Acer: Best and Worst Laptop Brands 2015

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Sony, which no longer makes laptops, took the bottom spot in our brand evaluation last year. This year, Acer fell one spot to take that dubious honor. The company didn’t fare well in reviews or tech support, and it underwhelmed in the design department. There are some bright spots, such as decent value and selection, a solid Chromebook lineup and a willingness to take chances on 2-in-1 hybrids. But overall, Acer has the most room to improve.

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Reviews (13/20)

Of the 11 Acer notebooks we reviewed last year, nine of them — including the Acer Chromebook 13 — received a rating of 3.5 stars, but none earned a higher score. Dragging down the company’s point total in this category was the Acer Travelmate X313 (1.5 stars), an unfortunate hybrid laptop with short battery life and poor ergonomics.

Tech Support (10/20)

With a C+ grade in this year’s Tech Support Showdown, Acer’s customer service proved to be mediocre. The phone representatives provided satisfactory answers, but we wish the company hadn’t tried at length to sell us a new warranty policy. We liked the thorough website and online chat option but were disappointed by the lack of social networking help.

Design (9/20)

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The Aspire S7 can still turn a head or two. Acer’s masterful combination of aluminum and glass makes for one of the prettiest notebooks on the market. However, we’d like to see a color other than white. 

MORE: Best Acer Laptops

For better or worse, Acer isn’t afraid to take risks when it comes to its hybrid machines. The Aspire R13 combines the adjustable display of the Aspire R7 with the rotating-display design of the Dell XPS 12. However, the overall aesthetic looks a little unfinished and clunky. There are also plenty of yawn-inducing designs, including the Aspire V3-111P, Aspire E15 Touch and Chromebook C720P. They’re pretty solidly built but very plain and decidedly B Team. 

Keyboard & Touchpad (10/15)

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Acer’s keyboards and touchpads are as varied as its notebook lineup, with some models providing comfortable, accurate results and others feeling flat. While the keyboards on the Aspire E15 Touch and Aspire Switch 10 offer deep travel and a snappy feel, other models, like the Aspire V3 and Chromebook C720, suffer from cramped, shallow keys. Most of Acer’s touchpads offer accurate navigation, but the Aspire E1-510P has a stiff click bar, while the lame Travelmate X313-M has no pad at all. 

Display (5/10)

Across our Acer reviews, the same complaints reared their heads again and again. Most Acer screens are not very bright or colorful. The displays reached an average brightness of 226 nits and a color gamut of 68 percent, both of which are well below category averages. There are standouts, of course, such as the Aspire S7, which offers a gorgeous 2560 x 1440-pixel resolution and amazing colors. The Aspire Nitro V15 has a sharp 4K display and shows 97.8 percent of the sRGB color gamut, but it suffers from a below-average brightness of 212 nits. Most models, however, are more in line with the Aspire E14, which couples low resolution with inaccurate, dull hues. 

Innovation (3/5)

Acer’s recent innovations have been mostly subtle but still include some significant steps forward. The company’s Aspire R13 hybrid certainly raised our eyebrows, with its unique, rotating Ezel Aero Hinge that allows for a whopping six use modes — more than just about any other convertible we’ve tested.

MORE: Best Laptops

Acer’s Chromebook 13 stands out among Chromebooks, as the first of its kind to sport a speedy Nvidia Tegra K1 processor. The company’s V Nitro series already offers a compelling mix of looks and performance for gamers, and the V 17 Nitro will soon sport Intel’s RealSense 3D camera for motion-based gaming and rich 3D scanning. 

Audio (3/5)

Louder isn’t always better. Averaging 87 decibels, most of Acer’s notebooks pump out plenty of sound, but quality suffered on machines such as the Acer Aspire Switch 10, whose audio was flat. Some models come with Dolby Digital Plus, which lets you choose from multiple sound profiles to customize what you hear.

Value & Selection (3/5)

Acer sells 15 laptops, but many of them aren’t available from its own Web store, or have just one configuration, such as the Aspire V7 and Aspire R14. Acer’s site also lacks a configuration tool, and with its frequent hit-or-miss availability for direct purchases, customers should probably look to retailers like Amazon or Best Buy as a first option.

MORE: 10 Laptops with the Longest Battery Life

When it comes to stretching your dollar, Acer features reasonable prices for higher-specced systems, charging an additional $100 to go from 8GB to 16GB of RAM on the Aspire V5 Nitro and $100 to move up from an Intel i5 CPU to an i7. Acer’s $1,300 Aspire S7 Ultrabook compares favorably to the Dell XPS 13, offering an i7 CPU that the Dell doesn’t have.

Software (3/5)

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Acer’s Cloud app and the Clear.fi software suite have been replaced by the company’s Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC) software, which comes with all Acer notebooks. BYOC is different from Dropbox in that you directly access your device’s hard drive remotely. This means that the storage you get is pretty much up to you, and typically much more than cloud services offer for free.

Acer’s new abApps are pretty nifty. They include abPhoto, abMusic, abFiles and abDocs to share pictures, music collections, remote files and Office documents, respectively, across devices. Touch notebooks ship with Acer TouchTools, including AccuFinger for more precise control of things like spreadsheets, and Screen Grasp for convenient screenshot editing.

Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2015

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  1. Larry Says:

    cool i liked apple from the beginning

  2. Jefftihoa Says:

    I bought two Acer aspire v3-471g for my family, they work very well and has no problem, But I think Acer need to approve user interface such as keyboard and LCD screen.

  3. Teresa Dunnr Says:

    I have an Acer touch screen that I bought through Newegg the second I got it I had to send it back because it wasn’t working the screen was black. I got a replacement and now that one isn’t working. I have spent nearly two hours on the phone with both Newegg and Acer and no one will give me my money back. I’m mad

  4. Karen Menczer Says:

    My Acer laptop died after 9 months of use, and Acer’s customer service (when you get beyond level 1–Level 1 tech assistance is very nice and helpful) is worthless. I will never recommend an Acer or get one again.

  5. A penguin Says:

    I AM SATISFIED WITH MY OWN PC

  6. A penguin Says:

    which is a ntebook from acer

  7. A penguin Says:

    it is 2 year old from this company

  8. parrotcam Says:

    The Acer V5 and V7 laptops with the 1080p displays are quite amazing actually. It’s super bright and clear, i know cuz i’m using it right now typing this out.

  9. Mara Says:

    The worst laptop I have ever had. The touchscreen cracked within a year of use (not sue to any human intervention such as dropping or hitting the laptop). Customer service was rude, unhelpful and only offered an expensive >$300 screen replacement. Horrible laptops and company.

  10. fhhrtg gf Says:

    acer is bad

  11. Donald Sargeant Says:

    I bought acer about a week ago, and the disk drive won’t work. I am not happy. I think I shall use it as an ankor for my boat.

  12. Joshua Simpson Says:

    I Have a Acer E 15 start, and a Hp stream(blue). I love my Acer, it has good programs, and it has a nice big touch pad,(a percision touch pad).
    The Key bored is very responsive, but no backlit, plus the pad is sensitive which is good. And a nice display. I dont care about the design. The computer is really reliable. Watch what you read on reviews.

  13. Kennedy Says:

    I have an acer Aspire E 14 Touch…
    best long battery life
    super precise touchpad
    a TB HDD
    3MB L3 cache
    4400+ HD Graphics…
    its super gorgeous….
    I love it!!!!

  14. Annie Says:

    I have an ACER V5. Used it 1-2 times per month for accessing accounts; I have a different computer I use for everything else. Loved the ACER until it froze booting up- factory reset didn’t work. The tech helps wants me to pay $175 to fix it…. it is just over 1 year old. I have never had a computer break in under 3 years and had several that lasted more than 5 years. I would never buy this brand again no matter how cheap they get.

  15. Steven Bennett Says:

    Bought a Toshiba laptop and after three months the screws fell out of the body, the touch pad intermittently worked and the screen wobbled. Phoned retailer they said contact Toshiba where I was greeted by a rude and arrogant customer service worker who said this doesn’t happen (even though many online posts state the opposite) then told I will have to pay £65 for them to just look at it. Decent spec, cheap materials, terrible customer service. Buy another brand is my advice, havery a hp with no problems at all. Check my video by go ogling Toshiba laptop screen fault.

  16. Rich Says:

    I bought an Acer Aspire about 9 months ago to replace a HP Presario.The following are the negatives even after tweaking. Color rendition is fair.Audio is loud but tinny.Product comes with loads of bloatware to remove.Clam shell case is all plastic but functional.Everything else about this product good to excellent so far. I would recommend to anyone that wants a cheap laptop.

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