Help Me, Laptop: Should I Buy an Acer Notebook?

Springing for a new laptop isn’t a purchase to take lightly. You’ll spend at least a few hundred bucks, and on the high-end prices can climb to multiple thousands of dollars. So when it comes to parting with your money, choosing a brand you trust is important.

One LAPTOP reader, Arnold, feels the same way. He wrote to helpme@laptopmag.com asking:

I just want to ask about the laptop brand name ACER. I want to purchase a laptop, but the problem is I’am just a rookie.  A friend of mine told me to buy an ACER because they’re cheap, and they have their own empowering technology. I’ll need that badly since I don’t have much computing  experience. Also, I’d like to know what was the difference is between all the Intel processors like dual core, core 2 duo, core i3, i5, and i7? I appreciate it, and please help me. Awaiting to your favorable reply.

Thank you,
Arnold

Well Arnold, lucky for you we just completed  a comprehensive assessment of ten major laptop brands in our Best and Worst Laptop Brands story, taking into account scores of in-depth reviews, hours on the phone with technical support, and key features like keyboards and touchpads. When all was said and done, Acer ranked 9 out of 10 this year which is close to where it placed last year (8 out of 10). For the record, Apple came in first and MSI brought up the rear.

As you note, Acer earned points for offering a wide selection of laptops for very affordable prices. On the other hand, we haven’t been extremely impressed with the Acer models we’ve reviewed compared to other manufacturers. Amongst the company’s problems are weak tech support and weak keyboards on some systems. The fact that Acer’s president and CEO Gianfranco Lanci just decided to step down might not inspire confidence, either, but the company says it will be focusing on strengthening its PC business.

Even with all that, 85% of the folks we asked who personally own Acer notebooks said they were happy with their purchase. Here are some recent and compelling Acer machines we reviewed that you may be interested in.

  • Acer TimelineX AS4820TG:This $799 notebook squeezes a lot of power into a compact 4.6-pound frame. The 14-inch notebook packs Intel Core i5 speed and AMD graphics muscle, impressive Dolby sound, and more than 5 hours of battery life.
  • Acer Aspire AS5253-BZ480: This 15-inch laptop costs $499, is powered by a less robust AMD processor, and offers long battery life.
  • Aspire One D260: This netbook will set you back only $399 . Besides its small size, it offers quick performance plus a slim design.

To answer your question about Intel CPUs, you definitely want one of the Core Series processors (Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7) because Pentium CPUs are for low-end systems and Core 2 Duos are on the way out. Intel Atom CPUs are fine, but for netbooks only. Amongst Intel Core Series CPUs, Core i3 is the entry level, Core i5 is faster, and Core i7 is fastest of all.

Of course, amongst these CPUs, you also have different clock speeds and cache sizes so a higher clock speed (2.3-GHz versus 2-GHz for example) is better as is more cache. That said, a Core i3 CPU should be fine for most computing tasks. If Core i5 is only a few dollars more, go for that. Core i7 CPUs are only necessary for hardcore gaming or high-end productivity work.

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  1. Bruno Says:

    We’ve been owning an Acer AS1810T for almost 2 years now. It performs exceptionally well, to work, surf the Internet and for my son playing WoW. It never failed, never crashed.

    By contrast my wife bought a Toshiba 135 last year. One month after the warranty expired Toshiba’s update center urged us to perform a critical Bios update. One click in their software, the update started, got stuck, fried the notebook and they refuse to fix it for free. The repair would cost as much as buying a new one … they just would not care that their updated fried our notebook. My wife now bought a MacBook Air!

  2. bob Says:

    Do not buy an acer tablet they are horrible. The one we had was very hard to scroll and
    very annoying to use. I am used to using an ipod touch and it was so poor in comparison.
    It just decided to stop working completely one day and now sits here like a rock. Customer service stinks
    and they avoid you like the plague with so many firey loops to jump through in the hopes of getting to a
    real person which you never do online or off.
    They figure youve had ot a year and our crut isnt made to last any longer than that .
    Horrible experience and I will post this anyplace I can trying to save other peoples money .
    Much much better products out there.

  3. Ari Says:

    4 months old and my brand new Acer Aspire E1-510-2455’s Wi-Fi died. I kept the original Windows 8 and its frikkin apps, and the wi-fi simply no more worked, just like a person who dies from a heart attack.

    I no more buy Acer’s!

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