found in a budget machine.

​Specs

  • Display Size: 15.6" Full HD widescreen LED-lit
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Battery Capacity: 13.5 hours
  • RAM: 6GB Dual Channel Memory
  • Processor: 2.2 GHz Intel Core i3 8130U (8th generation)
  • ​Storage: 1000GB Mechanical Hard Drive​
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    GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • I/O (input/output): DVD-RW, 2 x USB 3.0, Bluetooth, Microphone in, Headphone out, SDHC or SDXC card reader, VGA, DVI, HDMI, 1 x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.1 Type-C, Ethernet
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    Weight: 5.27 pounds
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    PriceCheck latest price on Amazon.com 

​Benefits

Firstly, the stylish appearance. Many low-end laptops have a distinctly ‘plastic’ look which shouts out ‘budget’ but with this machine, that’s not the case. Smooth and sleek with a textured casing, it’s reminiscent of some of the high-end Sony laptops.

The screen and keyboard seams are well finished and tight with the screen closing tightly to the keyboard.

If it looks familiar to you, that’s because the design is exactly the same as its Acer predecessor. Savings on design costs are passed on through to the consumer, enabling it to fall into the budget market.

Unusually for a laptop of this price, the display is highly impressive. With pixels of 1920 x 1080 and 15.6” HD display, it will not disappoint. The keyboard has a backlight function, which I cannot recall seeing on any other laptop at this price point.

Taking a look inside, the Acer Aspire E E5-576-392H has a speedy Intel i3 8130U (dual-core) processor working at 2.2 GHz. With Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology, it means you can receive enhanced bursts of performance and smoother streaming.

The good news is that this year’s model has had the RAM boosted by an extra 2GB (making 6GB in total).

Another stand-out aspect, is the number of ports, surprising for a sub $400 machine. It has USB 2.0, 3.0 and Type-C, together with ethernet, HDMI and SD card reader.

Drawbacks

At 5.27 lbs, it is a little weighty, especially if you are going to be using it frequently as a portable device.

The screen is clear and sharp, as it is LED backlit, but some videos appeared a little dull, even with the brightness level set at maximum.

The only other issue is that the 1000GB hard drive is a little slow (5400 rpm). You will probably want to replace with a new SSD if speed is important.

Extra Features

  • HD webcam
  • Easily upgradable to 32GB of RAM

Buying Advice

It’s simple. The Acer Aspire E E5-576-392H comes with features that are not expected in a sub $400 machine.

Those being: a generous number of ports, increased RAM, good battery life and a design that is aesthetically pleasing.

Best Acer Chromebook:
Acer Chromebook 15 CB515-1HT-P39B

Acer Chromebook 15 Review

Chromebooks have come on a long way since they were first introduced back in 2011. They are faster, sleeker and much more user-friendly. This makes many people consider them as serious alternatives to the laptop.

After all, we spend most of our online time browsing, so why not have a machine that is exclusively designed for that?

​Specs

  • Display Size: 15.6” Full HD
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • RAM: 4GB LPDDR4
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz Pentium N4200
  • Storage: 32GB Flash Memory Solid State
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics
  • I/O (input/output): ​2 x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, Bluetooth, microphone out, headphone in, SDHC card reader
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    Weight: 3.97 pounds
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    PriceCheck latest price on Amazon.com 

​Benefits

The Acer Chromebook 15 CB515-1HT-P39B is a top-end machine. It is as sleek in design as it is in performance.

As the saying goes, ‘first impressions count’. And with this Chromebook, first impressions are very appealing. It has a tight, slimline aluminum cover that just wants to be touched. When I first saw it, it shouted out MacBook Pro.

Handling the Acer Chromebook is also a pleasure. It is lighter than traditional laptops (3.97 pounds) with a nice ‘balanced’ feel. It is a machine that is easily transportable and unobtrusive in a backpack.

The 15.6” touch-enabled display separates it from the bargain Chromebooks on the market. The colors don’t jump out quite as well as you would expect from a top-end PC, but for a Chromebook they are some of the best we’ve seen.

It possesses 41 percent more pixels than a standard HD display. The sizeable touchscreen means you can do more without having to scroll.

The keyboard is backlit and quite tactile with a pleasing ‘leap-back’ feel. The keys are located in a small recessed panel which gives the Chromebook a high-end appearance.

With a 2.5 GHz Pentium N4200, the Acer Chromebook 15 is fast, making browsing a pleasure. 32GB of SSD and 4GB is perfectly adequate for this machine. We always want more, I know, but at these levels, functionality is not impaired.

We, and many satisfied customers, have found that, unlike many laptops, the battery life is not vastly over exaggerated. Many users report battery life exceeding 10 hours after a two-hour charge, making it ideal for users on the move.

Drawbacks

Although the screen can lay flat at 180 degrees, it cannot be bent back on itself (i.e. it cannot go into ‘tent’ mode).

Hence, if you like watching videos in this format you will be disappointed. In addition, despite its lightweight construction, the Acer Chromebook 15 is still a large piece of equipment.

Extra Features

  • Google apps come pre-installed as standard
  • Responsive touch display
  • Built-in lengthways speakers on keyboard face
  • 180-degree screen adaptability for table presentations

Buying Advice

This machine is the perfect eye-candy.

It is lightweight, affordable price, portable and surpasses most of the other Chromebooks on the market.

Best Acer 2 in 1: 
Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible CB5-132T-C1LK

Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible Review

The CB5-132T-C1LK is the first convertible Chromebook from Acer - an affordable and adaptable machine.

​Specs

  • Display Size: 11.6 inches HD Touch
  • Resolution: 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Battery Capacity: 10 hours
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz Intel Celeron
  • Storage: 32 GB ​SSD
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    GPU: Intel HD Graphics
  • I/O (input/output): ​1 x USB 3.0. 1 x USB 2.0, HDMI with HDCP support, Bluetooth 4.0, headphone out, microphone in, SDHC card reader.
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    Weight: 2.76 pounds
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    PriceCheck latest price on Amazon.com 

​Benefits

Like the above Acer 15 CB515-1HT-P39B, this Chromebook also comes with a textured aluminum finish. It shouts out aesthetic beauty. Measuring just 8 x 11.6 x 0.8 inches, this is a machine that just wants to be taken out with you and used during the day.

The build is durable, which is a key aspect to look for in a convertible. Since the screen can hinge through a full 360 degrees, it has to be able to withstand day-in-day-out use. It enables the Chromebook to be utilized for tent, tablet and laptop formats.

This Chromebook is designed with ease of use as a priority. The 360-degree screen is able to be opened with a single hand, but does not ‘fall’ when the touchscreen is used.

With an 11.6 inch touchscreen, the Acer Chromebook R11 has a 1366 × 768 resolution. Although, not being 1080 pixels, we found it is still easily viewable even when not directly in front of the screen.

The keyboard is very responsive, although not backlit. The touchpad flows easily and is slightly larger than most, which we like.

The Acer Chromebook R11 has an Intel Celeron 1.6 GHz processor, with a 32GB SSD. Response and loading times are fast, with the machine booting up in about 6 seconds. The machine comes with 4GB of RAM, that’s more than sufficient for basic browsing or using the Google apps.

The battery life is good, with tests showing that it can last over 10 hours on a single charge.

Drawbacks

For our taste, the key return may prove a little too ‘short’ and the keyboard would benefit from being backlit.

Although still a good display, 1080 pixels are expected by many users these days. 

Finally, the only other issue we found was switching between display modes can provide screen lag at times.

Extra Features

  • In-plane switching (IPS) technology
  • Nano-imprinted aluminum case for an industrial look
  • HD webcam
  • Google apps pre-installed

Buying Advice

For a low-priced convertible, it has a lot of memory. 

The CB5-132T-C1LK has a pleasing design and is sturdy enough to withstand the demands of portability and 360-degree rotation.

Best For Gaming:
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop G3-571-77QK

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

You only have to look at the Acer Predator 300 G3-571-77QK to see this is a gaming laptop.

It has sharp, angled edges, matte black casing with red trim and the distinctive Predator logo. Pronounced rear vents give this laptop an almost supercar aesthetic appeal.

​Specs

  • Display Size: 15.6" Full HD IPS
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Battery Capacity: 7 hours
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Processor: 3.8 GHz Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • Weight — 3.62 pounds
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    Storage: 256GB Flash Memory Solid State
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
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    I/O (input/output)​: USB Type-C, USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.0, SD and SDHC card reader, HDMI, Ethernet 10/100/1000, headphone out
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    Weight: 5.95 pounds
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    PriceCheck latest price on Amazon.com 

​​​​​​​Benefits

The display is full HD with a 1920 x 1080 pixels IPS screen. Motion is clean and tight with the benefit of viewing angles that are seriously wide.

The keyboard is fast, responsive and has satisfying travel. The Acer Predator 300 has a generous palm rest, that will make for much more comfortable and extended gameplay.

A red-tinted backlit keyboard finishes off the gaming appearance and makes it suitable for night time gaming.

With a 256GB SSD, it beats many other systems that have a 1TB mechanical hard drive. If this isn’t sufficient, it’s possible to purchase an HDD SATA upgrade kit.

However, even with the standard 256GB SSD and 16GB DDR4 memory, means that booting is swift and loading times for games are fast.

The serious gamer will not be disappointed. The NVIDIA GeForce 1060 GCU, together with the Intel i7-7700HQ processor creates a perfect package. It’s a combination that is going to perform even on the most demanding of games such as Far Cry 4 and Rise of the Tomb Raider

Battery life is far from excellent, but that is an aspect which sadly comes with most gaming laptops on the market. In general, it seems that it has around five hours of life. This still beats many other competitors who struggle to reach four.

Drawbacks

Some gamers like the ability to have programmable keys. So, it’s a little surprising to see the Acer Predator 300 G3-571-77QK does not have this function.

Also, compared to its competitors, it is a little short in port numbers. Although, for our eyes it is perfectly sufficient.

Another issue is that the dual fans are extremely loud.

Obviously on a gaming machine this is not unusual, however to our ears it did sound louder than other machines If this is the price you have to pay for the power, it is probably worth it.

Extra Features

  • Dual fan cooling.
  • VR Ready.
  • Gaming adaptability - machine temperature, CPU and system fan speed can all be adjusted from the gaming panel.

Buying Advice

The Acer Predator Helios 300 G3-571-77QK performs just as well as the Razer Blade or Ghost Pro, but without the large price tag

An intense and mean, aesthetically pleasing look, together with a supercharged graphics card make this a good choice for the gamer.

Final Thoughts

From its beginnings as a component distributor, Asus has come a long way in its desire to provide affordable computers for everyone.

It is not just the quality and build of the machines that makes them worth considering, but their warranty and customer service too.

With a worldwide presence, their warranties have followed suit. Even purchasing a computer in one country does not prevent you from having it repaired in another.

Furthermore, customer testimonials frequently praise the fast response they have received to queries and complaints.

Despite producing laptops that are at the cheaper end of the market, they do not lack quality.

Acer’s business model allows them to manufacture reliable and powerful computers more competitively priced than many of their rivals.

When choosing your computer, the key is to decide what is to be used for.

Is it for office work, gaming or presentations? Is portability important? Do you actually need a laptop or would a Chromebook suffice?

This article has shown you the best Acer laptops from across the board. They should definitely be taken into consideration when selecting your new machine.

This post was last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 12:57 pm

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