20% of laptops fail within three years - ASUS makes the most reliable models
ASUS and Toshiba have come top of a US laptop reliability survey conducted by third-party extended warranty provider SquareTrade.
SquareTrade randomly selected 30,000 laptops that it provides cover for and found that 31% had suffered some kind of problem that required a warranty repair during their first three years of ownership — 20% were returned as a result of a hardware malfunction, 11% through accidental damage.
SquareTrade reckons that these levels of failure are far higher than most other types of consumer electronics, though it’s important to remember that few other devices contain as many sensitive components as a laptop, or see as much daily use.
The survey also states that netbooks suffer a 20% higher failure rate from hardware faults than “more expensive” laptop computers, but it’s important to note SquareTrade’s definition of a netbook. It uses the term to apply to any laptop that costs less than $400, rather than ultraportables with screens measuring from 7” to 11”, or with Intel Atom processors:
For the purposes of this study, we have defined netbooks as laptops purchased for less than $400, as that has been the traditional retail boundary for netbooks. We define entry-level laptops as those between $400 and $1000, and premium laptops as anything purchased for over $1000.
So, rather than true netbooks being more susceptible to hardware faults, the headlines across the internet this morning should really be saying that cheap laptops are more prone to failure than more expensive laptops, which is hardly a surprise…
Anyway, the upshot of this is that SquareTrade’s data showed that ASUS and Toshiba had the lowest return rates for their laptops over the course of three years, while HP had the highest.
Apple laptops sit in the middle of the chart for malfunction rates, which has lead to some amusingly different takes from Apple tech websites today. Here are our three favourites:
- This just in: MacBooks are more reliable than netbooks
- Apple Ranks a Lackluster Fourth in Notebook Reliability Study
- Apple's laptops rate 'Better than Average' in reliability study