Brand name is a huge factor when choosing a laptop. Laptops in general aren't designed to last as long as desktops and this is reflected in their relatively lower cost. However, according to a 2009 study of laptop failure rates by SquareTrade, some popular laptop brands like HP and Acer have malfunction rates of up to 25% within the first three years. If you want to get your money's worth and buy a laptop that lasts, the following laptop brands make the most reliable models.
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Asus scored first on a SquareTrade reliability study that found as many as one in three laptops will fail over their first few years of use. Asus has less than 10% critical malfunctions within two years and 15% within three. This is extremely low for a product type that's prone to damage, overheating and virus infections. Strong tech support and a reputation for strong software innovation pushes this brand even higher in terms of reliability. It was the first to use Intel's Core i5 CPUs (which are now standard) and it's implementing experimental ultra-low voltage processors, so its laptops won't be outdated as fast as the competition's.
Toshiba is a Japanese computer company that's one of the strongest laptop manufacturers in the world. In 2011, the company celebrated 25 years of laptop innovation. With so much experience, it's no surprise its laptops stand the test of time. Toshiba laptops have a very low malfunction rate and are consistently rated above average by reviewers such as laptopmag.com. While possessing no specific strengths, the company provides generally well-made computers with competitive software and a very long shelf life.
Sony isn't one of the top-selling laptop brands and most experts believe that's because of its elegant designs and correspondingly high prices. However, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Sony laptops last several years on average, have excellent customer reviews and provide technical support that's second only to Apple. Its three-year malfunction rate is a low 16.8% and 85% of readers on laptopmag.com gave the brand a B or higher in customer satisfaction reviews.
While its 17.4% malfunction rate in the SquareTrade study puts Apple a bit lower on overall reliability, the support system more than makes up for it. Apple offers free phone support; superior web assistance; and a feature called the Genius Bar, through which trained technicians help troubleshoot any problems users may have. With this support system, Apple can greatly boost the average life of its products and make tech support easier on consumers as well.
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- Laptop: Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2010; April 2010
- Smidgen PC: Laptop Reliability Ratings Which Laptop is Really Most Reliable?; Matthew Smith; May 2010
- CNET News: Who makes the most reliable laptops?; Dan Ackerman; November 2009
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- Squaretrade: 1 in 3 laptops fail over 3 years