Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2015

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The most important question we try to answer at Laptop Mag is the following: "What laptop should I buy?" It's a question with many facets and tons of possible answers. But, often, a good place to start is to decide which brand deserves your hard-earned dollars. Thus, we examine all the biggest notebook makers each year, taking a hard look at laptop quality, technical support, value and selection, and other criteria.

Best-Worst-Brands-2015-chart-finalSome brands climbed our rankings in 2015, such as HP and Dell, but others crashed. Lenovo fell from second place all the way to sixth, thanks in part to lackluster tech support and the loading of dangerous adware on some consumer laptops.

1st Place: Apple

The undisputed king of laptop brands for six years and counting, Apple retains the No. 1 spot in this year’s survey. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company won 5 out of the 9 categories, including a perfect score for its laptop reviews. Its tech support score is also stellar, and the brand's keyboards and touchpads, audio quality and preloaded software can't be beat. Assuming you have the budget, Apple laptops are the way to go.

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Full Report

2nd Place: Dell 

Jumping up to second place, Dell's rise over the last year has been something to behold. The company took first place in the categories of innovation, value and selection, as well as in audio. We were also impressed with Dell's reviews and technical support, which all point to why the brand rose from fifth place to runner-up.

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Full Report | Best Dell Laptops

3rd Place: HP 

HP also rose in the ranks this year, going from fourth to third. We're big fans of the company's designs, and the attention it pays to audio quality. For laptop shoppers, HP customers have a huge selection of prices, styles and configurations from which to choose, and once you’ve made a decision, you can trust in the quality of the technical support.

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Full Report | Best HP Laptops

How We Score

A brand's score hinges on many factors, from a company's ability to solve your problems to design and comfort. But we start by looking at the ratings and reviews of all laptops reviewed between January 31, 2014 to January 31, 2015.

For the Reviews category, points are awarded based on the ratings. For example, if a notebook had a rating of four stars, then it was awarded 4 points. A company received minus 1 point for any review lower than three stars, and was awarded 1 point for each Editors' Choice award. The total number of points for each brand were then added up and averaged. The company with the highest score received 20 points, while the rest received a percentage of that based on their score relative to the winner.

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Our annual Tech Support Showdown forms the basis for that section. The scale starts with 20 points for an A+ score and goes down to 0 for an F. Within a grade (B-, B, B+) the point changes are less drastic than if a brand drops a full grade.

Design is essential in helping consumers choose a laptop. Thus, we look back at each brand's aesthetics, material choices and durability to come up with those 15 points possible.

We also examined how each brand fared in the individual benchmarks for Keyboard & Touchpads, Display and Audio categories. Those brands that beat the category averages for tests such as key travel, color brightness and accuracy as well as decibel output scored highest. We also examined our general experience with each brand in those categories for the last year.

A good score in the Innovation category points to an eagerness to embrace and successfully implement the newest technologies on the market. A good Value & Selection score is about how easy it is for a consumer to find and buy a brand's laptops, at a good price. The Software category score hinges on a company's branded and preloaded programs that come on new laptops. Are they useful, annoying, or — hopefully not — dangerous adware.

Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2015

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50 comments
  • Sachin Says:

    They didn't even consider adding Fujitsu to the list,
    Disappointed!!

  • Jason Says:

    Unhelpful article.

    This is such a generalized discussion of laptops that its virtually useless, except for the user reviews ratings. High ratings by users isn't something that Laptop mag(rag?) isn't going to just make up(I hope not). But the rest of these categories have absolutely not data attached to them or within the article and just saying "oh well this magazine reports on laptops all the time" doesn't cut it. Your other articles aren't all that substantive either!

  • SDK Says:

    Shitty fuckin list. Complete garbage.

  • Angry Says:

    Yes of course ... don't worry about reliability. But give full marks for such incredibly important and distinctive features such as the keyboard and touchpad.

  • Bullshite Says:

    Apple and Dell are the most overpriced brands how can they be on first and second place? i guess they paid this website the most

  • joel tom skaria Says:

    really nice

  • Sansun Says:

    Every brand has more than one product, entry level, mediocre and high end. Basically what you get what you pay for. So a review just by its brand make no sense.

  • Collinspen Says:

    Apple first spot! Great joke guys.

  • NotJohnSnow Says:

    Guys, I think that the list is inverted.








    Also, how much did Apple paid you to invert this list?

  • eri Says:

    Haha..This is funny post. The only reason why Apple on top while other potential competitors in 2014 on the bottom is because these guys care about US products. Are Asian manufacturers really scaring you? This is such shameful review.

  • mark Says:

    I think that the results were inaccurate and wrong. I think that the publisher of this article favors some companies over others and that they did a very bad and horendous job and should look back and thinks things over.

  • jafarabadi Says:

    Its absoloutly wrong
    I think yout rancking is completly fals.
    Asus's production is most better than other exept apple .I have a asus lap top but you cant compare it with lenova or dell

  • thakor vipul.a Says:

    who

  • Dave Says:

    I thought my own life was a fucking nightmare, but after reading all this I feel a lot better.

    The only reason I'm here is because I need a new laptop, and my priorities have changed to wanting RELIABILITY above anything else. Too bad this website doesn't consider reliability important enough to even have it as a category.

    I don't claim to know a lot about which brand is best, I just have the following warning TO ALL READERS: Never waste your money on Toshiba. I bought a Satellite C850-05C just over two years ago and it's a piece of shit. It died on me two weeks ago for no apparent reason, I had to format the hard drive to get it working again, and a week and a half later it died all over again. I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT!

    As a programmer, I need a working PC to make a living, and I care about my machine, so abuse and misuse are not factors in this situation. OK, it was not the highest end machine money can buy, but does saving a few bucks mean I deserve to be stuck with GARBAGE?!?

    TOSHIBA SUCKS.

  • Omni Says:

    I absoutely agree with the rankings for Lenovo (I bought a Lenovo machine and had nothing but problems with its wireless adapter). However, I will admit that ASUS' rating seems a bit surprising to me.

  • Matt Says:

    This is probably the most inaccurate thing I have yet to see. Mac and HP at the top? Like really...for the prices and for the very poor build quality they should be at the bottom of the list.

  • IT Man Says:

    listen to all of you. I've been fixing computers for 18 years and any PC will run great and last for years if you would take the time to service it. If your PC is full of shit inside and the fan can't turn how long do you think it will last? I've seen laptops so plugged up that I was surprized it was still working. If you're going to purchase a high end laptop and toss it on your bed or floor it won't last you very long. Personally I have Dell xps which came with Windows 98 and I've kept it serviced and it was upgraded from 98 to vista to win 7, then 8.1 and got my windows7 update yesterday and it's still working hard. Of coarse I upgraded a few parts as well just to keep up with the times and demands but hey! it's still kicking hard and don't get me wrong here. I believe if I had any other well known brands and did exactly what I've done with this Dell it would still run as well. I played around and worked on practically every brand and OS and my opinion is that they're practical if you take care of them. But you can't compare a 300$ laptop to a 2500$ one. And really what the most frustrating part about my job is when you have these parents who goes and buy 2500$ machines their careless kids and they land up in the dumpster and post stupid comments on this site about something they don't even know about.

  • Blair Says:

    This is the most bogus review I have ever read. Anyone who puts dell above lenovo is clearly not using either.

  • penix Says:

    You lost all credibility when you put Apple on first place.

  • J Gostling Says:

    one of the worst ratings I have ever seen. How come Dell got the 2nd and HP is on the 3rd? To my horror MSI, Samsung all are ahead of Lenovo and Asus? are you kidding? The review team should stop wasting time reviewing products rather start selling cashew nuts

  • Jack Fiah Says:

    Ah we have an apple fanboy here and all scores are paid OK ? Here's the real leaderboard : 1st ) asus 2nd)dell 3rd) MSI 4th) HP 5th) Toshiba 6th ) Samsung 8th) apple(so called shitpple worse product high price tag useless machines lack of softwares special virus, etc) 7th) lenovo 8th) acer. Am I right fanboys/girls ?

  • Kelly T. Says:

    I agree completely that Apple has the best products, hands down. From the material they make their laptops with, to software that comes with, to sheer stability and processing power, apple can not be beat. I have a very high end lenovo that costed a grand and a macbook pro retina that costed almost three grand and all I can say is that when using the computers and communicating with the companies that Apple far surpasses. I really have a hard time understanding how HP got such high ratings, and Asus got such low rating. So I do believe that they got it right with apple on top but the others are a skew. All said I used to think apple was overpriced garbage, I now have a completely different opinion.

  • saina salonika Says:

    I too agree.I think the ratings here are all correct.

  • Jason Says:

    for those of you that say apple sucks, well
    1. they did not "copy" off other computers and even if they did, they still work good
    2. there not "overpriced" they cost more because they are a more advanced/better computer system, they have better editing software, better memeory, better graphic systems, they are just better computer systems so stop bitching about it

  • Jason Says:

    why did apple get a 4 on audio, i mean its an amazing home computer but i think the audio is better than a 4

  • Mike Says:

    Are you high?
    Dell is probably the worst computer company on the planet & Asus makes some of the best machines. Crawl back into your cave you idiot, you don't belong on the internet.

  • Toon_G Says:

    Vance good one there...but seriously i need more ideas...can we talk?

  • Ethan Wolf Says:

    Apple has 5/5 in Software? With the minimalist selection of software available for OSX, I honestly can't see why...

  • Yotoprules Says:

    What is this?!?!?! Apple at first? Software 5/5? You joking me? Samsung should be at the bottom, lenovo and MSI should be at the top, MSI make gaming laptops so they are very good, HP is about right to be third.haven't had experience with other brands.

    I have used apple computers before, the software is horrific. Security holes, maximise button doesn't maximise. Despite their decent specs, the actual thing is awfully slow. Their iphones and iPads are very overrated too. Imagine a laptop by apple!

    I have been using a cheap HP laptop for over a year, and it has low specs, but it can play high end games lowest setting and resolution at about 20fps.

    Decent laptop for the price and time it came out.

  • KAY SONEKA Says:

    This table of ratings is questionable because hp has the worst customer service of all well known brands, the customer service/ tech support is practically non existent!
    I own an hp ProBook 4530s and an hp Slate7 VoiceTab.

  • Angara Says:

    Asus is best and HP is worst

  • Hilary Kinyua Says:

    I fully agree with the laptop rating. Besides, those complaining that some brands have been erroneously rated highly probably misused their laptops or failed to maintain them. From my experience, Apple is great, followed by HP and Lenovo.

  • Momen Ali Says:

    I'm an Apple fan, but their Mac's are just not good at all.
    I think this list is based on selling charts.
    Anyway in my opinion i think Casper and Vaio should be on top, after them HP and Toshiba.

  • Dave M Says:

    I'm in the market to replace a Sony that works fairly well, but eats batteries like a thirsty desert rat and has such a crappy screen color that it's useless for photo touching (LCD backlight). I want to be sure that a new one has LED backlighting. That's hard to determine. Written specs don't say. Stores tours and questions of often clueless personell may help a bit. Dell & HP haven't been much on the radar. I've read too many tales of poor reliability and worse customer service. Still looking - maybe Toshiba, or Asus of Lenovo. Not in the market for the cheap end of the price range. While the SSD drives are are nice & fast most are too small.

  • XD Says:

    I have to disagree about Dell. I bought the most useless desktop last year--and the customer service was so miserable that I gave up after 6 months of trying to get them to honor the warranty. (I suspect the poor service was there to intentionally stall for time until the warranty expired)

  • Katrine Says:

    I feel sorry for toshiba. I am a Toshiba user. I have this for almost 3 years now and I never had a problem with it. I think it should've ranked higher.

  • Person Says:

    Asus=China...nuff said
    I know that im being racist but seriously cmon. But i agree with hp and apple. they're pretty shit my hp broke on me after 3 weeks and apple overprices their crappy slow macs.

  • robert jones Says:

    Why did you not include Sony Vaio in this?

  • Toshiba Says:

    Thoshiba should be on top.

  • Sifu Scotty Says:

    Sorry ....accidentally tripped over this site....all you techy talkin faggots all sound like a buncha punkbitches.....thanx for the hoot !!

  • deepa adhikari Says:

    which laptop is appropriate for BCA students

  • Daniel Says:

    This site has the worst and funniest rating system ever. I work in the industry and HP has the worst products ever in comparison to most decent brands out there. So to list it third on your rating makes me wonder how much you people actually know about laptops.

  • Kayne Says:

    Any rating which has HP placing is clearly flawed. I haven had about 8 top of the line ones through work and they are all problems, from plain broken, jamming, crashing and losing wifi.

  • Aum Says:

    The key to a reliable laptop is reciting a mantra for the madarchod bhosdiki randi ki aulad lord Shiva before using it.

    Aum aum aum...
    Hare krishna hare ram....
    Shiva ki g aand maro....
    Hanuman ki b und maro...
    Ram kay moo mein khotay kaa l und dalo...
    Vishnu kay c huttar mein Ganesh ki soondh thoso
    Chutiya bhosdiki suwar ki aulad Sai Baba ki gand mein kutta ka loda

    Kaali ma ki c hute maro...
    Durga Maa ki k us pharo
    Lakshmi Maa ki p hudee mein lund dalohey
    Saraswati Maa ki b hosree Mein kuttay ka lora maro
    Madarchod bhosdiki Guru Nanak ki gand mein suwar ka loda

    Hindustan ki toeee mein jeera haldi thoso
    Banyaa kutaa hai hai
    Bharat murdabad
    Hindu ki gand mein hubshi ka lund

  • Rizwan Says:

    ACER is 1st in reliability/Price ratio.
    HP is simple BS.
    Dell is good.

  • a p Says:

    Very good desicions and rankings. I just think, that hp maybe should be in the second place. Apple is best of the best. There is no question. Trolls can eat themself of anger, but true is true. All this lenovo, acer, asus will never never reach the quality of hp or especialy apple.

  • Karina Says:

    Seriously, an 18 out of 20 on tech support? I think you've been inhaling way too much of the air cans. 90% of the time that I call tech support, I get someone in India with good command of the English language, but their accent is so thick that I cannot carry on a decent conversation. They need to find a way to route calls from the USA to technicians in the USA.

  • Joseph Callahan Says:

    I think you are including Dell's Alienware laptops, but you are excluding Asus' Republic Of Gamers laptops. ROG has much more value for the price than Alienware.

  • John Smith Says:

    Too bad i read this article so late. I bought a brand new Lenovo Thinkpad laption thinking that their builds are as good as the previous generations. Wrong, they have horrible quality control for the last few years and the brand new laptop i got had a defected keyboard from the first day. Repair took almost one month and still had the same problem. And if you start reading their forum, you see all the nightmares from the last few years.

    Their management really have done the wrong decisions for quality control and is costing them more on the long run with customers turning away and costing them more on the repairs.

  • AppleSucks Says:

    You know a so called top/worst list is a bogus when design is regarded as more important than DURABILITY!!! This list is an embarrassment to humanity. I weep for the new generations who were tricked into thinking that Apple is superior.