Acer over Dell?

I, myself, hate Dell computers with a passion. I have heard that Acer is the current cutting edge laptop.
Is there any truth to this, and is there any good reason for this, or is it just the thing to do?

No truth to it. Apple is, of course, the cutting edge laptop.

[/Kool Aid Mode]

OK, seriously, I’ve heard good things about Dell but not so much about their laptops. Sony seems to still get lots of respect. IBM ThinkPads are pretty decent if you don’t mind the pencil-eraser thing. Alienware made a great laptop but now they’ve been bought out, dunno about what they’re putting out now (and their customer service apparently sucks). Compaq everything apparently sucks.

What do you not like about Dell (especially Dell laptops)? It probably makes more sense to look at what you want from a laptop rather than ascertain an “objective best laptop”. Best for one person isn’t necessarily best for someone else.

Specifically, the crummy PC that I bought from them. It is 2.4 Ghz, but runs about 1/3 the speed of the 400 Mhz HP that I replaced with it, and the list keeps on going and growing… Dunno about their laptops, but all laptops that I tried out around Xmas time were junk, IMHO.

Thanks for the input.


I read in the paper today, they’re recalling millions of dell laptop batteries, due to risk of fire!

Acer makes a pretty good laptop, but then again, so does Dell. Acer’s tend to be more affordable, though, and Dell like to push their bleeding-edge laptop line (Inspiron?) rather than their tried-and-tested dependable line (Latitude). Both Dell and Acer make decent desktop computers as well.

In all cases I would format the hard drive and install my own Windows on it, instead of taking what comes pre-loaded. Both Dell and Acer put spyware on their machines, and have some rediculously unsusable software pre-installed. I suspect that this, combined with Dell’s atrocious tech support, is why so many people hate Dell so much. I haven’t used Acer’s tech support myself, but I’ve heard it’s okay.

Whatever you do, do not buy a laptop without scouring the net for reviews on that specific model. By their very nature, laptop computers are more fragile, more complex, and more prone to failure than almost any other type of computer. And seeing a good laptop by a vendor doesn’t mean all laptops from that vendor have the same level of quality.

Hope this helps.

Dell makes a good laptop. The computer industry is very competitive and they earned their reputation through satisfied sales to corporate customers. That isn’;t to say that they don’t make mistakes but it its a good brand. I always thought of Acer as a cheapy brand like those discount bicycles at Wal-Mart but I haven’t actually used one in a couple of years.

In my experence the preloaded OS is the most trouble free, and many time loading a OS from scratch will lead to failure or at least a device or 2 not working.

MSI makes a very good laptop, and they don’t typically come with a lot of bloatware. Check them out at Newegg

I bought a Dell Inspiron e1405 a couple of weeks ago with the following specs:

  • 1.6 GHz Core Duo
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual layer DVD burner
  • 100 GB HDD
  • 85Whr battery - I get 5+ hours at full brightness with wireless on
  • Intel GMA @ 1440x900 (14" widescreen)
  • ipw3945

… for $875.

Subjectively, it feels like I got an excellent value for the money. Other than the rather weak case latch, it feels sturdily constructed, and the keyboard is the best I’ve ever typed on that’s not on a Thinkpad.

In contrast, at work, we paid the same amount about 8 months ago for a 15" behemoth Acer with a Celeron M, 512MB, an 80GB drive, and a weak-ass battery that’s lucky to go an hour and a half between charges.


If I had twice as much money to spend, I’d get a T-series Thinkpad, but Dell pretty much owns in the high-low (or low-mid) end.

Oh, and that $875 includes tax and (free) shipping. It was just over 800 before tax. $700 or so if you skip the beefier battery.

The full-size stinkpads come with a trackpoint and a trackpad and a plethora of buttons to accommodate various clicking preferences. I think only the supercompact series (Z? X?) are trackpoint-only these days, mainly because so many people hate the red nipple with a fiery, foaming passion. I’m pretty indifferent myself, especially since they started making them large, flat and rubbery rather than small, pointy and obscurely hairy…

Obscurely hairy? :eek:

I have an IBM. This Tuesday, at 4am, the video card goes berserk and the machine wont stay on for more than 5 minutes. I call IBM tech support and, after the voice menus, the support team pick up on the first ring. It takes me about 5 minutes to convince them I know what I’m doing and that it is indeed a hardware problem. The guy on the other side clearly knows what he’s doing and isn’t reading off a script. They send a guy to my house the next day, replace the motherboard and the computer is working again 36 hours after it broke.

And this is their standard level care. After this incident, I cannot say more good things about IBM. Yes, they’re more expensive but the obvious quality they put into their products and support is worth it.

Indeed. I wouldn’t recommend you google pics of them, but if you find an old trackpoint, they had a bristly textured surface that was very odd indeed…

Ditto on Acers. My first windows pc (before I figured out it was a far, far better idea to roll your own) was an Acer. It was very shoddily put together, but did, admittedly, last a long time.

My biggest memory of Acer as a company was a year or two after I got the computer, I was contacted about getting in a class-action lawsuit. Evidently Acer was using refurbished parts in their computers and marketing them as completely new systems. Yeah, that’s classy. I’d stay far away from Acer if I could.
As for Dell…personally I like them. I’m not a big fan of the more expensive pc’s, but the laptops are decent. The cheapest Dell pc’s are great if you just need something inexpensive that will do the bare minimum of what a pc will do reliably. I pretty much order them exclusively for my company because they almost never break down (except for the occasional dead keyboard), and in the very rare occasion when they do…who cares, it’s not as if they cost that much to begin with.

Again, not amazing performers, but it’s not like you need much to run Office and a terminal program. If I need a screaming fast performance machine, I don’t think Dells are a good choice, but then again…if that’s what you want, build your own. It’ll be cheaper than most anything you can buy and perform better, and it’s not as if it requires huge technical skill.

I was thinking about buying a laptop a while back, and Dell was near the top of my list. But i also did some reading around about other laptops.

One problem that quite a few Acer owners seemed to have was that the actual case of the laptop had a tendency to develop cracks. Quite a few people reported large cracks appearing in the lid or the underside of their computers, even with very gentle use. I’m not sure if this is still a problem.

And my reading also tended to confirm what Shalmanese’s story suggests: if you can afford the up-front cost, IBM Thinkpads are pretty much the bees’ knees when it comes to reliabilty and customer service.