From their beginnings as an electronic parts distributor, Acer have grown into one of the world's most famous laptop brands.
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 5
The Acer Aspire 5 is a machine that packs some serious power. At around $800 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.
With an impressive 8 hour battery life, the Acer Aspire 5 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 5 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 NVIDIA GeForce MX250 dedicated GPU is a bonus and will be especially welcome if you involved in any type of video production or gaming.
The Intel Core i3-8565U (8th 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 5 features MU-MIMO enhanced technology. This results in wireless speeds up to three times faster than normal.
Considering the price, there are few things to criticize this impressive machine for. To make it into a truly top-level machine, it will need to be upgraded. Fortunately, this is easy to do using the compartments built into the bottom of the case.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- HD webcam
- Easily upgradable to 32GB of RAM
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
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?
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.
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.
- Google apps come pre-installed as standard
- Responsive touch display
- Built-in lengthways speakers on keyboard face
- 180-degree screen adaptability for table presentations
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
The CB5-132T-C1LK is the first convertible Chromebook from Acer - an affordable and adaptable machine.
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.
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.
- In-plane switching (IPS) technology
- Nano-imprinted aluminum case for an industrial look
- HD webcam
- Google apps pre-installed
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
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.
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.
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.
- Dual fan cooling.
- VR Ready.
- Gaming adaptability - machine temperature, CPU and system fan speed can all be adjusted from the gaming panel.
An intense and mean, aesthetically pleasing look, together with a supercharged graphics card make this a good choice for the gamer.
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.