Having been on the market for more than a decade now, Chromebooks present consumers with an inexpensive, streamlined alternative to Apple and Windows laptops. They work beautifully with Google apps and services. While Chromebooks were initially intended only for casual use, there’s a growing number of options that come with more speed and power. Chromebooks are produced by several brands, with HP and Acer being two of the most popular.
HP is a pioneer in the laptop industry and one of the most trusted brands in electronics. HP’s hardware is consistently reliable, and both its plastic and aluminum laptop models are sturdy and well-made. Regarding standard laptops, HP is comparable to Dell in terms of design, quality, and popularity, though HP Chromebooks typically outperform Dell Chromebooks.
HP released its first Chromebook, the Pavilion Chromebook, in February 2013. Early on, HP prioritized larger, more powerful Chromebooks, though they have since released models across the size, price, and performance spectra. HP’s Chromebooks tend to be cheaper than their laptops running Windows OS. As is typical with Chromebooks, most HP options will be in the $200-450 price range, though larger models with more advanced processors can sell for more than $600.
One of HP’s biggest strengths is the wide variety of Chromebooks they sell. They have a reputation for more deluxe and expensive computers, but their more basic options are some of the best starter Chromebooks on the market. A particularly good option is their HP 14-inch Chromebook HD with an Intel Celeron N3350. With 32GB of SSD, it has great performance for its price point, and customers have loved the quick startup and ease of use. It is both lightweight and easily portable at 14 inches, and the impressive 10-hour battery life makes it great for anyone hoping to take their Chromebook on the go. The slightly faster HP 14-inch Chromebook HD with an Intel Celeron 4000 processor is another great option with the same display size.
HP also excels at producing amazing 2-in-1 laptops, which can be used as both standard laptops and touch screen tablets. These Chromebooks are typically foldable, meaning that the touch screen display can be rotated behind the keyboard using a folding hinge. This gives a 2-in-1 laptop a thin, tablet-like frame that allows consumers to utilize the touch screen without the keyboard getting in the way. These laptops are perfect for students, commuters, and creatives who value both content creation and visual design.
HP’s Chromebook X360 is easily one of the finest 2-in-1 Chromebooks on the market, with its 12-hour battery life and Intel Pentium Silver N5000 Processor ensuring extended, reliable use. The design’s chassis and general hardware are also incredible for the price, showing that HP’s reputation for well-built devices still means something.
HP Chromebooks can sometimes be on the higher end of the price spectrum, and this is especially true of models with nicer processors. While most HP Chromebooks are similarly priced to comparable models from other brands, HP’s occasionally superficial hardware features can lead to higher costs. The HP Chromebook 14c 2-in-1, for example, offers an i3 processor at a greater cost than many Acer models.
As is the case with all Chromebooks, HP Chromebooks are not designed for high-level professional use, and performance won’t hold up to pricier HPs that run on Windows OS.
Historically, Acer is known for giving consumers affordable computer options, but they also sell more deluxe models. Acer excels in academic and casual business use, and their laptop designs set them apart from HP and Dell.
Acer has been involved in Chromebooks since the beginning, selling the earliest models along with Samsung back in 2011. They have been steadily growing their Chromebook selection, and their most recent Chromebooks are 2020’s Spin 713 series. As is the case with HP, Acer’s Chromebooks are in the $200-650 price range, though most are less than $500.
Despite sometimes being thought of as an affordable alternative to more popular brands, Acer has come out with several sturdy, excellent Chromebooks. The Acer Chromebook 14 is a great, midpriced option that shows off Acer’s commitment to high-quality Chromebooks. The aluminum material is both durable and lightweight, and the 14-inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution is a step above most similarly priced Chromebooks. The SSD storage adds a nice boost to the performance.
For those seeking portability, Acer has some very impressive smaller models. The Acer Chromebook R 11 Convertible Laptop has everything you need in a smaller Chromebook, and its 11.6-inch touch screen display is attractive and practical. In addition, the R 11 is a 2-in-1 model, solidifying its position as one of the absolute best Chromebooks for customers who will be commuting frequently.
Acer also stands out for selling Chromebooks with more powerful processors at affordable prices. While most basic Intel Pentium or Celeron processors are suitable for the kind of casual use that Chromebooks are designed for, having an i3 processor or higher can do wonders for a laptop’s overall performance. Many Acer models prioritize performance over features, and the Acer Chromebook Spin 713: Intel Core i3 is one of the best Acer Chromebooks available. Fast and portable, this Spin 713’s processing power gives it an edge over most other Chromebooks in the same price bracket, and it strikes a great balance between performance and affordability.
Acer Chromebooks are less likely to have as many features and hardware flourishes as HP models. While there are plenty of sturdy Acer Chromebooks, some Acer models are relatively flimsy, and Acer’s cheapest Chromebooks are typically inferior to HP’s cheapest models. HP models often have more thought put into the keyboard spacing and bezel design. In addition, Acer doesn’t have as much to offer in terms of 2-in-1 options.
Specifications are the most important considerations when purchasing any computer, but there are clear advantages and disadvantages to both brands. If you desire simplicity and speed and you’ll be using your Chromebook most at home or in an office, then Acer will likely be the brand for you. For those who want top-shelf hardware and 2-in-1 options for a creative or academic environment, HP will have the most options.
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Henry McKeand writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.