Acer: Best and Worst Laptop Brands of 2014


Finishing second to last, Acer simply didn’t do enough in the past year to move up in our survey. The biggest culprit was the reviews category, where the brand fell flat against the competition (with the exception of its premium Ultrabook). Fairly good tech support and a wide range of options are among Acer’s strengths, but its keyboards and preloaded software didn’t wow.

Reviews (13/20)

Acer’s laptop reviews ran the gamut this year, but the company’s showing wasn’t good enough to keep it out of the basement in this category. Four of its notebooks, including the Editor’s Choice-winning Aspire S7, received a 4-star rating. However, six systems received a 3-star rating (good, but not as good as the competition). Worse, two of its Aspire V5 machines ended up on the not-recommended list, owing to their short battery life.

MORE: 5 Best Acer Laptops

Tech Support (17/20)

Acer has been improving steadily in the past few years in the tech support category. Most recently, the company added a new Acer Community portal on its website that lets users help each other. But if Acer wants to crack the top tier, the brand will have to work on its social media tech support and its phone representatives’ education.

MORE: Acer: Tech Support Showdown Rating

Design (10/15)

acer design sf

Acer is capable of making some truly lovely notebooks. The best example is the 3-pound, 2.7 x 8.8 x 0.51-inches Acer Aspire S7, with its scintillating white aluminum chassis and Gorilla Glass lid. The company continued to push the envelope with the Aspire R7 and its innovative Ezel Design that lets users adjust the display to various angles. However, Acer continues to jump the shark with weird button placements as seen on the Aspire V7. And the company still slaps together a few cheap plastic notebooks like the Aspire V3-551 and C720 Chromebook.

Keyboards & Touchpads (10/15)

acer keyboard sf

Acer most often equips its laptops with solid, if unexciting, keyboards that allow users to type comfortably. However, some of its budget systems, such as the Chromebook C720p and the Aspire V5-122P, suffer from poor build quality and shallow travel. The company’s touchpads are also inconsistent, as some systems we tested were very responsive and others (such as the Aspire V3-722G) had trouble interpreting some gestures. The highly publicized Aspire R7 convertible provided one of the worst typing and navigation experiences of the year by placing the touchpad above the keyboard and providing no palm rest at all.

Display & Audio (5/10)

Known for its budget-friendly systems, many Acer laptops we reviewed delivered dim displays with narrow viewing angles and shallow audio, resulting in a last place finish for this round. In several cases, such as with the mid-range Aspire M5, our criticisms included tinny audio that falls flat at full volume. Still, Acer notebooks pump out sound louder than your average notebook (84 decibels) at a blaring 89 decibels.

While we appreciate the 1080p display on Acer Aspire R7, Aspire S7 and Travelmate P645, audio sounded muffled coming from the flagship S7’s bottom-mounted speakers. The displays on Acer’s laptops were also generally dimmer than your average notebook (242 lux), measuring just 203 lux during our light meter test.

Innovation (6/10)

Acer attempted a very interesting design scheme for one of its hybrid notebooks, but it fell flat in the usability department. The Acer R7, with its floating Ezel Hinge, features three display modes, including Pad, Display and Ezel. The decision to move the touchpad above the laptop’s keyboard, however, was a turnoff. We did like Acer’s Aspire S7, which features a Gorilla Glass coated lid. 

MORE: Top 8 Windows 8.1 Tablet-Laptop Hybrids

Value & Selection (3/5)

From Chromebooks to hybrids and everything in between, Acer offers an extensive range of aggressively priced laptops. The Aspire E1 is a solid system with Intel Pentium power that costs just $399, while the Aspire S7 (392-6411) is an excellent Ultrabook for $1,499. Acer also offers the C720 Chromebook for just $199 ($299 with touch), so even the most cash-strapped can get a decent laptop. You can find Acer notebooks at a slew of retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, CostCo and Newegg. Too bad you can’t get a new Acer laptop running Windows 7, nor can you configure an Acer notebook’s specs online.

Software (3/5)


As with last year, Acer’s 2014 software retains a focus on helpful essentials. Newer notebooks, such as the Aspire S7, pack Photo, Media and Docs for easy file management. The impressive Acer Cloud app allows you to share your laptop’s content with your smartphone or tablet. Plus, business machines such as the TravelMate P645 offer useful programs such as ProShield for advanced security and Office Manager for viewing all laptops on your network.

Best and Worst Laptop Brands 2014

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  1. Luis Siqueiros Says:

    According to NPD, Acer is the top seller of Windows 7 home premium notebooks in the United States. Your data is incorrect.

  2. nilo olaco Says:

    i want to buy this laptop but may money is not appord i am a pore person only i hope u understand me…

  3. Ziek Says:

    As a support person Acer ranks absolute last, from the manufacture of defective off-the-line product to company support. The only companies that seem to carry Acer aside from the big box stores looking for a cheap price point are those who make their dollars from support services that are guaranteed by the inherent nature of a defective device. Stay far away from anything Acer.

  4. Marcel Müller Says:

    Acer is 1st? Your have to be joking, have it, no more again. Apple isn’t change much. Asus here we start to talk about. Lenovo, Sony……what’s wrong with you? They deserve more.
    Maybe I do not know anything about, but on this list is something really wrong.

  5. Alan Kirkwood Says:

    I have an Acer Aspire V5-571-6805.
    In general, it’s not a bad laptop, EXCEPT for the keyboard. Keys either bounce, giving me 2 or 3 characters in a row, or they miss what I type. I have no such problem with my HP or my desktop.
    I called Acer while the laptop was still under warranty, they ASSURED me that it wasn’t a hardware problem, and that I should reload the keyboard driver. I did that… no help.
    I think they just wanted to get rid of me until the warranty period was up, then they’ll try to sell me a NEW computer.
    I won’t buy another ACER; everybody can make a mistake, but I judge a company by how they solve their problems.

  6. Fausto Gardini Says:

    ACER/GATEWAY customer support totally inadequate. After laptop crashed requiring resetting to factory condition, disks purchased from ACER/GATEWAY could not restore system. ACER/GATEWAY customer support would assist only against payment of fees, though their CDs were obviously inadequate to restore system…

  7. Nish Says:

    the list seems to b upside down…
    acer Sony HP are really good…and aesthetically also Sony and acer are amazing….i got ACER aspire one net book…and it has been workin amazingly for past three years…i really dnt have a single complaint against the services the keypad the software or anything…my hp laptop is also equally amazing …its new though…

  8. Ben ADAMS Says:

    Acer have caused many previous problems in the past for me. In as much as 8 months I have had an Acer, it was replaced 3 times and sent for repairs at least 7 times. These computers do not work and should not be bought at any cost.

  9. Emilie L Says:

    If anyone here cares, the list is not in order of ascending or descending goodness, it’s alphabetical order. If you want the three top brands, check the page stating the winners, which by the way are Apple, Lenovo and Asus

  10. Karithi Moses Says:

    i support the ranking..i have used acer pc without any problem, only to painfuly lose it to burglars 3 yrs later

  11. vikram singh thakur Says:

    Very poor survey.Iam using Toshiba since last two years,superb laptop.

  12. vikram singh thakur Says:

    Ranking must have been in reverse.Very bad show for Toshiba they produce main hardware of laptop themself.How Acer stands first i dont know.

  13. Dhananjay Kelkar Says:

    I purchased 71 MODEL IN six month one of key came out. After 8 to 10 months a crack is initiated at right side top of the key pad.
    I have to spend Rs 4500/-, still the fabricator is sure that this crack will initiate in one & half year.

  14. bill wells Says:

    My experience of Acer is that they produce products which have inherent faults (especially memory) and continue to do nothing about the known problems. Technical support is truly dreadful. They try to fob you off with nonsense and, in any case, the frontline people don’t have a clue.

  15. yohannes Says:

    I am really happy with your company.but,the cost.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    I got a Acer Aspire E11 and 2 weeks later it was unresponsive! I made sure to not put any bad bugs or slow programs on it but still it took ten minutes to get to the desktop! thank goodness Target returned it….

  17. Johh Tomas Says:

    ACER is pure garbage. They break on avg for me about 1 year after I buy them. Why you ask have I bought 2 back to back. I guess I got sucked into the deals. Last one crashed no joke 3 days after I bought it. I stuck it out but the Hard Drive starting going out bad around Christmas. I had to Reboot the computer 3 times. Acer told me to send it in. But I have to pay postage and return postage. Which would have cost over 1/4 of the price of a new laptop. LOL
    I decided to pull my old ACER hard drive out of my last laptop and put it into this one. And of course my Operating System Recovery USB I made didn’t work. So in order to keep this laptop from becoming a paperweight I put a LINUX OS on it. LOL. So I paid for Windows but now I am using a free system. Go figure.

  18. Gavin Says:

    Acer customer services are terrible BUYER BEWARE – we bought an extended warranty from ACER to protect our product as fully as possible. Unfortunately we had to send it for repair to ACER back in November. They returned our laptop to us still broken in December, firstly to the wrong address despite us updating our information with them, luckily the delivery company hadn’t left it with someone else the other side of the country so I was able to retrieve my machine… we then sent it back to them which they received on December 17th, we are still awaiting information about when we will get our laptop back… all they say is that they will need to escalate the case. They informed us today that despite the repair not being originally fulfilled by them and then returned to them that if they were not able to complete the repair by Friday then they would send a replacement. The problem with this is that they would then wipe the hard drive of all it’s data in my computer, despite them being aware that we were unable to turn the computer on… which was the fault. They then suggested that we would like to pay another £110 to buy back the hard drive of the original laptop… which is just short of 1/3 of the price of the laptop when we bought it. Absolutely the worst company that I have had to deal with in about 10 years. The attitude of some of the customer service reps is appalling. DO NOT BUY AN ACER PRODUCT… IF IT NEEDS TO BE REPAIRED YOU WILL REGRET IT

  19. duane Says:

    I have recently purchased an asus x751l laptop with windows 8.1. Its giving me stress!! What is so different about your brand that will make me stress free?

  20. preeda Says:

    ACER IT IS NOT NUMBER 1 FOR ME ANYMORE BECAUSE 11MONTHS Only me used not too much work anytime just face book but why operater not found try to fix at the shop sold for u it averry very good sevice 300baths for in insurency 1year acer and buy from them shopAdvice shop in kho phakhan suratanee

  21. mumbi Says:

    I need an lcd for acer touch asipire v5 how much and do u have it

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