"reliable, long lasting."
These are not terms that apply to PCs and laptops. Let me comment that laptop batteries take some 500 charges and then begin to deliver less and less battery time. At about 18 months, it's apparent to me tha this is not "long lasting."
As to reliability, that depends a lot on the user. Some are real keyboard bangers and will need a keyboard every year. And most laptops will not survive a 3 or 4 foot drop to the pavement.
HP or Acer don't have an edge in these areas.
If you treat the machine well, it may last over 3 years, but the battery definitely won't last that long.
I'm going to college at the end of the summer and i can't decide between the acer 800 series and the hpzt3000. those are the two that i've narrowed down to. I want something reliable, long lasting. I'm going to probably carry it around a lot and watch movies and stuff. just wondering what you guys think is the best for students.