Acer vs. HP Laptops

by Mike Goracke
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

With over 100 years of combined technology experience, Hewlett-Packard and Acer have established themselves as technology innovators. Both of these brands have a reputation for selling great products, but which one provides the biggest bang for your buck with a laptop? Each offers different options for users across a range of product needs and interests, and selecting the best is a matter of matching your own needs against point-by-point comparisons.

Least Expensive

Both HP and Acer offer laptops with a starting price around $400. The laptops in this category have some similar hardware, including 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. As of early 2013, the fastest HP computer in this category is the Pavilion 14z-b100 Sleekbook and the fastest Acer laptop is the Aspire V5-171-6675. While these laptops both have similar RAM and hard-drive specifications, the Acer Aspire V5-171-667 gives you a faster processor (Intel Core i3-2377M processor vs. dual-core 1200+ AMD processor) and the HP Pavilion 14z-b100 Sleekbook gives you a larger screen (14-inch LED display vs. 11.6-inch LED display). If you are deciding between the HP or Acer at a $400 starting price, pick whether you'd want the faster Acer laptop or the HP laptop with a larger screen.

Top Rated: Around $500

As of early 2013, the best rated HP laptop around $500 is the Pavilion g6t-2300 Select Edition; the best Acer laptop in that range is the Aspire V5-571-6662. The hardware differs greatly, but they have the same sized 15.6-inch LED display. The HP laptop includes an Intel Core i5-2450 processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The Acer uses an Intel Core i3-2365M processor, 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive. If you are deciding between these two machines, you would need to select whether you value speed or storage. While the HP laptop gives you a faster processor, the Acer laptop includes one-and-a-half times the storage capacity, as well as an additional 2GB of RAM over the HP laptop.

Top Rated: Around $1,000

As of early 2013, both HP and Acer offer 4 laptops priced around $1,000. One of the four laptops for each brand includes a solid-state drive. SSDs allow computers to start in mere seconds after pressing the power button and are less prone to damage. Traditional hard drives use moving parts, where SSD drives do not. The HP Spectre XT Ultrabook 13t-2100 and the Acer Aspire S5-391-6419 Ultra book both use a 128GB SSD, Intel Core i5-3317U processor, 4GB of RAM and a 13.3-inch LED display. While these laptops are almost identical as far as specifications are concerned, the Spectre XT includes a two-year manufacturer warranty, and the Acer Aspire only includes a one-year warranty. The non-SSD laptops in this category can differ greatly in hardware specifications. Some have larger screens, but slower processors, while others have smaller screens and faster processors.

Most Expensive

The most expensive Acer and HP laptops in early 2013 are the Acer Aspire S7-391-9839 Ultrabook, starting at roughly $1,600, and the HP EliteBook 8770w Mobile Workstation, starting at around $2,300. While the Aspire S7-391-9839 Ultrabook is fast, the HP EliteBook 8770w Mobile Workstation is considerably faster. Both laptops offer an Intel Core i7 processor; however, the HP laptop's processor can provide additional horsepower and speed when multitasking or using processor-heavy applications such as Adobe Photoshop or AutoCAD. The Acer laptop, although slower than the HP, has a 256GB SSD and 13.3-inch screen, making it perfect for travel while still being fast. The HP laptop at this price has double the RAM and two hard drives (a 128GB SSD for its primary hard drive and a 500GB SATA hard drive for its secondary drive), a 17.3-inch LED display and includes a three-year manufacturer warranty. In this price range, HP has a far better selection of laptops in different sizes, speed and varying prices.

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