HP vs Acer: The Fundamentals for Choosing Between Laptop Brands


HP vs Acer

From premium devices like the Spectre line to the Omen gaming rigs. HP is the oldest company in the laptop industry with a wide variety of portable computers in all budget ranges. But if you’re looking for a more cost-effective alternative. Acer might be the better choice with a good selection of budget-focused laptops offering plenty of power from ultraportables like the Swift to gaming machines like the Predator series. HP and Acer are well regarded names in the laptop space. Each brand has its distinct set of pros and cons making one a better choice for you over the other, which we’ll dive into in this HP vs Acer comparison.

3 Top HP Laptops

Best HP Laptops of 2021

HP Spectre x360 13

Last update on 2021-10-30 at 00:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

HP’s Spectre x360 13 has been our favorite laptop from this brand (even favorite laptop of all time for a while) ever since it was introduced with this new body style back in late 2017. While it doesn’t come with a stylus, you can transform this 2-in-1 convertible into tablet mode by rotating the screen 360-degrees. But with HP’s introduction of the Spectre x360 14 newly released at CES 2021 to critical acclaim, the problem is starting to become context.

On balance, the Spectre x360 13 and Spectre x360 14 sport the same elegant chassis, fast speeds and great display options that put the older Spectre x360 on the map. One keeping the 13-inch sibling relevant is price – you can pick up the Spectre x360 13 for a considerably lower price point than the 14-inch model.

And you’re still getting a bright 1080p display, capable performance, epic battery life and gorgeous ultra-compact chassis.

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HP Elite Folio

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It’s our position that the HP Elite Folio is among the best convertible laptops money can buy. Why? First consider its stunningly gorgeous chassis that teases a clever flexible hinge that allows the device to fold from a laptop into a tablet.

HP claims it’s, “the world’s first pull-forward business convertible PC.” Instead of detaching the screen from the keyboard or folding it back behind the keyboard like we’re used to. The touchscreen pivots away from the bottom half of the lid, folding down over the keyboard deck in tablet mode. This makes it way more stable than a tablet with a kickstand. And more comfortable to hold in tablet mode than a 2-in-1 that puts the keys under your finger in tablet mode. This is more of an emerging trend, the likes of which can be seen in Acer’s ConceptD 3, which is on our list. On top of that, the Elite Folio keeps you connected without a Wi-Fi hot spot with either a 4G or 5G mobile broadband.

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HP EliteBook x360 1040 G7

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Why is the HP EliteBook x360 1040 G7 among the best business laptops money can buy? For one the styling is an example of HP’s recent rash of visually striking laptops. For another, it’s one of the most feature rich business laptops on the market.

Just under the Elite Dragonfly, the EliteBook 1040 G7 is every bit as capable flaunting a stunning metal chassis, lightening fast performance and battery endurance of more than 15 hours. You also get a bright and vivid 14-inch 1080p display that’s good for work and play with plenty of ports.

As if that wasn’t enough, since it’s a laptop created for business professionals. It has a surprisingly comfortable keyboard. And a spattering of security features, including an IR camera, a fingerprint reader and a chassis that’s MIL-SPE-810 rated for durability to go with its convertible design. All of this works to make your work experience more secure and efficient. While the price might be a deterrent for some prospects. If you have the means, we highly recommend picking one up.

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HP Chromebook x2

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The HP Chromebook x2 joins the Google PixelBook’s elite status of premium Chromebooks. If you’re looking for an alternative to Windows laptops, the Chromebook x2 is more sophisticated than its cheaper brethren. Justifying the cost is an aluminum rather than plastic chassis with the same swank faux-ceramic finish as the Spectre x360.

It boasts a detachable 2-in-1 rather than clamshell design, making it much lighter to handle in tablet mode. You’re also getting expandable on-board storage via the microSD card slot to supplement the 32GB eMMC flash memory, front- and rear-facing cameras and a 12.3-inch high-resolution (2400 x 1600) display.  

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HP Omen 15

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The 4K UHD panel is bright and clear, dancing with vibrantly warm colors. And as long as you have a power outlet nearby, the HP Omen 15 wants you to play all day. At the helm, you’ll be in command of a powerful Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, capable NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super with Max-Q and 8GB of vRAM.

It’s an attractive, solid, satin black stone slab made of all-metal with flat hinges. Measuring 14.1×9.4×0.9 inches and weighing 5.4 pounds, it’s one of the heaviest gaming laptops in its category. As you open the lid, you’re met by an RGB backlit keyboard you can adjust using the Omen Light Studio software. The keys feel as if they rise up from the deck the way they’re sat behind the touchpad. The 15.6-inch 4K UHD panel is nestled within a nearly bezel-less frame, which makes for an incredibly immersive viewing experience.

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HP Verdict

HP make a fantastic selection of laptops; our favorite is the Spectre x360 13 for its unique design and innovative features. But for the best value, you should check out the Envy x360 13. For contrast, we hit as many categories as we thought would give you a good range of examples for different use cases. The ones from the list are some of our top favorites from different sides of the price spectrum.

3 Top Acer Laptops

Best Acer Laptops of 2021

Acer Swift 3

Last update on 2021-10-30 at 00:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One reason why the Acer Swift 3 is our top choice for best all-around Acer laptop is for its ability to overshadow more expensive, high-performing premium laptops like the MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 13. Aesthetically, it’s not the flashiest laptop in the mainstream laptop category. But what it lacks, the Swift 3 makes up for in functionality.

Our review unit offers an 11 Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, 8GB of memory, a 256GB SSD and integrated graphics. You’ll also find a few bells and whistles on this restrained Ultrabook with a fingerprint reader. Sophisticated and discrete, the Swift 3 is thicker toward the rear where all the ports are housed and gradually becomes thinner as you come toward the front. It even flaunts an aluminum and magnesium-alloy steel-gray chassis.

The 1920×1080 full HD reproduces an unspectacular 66% of the sRGB color gamut, which is less than the category average of 92%. And it has a brightness score of 224 nits, which is less than the category average of 279 nits. But it gets the job done. Performance is what this laptop has to offer, which it does in spades while including a comfortable backlit keyboard.

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Acer Spin 5

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Despite being a thin-and-light hybrid machine, the Acer Spin 5 manages to offer an abundance of ports for all your connectivity needs like the disappearing microSD card reader.

It has the kind of performance that leaves competitors in the dust thanks to a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics. With all this robust power, battery life isn’t the Spin 5’s strong suit. On the design side, it sports a steel-gray, fingerprint-resistant chassis that casts a professional flair.

Opening the lid reveals a squarish 13.5-inch display with a taller 3:2 aspect ratio. The bezels surrounding it are slim, drawing your eye to the 2256×1504-pixel resolution, which is a step up from the typical 1080p full HD screen, but doesn’t quite meet 4K territory. And its bright at 425 nits, outshining the category average of 379 nits. And did we mention that it also comes with a garaged, fast-charging Acer Active Pen you can use when you swing this thing into tablet mode?

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Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel

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Acer broke into new categories with ConceptD series of laptops catered to content creators and gamers. One of our favorites is the ConceptD 3 Ezel. Strong performance comes courtesy of an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU. Not to mention a decent battery runtime to go along with all this performance.

But for us its standout feature lies in its neat 2-in-1 design. Beyond the deceptively traditional looking laptop design. Like the HP Spectre Folio above, the display flips out 180-degrees from its original position so it can lay flat against keyboard. This rotational concept (pun intended) introduces an interesting alternative to the traditional 2-in-1 market where you usually have to flip the laptop around to transform the device into different modes or pull the screen off the keyboard deck to use the laptop as a tablet.

Measuring 12.9x9x0.7~0.9 inches, the ConceptD 3 Ezel weighs 3.8 pounds, which makes it thicker and heavier than other 14-inch 2-in-1 laptops like the Lenovo Yoga C940. But with that weight comes an impressive number of ports and a full HD touch display.

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Acer Chromebook Spin 713

The Acer Chromebook Spin 713 is our top choice for best Acer Chromebook for the unique features it offers. Firstly, it gets the distinction of wearing the same “Engineered for Mobile Performance” sticker as other notebooks that meet Intel’s state-of-the-art “Project Athena” standard even though it’s a Chromebook instead of a Windows laptop. This means the Chromebook Spin 713 offers conveniences like quick wake from sleep and a long battery life.

Second, like the Acer Swift 3, the 13.5-inch display has a square 3:2 rather than the more familiar 16:9 aspect ratio. This gives you a taller view for text and more room for web scrolling. Additionally, a touchscreen with a 3:2 aspect ratio in a convertible is almost unheard of, which makes the Chromebook Spin 713 an appealing choice.

Third, this is no stripped-down economy model, its aluminum clad chassis and antimicrobial Gorilla Glass screen and touchpad (instead of the typical plastic) are strong testaments to that. All of this helps the Chromebook Spin 713 pass MIL-STD 810G tests against hazards such as a four-foot drop. All this while maintaining a price that’s cheaper than Chromebook rivals.

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Acer Predator Triton 300

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Why is the Acer Predator Triton 300 our top pick for best Acer gaming laptop? It’s got the gaming credential to handle mainstream single-player and eSports scenarios, a decent keyboard and a robust chassis all for a cost that makes it more affordable than most 2070-based RTX rivals.

Along with a powerful NVIDIA GPU, the Predator Triton 300 also serves up a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB of memory, a 512GB SSD and 144Hz display. Visually, it’s a classic gaming laptop characterized by outlandish air vents. Yet its portable enough and slim enough to take to LAN parties with good build quality.

The 4-zone RGB lit keyboard has a good layout and features a number pad. There’s even a dedicated button to load the Acer PredatorSense app. Compared to HP keyboards, each keys features more depth. The touchpad is large enough for gaming with two responsive mouse click buttons that’s also better than the ones you can try on rivals.

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Acer Verdict

Acer should be your first stop shop if you’re concerned about getting a quality laptop with a limited budget. It has a wide selection of laptops, ranging from sleek ultraportable to beefy gaming rigs along with plenty of Chromebooks. And if your budget is a bit bigger, the company also has a rather expansive laptop catalogue with higher price points. Taking all this into consideration, we rounded up some of our favorite laptops from this brand.

HP vs Acer Comparison

Both the HP and Acer laptop brands has its distinct pros and cons. To make a final decision, it’s important to keep the key features below in mind. The evaluation of what each brand has to offer will help you get clarity about which manufacturer and model is best suited for you.

Price

The difference between HP and Acer as it pertains to which you should choose will ultimately come down to your budget. Typically, if you want a budget-friendly laptop, opt for Acer. And if you want a laptop that offers better quality material and you have a bit more to spend, HP is a better choice.

However, nuances within each brand make this far from a hard and fast rule – A fact that warrants a closer view at what each laptop individually has to offer, specifically within its category.

While the company does have some high-quality models, Acer laptops are decidedly short-term solutions designed with comparatively cheap parts. This fact accounts for the reason why Acer is able to consistently undercut the competition. For this reason, HP laptops are the way to go if you’re looking for a machine with a longer shelf life. Even the cheap Pavilion 15 we had lasted four and half years before we put it out to pasture.

Design and Build Quality

As the oldest brand in the laptop game, HP has one of the widest range of products in the industry. Overall, you can count on this brand for a high build quality with its premium laptops, which can compete with the like of Dell and Lenovo.

Best Models

HP

Chromebook – The Chromebook market seems to be changing for the better. And HP is all in offering some great models if you want a more lightweight alternative to a Windows system.

Pavilion – Dating back to 1995, the Pavilion sub-brand is one of the best mainstream laptops. Nestled between the midrange Envy and the un-branded “Notebook” models, it’s not the highest quality laptop HP offers. But you can find affordable entry-level gaming laptops here with a good balance between quality and price.

Omen – Speaking of gaming laptops, this is a category where HP isn’t as visible as contemporaries like Dell and Lenovo. However, when you’re in the market for a gaming machine that’s more cost effective than either Alienware or MSI, the Omen series are among the best budget gaming laptops.

Acer

Aspire – Like Pavilions, the Aspire sub-brand has been around for over two decades. If you want a portable computer you can use for a little bit of this and a little bit of that, the Aspire brand has some of the best quality, yet affordable devices on the market.

Swift – This is another cheap range to consider. The components are great for daily tasks and casual use, while still being relatively budget friendly. In the interest of full disclosure, it took some time for us to cotton to Swift brand laptops. But the latest offerings are impressive.

Predator – This gaming laptop range makes waves in the gaming laptop category by delivering rather high-range components, while managing to be cheaper than the competition. The latest Predators still impress with the same old formula: portability and performance.

Performance

The significant difference here is that while Acer is a popular brand for users on the hunt for a more cost-efficient alternative to the premium offerings out there. The company manufacturers plenty of laptops that are just as powerful. But it’s not the first laptop brand that comes to mind when you want a powerful machine that’ll last for years.

One reason is because they’re notoriously made with cheaper hardware that are just designed to get the job done. But not necessarily for durability. That’s why most of these laptops can go for half the price of competitors.  

Summing Up

HP and Acer have released impressive laptops over the years. But determining which model to choose relies on digging deeper. Truth be told, both manufactures have something to offer for every occasion. Typically, the more money you spend, the better the laptop will be in terms of build quality, display, battery life and overall performance. What the Acer brand affords you is the ability to get a whole lot of laptop for the money. If what you’re looking for in a portable computer is the most powerful laptop for the least amount of money, an Acer is the laptop for you. But if you want better build quality and a wider port selection, HP also offers a great range.