Acer vs Dell: Which laptop brand is better in 2021?

A brand’s reputation is often the determining factor that sways buyers to opt for one company over the other. However, this decision can often be challenging to make, especially in a direct comparison of two reputable laptop brands. 

In the ever-evolving landscape of the laptop industry, the only way to determine the most suitable option is to compare all of the brand details and go into the tiniest specifics. In this Acer vs Dell comparison post, we’ll do exactly this to help you choose the best laptop for your needs, preferences, and budget.

Acer vs Dell – Quick Comparison

Acer

Acer laptops are the preferred choice among buyers looking for affordable laptops that can deliver solid performance features. Acer laptops are budget-friendly, excellent for all-around use, albeit not built from premium materials. However, due to the overall selection variety, Acer offers a good choice of high-end models, primarily through its Predator gaming lineup.

Acer is a Taiwanese hardware and electronics corporation that has been in the tech business since 1976. Its products cover a wide range of consumer electronics, most notably laptops, desktop PCs, and tablets. As of 2021, Acer is the sixth-largest personal computer vendor in the world. Here’s a brief overview of Acer’s most significant pros and cons:

Pros

  • Affordable for the casual laptop user
  • Reliable and professional customer support
  • Excellent versatility of available options
  • Fantastic gaming models

Cons

  • Not as durable as its top competitors
  • Relatively heavy laptop models

Dell

Dell laptops are the prevalent choice in the business world and enjoy great popularity among college students due to their well-balanced performance features. Their products are known for being robust, reliable, and long-lasting.

Founded nearly four decades ago, Dell is one of the most recognizable tech brands in the world. It’s the third-largest personal computer vendor in the industry, with a total market share of over 16%. Some of Dell’s most noticeable advantages and disadvantages are:

Pros

  • Strong all-around laptop performance features
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Industry-leading customer support service
  • Impressive selection of top-quality screens

Cons

  • Expensive compared to most laptop brands
  • Plan and basic visual design

Acer Laptops

Acer Design

If you’re looking for a gorgeously designed laptop with eccentric properties or bright colors, Acer laptops probably won’t catch your eye. This is not to say that Acer laptops don’t look good, only that they’re relatively plain and often feature a simplistic design. Most models come in the generic silver color, while some are available in black, blue, or grey.

Acer Build Quality and Hardware

One of the more clear drawbacks of Acer laptops is that they have an inferior build quality compared to Dell. Of course, this can vary between different Acer models. Lower-priced laptops naturally have poorer build quality, while more expensive models are more durable. 

Nevertheless, Acer doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to delivering quality hardware components. Most laptop models come with 256GB to 512GB SSD storage room, though you can get a model with as little as 128GB or as much as 1TB of storage space. In terms of graphics cards and processors, you can find a good mix of Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA components.

Acer Display

With so many Acer laptops available on the market, you have a great range of display sizes when choosing a new product. Display sizes range between 11.6’’ and 17.3’’. Screen sizes aside, Acer also has over sixty laptop models with a touchscreen display feature. 

In terms of screen resolution, most laptops come with 1920x1080p displays. Additionally, some higher-end models like the ConceptD 7 and Predator laptops support UHD screen resolutions.

Acer Performance

In a direct comparison of Acer and Dell medium-range laptops, it’s easy to notice that most Acer laptops don’t pack as big of a punch performance-wise to stack up against Dell’s models. Acer laptops offer between 4GB and 16GB of RAM, with most models delivering a solid but not overly impressive 8GB of RAM.

Stepping away from their general consumer laptop lineup, Acer also has more powerful models that deliver strong performance features. This primarily includes the gaming models from the Acer Predator roster, which boast up to 64GB of RAM and impressive all-around performance traits.

Acer Durability

Acer laptops are durable but not as durable as Dell products. Disregarding faulty models, most of Acer’s notebooks will last between three and five years before deteriorating in performance. While this means you can count on good durability, Acer laptops can’t quite match Dell in terms of overall longevity and reliability over time.

Acer Battery Life

On the official Acer website, you can see that all laptops are sorted into two categories, those that offer five to six hours of battery life and those that deliver over six hours of battery life. 

While Acer is transparent when listing the battery life of its models, most Acer laptops struggle to reach their advertised times. In reality, most of the company’s models provide between three and a half and five hours of battery life.

Acer Customer Service & Warranty

Although Acer has received flak over the last decade for its lackluster and unskilled customer support, the company has significantly improved on this in the past few years. Nowadays, Acer’s support staff is easy to reach, and you can expect professional and prompt assistance on any issue.

The standard Acer laptop warranty provides you with one year of coverage. However, you can extend this by paying a bit more when purchasing a new laptop. Like those from the Predator line, some premium Acer models offer up to two years of warranty coverage and accidental damage protection.

Acer Price

It’s worth noting that Acer is primarily a budget brand. It targets consumers who need a laptop but can’t afford to splurge on a premium brand like Dell. So, if you’re buying a new laptop on a tight budget, Acer models are an excellent alternative, as they are overall noticeably more affordable than Dell.

However, the affordable price points don’t mean that Acer laptops are cheaply made and not of good quality. Moreover, there are some more steeper-priced Acer laptops designed for work and gaming purposes. Overall, Acer offers an expansive laptop selection, with dozens of great models in the $500 to $1000 range.

Recommended Acer Laptops

Acer Aspire 5

Acer is known as one of the best brands for budget buyers, and the Acer Aspire 5 is the perfect example of this. With a market price of $700, this laptop delivers respectable performance powered by an Intel Core i5 processor and 16GB of RAM. It also has enough storage space for the average casual laptop user, as it comes with a 512GB SSD.

Acer Nitro 5

If you have a budget of over $1000, the Acer Nitro 5 should be your go-to option if you want a laptop from this manufacturer. It features an Intel Core i7 processor and a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card with 6GB of graphics memory. It also comes with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD capacity. All of this makes the Acer Nitro a fantastic laptop for gaming, business, and multimedia use.

Dell Laptops

Dell Design

Comparing overall laptop design tendencies between the two brands, we can say that Acer and Dell both stick to a relatively simplistic design. They don’t implement very innovative design features like some other laptop manufacturers. From this perspective, neither brand has a noticeable advantage. 

As they mainly target businesspeople and students, Dell laptops have a low-key look. However, Dell’s gaming brand, Alienware, differs from this pattern. Alienware laptops are often colorful and feature innovative and exciting designs following an extraterrestrial and science fiction theme.

Dell Build Quality and Hardware

Dell laptops are known for their high-quality build and usage of reliable and long-lasting hardware components. Starting with the processor, most Dell laptop models employ Intel processors, although you can also find a good selection of AMD processors. While some laptops feature NVIDIA or AMD graphics, most models come with an integrated graphics card.

Lastly, Dell laptops generally come with enough storage to meet the general consumer’s needs. Most notebooks have between 256GB and 512GB of SSD storage space. That said, if you need a Dell laptop with a lot of storage room, you can pick between a handful of options that offer 2TB or more.

Dell Display

The sheer variety of available display options means that Dell is the clear winner in this category. Dell delivers both quantity and quality, as you can choose between a massive assortment of laptops to find one that best meets your needs and requirements. The overall number of options will depend on whether you’re purchasing a laptop from the Home or Business line.

The supported display resolutions cover all popular selections, including OLED 3.5K, 4K UHD, and UHD+. What’s more, a significant number of Dell laptop models have a touch screen display option if you’re looking for a notebook with such a feature. Lastly, display sizes range between 11’’ and 17’’ screens.

Dell Performance

Dell as a brand primarily targets businesses and offers laptops designed to support medium to heavy work activities. In this sense, you can rely on fast and robust performance. With that in mind, your laptop options will vary based on whether you opt for a model from the Business or Home line. 

If you pick a model from the latter line, you can get more affordable notebooks with less capable performance characteristics. This is particularly visible when you look at how much RAM comes with laptops from the Home line. More precisely, models from this category mainly offer between 4GB and 32GB of RAM, with only a couple of models boasting 64GB of RAM.

Opposite to this, Dell’s laptops from the Business line feature much more capable performance characteristics. Models from this line mainly offer between 16GB and 64GB of RAM. This makes them much faster and better optimized to handle heavy loads and more demanding tasks.

Dell Durability

Dell laptops are among the most durable in the consumer market. Although they’re still not as long-lasting as HP or Apple laptops, Dell laptops are more durable than Acer laptops. Laptops that carry this brand have an average lifespan of up to five years, although this can vary between different Dell laptop models.

Dell Battery Life

Dell laptops have excellent battery life, as models like the Dell Latitude 9510 can offer nearly 18 hours of medium use, enough to meet all of your requirements. Of course, this model is on the high-end of the scale in terms of battery life. In the general perspective, most Dell laptops can provide between 4 and 6 hours of battery life. Dell laptops come with slightly better batteries than Acer models.

Dell Customer Service & Warranty

While Acer offers reliable and responsive customer service, it can’t quite match what Dell can deliver on this front. Dell offers arguably the best support staff out of all laptop manufacturers. You can reach out to support representatives through multiple channels, with live chat and phone support being the most efficient contact methods.

Regardless of which of the two channels you decide to use, you can get through to a staff member within minutes. There are no tedious chatbots when it comes to live chat support, as you’ll connect directly to a real person after a couple of minutes of waiting.

Focusing on the warranty offers that come with Dell laptops, you can expect the standard one-year warranty for most Dell models. However, you can get an extended warranty of up to four or five years on some laptops.

Dell Price

Considering the reputation Dell has built over the decades, it comes as no surprise that Dell laptops are generally more expensive than models from competitor brands. In a direct comparison against Acer, Dell notebooks come with a higher price point than Acer ones. That said, even if you’re buying on a budget, you can find medium-range Dell laptops at fairly reasonable prices. 

Recommended Dell Laptops

Dell Inspiron 15 5510

An excellent and reasonably-priced medium-range laptop, the Dell Inspiron 15 is the perfect choice from Dell’s Home lineup. This laptop is highly configurable, as you can choose either an Intel or AMD base configuration. Either way, you can get up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB of SSD storage room, and an integrated graphics card.

Dell XPS 15 9500

Arguably one of the best Dell laptops, the Dell XPS 15 9500 is a fantastic product suitable for all-around use. This laptop’s most expensive and most capable version boasts a powerful Intel Core i9 processor and 32GB of RAM. Additionally, it’s packed with a capable NVIDIA RTX 2060 graphics card, which can power through creative apps and games without any issues. It also comes with a great 1TB SSD.

Conclusion

Both companies provide an immense variety of options for you to choose from, so it ultimately depends on your budget and the performance you’re looking for. Acer is the more affordable brand. It has good performance features but lacks certain premium build qualities that Dell comes with.

On the other hand, Dell is the more reputable and popular brand in this Acer vs Dell comparison. It’s the more expensive option, but it also delivers more durable products with better battery life and higher-quality displays.

About Alex

Hello, I'm Alex and this is my website, Spacehop. I started the site as a way to talk about myself, and a few years later we're now a team of 6! I still work full time at a major PC retailer in the UK, and I'm a bit of a tech whizz (self-proclaimed, unfortunately!).

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