Lately, the question on many people’s minds is.. “What’s my next laptop going to be like?”
At first, things seem simple – you take a look at your wallet and then choose. But what if you come to realize in the end, that your choice has proved to be totally uninspired?
The first concern you should have is what exactly you plan on using your laptop for (be it netbook, notebook, desktop replacement). At this point you’ll start seeking screen sizes, processor numbers, video cards and so forth in every product you see.
Useful in that matter would be a handy laptop buying guide such as the one here: http://reviews.cnet.com/laptop-buying-guide together with reviews and “top picks”.
The common issue with laptops or any product for that matter, is reliability. Turning the web inside out, one can always find more or less reviews to help learn of the product at hand, as thorough as possible. But what do the statistics say about reliability in different brands of laptops?
Rescuecom Corporation, an American computer repair and support company based out of Syracuse, New York, published a computer reliability report on August 18, 2009.
“RESCUECOM’s 2009 second-quarter assessment ranked ASUS in the number-one slot, followed by APPLE and IBM/LENOVO, which locked in the number two and three spots, respectively. Top ranking brands would likely require less computer repair than those that rank on the bottom.” The lowest score was attributed to HP/Compaq.
The statistics are based on some 11,560 calls for computer repair and support directed to the above mentioned corporation, out of a reported 16 million shipped units among 8 major brands.
Square Trade warranty provider from San Francisco released a report on November 17, 2009, containing the statistical results from analyzing the failure rates of over 30,000 new laptop computers covered by SquareTrade Laptop Warranty plans.
The brands listed, ranged from a 15.6 % failure rate during the first 3 years of the product to 25.6 % percent.
Excluding accidental damage and taking into consideration hardware malfunctions by manufacturer, the lowest failure rate was attributed to Asus, followed by Toshiba, Sony, Apple, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Gateway and HP.
Again, reliability brought Asus on first place, HP last.
One of the highlights of this study states that “Manufacturers proved to be a more reliable determinant of reliability than the type of laptop and should be a greater factor in making a purchase decision.”
A bit of controversy rose from these results, the public being somewhat surprised by HP’s trailing position in the reliability chart, together with Dell and Apple placed around its middle.
During this time, on September 15, 2009, pcmag.com released a survey based on user statements. The survey comes to bring again Asus on top reliability score, but the numbers show that in fact Asus has had a minimal amount of user responses, as compared to the rest of the brands.
Fujitsu-Siemens was not even included in any of the above-mentioned studies.
PCWorld comes with set of results gathered from their 2009 regarding the top trustworthy technology brands. The survey was conducted using 45,000 users, bringing Apple on top row and HP at bottom. Still no sign of Fujitsu-Siemens.
LaptopMag presented this March the results to its research concerning “Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2010”. The project was achieved by reviewing “more than 170 notebooks and netbooks, rating each system according to design, performance, usability, and more”, the article states.
After testing several key factors on what makes everything “good” or “bad” (although I haven’t seen the word “reliable”), the scores place Apple in the winning spot, followed by Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba. The last place on the name list goes to Fujitsu.
In conclusion, one can take these statistical guidelines into consideration but be advised – statistics aren’t everything.
The product brand you are willing to buy has its “divisions”, ranking from say business/rugged on top, to budget down at bottom. Usually, that is the same road reliability has to follow, but there are exceptions. Probably Panasonic’s military “toughbooks” would be way beyond the above mentioned quality limits. The only problem is they are not quite priced for the average user…