Acer: Best and Worst Laptop Brands

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Acer offers a wide range of laptops that stand out more for their value than for their ingenuity. Most of the products we reviewed were good, but not great. This year, the company rose from last place to eighth, mostly because of its competitors' weaknesses rather than Acer's strengths. The brand continues to be held back by a combination of ho-hum systems, poor support and bland design.

best worst ltp brands 2016 reportcard acer

Design (7/15)

 Acer opts for textured plastics in most of its designs, including the Aspire One Cloudbook, the Chromebook 15 and the Aspire V15 Nitro Black Edition. And when we finally got an aluminum chassis (Aspire R14 and Chromebook R11), it was handsome, but didn't really turn heads. The worst aesthetic offender was the Aspire Switch 10 E, whose chassis we described as "cat-vomit puce."

acer aspire v15 nitro black edition

Our favorite Acer design is the Aspire R13, which has a novel floating frame that redefines the 2-in-1 flip design. We also like the Predator 17 gaming notebook, which has sharp angles, a soft-touch finish and dual LED strips on the lid. The premium S7 Ultrabook stands out with its glass lid, but as of this writing, it hasn't been updated to the latest Intel 6th-Generation Skylake processor.

Reviews (18/30)

Most of Acer's laptops this past year rated as good, but not great. Its lone 4-star-rated system, the Predator 17, was balanced out by the 2.5-star Aspire E15. Every other review earned 3 or 3.5 stars, so it's in the middle of the pack, and it's not doing enough to earn high praise.

Tech Support (16/20)

Acer may have friendly support agents answering its phone lines, but those reps did not give many correct answers during the Tech Support Showdown. The company's online chat agents were competent at problem-solving, but we only reached those solutions after long waits in a digital queue. We wouldn't even suggest users look for help from Acer's Twitter or Facebook pages, as it appears the company is just using those as channels to direct users to its tech support pages.

MORE: Acer Tech Support Rating

Warranty (3/5)

Acer backs its consumer laptops with a standard one-year limited warranty, but doubles the length to a strong two years on its business-minded TravelMate line. However, if your laptop requires service, you'll have to pay the shipping costs to send it back to the company. Upgrading your laptop does not void the warranty.

Software (3/5)

Acer's consumer software suite is focused on the cloud. The company's "ab" line, including abDocs, abFiles, abMedia and abPhoto, lets you access your files no matter where you are as long as you have an Internet connection. On its gaming line, Predator Sense lets you adjust keyboard lighting and assign macros, while Killer DoubleShot Pro's network protocols surprised us by increasing download speeds.

acer aspire r14

Unfortunately, like most laptop vendors, Acer weighs down some of its laptops with bloatware. The Acer Aspire R 14 and the Switch 10 E stood out as the computers with the worst lineup of unwanted software, including the WildTanget digital games store, Music Maker Jam, Kindle, Netflix, Candy Crush Saga, Twitter and Dashlane.

Innovation (7/10)

Acer has a well-deserved reputation as a value brand, so it only makes sense that the company's main innovations have come in its lowest-priced laptops. In 2015, the company pushed the low-cost Chromebook category to its limits, unveiling the first 15-inch model and one of the first 2-in-1s based on Google's OS. Its 14-inch Cloudbook brought some innovation to the low-cost notebook space by providing all-day battery life for under $250.

Value and Selection (13/15)

With a massive portfolio, Acer has a laptop for every budget and need. The company covers the low-end market with its inexpensive Chromebooks and stripped-down Windows systems such as the Cloudbook 14, offers plenty of mainstream laptops in its Aspire E and F series, and hits the premium Ultrabook market with its super-svelte Aspire S7. No stranger to the growing 2-in-1 market, Acer also offers both the Aspire R series of bend-back hybrids and the Aspire Switch line of 10- to 12-inch detachables. The Taiwanese tech giant also addresses the premium gaming segment with its Aspire V Nitro and Predator lines and businesses with its TravelMate line of productivity-minded portables.

MORE: Best Acer Laptops

Acer's products are usually among the least expensive in any given category. The 14-inch Aspire One Cloudbook costs just $229, which is a steal for a Windows laptop with 64GB of storage and more than 14 hours of battery life. The Switch 10 E is ridiculously inexpensive for a Windows 2-in-1, starting at just $279.

How Acer Can Improve

While everyone loves value, few people want a product that looks cheap. Acer should put more effort into making premium and innovative products. The company would also benefit from a stronger support presence on social media and a warranty policy that pays for return shipping.

Best & Worst Laptop Brands

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40 comments
  • Laurence Bell Says:

    ACER tried to blackmail me into paying for them to return my hard drive........Heres the email and response I got after hours of polite debate:
    Thank you Mitch,

    To be clear, what you have said is that Acer will not return the faulty hard drive unless I pay $180.
    We discussed that the hard drive is of no value to ACER and that it will likely find itself in the bin. We also discussed that the only reason I would like it returned is because there are pictures of family on there that my daughter took that are now deceased.
    I have offered to pay administration costs relating to the postage of the hard drive but as you are returning a laptop to me with a new hard drive replaced under warranty these are not likely to be excessive.

    Here is my position:
    My Acer hard drive failed this is the cause of my issue so from my perspective its Acer's fault.
    Acer has agreed that the hard drive failure is their fault by offering to replace this drive with a new one - thank you.
    I have very sentimental pictures on the hard drive - not Acer's fault and I should have backed up - but I do want to see if a specialist can extract the data for me. (This could be expensive and there are no guarantees I will get those pictures back).
    I have asked you to bundle the removed broken drive up with the laptop you are returning to me and agreed to pay any costs associated with doing this.
    You have agreed to returning my old hard drive, But only if I pay Acer $180 (initially it was over $200 but when I made my feelings clear you reduced the price) we are price haggling for a drive that ACER agreed is worthless to anyone but me. It certainly wont cost $180 to return it so what am I paying for exactly?
    I am exasperated that you can't see this from my perspective. I feel blackmailed or at least cheated, this situation just feels wrong. Are acer really aiming to profit from the distress caused by their hard drive failing in the first place. How is this fair? how is this not extortion?

    I think it fair to give you one last chance to discuss this with colleagues and see if I am being unreasonable.

    Please do the right thing.

    Their response:

    Hi Laurence,

    Good Day

    We do apologize if you felt that way. We are not forcing you to pay $180 for your old hard drive.

    As previously discussed, we have approved a one time courtesy repair for your laptop by replacing the faulty Hard drive even if the 1 year Standard Repair Warranty has expired. However, sending the old hard drive back would in fact incur a cost as all replaced or exchanged parts will become the property of Acer. You may refer to the attached file (Acer Warranty Card) for the said policy or visit the link : http://static.acer.com/.../AU-NZ/20141002/warrantycard.pdf.

    We are standing firm with our offer. But if you wish otherwise, we may return the unit back unrepaired and you may consult your local technician for other options.

    You may process the Credit Card payment thru Adrienn Ovari; Phone No: 09 9695607

    Looking forward to your response.

    With Kind Regards

    Mitch P. Mascariñas
    Escalations Support Specialist | Oceania Service Division

  • Meggy Says:

    Blossom it same with my too. Did U get any answer? I can't return it in store because it pest 14 days. Worst laptop that I ever had.

  • tom.. Says:

    Horrible warranty. Do not buy laptop by acer

  • blossom Says:

    I like the acer but how do I boot it up so I can use it? Please all you experts, help.

  • blossom Says:

    I bought an Acer Aspire ES 15 in november 2015 - a bit slow but cheap - today April 6 2016 i turned it on and after the Acer logo nothing - my software did not boot up - help - I have to get documents done using word.

  • Vince Sweeney Says:

    DO NOT BUY AN ACER COMPUTER. I had mine for 90 days and the battery died and I ask about the warranty and was told that they only cover batteries for 60 days. I will never buy with them again I purchased an ultra book what a horrible company but I was told what a rip off company they where, I wish I would have listened.
    Vince

  • ulla muriel Says:

    For me, no more Acer. I have got a new acer aspire e17, and it bugs for no reason. The screen freeze randomly at least one time a day, and there is nothing to do except reseting, and i loose all my task. The problem affect both win7 8 and 10.

  • Joyce Davis Says:

    How do you open the Cd tray. Want to view a cd but here is on button to open tray. Tried pushing on it and still would not open

  • janith bawantha Says:

    It is the worst thing, which i most heated

  • Thamsanqa Nkosi Says:

    How to find a mouse pointer it's just disappeared on a screen?

  • francis Says:

    I want to share this. I bought an acer aspire unit for my daughter last aug 16, 2015 and it broke down twice already. The unit doesn't start and has no power at all. As of this date March 2 the unit is still with Acer's accredited service center. I brought the unit last Feb 14, 2016 and what can I say the service support really stinks.

    Think twice and scrutinize before you invest with this type of unit.

  • davey Says:

    never seen such a poorly made laptop, brand new acer aspire 15 not one program has been put on there but yet it still slower than windows 98, this is the second aspire 15 we have brought in two weeks as the other one was that bad we threw it off the wall, only reason we brought a second was so we could get a file off the hard rive that was in the broke laptop, the mouse on its own just flys around the screen its a joke !!!!!!

  • BethB Says:

    Acer R3 doesn't contain a drive partition so won't connect to Wi-fi. Acer sent me a non-existant FedEx label to return the laptop, then didn't call me back when they said they would to deal with the label issue. Never again will I purchase an Acer product and I hope Costco stops carrying their products.

  • karen shepherd Says:

    I paid over 600 $$$ for my Acer used less then 10 times and now won't even turn on. I noticed even first time used it locked up and didn't even always turn on till several tried. Company won't do anything. So threw away over $600 still paying off for nothing

  • Teresa Says:

    I purchased an Acer for 2in1 for my business, only had it for a few weeks and today I was working on a project when the circuit board melted. Nice to know that this product is a failure. Now, I'm going to go out and get a product that I can trust.

  • Shukoor Says:

    Don't buy acer laptop, I had very bad experience with it.
    They enabled BIOS, so we can't install any software untill we disabled security boot of BIOS,
    When we trying to call toll free service center after dialing it says this doesn't exist.
    The worst experience ever had in my life time.

  • andza Says:

    Disagree with HP ranking.
    As my experience shows, that HP is worser than ACER.
    Acer is budget laptop, but last very long. I have purchased many acers in company I'm working for and there were no problems at all despite HP Pavilions (old and new). I think this review is sponsored by HP and Apple :)
    Apple has worst case engineering ever. as many 2011 macbooks burned out and get video chip problems, case has no ventilation holes and has technically bad design.
    I suggest Lenovo, ACER and Dell laptops.
    Apple has many compatibility issues with another architectures un operating systems.

  • vimal Says:

    Very bad product,, very bad service ,cannot purchase accer product, waste products and waste money

  • Jeffrey Says:

    I would like to see more of the Acer models at affordable prices. Lists of the options they have. $300 $500 price range. Sincerely, Jeff Hartlett

  • PaedaeJnr Says:

    Stay away from Acer Laptops. Got mine less than a year ago and the number of issues i'm getting from it. Either the mouse pad stops working or had a laggy movement which sometimes affect the audio making it completely distorted orr the audio just randomly stops working while in use OR just veeeerryyy slooowwwwww when i need to do something urgent. Simply put, they are fucking ridiculous.

  • Theodore Says:

    Acer has the WORST customer service, even if your machine is under warranty. No matter what the problem, you have to send it in and wait for months. Also, NUMEROUS NEW MODELS were NOT eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade and there's NO recourse--you cannot even contact them. NEVER again will I buy an Acer.

  • shivangi mishra Says:

    Mn kr rha h kbadi ko de du

  • Karen Menczer Says:

    I've returned my Acer Aspire 2x to the manufacturer (and prior to that, had to visit a computer repair shop 5x) because my Acer kept shutting down in the middle of work-this started happening within 3 months of purchase. The customer service has been outrageously poor-no information provided about the "repairs" and each time Acer sent it back to me, it shut down again within weeks. But Acer denies there's a problem. Now, it won't read the wireless card-I can't get online on the Acer. It's less than 2 years old!

  • Kelly Clover Says:

    I bought my sister an Acer Aspire ES1-512 computer and she has been bitching about it from the beginning. The complaints were multiple: Windows 8.1 is much harder to work with than Windows 7. The computer arbitrarily locks up saved text files and there is no way to reopen them so they're just lost. She can't send attached files in emails. The cursor jumps around instead of staying where intended. She objects to the Outlook screen that appears on the home page by default.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!!!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • fhhrtg gf Says:

    acer is bad

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • A penguin Says:

    it is 2 year old from this company

  • A penguin Says:

    which is a ntebook from acer

  • A penguin Says:

    I AM SATISFIED WITH MY OWN PC

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Larry Says:

    cool i liked apple from the beginning

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