Acer has no shortage of models in its line-up, from wallet-pleasing budget laptops to high-end, highly polished, and highly priced alternatives:
Best overall laptop – The Acer Swift marries design and power, and is an excellent choice for those wanting a competent laptop. Best for budget – Check out the Aspire E15 for a great everyday laptop that can still hold its own. Best for Chromebook – Acer’s Chromebook 14 gets you a large 14-inch display and a quad-core processor for less than $300. Best for gaming – The Predator Helio 300 represents a good compromise of specs and price for gamers, and is able to run the latest games without breaking the bank.
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Nitro & Predator Range
Impressively sleak design with performance to match, the Swift range, at the higher end, offers impressive spec and slim profiles
Acer’s Spin range is designed around its versatile display, which folds all the way back
The Switch range can have its display removed entirely, doubling as a tablet
A great all-rounder range that can offer decent specs at good value
Gaming laptops with powerful processors and graphics cards that can cope with demanding titles
Ditching Windows, Acer’s Chromebooks offer up the Chrome experience on a budget
Celeron processor to Intel Core i7
Celeron processor to Intel Core i7
Pentium to Intel Core i7
Celeron processor to Intel Core i7
AMD Ryzen 7 or Intel Core i7
Celeron to Intel Core i5
4GB – 8GB
4GB – 8GB
4GB – 16GB
4GB – 12GB
8GB – 32GB
4GB – 8GB
64GB – 1TB
32GB to 1TB
64GB – 512GB
64GB – 1TB
512GB to 1TB
32GB to 128GB
13.3″ to 15.6″
11.6″ to 14″
10.1″ – 13.5
14″ – 15.6″
15.6″ – 17.3″
11.6″ – 15.6″
2-in-1 models available?
Are Acer Laptops Good?
Acer has built a reputation over the last few years for making well-built laptops that appeal to those on a budget. Starting at around $300, the brand offers plenty of choice – and while there is a focus on lower-priced laptops, it still has a healthy line-up of more premium models, such as the Swift 7.
While Acer might not have the cache of more established brands such as Dell or HP, it’s a brand that’s on the up, with a 6.1% market share (for reference, Apple has a 6.9% market share).
Acer owners often praise the brand for its competitive pricing, and the amount of laptop they are able to buy on a budget. The design and build quality is also well regarded for the most part, especially if you opt for something in the mid or high-range.
Acer Swift Range
Acer’s Swift line-up takes design seriously, and you’ll find some of the brand’s thinnest and lightest laptops in this range. Pitched as a premium product, the price of entry is relatively low if you opt for the smaller budget models – the Swift 1, for example, starts from around $330.
However, it’s the top end of the range that is most likely to turn heads. The Swift 7, Acer argues, is the world’s thinnest laptop, at just 8.98mm thick. That’s impressively thin for a laptop – in fact, it’s only slightly thicker than an iPad. Of course, as it’s thin, it’s also light; this makes for a genuinely impressive laptop that not only looks good, but also performs too, thanks to its Intel Core i7 processor. It also features a touch screen.
If we have one negative to say about the Swift 7 series, it’s that it doesn’t have many ports –although frankly, thanks to its slim frame, there’s not many places they could have gone.
If the Swift 7 is a little too pricey, then there are other, more affordable models in the line-up. These might not claim to be the world’s thinnest, but are still impressively powerful and well-designed, with more palatable price tags.
Swift 7 – Beautifully designed with an impressively slim profile, the Swift 7 also packs an Intel Core i7 for power Swift 1 – An elegant entry-level laptop that starts at $329 Swift 5 – A higher end Acer for those in need of a versatile laptop
Pros: Sleek design Lightweight and compact
Cons: Can compromise style for practicality
Acer Spin Range
Acer’s Spin range, as the name suggests, comprises a convertible line-up of laptops that can fold their displays all the back onto themselves. In effect, this gives you a tablet-like device, with a full Windows 10 experience. The Spin range all have touchscreen displays, and are compatible with a stylus.
Designed primarily to be portable, the Spin range has a good battery life of around 12 hours, and is light too. The smallest model, the Spin 1, weighs just 1.25kg, which is less than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
The range starts cheap, from $300, although at this price point, you’re getting a low powered Intel Celeron processor. The high-end Spin, the Spin 7, is a 14-inch model with an Intel Core i7 processor.
Acer Spin 1 – A great entry-level 2-in-1 laptop, ideal for the casual user who mainly wants to browse and stream on a smaller screen Acer Spin 3 – Also excellent value, the Spin 3 offers a 14-inch Full HD screen Acer Spin 7 – The Spin 7 gets you the fold back screen, coupled with 8GB of RAM and an i7 processor
Pros: The fold back touch screen gives a you a Windows 10 tablet
Cons: Battery rather average in some models
Acer Switch Range
While the Spin series aims to offer a laptop/tablet hybrid, the Switch goes one further, allowing you to remove the screen from the body of the laptop entirely. The effect is that the device feels lighter and more portable than a traditional laptop, and more akin to a tablet that happens to come with a keyboard accessory.
The Switch series is available with an optional stylus, making it a good choice for creative types, or those that like to make annotations to notes. There is a large variety of configurations to choose from, whether you’re after an entry level model with a modest processor, or need all the power you can get.
The Switch 7 features an 8th gen quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. At $1,699, we won’t pretend it’s cheap, but it’s a great alternative to the standard laptop.
If you’re an avid laptop user who likes to catch up with work on your commute, then the Switch might not be for you. While it’s a flexible device, it’s not as stable as a laptop when placed on an uneven surface, such as your knees. You really need a desk or table to use a Switch for long stretches.
Acer Switch 3 – A good budget option, the Switch 3 might not be a powerhouse, but it’s a good starting point for those with modest needs Acer Switch 5 – With the Switch 5, you’ll get an Intel Core processor up to an i7 Dual-core and 8GB RAM, making it a versatile tablet/laptop hybrid.
Pros: Ability to remove screen is novel Highly portable
Cons: Needs a flat surface Battery life is average
Acer Aspire Range
Acer’s Aspire range is effectively its ‘standard’ laptop line-up, although it still encompasses a wide range of models for different needs.
At the budget end, you’re looking at Aspire 1 models, which come with an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of flash memory – modest, yes, but that’s reflected in the price tag of around $250. These entry-level models are chunky and weightier than others in the line-up.
Elsewhere in the Aspire series, the Aspire 7 models are impressively thin, with a chassis that is just 16.9mm thick and weighs 1.5kg. Constructed with a magnesium alloy, the Aspire 7 feels reassuringly solid, and won’t suffer the odd knock. The included graphics card (either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1050, depending on the configuration) means that the laptop can happily run graphics-heavy applications, from image editing software to gaming.
The Aspire 3 and 5 models represent the best choice for everyday users, marrying slim design with enough power and features to keep most users happy. Some models in the series even introduce modest dedicated graphics cards, to give the laptop a leg up with some applications.
Aspire E15 – Yes, it’s a chunky unit, but it’s hard to argue when you get a 15-inch Full HD display and Intel Core i3 processor for the money. Aspire 1 – Starting at $250, the low powered Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM don’t impress, but it’s a good choice for casual users with small budgets.
Pros: Solid workhorse
Good range of specs to pick from
Cons: Practical, not beautiful
Acer Nitro and Predator Ranges
If online kills are more important to you than spreadsheets, then you’ll want to take a look at the Acer Nitro and Predator ranges, the company’s dedicated gaming laptops.These devices tick all the boxes when it comes to a gaming laptop – aggressively angular design, colorful lights, and of course, a ton of impressive specs to ensure that you can run your games with an impressive framerate count while maintaining pixel perfect graphics.
The Nitro models naturally come with dedicated graphics cards, such as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050, or the AMD Radeon RX 560X for the entry-level models. Processor-wise, you can expect 8th generation quad-core or hexa-core processors, either an Intel Core i5 or i7. RAM isn’t an issue either, running all the way up to 12GB if you opt for a higher end model. Some models are also Oculus Rift compatible, if you’re interested in VR.
As well as the standard Nitro range, Acer also manufactures some Nitro Spin models – these come with the perks you’d expect from the gaming range, but with a far more flexible screen that can be rotated back on itself.
Acer also manufactures the Predator range of gaming laptops, which do away with traditional portability for bulky cooling options to make sure that your gaming rig doesn’t overheat. While the Nitro range has that classic gaming laptop look, some Predator models look like they’ve been lifted from the deck of the Starship Enterprise – none more so than the Predator 21X, a 21-inch curved laptop that will turn heads and crush knees.
Nitro 5 – Aimed at the gamer working to a budget, the Nitro 5 still gets you a dedicated graphics card, as well as a gaming-friendly processor. Predator Helios 300 – A number-crunching hexa-core Intel Core i7 processor and GTX 1060 graphics card make this a real contender.
Pros: Lots of gaming specific features Very powerful laptops
Cons: Bulky Can get pricey
Acer Chromebook Range
If you don’t want or need a Windows laptop, then Acer can come to the rescue with its Chromebook range. Like most other manufacturers who offer Chromebooks, Acer’s range is aimed at the budget conscious, starting at around $200.
Unlike some other brands, though, Acer does a decent job of offering a varied range – this includes screens up to 15.6 inches, should you want one, as well as slimmer and more portable 11.6-inch models.
Most Acer Chromebooks run on a low powered Celeron or Pentium processor, which provides more than enough firepower for the average Chomebook user. However, if you’re a more demanding user, Acer also offers models with 8th generation Intel Core i3 and i5 processors. The price skyrockets if you go for a model with this much power, but it’s better suited to business users who may want to run more challenging apps and juggle several processes at once. It’s worth nothing that for the same amount of money ($700 – $1000), you can get a more than respectable Windows laptop.
Chromebook 11 – Not a looker, and feels plasticky; competitively priced for an entry level Chromebook Chromebook 14 – A 14-inch screen Chromebook with a Celeron processor and 4GB of RAM; a good option for Chrome users who prefer a larger screen
Pros: Inexpensive Large screen sizes available
Cons: Not ideal for those used to Windows
Verdict: Should you buy an Acer laptop?
It’s hard to argue with the sheer breadth of choice offered by Acer in its various line-ups, especially when it comes to the price. If budget is a concern, we’d highly recommend an Acer as a great way to get the specifications you want, without having to break the bank.
While it may not quite be a notable household name yet, Acer’s standing and rich history makes it a brand that you can feel confident buying from.
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Jack is the Content Manager for Tech.co. He has been writing about a broad variety of technology subjects for over a decade, both in print and online, including laptops and tablets, gaming, and tech scams. As well as years of experience reviewing the latest tech devices, Jack has also conducted investigative research into a number of tech-related issues, including privacy and fraud.