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Best Acer Laptops

Updated June 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 16 Models Considered
  • 8 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 70 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for Acer laptops

    Last Updated June 2018

    Acer, one of the world’s premier computer manufacturers, has been in the laptop business for a long time, and they’ve grown their offerings from a few modest machines to a full suite of laptops that range from ultra-portable workhorses to gorgeous, drool-worthy computers.

    At BestReviews, we believe in providing consumers with honest, unbiased information about the products they need so they can make smart purchasing decisions. That’s why every shopping guide on our site shares the pros and the cons of each product, and provides readers with the key data they need about features, brands, and pricing.

    Read on for our guide to Acer laptops, then check out the grid above to see which models performed best in our testing and research.

    Research the release dates of the different models you’re considering. Don’t buy a laptop that was released more than 18 months ago.

    Shiny decisions: Windows vs. Chrome OS

    The most important decision you’ll need to make when deciding which Acer laptop to buy is which operating system (OS) you prefer: Microsoft Windows or Google Chrome OS.

    Both Windows and Chrome OS can accomplish the same general tasks, but they have some fundamental differences that you should consider before buying.

    • Acer laptops running Windows will be able to use any of the thousands of applications designed to run on Microsoft’s ubiquitous OS. If you’re a veteran Windows user, or you need a machine that can work well without an internet connection, buy an Acer laptop that runs Windows.

    • Acer laptops running Chrome OS use Google’s Chrome browser to open applications, which means that it only works with web-based apps and browser extensions. That’s not as limiting as it sounds: most mainstream software applications have web-based versions, including Microsoft Office online. If you’ve used a browser before, you can use Chrome OS.

    A solid sidekick (that’s a kick to use)

    With a model name only a mother could love, the Acer CB3-431-C6ZB is designed to have the portability of a tablet combined with the utility of a laptop. We love the fancy gold exterior and the SSD hard drive, and at this price point, we can live with the underwhelming specs.

    Under the hood: Acer laptop hardware options

    Sometimes it’s hard to know which features to compare between laptops – even when they’re all from the same manufacturer! As you’re checking out different models, keep these specs in mind; they’ll have the biggest impact on your overall experience.

    • CPU

    The central processing unit (CPU) is the heart of a laptop: it’s responsible for running all tasks, so it’s important to get one that’s fast enough to keep up with your needs. CPUs made by Intel and AMD are generally the fastest and highest quality, although Intel’s Celeron line isn’t very high-performance. If you can afford an Acer Laptop with an Intel i3, i5, or i7 CPU, buy one – each processor in the line is more powerful than the last, but all are sufficient for ongoing laptop use.

    • RAM

    Your laptop’s RAM controls how many tasks it can run simultaneously, so not having enough can make your machine feel extremely slow. In general, 4GB of RAM is the minimum amount you should buy, and 8GB is usually ideal. Machines with 16GB will feel faster, but additional RAM often drives up the cost.

    • Hard drive type

    There are two types of hard drives used in Acer laptops: solid state drives, and traditional, platter-based drives. Solid state drives typically have less storage, but are significantly faster and last longer than traditional drives, which have moving parts that can wear out. If you need a ton of space, use a traditional drive; if you need your machine to be as fast as possible, buy an Acer laptop with a solid state drive.

    Most of Acer’s Windows laptops feature Windows 10 Home Edition, a version of Windows that’s more affordable, but lacks a few advanced features (like Remote Desktop services). If you buy a laptop with Windows 10 Home Edition, you can pay Microsoft for an upgrade to Windows 10 Professional Edition at any time.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Acer laptop screen sizes

    While the different choices in Acer laptop screen sizes may not seem like a big deal, as with all laptops, the screen size defines the laptop’s footprint, which can make a huge difference when it comes to size and weight. Here’s what to expect at the different screen sizes of Acer laptops:

    • Acer laptops in the 11” range are light, and easy to toss in a purse or a bag. They’re also not as powerful: the screen size means there isn’t much room for the internals, so laptops in this size range are usually good, but not great, machines. If you need a laptop for occasional browsing or watching a movie on an airplane, Acer’s smallest models may be perfect for you.

    • Acer laptops in the 13” range can be deceiving. Some of them feature powerful CPUs and dazzling high-resolution screens, while others are middle-tier options that are sluggish because they don’t have enough RAM. If you need a good compromise between a screen big enough to work with but small enough to travel, look into Acer’s 13” laptops.

    • Acer laptops in the 15” range feature the best internal hardware. They’ve got plenty of RAM, powerful CPUs, and high-resolution screens. While Acer’s biggest laptops are their fastest, they’re also their best, so if you need a machine that can handle heavy-duty tasks – or you just want a laptop that isn’t going to feel outdated in 18 months – buy one with a 15” screen.
    EXPERT TIP

    Chrome OS requires you to have a Google account – even if you plan on using a non-Google email as your primary email address. If you’re planning on buying an Acer laptop running Chrome OS, make sure you set up a Google account ahead of time.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Laptop screen sizes also determine the size of the keyboard. As you’re deciding which size screen is right for you, consider your hands; if you have larger hands, you may need a 15” model, but if you have smaller hands, an 11” model may feel just right.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Acer laptop pricing

    Acer laptops range in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Avoid overspending by keeping these price ranges in mind.

    • Between $150 and $399, you’ll find Chromebooks with the bare minimum. They’ll have  enough RAM, CPU power, and hard drive space for a single user – but that user will spend a lot of time waiting. If you need a laptop in a limited scenario, or you just need a secondary machine that won’t have to work too hard, don’t spend more than this. But if you want a machine you can depend on for work or school, you’ll need to spend more.

    • Between $400 and $999, expect to see an assortment of capable Windows and Chrome OS machines. Acer laptops in this price range are powerful enough to use for day-to-day work, plus the occasional movie. If you need a machine to last you a few years, but don’t need it to be the top of the line, you can find a solid deal for less than a grand.

    • Between $1,000 and $2,000, you’ll encounter Acer’s gaming laptops. Models in this price range have fast graphics cards, support high resolutions, and come complete with CPUs fast enough to play the most demanding PC gaming titles. Acer laptops in this category aren’t just pricey; they’re heavy, too, so be prepared to lug around a few extra pounds.

    A minimalist’s dream

    Acer’s 11.6” Chromebook takes the term “bare minimum” pretty seriously – and the result is a laptop that’s serviceable and has a rock-bottom price tag. Its glossy white exterior brings an Apple-like elegance; for the money, it’s hard to do better.

    Tips

    As you’re shopping for an Acer laptop, consider these tips.

    • If you buy a Chromebook, set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) with your Google account. MFA is a free security feature that helps you use an additional device like your smartphone to further confirm your identity. With MFA in place, if your laptop is stolen, thieves won’t be able to gain access to any of your data when you block them using your secondary device.

    • If you’re buying an Acer laptop for a young person, consider using the built-in parental controls. Both Windows and Chrome OS include functionality to help parents manage what their kids can do online. Keep your kids – and your network – safe by enabling your Acer laptop’s parental controls before you let them use it.

    • If you’re planning on using your Acer laptop for gaming, don’t buy a Chromebook. If you’re a gamer, or are considering becoming a gamer, make sure the laptop you buy is running Microsoft Windows. Most popular games are not compatible with Chrome OS.
    If you’re worried about something going wrong with your Acer laptop in the future, purchase Acer’s “SuperCare Extended Warranty” to extend the warranty to three years.

    FAQ

    Q. How do Acer laptops compare to other brands like Dell or ASUS?

    A. Acer has a reputation in the laptop industry for producing modest laptops at industry-leading prices. With the exception of their line of gaming laptops, most Acer machines make speed compromises to keep their prices down, so it’s often tough to find a better value. Manufacturers like Dell and ASUS make faster laptops overall, but usually charge significantly more than Acer does.

    Q. Can I replace the battery myself on an Acer laptop?

    A. Yes. Most Acer laptops feature batteries that can be accessed by the user with minimal effort. However, replacing a laptop battery isn’t always a straightforward procedure, so be sure to search YouTube for a quick instructional video before attempting to replace it yourself. If it seems too complicated, hire a professional.

    Q. Do Acer laptops running Chrome OS store my files locally, or in the cloud?

    A. Both – although most of your data is stored in the cloud. Chrome OS is a web browser at heart, so it relies on web-based apps and web-based storage. While it does store some files locally, the majority of operations in Chrome OS are built with online storage in mind.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Enid
      Enid
      Editor
    • Jaime
      Jaime
      Writer
    • Jeff
      Jeff
      Editor
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer