Which Acer laptop is best?

Shopping for a new laptop is a miserable experience. Unless you’re a computer whiz, all the terms swim around your head without making sense. Hard drive read and write speeds, operating systems, processor speeds… what do you need if you just want to surf the web, stream Netflix and get some work done?

An Acer. The Acer Swift 3, to be exact. It has solid-state read and write speeds, Windows OS, and a great processor. It’s also light as a feather and ultra-thin for easy portability.

What to know before you buy an Acer laptop

Operating system

Acer laptops use either Windows or Chrome OSs.

  • Windows: Most Acer laptops use Windows 10, though some use or offer free upgrades to Windows 11. If you’ve ever used a non-Apple computer, you understand this OS front to back.
  • Chrome: The lowest-cost Acer laptops run Chrome OSs. These systems are designed around connecting with Google and other company’s online suite of tools, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Office. They have limited use in an offline capacity, including limited storage space.

Screen size

Acer laptops have three screen-size tiers with larger screens often carrying better specs under the hood.

  • Small screens run 11-13 inches. Acers with these screen sizes are limited across the board. 
  • Medium screens run 13-15 inches. Most Acers have screens in this range. These have the widest range of specs — everything from mediocre to surprisingly strong can be found here.
  • Large screens run 15-plus inches. Acer’s best and brightest laptops with the highest specs have screens this size.

What to look for in a quality Acer laptop

Hard drive

Acer laptops use either hard disk drives or solid-state drives.

  • HDDs: Hard disk drives have slow read and write speeds but large capacities. Better HDDs have roughly 250 megabits per second speeds with ~500 gigabytes of storage. They are the most affordable. 
  • SSDs: Solid-state drives have blazing speeds — an average SSD has read and write speeds of 500 mbps with most coming closer to 1 Gbps. They have limited storage in return — usually around 250 GB. They can be shockingly expensive.

Screen resolution

Most Acer screens have only HD resolutions (720p). Better options can boost the resolution to Full HD (1080p). If you want a 4K (1440p) screen you’ll need to spend thousands to get it.

Central processing unit

The CPU is the muscle of a laptop. It’s responsible for executing your demands, whether that be multitasking between six applications or opening your browser. Acer laptops usually use Intel or AMD CPUs — midrange options will be i5 for Intel and Ryzen 5 for AMD.

Random-access memory

How much you can expect to spend on an Acer laptop

Entry-level Acer laptops are as inexpensive as $150. Top-of-the-line models can cost up to $2,000. An average Acer costs $500-$1,000.

Acer laptop FAQ

How much should I spend on an Acer laptop?

A. There are three basic need groups with their own pricing tiers: casual, professional and gaming. Casual users don’t do more than the basics and they don’t need a computer for work — they shouldn’t need to spend more than $400. Professionals, including students, need a laptop that can multitask and will last for a few years —they’ll likely spend $500-$1,000. Gamers need powerful specs to run their software at high levels — they’ll want to spend $1,500-plus.

Can I replace any parts on an Acer laptop?

A. Yes. The easiest part to replace is the battery, though this isn’t as easy as swapping in new AA to your remote. Other parts, such as hard drives, might be replaceable depending on the laptop. However, the process will be complicated. At that point you should consider investing in a personal PC — they’re designed around constantly upgrading parts.

How good of a brand is Acer in general?

A. Acer is one of the best midrange brands. They keep their prices lower than competitors by making targeted sacrifices in areas their customers won’t miss, such as hard drive speed and capacity. Doing better than Acer will cost you significantly more.

What’s the best Acer laptop to buy?

Top Acer laptop 

Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3

What you need to know: This is a perfect midrange choice.

What you’ll love: It uses Windows 10 OS with a free upgrade to Windows 11. It’s available in a variety of CPU, RAM and storage options. It has a Full HD, 14-inch LED-backlit display. It has several ports, including HDMI and various USB types.

What you should consider: Some consumers were unhappy with the brightness of the screen. The fans are loud and need to run constantly to keep the laptop cool.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Acer

Top Acer laptop for the money

Acer Chromebook Spin 311

Acer Chromebook Spin 311

What you need to know: This is a good budget pick for students.

What you’ll love: It uses Chrome OS and fully integrates with all of Google’s applications — it also includes 100 GB of Google Drive storage. It has up to 10 hours of battery life. It can be used as both a tablet and a standard laptop.

What you should consider: It only has 32 GB of internal storage. Its screen is only 11.6-inches with an HD display. Internet connectivity is required to take full advantage.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Acer

Worth checking out

Acer Nitro 5

Acer Nitro 5

What you need to know: This laptop is expensive but perfect for traveling gamers.

What you’ll love: It uses Windows 10 OS with either an i5 or i7 CPU. A Windows 11 OS with i7 CPU is also available. It has 16 GB of RAM. It has a Full HD, 17.3-inch LED-backlit 144-hertz display. It uses an SSD for lightning-fast load times.

What you should consider: The fans are loud and always running to mitigate the high heat generation. The speakers are low-quality — you’ll want to use headphones.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Acer

 

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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