Laptop reliability – the best and worst

Shopping for the right laptop can be tricky. After finding a few with the right balance of power and price, few people go the extra step and ask “how reliable is it?” There are a lot of tiny pieces cramped into those 15-inch shells. And when something goes wrong, repairing it is not exactly a do-it-yourself job.

So, if you’re in the market for a new laptop, check out these two graphs from the June issue of Consumer Reports.

How often do they break?
Consumer Reports complied information on 75,000 laptops, sorted by manufacturer, and looked into how many of them required repairs.

Lenovo (IBM) | 20% Fewer Repairs
Compaq | 20
Sony | 21
Toshiba | 21
Dell | 22
HP | 22
Gateway | 22
Apple | 23 More repairs

How helpful is the support?
The magazine surveyed subscribers on laptop manufacturers’ technical support. Reader scores are out of 100.

Apple | 83 Better score
Lenovo | 68
Dell | 60
Toshiba | 55
Gateway | 54
Sony | 51
HP | 48 Worse score

So, what do these numbers mean? Consumer Reports says that the first graph shows very little – a four-point spread is basically a tie – but the second chart uncovers a significant divide.

While Apple received the lowest reliability score, it received top marks in all three support categories: solved problem, waiting on phone, and support staff. Apple got a big leg-up from its in-store Genius Bars, where customers can talk with tech experts face-to-face. In fact, for each manufacturer, in-store troubleshooting provided the best support, according to Consumer Reports – with success rates hitting 90 percent.

[Via ZD Net]

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